A lot of Japanese people would say that when cold winter weather rolls around, the best thing to do is to park yourself at a kotatsu, a kind of low table with a heater attached to its underside, slide your legs underneath it, and wait for spring. But while kotatsu may be the most convincing argument for never leaving your living room in the winter, there’s also a way to experience without living the hermit life, thanks to Tokyo’s Nescafe Harajuku.
Starting at the end of this month, the Nestle-run cafe will be replacing a number of its seats with kotatsu. In addition to four two-person kotatsu tables, there’ll also be eight single-person kotatsu desks, for solo relaxers or remote workers.
In contrast to the warm furnishings, though, the cafe will be offering a number of new chilled refreshments, with the most dynamic being iced coffee served in a cup made of ice.
▼ It’s a very stylish presentation, though not making the straw out of ice too seems like a missed opportunity.
On the sweets side, the Cat-shaped Nougat Glace, a creamy cake with nuts and orange pieces, is definitely the cutest option.
Those whose preferred aesthetic is one of elegant simplicity can instead opt for the Mikan Ice Cream Daifuku, with a mandarin orange center, vanilla ice cream, and a mochi coating.
And rounding things out is the Mikan Sherbet with vanilla ice cream.
The combination of a warm kotatsu and chilled refreshments might seem counterintuitive, but you could argue it’s a little like yukimiburo, Japan’s tradition of going for open-air dips in the winter at hot springs with snow all around them.
Prices for the special menu items range from 520 yen for the sherbet to 1,000 yen for the ice cup coffee (which is limited to 10 customer per day). The special kotatsu seats will be available from Nov 26 to Dec 12.
Nescafe Harajuku / ネスカフェ原宿
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, 1-22-8
Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Source, images: PR Times
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