**Please note that the information in this post is as accurate on June 26 2017. The cafe campaign has long ended.**
YYH has always been one of my favourite manga while growing up and if you were, like me, a fan of anime/manga back in the 90s, you’ll know how hard it was to get your hands on goods and merchandises. Back then there wasn’t even much merchandises too although we all had a lot of fun collecting the trading cards (I still have mine!).
So fast forward 20 plus years later to 2017, I found out that there was going to be a café collaboration for YYH to celebrate YYH 25th Anniversary. OMG! With my newfound
passion discovery of anime themed cafes, how can I not go? Plus it’s YYH!!!!
As such, it wasn’t much of an exaggeration to say that the YYH Café was one of the biggest motivations for me to embark on my Tokyo trip in 2017. 😊
So not surprisingly, I ended up visiting the café twice! (Because once is not enough haha) My first visit was via an online reservation/ballot system I did before my trip. The second visit was the result of physically queuing in the morning to get one of the vacant slots for the day. (Perks of staying at a hotel near the café.)
Anime Plaza (Ikebukuro) has 4 Floors in total. The actual café is located on the 4F. The 3F sells Kujis and goods of the various cafe campaigns and collaborations of Anime Plaza. There are also a couple of crane game machines on this level. The first two floors are filled with an abundance of crane game machines and gachapon machines for you
to go crazy with. 🙂
When I stepped out onto the 3rd floor.. .my heart skipped a beat as I took in the sight before me …
What I really liked about Anime Plaza (Ikebukuro) was that they separated the goods level from the café level. Unlike Animate Cafes, this means that non-café diners can actually get their hands on the café exclusive goods as well! (They also have a pre-sale of some of the goods in their online shops before the actual cafe campaign starts.)
Apart from the lovely panels of the 4 awesome guys, there was a display table located near the goods area so that you have an idea of all the possible exclusive goods you can get from this collaboration. ^ ^ Here’s a close-up of the goods on the display table.
Apart from the acrylic key-chains and the badges, there were also files and posters on sale. One thing that I had really wanted to get were the posters but as you can see from the photo below… two of the designs were sold out!!! Nooooooo……
But thankfully, all the posters were in stock by the time I came by for my second visit and I got all the posters! Yay! Don’t the boys look so handsome in their suits?
**Just a note: the goods shown in my photos were the designs for the 1st Phase of the YYH X Anime Plaza Café. Turns out in late 2017 – early 2018, they had another round of YYH café with new goods and poster designs. (Thanks to a friend who visited the café in early 2018, I got the new goods and posters as well!) 😊
And now.. to the main reason why I came to Japan!
As you enter the café, you’ll pass by the cashier counter with a display of some of the goods you can buy (similar to the goods area on 3F) OR get from playing the crane game machines. There’s also an impressive display of the novelty items (coasters) you can get with each order of drinks/desserts/food. Notice that there is a signed Yusuke poster in the photo? That’s the autograph of Nozomu Sasaki (佐々木望), the seiyuu of Yusuke!
I was really happy that my randomly assigned table number was one that had Hiei’s lunch mat that I just had to snap a few photos before even sitting down! Turns out I wasn’t the only one who was doing that, as almost everyone near me was doing the same thing. ^ ^
I would have love to have ordered everything on the menu but alas, as a solo diner, there was only so much I could eat/drink at one seating without wasting food so I really had to choose what I wanted to try.
That said though, there was a Japanese guy during my impromptu second visit to the cafe who had ordered 8 drinks (8 drinks!) and finished them all by himself. He was really happy taking photos of them … and I’m totally not judging because I’m pretty sure I had a goofy grin on my face too when my food/drinks came as well hahaha.
The two mini plushies are my own, specially brought to Tokyo for a photo-shoot. (I got these in a crane game back in 2015!) There were also props available for you to take photos with (see the straws with pictures of the YYH characters?) while waiting for your food, so play I did. ^ ^
After what seemed like a pretty short wait (time simply flies when you are at an anime cafe), the first of my YYH-themed menu item has arrived! Despite my struggle with how many items I should order from the menu, there was always no doubts in my mind what, or rather who, I had to order for my very first YYH cafe experience.
Yup, I guess it’s really no big surprise that I had ordered everything to do with Hiei in the YYH-themed menu. Hiei is, after all , my favourite YYH character and my top 5 favourite anime characters of all time. 😊
Presenting… the complete Hiei inspired menu!
So how was the taste? Well, it was not too bad but then again you can’t really go wrong with toast now, can you?
And now for dessert. (Don’t judge me!) I really was pretty stuffed at this point but I just had to get the dessert because…well… look at this!
Looks so good right? How can anyone resist ordering this?? And this was the normal version. There’s actually a limited XXL version of this dessert as you can see from the menu I posted earlier.
If you had guessed that this absolutely decadent chocolate dessert was inspired by the Toguro brothers (戸愚呂兄弟) , you are absolutely right! More specifically, this dessert actually belongs to the younger Toguro brother (戸愚呂弟).
