entertainment

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

13 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

AKB48, Japan’s most popular idol group, gets its name from having 48 core members and being based in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, which is nicknamed Akiba. However, the neighborhood is going to be losing a big piece of its AKB48 connection very soon.

In 2011, the AKB48 Cafe and Shop Akihabara opened right outside JR Akihabara Station, in the wide plaza that spreads out from the rail hub’s northwest exit. The cafe offers casual meals and sweet desserts made according to recipes produced by AKB48’s idol singers, which diners can enjoy while AKB48 songs and videos play on large screens set up around the interior space. There’s also an attached shop with exclusive merchandise, and the cafe also hosts special meet-and-greet events with AKB48 members.

Unlike Japan’s many limited-time themed restaurants, the AKB48 Cafe is a permanent eatery…or at least it was one. However, on November 18 the management crushed the hearts of fans with the unexpected announcement that both the cafe and its attached shop will be closing for good at the end of the year.

The announcement reads:

“Thank you for your continued patronage of the AKB48 Cafe and Shop Akihabara.

We apologize for the suddenness of this announcement, but as a result of planned renovations to the commercial area surrounding JR Akihabara Station, we will be closing permanently on December 31.

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the many customers who have visited us in the eight years since our grand opening on September 29, 2011.”

The announcement goes on to say that the management is looking into the possibility of reopening the cafe in a different location at a later date, but right now it’s nothing more than a possibility.

▼ If the news has you feeling down, please self-medicate by listening to the infectutously upbeat AKB48 song “Koi Suru Fortune Cookie.”

On the plus side, Akihabara’s AKB48 theater, which hosts the group’s daily live mini-concerts, will be continuing to operate as normal, since it’s in a part of the neighborhood unaffected by the planned renovations.

However, if you’re a fan who’s been putting off a visit to the AKB48 Cafe, you’ve now only got a few weeks left to do so. Also potentially facing closure is Akihabara’s Gundam Cafe, which occupies a space connected to the AKB48 Cafe, and while the anime robot-themed restaurant has yet to announce that it’s shutting its doors at the end of the year, now is probably the time to visit both of the otaku-oriented cafes.

Sources: AKB48 Cafe and Shop Akihabara via Livedoor News/Nikkan Sports via Jin, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- AKB48, Japan’s biggest idol singer group, apologizes for selling “Date Tickets”

-- Beautiful idol singer leaves show business, opens delicious ramen restaurant in Tokyo

-- AKB48 not just popular in Japan – Belgian politician lobbying for first European concert

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

13 Comments
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I’m so shocked! How could this happen?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Oh my God This should be international front page news!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

The cafe offers casual meals and sweet desserts made according to recipes produced by AKB48’s idol singers, which diners can enjoy while AKB48 songs and videos play on large screens set up around the interior space

Here lies the the real cause.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Catchy title made me wonder if there was another stocking incident or deeper meaning for the shut down. And what do I find:

sudden = over a month away

permanent = may not be if they can find another place

I know sensationalism gets clicks but I think I may just ignore stuff like this from now on.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The cafe offers casual meals and sweet desserts made according to recipes produced by AKB48’s idol singers, which diners can enjoy while AKB48 songs and videos play on large screens set up around the interior space

Why would anyone want to listen to or watch this trash while dining? It'd be like if there a Spice Girls - themed spicy food joint or a Britney Spears - themed greasy spoon (she's the dum-dum who fed a $200 steak to her pet Chihuahua). Ultimate in cultural stupidity and absolute rubbish.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Made the mistake of clicking the video. They are very stiff dancers with no rhythm..Maybe need to take some lessons from the K-pop dancers.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

When will they realise the j-pop formula is no longer working?

Having said that i‘m not a k-pop fan & am staying loyal to j-pop though....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Not making enough yen to ride out the planned renovations... obviously.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

... couldn,t care less about AKB48 ( they,re cute but that,s it ), J-pop in general (!) or K-pop ( especially K-pop ). a little message to some people here: not everything is about " Japan vs SKorea ". ( the news is about AKB48 ) who cares about kpop around here ...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That's what happens when you only showcase the "famous" members and not build up any new stars. Oh well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

relocate to MOJ show the world the real Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Or could it be since the old members have graduated, there is less interest in the "Newbies" and the group?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh, my god!! I am very shock!! I was fan of AKB48 when I was in junior high school. I remember watching AKB48 on YouTube every day and singing and dancing. And I love it so much that I wanted to be a member of AKB48 someday. Among them, I loved Atsuko Maeda, who first announced graduation, and bought a CD and voted for her. I went to this café when I went to Tokyo last year. It was a happy and fun space for fans because customer could listen to their music while eating. Next time nobody knows when it is open so I feel a little bit sad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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