Koupen-chan

Japan has an undeniable penchant for cute characters. This means that even after creating internationally beloved icons such as Hello Kitty and Pikachu, they can still come up with all sorts of cute characters that end up being fully adopted into their pop culture.

One such case is Koupen-chan, a baby penguin that was first released in 2017 by Japanese illustrator Rurutea. Koupen-chan started out as stickers for the popular Japanese messaging app LINE, and although he might not have the same international presence as the previously mentioned characters, he’s certainly making waves in his own right in Japan.

In fact, Koupen-chan’s official Twitter page currently has over 300,000 followers, and he even has his own series of merchandise.

Koupen-chan cafe

Now, he can add a nationwide cafe as further proof of his popularity, with a new Koupen-chan themed cafe opening in four different cities all over Japan for a limited time.

“Koupen-chan Cafe 2020” opened in Tokyo, Saitama and Osaka on January 17, 2020, with one more branch opening in Nagoya on January 23, 2020.

This is the third time that a Koupen-chan-themed pop-up cafe opened in Japan, with the previous cafes held in 2017 and again in 2019. However, at the time, they were limited to Tokyo and Osaka, and this is the first time that the cafe is opening in four places in Japan.


Koupen-chan Cafe menu

Visitors to the cafe can enjoy various assortments of food served with Koupen-chan’s adorable likeness on them. For those who might want something filling and savoury, the cafe sells their version of curry and their own version of omurice, a Japanese portmanteau for a type of dish that combines omelette and rice.

Other savory dishes also include a burger that comes with pink buns, or a ramen dish that can help keep your belly stay warm.

Visitors with a sweet tooth also have several types of desserts they can choose from. There’s the parfait that’s full of fruits and ice cream, the cream-filled cake with a chocolate-covered banana inside, and the pancake that comes in three different colors.

In addition, for a limited time period, visitors can have their food served on this exclusive Koupen-chan plate, which guests are free to take home with them!

Lastly, you can’t really call it a cafe without any drinks, and for the hot variety, you can choose between two types of hot chocolate: a “bitter” type and a lighter, milkier type. For the cold variety, the cafe also serves a lemon soda drink and iced milk tea.

Merchandise

Aside from serving food, the cafe is also selling exclusive Koupen-chan merchandise, that comes in the form of pins, keychains, magnets, drawstring purses, and folders.

Visitors to the cafe each get one random Koupen-chan placemat and one paper drink coaster, and if you want to make sure you get a spot, you can also book an advance reservation with a 500 yen reservation fee. In doing so, you get an additional random sticker of Koupen-chan and his friends.


How to reserve

Advance reservations to the cafe are limited to 4 people per reservation, and can be done online through their website.


Four cafe locations

Koupen-chan Cafe (Tokyo)

  • Date: January 17, 2020 (Friday) to February 24, 2020 (Monday)
  • Hours: 10:00 to 20:30 (Maximum 80 minutes in the cafe per group. Entrance to the cafe follows a predetermined schedule and can be viewed here.)
  • Location: TOKYO BOX cafe&space, Tokyo Solamachi East Yard 1F, 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida Ward, Tokyo 131-0045 Japan

Koupen-chan Cafe (Saitama)

  • Date: January 17, 2020 (Friday) to February 16, 2020 (Sunday)
  • Hours: 11:00 to 19:10 (Maximum 80 minutes in the cafe per group. Entrance to the cafe follows a predetermined schedule and can be viewed here.)
  • Location: BOX cafe&space Koshigaya, Aeon Lake Town, 1F Kaze Lake Town Gate, Koshigaya 343-0828, Saitama Prefecture

Koupen-chan Cafe (Osaka)

  • Date: January 17, 2020 (Friday) to February 16, 2020 (Sunday)
  • Hours: 11:00 to 20:00 (Maximum 80 minutes in the cafe per group. Entrance to the cafe follows a predetermined schedule and can be viewed here.)
  • Location: Abeno Contact, Abeno Q’s Mall 4F, 1-6-1, Abenosuji, Abeno-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka, 545-0052

Koupen-chan Cafe (Nagoya)

  • Date: January 23, 2020 (Thursday) to March 15, 2020 (Sunday)
  • Hours: 11:10 to 19:20 (Maximum 80 minutes in the cafe per group. Entrance to the cafe follows a predetermined schedule and can be viewed here.)
  • Location: NAGOYA BOX CAFE&SPACE, Lachic B1F, 3-6-1 Sakae, Naka Ward, Aichi, 460-0008 Nagoya


By - Jen Santelices.