Seeing how at that time I wasn’t sure if I had another chance to visit the cafe, I wanted to just try getting another random coaster so to round out the entire meal + dessert, I went ahead and got myself a Puu drink!
So which coasters did I eventually get? Um…well I was simply too excited and
preoccupied with taking photos of the entire cafe trying to finish up my food that I forgot to take photos of my coasters… oops! It’s a good thing then that I had taken some photos of the display table at the cashier so I can show you all the coasters that one could get at the cafe!
These were the novelty coasters that were given with each drink order during the time of my visit. Guess which ones I got? 😊 I actually got Yuusuke and Kurama (No Hiei!!) from the two drinks that I had ordered. However, one Japanese schoolgirl had walked past my table and after realizing that I was a big Hiei fan (what gave it away, heh?) but had only a Kurama and Yuusuke coaster, she asked if she could exchange her Hiei coaster with my Kurama’s which I agreed to. What followed next was perhaps one of the loudest squeals of happiness I have heard in an anime themed cafe. 😊
Now for my second visit! ^ ^
I was promptly shown to a table with Kuwabara’s lunch mat AND his die-cut poster behind me! I grew to appreciate Kuwabara more as I got older so I was equally thrilled to be near him.
As this was my second visit, I was definitely more chilled (and calm) than during my first visit since I had already taken photos of most of the cafe decor. (Scroll to the end of the post to check out the photos of the café décor!).
So what’s a girl got to do while waiting for her food? Indulging in yet another mini-photo session of course! The props in the photo holds a hint to what I’ll be ordering for this visit. ^ ^
I got these badges from playing crane games at the 3rd level of Anime Plaza Ikebukuro… more on that later. That in itself was an EPIC story to tell. (Please note that this was way back on 2017 so it’s highly unlikely that you can find them now.)
Anyway…let’s have some dessert first, shall we? Looking at the colours of the dish, I’m pretty sure this needs no explaining on whose themed dessert this is! ^ ^
And the coaster I got from ordering this dish is his best friend Hiei! (I really wanted this!)
To round up the sweet dessert, I guess I’ll be needing that refreshing mint Youko Kurama drink after all. ^ ^
Then feeling somewhat peckish… I decided to order a main dish anyway and because I was sitting at a table with Kuwabara’s lunch mat and his wall sticker behind me (subliminal advertising lol), there was really only one choice on the menu.
I was pleasantly surprised after taking a bite of it. This was, in my opinion, the tastiest food item that I had ordered in the entire YYH menu . It’s really delicious!
As the staff started announcing that it was time for the last order of the day, and upon realizing that this would have been the last anime café that I will be able to go to for a long while (my Japan trip was coming to an end), I decided to just order another drink because how can I miss out Koenma Jr?? (He’s one of my favs in the series!)
And with this hot Koenma Jr drink, I’ve ordered at least one themed item from the main characters of YYH!! I was soo full but oh so satisfied! ^ ^
As an added bonus, turns out that it was a Hiei’s day for me too! Even though I did not order any Hiei themed food/drink, almost all of the random coasters that came with my food items were of Hiei!
As promised earlier, here are the photos for the decor of the cafe!
Do note that because I had came for the last session of the day and was trying to stay as long as I could (I ended up being one of the last to leave) so that I can take more shots around the café, by the time I took this photo, most of the patrons have left.
I really really wanted to sit here but alas… both times that I was at the cafe, someone else was already seated there. Oh well~
Oh! Remember the lunch mats that you can get from ordering a food or dessert item from the menu? Well I managed to get all 4 designs of the lunch mats! (Hehe now you know why I had to go at least twice to the café! ) To be honest, I was really glad that I managed to get all 4 because two of the designs were sold out when I went for my second visit.
Note: Another thing I really like about Anime Plaza Cafe is that they offer you an option of paying just an extra 100 yen to get a laminated version of the paper lunch-mat! That is so thoughtful.
So in conclusion, I really had a lot of fun at the YYH cafe. This was also my first time visiting the Anime Plaza Cafe! 🙂 It was especially a great experience for me because I had never thought it was possible that I would still be able to indulge in a brand new experience
and fangirling for one of my favourite mangas after 20 + years!! I literally had a goofy grin on my face the whole time I was at the cafe. There’s just this incredibly indescribable feeling that you get when you realize that regardless of how much time has passed, there are just some things and feelings that will never fade. YYH was and always will be one of my favourite mangas.
(Side-note: I was fortunate enough to visit the Jump 50th Anniversary Exhibition Part II in May 2018 too and I literally got chills revisiting the panels and exhibits of some of the great manga series that I grew up reading with. It was so so so awesome and so worth the trip to Japan for it.)
So what I’m trying to say is, if you do get a chance to try out an anime themed cafe in Japan, do yourself a favour and do so! You’ll not regret it. 🙂
Anyway, if you think the cafe was the only YYH related experience/activity in Japan during my 2017 trip, well it’s not! Check out my next post on the YYH chara pop-up shops and crane games I played with during this trip.