Hi everyone! It’s Ayumi, your favorite MANGA.TOKYO otaku writer!
I feel I’ve been deepening my otaku side each day since I became a writer. There are so many interesting things to talk about, and I am so glad that I have you, the readers, to talk to about them. Anyway, I’m here at the otaku holy ground, Akihabara.
My destination today is Collabo Café Yowamushi Pedal Honpo! The themed cafe is based on the famous bicycle anime, Yowamushi Pedal, that is heading towards its third season.
After coming out from the Denkigai exit, you’ll see the eye-catching UDX building and the theme café standing just beside it.
The signboard of Yowamushi Pedal Season 3 is a proud landmark that will last until the end of December. The café was established by a former staff member from Bakudan-yaki Honpo, which is a popular giant takoyaki chain in the Kanto area (takoyaki is a street food from Osaka – a ball of batter filled with octopus.)
I’d been looking forward to coming here as I’m a huge fan of Yowamushi Pedal. Like in most themed cafe, visitors can get one coaster per one drink or dish (exceptions apply). Furthermore, this cafe has a lucky-dip deal and I love lucky dips! I came here with the plan to continuously drink until I get what I want. This strategy is usually called by Japanese otaku fans a ‘drink fight’, and my luck is usually not so bad! However, little did I know that I had been too optimistic and disaster was looming…
Collabo Café Honpo, here I come! Time to Drink Fight!
1. Drink fight until I obtain a coaster of Hayato Shinkai.
2. Do not leave any drinks
By the way, I haven’t eaten anything since this morning! This is going to be rough.
When I entered the café, every staff member welcomed me! They were so cute that I got a little emotional.
Up the the stairs was a spacious seating area.
The walls looked like school lockers and had the characters’ names.
Here’s my table. You can get this place mat with an order of bakudan-yaki.
The café has an extensive food and drinks menu inspired by the characters. I took a look at the menu to confirm that there are indeed free coasters!
My target today is Hayato Shinkai, the guy with the orange hair. I’m going to continuously drink until I get his coaster. What’s going to happen to me?! I think I just heard a boxing bell somewhere… The drink fight commences!
I ordered three drinks and one food dish, and got these coasters. Well, I shouldn’t have expected much as it’s only the first round. Anyway, they all look lovely!! I pulled myself together and tried again.
This is a cornflake dish called Shinkai’s Breakfast. The combination of chocolate and banana was great. It’s my kind of breakfast!
I finished all my drinks. I hate wasting things so there was no other way but to finish every single one of them in 20 seconds. I had to go for the next round!
I ordered two more drinks. I gave up on fizzy drinks as they’re too harsh on my throat. Instead, I choose a glass of orange juice and Calpis, which is a lactic acid drink that is supposedly good for me.
I managed to get the main character, Onoda, and Makishima-senpai! I’m glad that I got them as all the characters are cute! However, my target hadn’t yet arrived… I was feeling a little cold since I’d already had three drinks with loads of ice.
Gochisou sama! They’re good.
Well, it’s time that I get my target on the next round, isn’t it? I started worrying a bit, though I knew that I should be fine. I still have space in my stomach, as I hadn’t had breakfast at home.
However, a cruel announcement made my heart skip a beat: It’s time for the last order!
I had nearly forgot that Collabo café has a shuffling system. That means we’re allowed to stay only for an hour. It’s understandable because it allows more customers to be able to experience the cafe.
‘Could I have two drinks, please?’ I ordered my last drinks nonchalantly, pretending that I was fine. In reality, I was sweating unnaturally due to drinking too much liquid.
‘I’m not going to drink Calpis for the next three months.’ I declared in my mind. That was the last chance to get my coaster!
I said it before and I’ll say it again, I absolutely adore Yowamushi Pedal. Therefore, I didn’t mind which character’s coaster I got, but today, however, my quest was just for Shinkai. I can’t believe this is happening…
Well, I tried my luck and did the best I could. I poured the two drinks down my throat. After buying some character goods, I checked the bill wondering how much I had spent here.
The price includes the goods I bought. The food and drinks were 4700 yen! I know that things can be expensive in Japan. However, it’s almost impossible to spend nearly 5000 yen at a regular café. Well done me! (laugh)
Somehow, Manami-kun’s smile was shining in my eyes. I’m afraid I couldn’t get what I wanted, but it’s totally fine as the food and drinks were really tasty.
‘I’ll be back before the end of the year in order to satisfy myself,’ I muttered while leaving the café. I think my back was shivering because of the cold outside…
… But my quest didn’t end there, as I’m one of the master otaku at MANGA.TOKYO! I travelled all the way to come here. I can’t go home without my favorite character. Otherwise, my journey would just be a waste. I wished there was another Collabo Café in my vicinity but there wasn’t. Tokyo was far away from my hometown, Kyoto. I WILL SUCCEED!
Driven by an unknown sense of responsibility, I came back to the café at night time on the same day. I asked my friend who lives in Tokyo to come with me, as I didn’t want to risk my life! Don’t tell anyone that she looked at me with pity when I told her that even though I challenged seven drinks for the coasters, I still couldn’t manage to get the one I wanted (I had gone to the toilet five times by then.)
The inside of the café a couple of hours after the first drink battle.
I could still feel the effects of the first drink battle, but I found the characters from the third season quite cute.
After we sat down, both of us ordered one dish and drink each. I kept on telling her that I couldn’t drink Calpis any more while we were waiting for our four coasters…
‘Kyaaaaaaaaah!!’ (I screamed just like that as there weren’t many customers in the café, and then I closed my eyes to enjoy this blissful moment). Finally, the coaster found its way to me, its rightful owner! I achieved my goal after two dishes and eight drinks! It’s been a long, hard journey. I’d almost run out of my energy, but I just had to have the ice-cream as my last dish, obviously.
The T2 Ice-cream plate comes with a chocolate pen for doodling. The plate had a strawberry sorbet and a vanilla ice cream. It was very refreshing.
It’s quite fun to decorate ice-cream like this!
I went to the café again the next day to eat their signature dish Bakudan-yaki (literally meaning ‘grilled bomb’) in a cheerful mood with my target in hand. Yeah, I can hear you saying: How many times did you go there?
The Bakudan-yaki plate is a huge takoyaki and contains ten different fillings. It’s quite nutritious and filling. You can choose from three types of seasoning: brown sauce, kimchi, or teriyaki. It’s served immediately after cooking, so they’re piping hot and really delicious! It comes with sauce on the side for doodling. It’s a dish that tastes good and is fun to doodle.
On a final note
A ‘drink fight’ is the never ending quest for serious otaku. Although a coaster is just a piece of cardboard for many people, otaku like me will keep on fighting for it until they get their favourite character. It’s a way of expressing their love. My quest ended up with the unexpectedly silly result of drinking eight drinks, but maybe next time I might get lucky and get what I want in the one shot. That’s why it’s called ‘lucky dip’, isn’t it? I’ll continue to do silly things earnestly and faithfully with my whole heart. Please keep on reading my articles here on MANGA.TOKYO!
If you have requests for where I should go to or what should I report on, please let me know in the comments!
Collabo café official website →http://collabocafe-honpo.co.jp/