Winter may be unbearable but Tokyo has a way of making the cold seem pleasant – and at times, even enjoyable. When the night gets long, the city switches on its shiny, sparkling illuminations that make us want to hit the streets again, even if we have to don our thickest coats to brave the chills. Now, Nescafe Harajuku is giving us an even more compelling reason to go out: a pop-up kotatsu café in the building that will only be around for 17 days from November 26 to December 12.
If you’re unfamiliar with the wonderful Japanese creation that is the kotatsu, it’s essentially a low table with a built-in heater. A futon quilt extends out from all sides, which you slide your lower body under while seated, and it keeps you nice and warm. At the Nescafe Kotatsu Cafe, you’ll find four two-person kotatsu tables as well as eight desk-like kotatsu made for solo patrons.
Now that you’re all warmed up, you can then order from a special menu that features cold drinks and frozen desserts – perhaps for a different sensory experience. The most eye-catching of the lot is a cold coffee (¥1,000) served in an ice glass, of which there are only ten a day.
You’ll also find a cat-shaped nougat glacé, a frozen, creamy dessert packed with tangerine and nuts (¥900).
For something less cutesy, go for the mandarin orange daifuku (¥850) that contains a layer of vanilla ice cream.
According to the café, all the desserts will pair well with Nescafe iced coffee, including this combo of housemade mandarin orange sorbet and vanilla ice cream (¥520).
Nescafe Kotatsu Cafe is open from November 26 to December 12, 11am to 8pm (last orders 7pm). For more information, see the Nescafe Harajuku website.
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