Feb 18, 2013

Quirky cafés

 Nanjya Monjya

Treehouse café Nanjya Monjya: photo by Jessica Kozuka

If you don’t fancy waiting in line for your cup of Joe, try these offbeat watering holes.


The short menu might be limited to curry, French toast and pizza, but, let’s be honest, the food choices were never going to be the main draw of this treehouse café. If you think you’re the only person in the area looking for an excuse to recapture their lost childhood, mind, you can think again – and be prepared to queue.
Open Fri-Sat non-5.30pm, closed Sun-Thu. 5-55 Mitsuzawahigashi-cho, Kanagawa. Nearest stn: Mitsuzawashimo. http://nanjya.jp/cafe/


If, for some odd reason, you are nostalgic for the days of school lunches, sit at a tiny desk in a tiny chair and eat tiny dishes commonly served in Japanese schools.
Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-2pm, 6-11pm, closed Sun. 1-4-4 Moto-Asakusa, Taito-ku. Nearest stn: Shin-Okachimachi. www.kyusyokutoban.com


Relax in a place that looks like your office, at Office. Just try not to get crumbs in the keyboard.
Open Mon-Sat 7pm-3am, closed Sun. 5F Yamazaki Bldg, 2-7-18 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku. Nearest stn: Gaienmae. www.transit-web.com/shop/cafe/office


Goats are the new cats. Hang out on the terrace with Sakura and Chocolat, the owners’ pet billies. Just keep an eye on your waffles.
Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-4am. 1F Shinoda Bldg, 23-3 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku. Nearest stn: Shibuya.www.udagawacafe.com/sakuragaoka


If you thought maid cafés were the nerdiest coffee spot, Handazuke Café is a step up. It doesn’t even serve food—or drinks (customers bring their own). It does offer free use of a soldering iron and other tools, though, so you can build electronic gadgets (possibly a coffee maker?). They even have workshops, a live webstream—and it’s free.
Open Mon-Fri 6-8:30pm, Sat-Sun 1-6pm. 11-14-6 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku. Nearest stn: Suehirocho.http://handazukecafe.com


This one is sure to make your kids—or the kid in you—squeal in delight. The café is built around a huge model train display with several locomotives whipping around the tracks. There’s also plenty of train-themed food and a trinket shop.
Open Mon-Fri 11am-11pm, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-8pm. 1F Shin-Yurakucho Bldg, 1-12-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku. Nearest stn: Yurakucho. www.steamlocomotive.jp


Not many Japanese homes have room for a bulky sewing machine, so what are crafters to do? Head to Nico, where they have 11 machines of different types for you to use, as well as all the other tools of the dressmaking trade. And coffee, of course.
Open Tue-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-5pm, closed Mon. 103 Arai Daiichi Mansion, 7-19-16 Kamisoshigaya, Setagaya-ku. Nearest stn: Sengawa. http://nico-sengawa.jimdo.com

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