We first discovered Polar Bear Cafe about two years ago through Crunchyroll http://www.crunchyroll.co.uk/polar-bear-cafe/videos
It’s a cute, funny anime about a polar bear who runs a cafe., but what makes it strange is that it exists in the human world, and no-one bats an eyelid. The regular customers of the cafe are also animals including a panda, a penguin and a llama, and most of them work at the local zoo (as animals). It’s hard to describe in a short paragraph but definitely worth checking out if you have the time. I even bought a copy of the manga in Japanese to read as it’s not available in english; the humour is very dry and often revolves around the animals getting into normal human situations (e.g. Trouble with commuting, Penguin’s driving lessons, and Panda buying a smart phone).
I was so happy when I found out on the internet that there was a real Shirokuma themed cafe in Takadanobaba which is in Tokyo. There is a website for it, but it’s all in Japanese. I normally translate sites using Google chrome, but for some reason when you use it on this this site the text just disappears. http://www.shirokumacafe.net/ If you can understand I think they have special events on during different months. The Cafe is really easy to find. Once you get off the train at Takadanobaba just head down the main street for about 8 mins and it will be on the left hand side near a big crossroads (there is a map on the website).
Walking through the door of the cafe first thing you will see is a gift shop full of very cute character goods and also you can view signed copies of the manga.
As soon as you walk to the counter to order food you’ll see Panda and Penguin sat drinking their usual order. It’s so cute! Panda is even wearing his Panda Pochette from the series.
There are also lots of other characters around the cafe as cut outs or decorations. Ben’s favourite character, Sloth (or Namakemono in Japanese) was hanging from one of the tables too.
As you can see from our video, there are lots of delicious cakes available and like many Japanese cafes there are a choice of light meals and drinks. One thing that is really strange is that no cafe we’ve been to yet serves Japanese green tea.
We decided to order the lunch sets; when we ordered the waitress gave us a dice to roll. This decided which free coasters you got with you drink, apparently you can’t buy them and people collect different sets by going back to the cafe over and over. Ben was so happy as he got one with sloth. Mine had full time panda and llama-san on.
I forgot to mention the waitress’ all have there hair in plaits with a headscarf on exactly like Sasaki-chan from the anime.
The mugs they serve you drinks in has the Polar Bear Cafe logo on.
The whole time we were there the Polar Bear Cafe music was being played. For those of you who have not watched there are many different endings songs to the anime, each performed by a different character and written to suit their personality (Sloth’s is slow and lullaby like, whereas Penguin sounds like bad Karaoke and Grizzly has a Rockabilly sound to it).
Whether you know the show or not, the atmosphere to the place was really relaxing, and the food was very good value and quite tasty. I’ll definitely be going back again.