Yukiko Harada and Mac celebrate the opening of OnJapan CAFE &

New ONJapan CAFÉ Opening Party

OnJapan CAFÉ, one of our favourite venues in Tokyo, has moved! Mac, Founder and Lead Guide of Maction Planet, was invited to the New ‘OnJapan CAFÉ &’ Opening Party. He gives us the inside scoop as to why the new location is Harajuku’s loss and Oku-Shibu’s gain.

Managed by Yukiko Harada, the original OnJapan CAFÉ opened its doors in November 2014  just off Cat Street in Harajuku, with the aim of creating a space for cultural exchange, be it food, experiences or travel, between locals and visitors to Tokyo – a philosophy very much shared by Maction Planet. Regular readers of our blog may recall that we wrote about the final shochu event to be held at the old venue here.

That’s enough about the past. The future is bigger and brighter for Yukiko and her team as they have relocated to the trendy Oku-Shibu area which lies southwest of Yoyogi Park and bridges downtown Shibuya and Sangubashi.

Guests at the party were able to experience OnJapan CAFÉ &’s showcase of Japanese food and beverage. The cafe’s new menu is truly remarkable: the Umami HAKKO CAFÉ focuses on ‘fermented’ foods and ingredients which have long formed a part of the Japanese diet, but have enjoyed renewed recent focus due to their health benefits.

Shochu galore at OnJapan Cafe &

Shochu galore at OnJapan Cafe &

We also enjoyed the huge range of nihonshu and shochu from across Japan available at OnJapan CAFÉ, curated with the expertise of Yoko Yamamoto, Justin Potts and Christopher Pellegrini. Christopher is a familiar name to Maction Planet guests as he is our go-to expert for all things related to shochu, Japan’s indigenous spirit. You can listen to an in-depth interview with Christopher on Maction Planet Radio here.   

Sadly, Christopher himself couldn’t be there that evening, but he still left his mark with his recommendation of the month: Hyakkei, a sweet potato shochu made with a splash of seawater from the depths of Shibushi Bay. The tipple comes from Kagoshima’s Tensei Distillery.

Christopher Pellegrini's shochu of the month, Hyakkei from Kagoshima's Tensei Distillery

Christopher Pellegrini’s shochu of the month, Hyakkei from Kagoshima’s Tensei Distillery

As the night rolled more incredible local drinks emerged, such as these incredible wines from Tokyo’s own Fukugawa Winery.

Great wines from Tokyo's Fukugawa Winery

Great wines from Tokyo’s Fukugawa Winery

After the official opening on 9 February, the OnJapan CAFÉ & team are straight into action with their first event, ‘WA LIVE OkuShibu Vol. 1’. Held on Monday 12 February, this live music performance will feature Koto, a traditional Japanese instrument akin to a 13-string zither, Cello and Piano played by Rin Nakashima, Makiko Sato and Tamashi Goto respectively. They will be playing some familiar favourites and their own original compositions, including some created especially for this event! It promises to be an incredible night. 

Mari Fujishima, Chief Adviser to OnJapan CAFE &, with Mac, Founder of Maction Planet

Mari Fujishima, Chief Adviser to OnJapan CAFE &, with Mac, Founder of Maction Planet

It was a wonderful evening with friends old and new. Thank you to Yukiko Harada, Asako Miyazaki, Yui Kamiyama, Mari Fujishima, and all at OnJapan CAFÉ & and all the best in the new venue. As we are fond of saying at Maction Planet, “We continue…”

Winding down in the quiet streets of Oku-Shibu after a great night at OnJapan Cafe &

Winding down in the quiet streets of Oku-Shibu after a great night at OnJapan Cafe &

‘OnJapan CAFÉ &’ opens on 9th February 2018. Find it at 40-5 Kamiyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo. 10 minutes walk from Shibuya, Yoyogi Koen and Yoyogi Hachiman stations. Open daily from 11:30-24:00 (Last Orders 23:30).  

One of our key goals at Maction Planet is to bring truly local experiences to visitors to Tokyo. Previous guests have described us as “reinventing custom travel” in The World’s Greatest Metropolis. Read our TripAdvisor reviews to see what they had to say about us, then drop us a line. Whatever your interests in Tokyo, contact us at info@mactionplanet.com

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