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Travel consultant Leslie gears up for an evening inside a rainbow explosion at the Kawaii Monster Café in Harajuku (complete with a lemur waiter!)
Kawaii Monster Café
InsideJapan Tours is no stranger to Harajuku’s fabulous Kawaii Monster Café. As the epitome of weird cuteness (Japan’s speciality!), it’s a frequently requested lunch stop for families with little girls looking to be smothered by giant flowers; bunnies; and oh so much pink; as well as adults who want to experience something uniquely Japanese, but have had their fill of temples and shrines.
But what about at night?
“Mysterious cabaret shows”
As a travel consultant, I’ve been warned to never include a Kawaii Monster Café reservation in a trip on a Wednesday or Thursday evening, due to the mysterious cabaret shows, but no one in the Boulder office had ever been. For the purposes of work research (definitely not personal enjoyment at all), I checked out one of these shows for myself and dragged along one of my expat friends.
With regards to the décor, the Kawaii Monster Café is the same at night – still a giant, plastic, rotating cake as the centrepiece – but the lights are dimmed to club setting to set the mood.
I was impressed to discover that both the hostess taking my name for the reservation, as well as our waitress, spoke English well enough to understand me over the thumping bass, and the clientele appeared to be predominantly non-Japanese. The menu was the same as during the day, and my friend and I polished off a slice of rainbow cake, as well as a towering parfait made of sherbet and fruit candy-flavoured whip cream.
I regret nothing.
Our entry tickets also included one cocktail, befitting the more mature tone of the event. Our host for the evening was incongruously the lemur from the film Madagascar and was heralded into the room after each segment to the beats of I Like to Move It, just in case there was any confusion. Oh, Japan!
But what about the show? Three lovely Japanese ladies took turns dancing on the rotating cake (such coordination!). One was very proudly announced to be a professional pole dancer, but the performances themselves were pretty tame and most comparable to an old-timey burlesque show.
The final show
To finish the night off, everyone in the joint was invited to hop onto the cake together for one final dance, with free test tube shots being handed out as an extra incentive. Like any good introvert, I snagged my final drink and then scurried back to my dark corner to observe.
All in all, I had a blast, and I think it would be a lot of fun for the right person. The audience (including myself and my friend) was predominantly female, and it’s clear that the intention is for everyone to have a wacky time with their girls, eating rainbows and laughing with the human lemur.
In the words of my worldly friend: “This is much less sleazy than the Robot Restaurant”. Guess that’s where I’m headed next time!
Fancy a rainbow-coloured sugar kick and your own lemur waiter? Join our HYPERJAPAN J-Pop & Go Small Group Tour, or get in touch with our Japan travel experts to find out more.