AKB48, the idol group that began in Akihabara is one of the most successful idol pop groups in Japan. Since 2012, nearly every CD single released, has achieved over a million copies sold. Fans buying dozens to hundreds of CD singles for voting tickets, handshake tickets or two-shot tickets. And while only so many people can watch the group perform at their theater in Don Quijote.
But to continue their communication with fans, the AKB48 CAFE & SHOP was created to showcase food items that are favorites of AKB48 members and dishes that members enjoy at home, inspired by the Google+ posts and SNS messages that they have sent out.
Having watched their NOTTV show before, which happens to be shot weekly at the AKB48 CAFE & SHOP, I wanted to experience dining at this popular location in Akihabara.
Right before opening, the cafe already has a line of people waiting to get in. The first thing you notice is that there are two areas to sit, the cafe area nearest to the shop area or a cafe area nearest to a big screen television playing AKB48 music videos or their most recent live theater performance.
While I enjoyed the atmosphere, as I enjoy AKB48 and their music, going through the menu, I order Rina Kawaei’s avocado burger which came with french fries. Needless to say, the burger was OK and not really filling. You can also pay extra to get all-you-can-drink beverages, which a few of took advantage of, in order to drink more of the flavorful green melon juice and also to get a coaster.
But AKB48 CAFE & SHOP was what I expected. It’s about the atmosphere and being in a restaurant frequented by AKB48 group members. Autograph by members adorn the walls and wooden posts. Photos of each team member and artwork also cover up several of the walls. And you also have a toilet with an idol speaking to you.
As an AKB48 fan, the cafe is worth visiting for the atmosphere, but if you are really hungry and on a budget, you may want to consider another restaurant. Otherwise, if you absolutely dig AKB48, you’ll enjoy your time at AKB48 CAFE & SHOP.