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Hatsune Miku Project Diva Cafes

By Devon Lord-Moncrief
January 31, 2024
A figurine of Hatsune Miku wearing a yukata in the forest.

If you’re a fan of Japanese culture, there is a giant chance that you know who Hatsune Miku: Project Diva is. The star and poster child of the Vocaloids, Hatsune Miku, has brought music, dancing, and joy to countless people worldwide. And seriously, who doesn’t like boogieing down to some fantastic J-Pop synth? 

As Miku has become so popular that she even has an entire event to her name, it’s only natural that the blue-haired Vocaloid extraordinaire would have her café. Well, cafes, to be more exact (one would never be enough anyway.) If you love Hatsune Miku and plan to visit Japan, you must check out her many pop-up cafes.

Why is Hatsune Miku popular?

The Vocaloids are digital characters that exist within a popular music synthesizing program. Different characters are attributed to different voices and styles, so there’s a Vocaloid for everyone who enjoys electronic J-Pop. Hatsune Mike is the most famous of all the Vocaloids for various reasons. First, she’s super cute.

An illustration of a blue-haired vocaloid.
Hatsune Miku is one of the most popular Vocaloids in the world. Image via Alphacoders

With her iconic blue twin-tails and stylish outfit, Miku is the definition of cool fashion. Secondly, Miku has sung some of the most popular Vocaloid songs of all time (and that’s saying something.) Miku’s been around since the very beginning of the Vocaloids and has since become synonymous with Vocaloids as a whole. She’s cute, has a great voice, and has super catchy music. It makes sense that she would become one of the world’s popular pop icons.

What is a pop-up cafe?

Like pop-up stores, pop-up cafes are themed, spaced, and open briefly before closing. While this might seem grim, this is quite common for pop-up cafes. The reason for this is simple: pop-up cafes are easy to construct and easy to dismantle. Oftentimes, pop-up cafes are themed around niche animes, video games, or other similar pop culture icons.

What makes these pop-up cafes unique?

A great example of a pop-up cafe was the one for Shirokuma Café, an anime series about a polar bear who works in a café. Making a café about a café makes perfect sense! But once the show ended and popularity began to wane, the Shirokuma Café café packed up and closed.

A pop up cafe in Tokyo.
Pop up cafes are temporaty places to enjoy themed food! Image via Shutterstock

While it’s always a bummer to watch a fun café leave, this model ensures that other equally cool cafes get their turn to shine! These cafés are unique because they are designed to be easily placed in smaller spaces such as train stations, small streets, or malls.

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What were some notable pop-up cafes in the past?

If it’s cute and/or famous, there’s a good chance it got or has its pop-up café. Some café of note are the Tokyo: Sanrio Characters Garden Café in Ueno, the Pickles the Frog cafe in Shinjuku, the Fruits Basket Café in Ikebukuro, and the Pokemon Lapras Café in Sendai.

Countless other cafes have appeared all across Japan in the past. Not to mention, even more currently still around (writer’s note: I went to the Kirby Café and the Final Fantasy XIV Café during my visit to Japan back in October, and they were amazing. – Devo) Major franchises such as Mobile Suit Gundam, Pokemon, and more have all had their cafes.

Hatsune Miku x Cinnamoroll

A fan animation by Cheesy Draws featuring Hatsune Miku and Cinnamoroll.
Hatsune Miku x Cinnamoroll mashups are very popular! Image via YouTube/Cheesy Draws

Is it surprising that someone as cute as Hatsune Miku would team up with someone as cute as Cinnamoroll? Nope! That’s right, Miku and Sanrio had a joint café venture with their double-themed café in Shinjuku. With a menu packed with blue-colored sweet snacks, Miku and Cinnamoroll’s café was a dream come true for fans of both characters!

Hatsune Miku Sakura

A snapshot of a Hatsune Miku plushie at the sakura themed cafe.
Even Hatsune Miku can’t stay away during sakura season! Image via Reddit

Japan wouldn’t be Japan if it didn’t have fantastic sakura celebrations. What better way to celebrate the most famous Japanese seasons than by hitting up a sakura-themed Miku café? An anime came to life, Miku’s sakura café was packed with delicious desserts and bento boxes. With not one but two locations in Akihabara and Osaka, it was more accessible than ever for Miku fans to celebrate the spring season in a fun and memorable way.

Hatsune Miku Tree Village

A chibi illustration of the cast at the Hatsune Miku Tree Village Cafe.
Tree Village Cafe is near Tokyo Skytree! Image via Twiman

This is an elegant pop-up café themed around Miku. Tree Village is its store in Sumida City that excels in anime goods of all kinds. With Miku being one of the most popular characters to hit shelves in decades, it makes sense that Tree Village would open up its café for Miku. Not only did the café serve yummy treats, but it also offered special promotions where customers could receive exclusive merch if they bought a certain amount of Miku swag.

Why should I check out these Hatsune Miku cafes?

Despite their brevity, pop-up cafes are fantastic places for fans to come together and celebrate their love of their passions. Whether dedicated to an anime, video game, or character, pop-up cafes offer unique food, events, and merch that can’t be found anywhere else. Miku fans are fortunate as their blue-haired idol has so many different themed cafés to her name.

Have you been to any Miku cafés during your trip to Japan? If so, which ones? How much fun did you have? Please let us know in the comments! We would love to hear about your trips to Hatsune Miku’s cafes!

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Devon Lord-Moncrief

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