Photo: Gundam Cafe
business

End of the line for Gundam Cafe as entire chain announces permanent closure

18 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

It was literally just a few days ago that we were all excited about the announcement of some new menu items at Japan’s Gundam Cafes which recreate food and drinks seen within the hit mecha franchise. And while we’re still looking forward to trying them, no matter what seasonings the chefs use we’re pretty sure their flavor is going to be bittersweet, because they might be the last meals we ever have at the anime eateries.

Right now, there are four Gundam Cafes in Japan. Two of those are in Tokyo (one in otaku mecca Akihabara and the other in Odaiba, right next to the full-scale Unicorn Gundam statue), the second is in Osaka, and the fourth is in Fukuoka. On Nov 1, though, came the sudden announcement that all four of them will be closing permanently in less than three months.

No reason for the closure has been given, but it’s likely that the severe travel downturn caused by the pandemic played a large part in the decision. All of the cafes are located in neighborhoods that, under normal public health conditions, receive large numbers of visitors not only from other parts of Japan, but from overseas as well, with even non-otaku tourists often wanting to take a peek at the fan culture of Akihabara or gaze up at the Odaiba Gundam’s transforming (but not Transformer) face.

The shutdown brings to a close more than a decade of Gundam Cafe history, and the chain took a moment to thank its fans while breaking the news:

“We opened our first cafe in Akihabara in April of 2010, and our customers have supported us at every step along the way. On behalf of our entire staff, we are more grateful to you than words can express.

We don’t have much time left, but we will continue doing our utmost so that everyone who visits can have wonderful memories to take home, and we hope you’ll enjoy yourselves at our cafes right up until the very end.”

▼ The closing of the Akihabara branch will also be the end of the attached Zeon’s Diner Tokyo and Fortunelatte Caffe takeout counter.

GC-3.jpg
Photo: Gundam Cafe

There is a sliver of hope in that the announcement ends with “Please look forward to our next project,” so maybe we’ll see the restaurant chain make a comeback like Sega recently did after closing one of its most famous Tokyo landmark arcades.

The last day for Gundam Cafe Osaka will be Jan 10, with Gundam Café Tokyo Brand Core (Akihabara), Gundam Cafe Odaiba, and Gundam Cafe Fukuoka shuttering on Jan30. The cafe at the Gundam Factory Yokohama facility will remain in operation, but only until the end of March 2022, when the entire center will shut down, at which point we’ll have no choice but to subside on those canned Zeon rations.

Source: Gundam Cafe via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Real-world Gundam rations now on sale in Japan

-- Tokyo’s AKB48 idol-themed cafe announces sudden, permanent closure

-- ”We came home.” Sega makes arcade comeback with new game center in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

18 Comments
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I blame the Decepticons.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If that picture is the inside of cafe, then it definitely should be closed.

Gojira and Gamera cafe if opened will never ever be closed.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Very sad news.

I hope they re-open it soon.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

My guess is this is a fake closure. You don't announce these things 3 months ahead of time if they really going to close. I think this is a marketing ploy and they will remain open.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Just shows that the Japanese people are not interested. Its just foreigners that spend money on this type of theme business.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Its just foreigners that spend money on this type of theme business

Haha. Yeah right

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why is Japanese society obsessed with escapism from reality, maybe that why this man attack these people on the train

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@ Zoroto

Hopefully that's true.

@ Yrral

What? A cafe is an escapism from reality? Stop watching movies, music and other media then.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If that picture is the inside of cafe, then it definitely should be closed.

I kind of agree. Imagining a “Gundam Cafe” I was picturing something that was made to look like the interior of a spaceship or something cool like that.

But except for the portraits on the wall though this one looks just like a generic cafe on the inside. Not sure if they are all like that, but its kind of underwhelming.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Is this on the main drag at Akihabara? Probably walked right past it three years ago and never even noticed

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@ rainyday

It's built following the style of the Zabi family from Gundam 0079.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Iron Lady, I enjoy realism

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm waiting for someone to open a JoJo Cafe.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Henry Montag.

Thanks for the heads-up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@WA4TKG Back then it was right next to the AKB48 Cafe & Shop as you come out from the station. Then a year or two ago they expanded to take over the AKB48 Cafe location as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ yrral

Realism or reality?

Gundam follows a sense of realism.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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