Japan’s Gundam cafes to all close nationwide

The staff at the Gundam Cafe in Akihabara wear Gundam-themed outfits and hold trays with drinks.

Soon, it seems, these cafes will be gone.
Photo: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP (Getty Images)

If you were hoping to visit the Gundam Cafés in Japan, you better do it soon, because at the start of next year it looks like they’re all will close.

In an official announcement, the cafe’s management announced that the Gundam Square location in Osaka will close on January 1. The Gundam Café Tokyo Brand Core location in Akihabara as well as the Gundam Café in Odaiba in Tokyo and Fukuoka will close on January 30.

Gundam Café Tokyo Brand Core opened on July 31, 2020, which means its run certainly looks short.

The is a cafe at Gundam Factory Yokohama, but this attraction is only temporary and will end on March 31, 2022. Once this is completed, it looks like all official Gundam Cafés will be closed.

The first Gundam Cafe opened in 2010 and locations are spread across the country.

The establishments served Gundam themed drinks as well as dishes including curry, burgers and sweets. Restaurants also have stores selling Gundam merchandise and models, making it a one-stop-shop for fans of the series.

The official announcement thanked fans for their sponsorship over the years, but did not explain why the cafes were closing. Currently, Japan has banned tourists from entering the country, but will ease restrictions for business trips and students. No doubt, the lack of tourists as well as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic have not been good for Gundam Caféthe bottom line. It’s a real shame because tourists seem to like to visit these places and they won’t be there when they return.

However, the Gundam Café The announcement hints at a “new project” that “will suit the times” and provide fans with a venue for communication. Whether it’s a digital or a physical space, we’ll have to wait and see.

Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement