Back in 2015, I wrote about my experience at AKB48 Cafe & Shop in Akihabara.
For those not familiar with AKB48, AKB48 is an 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.
Within AKB48, there are sister groups which are part of AKB48G: SKE48 (Nagoya), NMB48 (Osaka), HKT48 (Hakata), NGT48 (Niigata), to name a few.
I visited the SKE48 Cafe & Shop with AKB48 located at the Sunshine Sakae location in Aichi.
Upon entering the six floor Sunshine Sakae building, you are automatically introduced to an SKE48 booth on the first floor and the entrance to the SKE48 Theater.
The building is full of shops and various types of cafes that I wanted to try but because my schedule was set to travel to Gifu and after spending a wonderful day in Nagoya, my final destination was to SKE48 Cafe & Shop.
Once you get to SKE48 Cafe & Shop on the fifth floor, you realize how much different it is from AKB48 Cafe & Shop.
Once inside, the gift store is to the left, a yellow bus with autographs and a wall with sign for the cafe can be seen, as well as a sign not allowing photography or video beyond it. No photos are allowed for staff but you can take photos of your food or menu while seated, which I saw after we ate.
And because bathrooms are located outside of the restaurant area, you will need to know the staff that you will be leaving your seat to use the bathroom.
I have to admit that I like the touch of the bus and the look up front, but for overall experience, I enjoyed AKB48 Cafe & Shop, having the ability to watch a live performance or even to see so much AKB48 tradition all over the walls. There was much more to see and felt I invested a lot of time hanging out at AKB48 Cafe & Shop. But SKE48 Cafe & Shop, as niche as it was, It was a simple and quick experience.
Similar to AKB48 Cafe & Shop, the dishes you order are small portion and for what you spend, the food probably will never fill you up. The food is about Y980 and add another Y500 for a soda or a specialized drink for Y680.
But this is a niche-based cafe/restaurant for fans of SKE48 and want to eat food influenced by a member of the idol group.
But overall, if you are an SKE48 fan, then SKE48 Cafe & Shop in Nagoya is a place worth checking out!