New AKB48 themed cafe at Akihabara Station28 September, 2011 by Chad
Tomorrow will mark the grand opening of the brand new AKB48 themed cafe and shop in Akihabara, and grand it is indeed. The new cafe occupies a large area underneath Akihabara Station and is located just beside the existing Akihabara Gundam Cafe and Bar.
These days, images of the popular Japanese idol group are plastered all over Tokyo. Their foothold in the city’s otaku haven is so strong that shops have sprung out seemingly just to accommodate AKB48 merchandise. Through the dominance of the radio waves, AKB48 have captured the hearts of Japan’s youth. But now, they are eying your stomach too.
As explained before, this is hardly a new concept. But thought the company has experimented with the cafe concept in the giant sandbox that is Singapore, this first time that AKB48 will be reviving the idea in Japan after the previous cafe closed its doors in 2009.
The new AKB48 Cafe and Shop Akihabara occupies 4 shop spaces underneath the North exit of the JR Akihabara Station. The Gundam Cafe beside occupies only 3. As seen from the cafe’s official site, the four spaces will be used to host a 4-in-1 concept, where each area will provide a different function.
Fans will be able to enjoy a buffet meal while watching videos on the large 136 inch screen at the cafe’s Theater Area. Videos of the latest AKB48 Theater performances (LODs) from the past week will be shown here. Tickets for the Theater Area buffet costs 2,700 yen (approximately SGD$45).
The Cafe Area will function more like a regular cafe. For 2,000 yen (SGD$34), visitors will be able to choose a main meal with free flow of drinks and sides. In a move more similar to Akihabara’s maid cafes, tickets for the Cafe Area also include a commemorative photograph.
The third section is a 16 person Private Area. This is a private function room that can be booked in 2 hour blocks for 10,000 yen (SGD$170). It will provide visitors a place to hold parties and celebrations. But like the Singapore AKB48 Cafe, it will also probably serve as a place for the management to hold events too.
Finally, as the title suggest the new cafe will also feature a Shop Area where AKB48 related goods will be put up for sale. The shop promises to sell original cafe themed goods that are not available anywhere else.
In Japan, AKB48 have expanded far larger than what their tiny theater in Donki can accommodate. To handle the problem, entry to the Theater has been much more restricted in recent years. If executed well, the emergence of their new cafe will hopefully provide like-minded fans a nice place to hang out and mingle, at least until the theater finds its rumored new home.
Reservations for the different areas are available online but the cafe area has already been completely booked out for the next 3 weeks! If you happen to be visiting Japan soon or have plans to, do drop by to take a look. But be sure to place your reservations early.Click here to search CDJapan for official AKB48 goods.
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