Nescafe combines Japan’s favorite heated furniture with candies and chilled drinks.
Many Japanese would say that when the winter cold arrives, the best thing to do is park at a kotatsu, a kind of coffee table with a radiator attached to its underside, slide your legs underneath and wait for spring. But while kotatsu is perhaps the most compelling argument for never leaving your living room in winter, there is also a way to experience it without living the hermit life, thanks to Tokyo’s Nescafe Harajuku.
From the end of this month, the café managed by Nestlé will be replacement of a number of its seats with kotatsu. In addition to four kotatsu tables for two, there will also be eight kotatsu offices for one person, for solo relaxants or teleworkers.
Unlike the warm furnishings, however, the cafe will feature a number of fresh new refreshments, the most dynamic being iced coffee served in a cup made of ice.
▼ It’s a very elegant presentation, although not making straw with ice cream also seems like a missed opportunity.
Side sweets, Cat-shaped nougat ice cream, a creamy cake with nuts and orange pieces, is definitely the cutest option.
Those whose preferred aesthetic is that of elegant simplicity may instead opt for the Mikan Daifuku Ice Cream, with a tangerine center, vanilla ice cream and a mochi coating.
And to complete things, this is the Mikan Sorbet with vanilla ice cream.
The combination of a hot kotatsu and cool refreshments might seem counterintuitive, but you could say it’s a bit like yukimiburo, the Japanese tradition of outdoor bathing in winter in hot springs surrounded by snow.
Prices for special menu items range from 520 yen (US $ 4.60) for sherbet to 1,000 yen for iced coffee (which is limited to 10 customers per day). The special kotatsu seats will be available from November 26 to December 12.