Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gundam Cafe

About a week ago, the Japan Times paper ran a small side bar article on the April 24th opening of the new Gundam Cafe in Akihabara. There've been attempts at a Gundam-themed restaurant before, and there's one in the Bandai museum. But, Bandai is trying again. There wasn't a lot of hoopla leading up to the event yesterday morning, and the Daily Yomiuri didn't make much of it in advance either. But the Anime News Network did have some additional info, and the fact that the Bandai map indicated that the cafe would be along my path from the Akihabara train station to my office did at least make me wonder why I hadn't seen any signs of the construction work earlier.

Turns out that the new cafe is going into the space under the tracks where an old electronics shop used to be but had closed over a year ago. The day after the story ran, I went past the site, when some interior decorator firm was unloading gear to take into the building. At this point, just about everything inside was done. What was lacking was the exterior ornamentation.

3-4 days later, the Gundam "V" was up over the door.

The morning of the 24th, at 8:45 AM, the lines of people waiting to get in were already a block long, and TV crews were out filming. Actually, there's two lines. One for the cafe proper, and the other to get into the "gunpla" (gundam plastic figures) shop at the door to the right. I went by 3 times total that day, once in the morning on the way to work. A second time during my short lunch break. And the third at 5 PM on my way home. The lines were the same length each time. I figure it'll take at least a week before the wait to get inside will drop down to something more reasonable. I'll write more about the cafe then.

1 comment:

bartman905 said...

I was in Akihabara this afternoon (Sunday) and walked past this new Gundam Cafe, but like yesterday in your post, both lines were long so I just took a few pictures outside and didn't stay.