Persona 5 Cafe
The Persona 5 Cafe is a limited time pop-up theme restaurant at Pasela Resorts in Shibuya. Sadly it’s closed now, but I went the day it opened in October 2016,; you can watch my video above to see what it was like.
Persona 5 isn’t out yet in the UK – it’s delayed until April, so when I went to the cafe I didn’t know any of the characters! Yes, I could have watched the anime, but I didn’t want to spoil the story. Anyway we were all really excited about the game, and it was so frustrating seeing the Japanese version in the shops in Akihabara where it was already out, months before the UK release.
The video’s from the day the cafe opened. There was a queue for tickets going up several flights of stairs, and we waited for an hour. It was great to see other Persona fans in the queue, with Persona charms and badges on their bags. We got a ticket for later that day at 3pm, so went to hang out around Shibuya and Yoyogi Park until the afternoon.
The cafe was several floors up – from the outside the only indication was this sign. In many ways Tokyo’s a hidden city, and lots of places are above or below street level. Because it’s so densely populated, there just isn’t room for everything at ground level. Finding bars, shops and restaurants often involves spotting small signs and going up stairs or lifts between buildings, or even staircases like fire escapes that don’t look like they’re open to the public.
Persona 5 Cafe Menu
There was a small food menu, half entrees and half desserts, one for each character from the game:
We all decided to order something different. The food was ok – not as good as other restaurants in Tokyo but certainly not bad, and anyway, you don’t go to theme cafes for the food. I enjoyed the fruit pizza, which was a fun idea for a dessert and came with three different sauces.
It’s a shame the food wasn’t more themed – the only real theming is Futaba Sakura’s glasses cut out of nori on the spaghetti, and Makoto Niijima’s mask on the chocolate tart. The garnish on Haru Okumura’s chocolate fondant dessert looks like feather in her hat. I’ve seen food that’s themed a lot more at other theme cafes – some of them are really cute, especially the Sanrio cafes and the Alice in Wonderland restaurant (highly recommended!).
But the best part about the meal was definitely the drinks! They’re so inventive and creative, and looked like cocktails even though they were non-alcoholic. Again, each one was themed for a particular character, and the menu looked amazing:
The menus were in Japanese only, but they weren’t hard to understand. The cafe had an unusual way of ordering, which I haven’t seen at many places in Tokyo. There was small form on a clipboard, to tick the items you want to order. It was all in Japanese, so we had to match up the characters from the menu! I can read hiragana and katakana, so it wasn’t too difficult.
There were screens playing scenes from Persona 5, with the sound on and the theme tune, which set the scene! On the walls there were large banners with the characters in cool poses – you can see more of them in the video.
As a temporary pop-up cafe, the theming wasn’t as comprehensive as a permanent theme cafe, and it’s obviously a normal bar that they’ve decorated, but it looked cool anyway!
Limited Edition Badges
At the end they brought out a basket of badges, and let us have the whole basket. I think you get one per item from the menu, so we got the whole set of eight. They’re limited edition designs, one for each character, and they say “Persona 5 x Pasela Resorts”, so they made a great souvenir. I picked Yusuke Kitagawa with his fox mask (I haven’t played the game yet so don’t know anything about the characters) and Morgana, because Teddie’s my favourite from Persona 4.
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