All you need to know about the Tokyo Robot Cafe "Henn na Cafe" - Vikingess Voyages

Saturday, April 13, 2019

All you need to know about the Tokyo Robot Cafe "Henn na Cafe"

Mr. Robot Barista ready to pour some coffee. Kamae! 
Photo: Anette

Tokyo is known as a place where you can find both the newest of the newest and the weirdest of the weirdest. A couple of years ago I wrote about Tokyo's first Robot Hotel with the fitting name "Henn na Hotel" which literally means "strange hotel". And yes, the people who are behind this up-and-coming hotel chain are the same as the owners of this cafe, going by the name "Henn na Cafe", which in other words means "Strange Cafe". Without further redo, here is all you need to know!

All you need to know about the Tokyo Robot Cafe "Henn na Cafe"


At Henn na Cafe you won't be greeted with the standard "irasshaimase!" that you'd normally expect; the only employee at the cafe is a quiet robot barista. To place your order, you'll have to buy a ticket from the vending machine by the counter, and then scan the ticket at the counter for the barista to come alive and fix your coffee with his smooth robot-moves and timed & perfected small-talk. Might not be the most talkative guy you'll meet in Japan but those who are tired of the overdose of omotenashi you often can get at Japanese establishments might appreciate the silence.


At Henn na Cafe you can find most standard types of coffee (Americano, cafe latte etc.). But note that this cafe doesn't exactly compete on making the best coffee in town so you might find the taste a bit plain.


One downside to the cafe is that there's no free WiFi. There are however consents by some of the seats, so it is possible to sit and work here for longer periods. Considering the central location it is also not that crowded, which is a huge plus, but it might still be difficult to get a seat if you're visiting with a group. Also, note that the cafe's vending machine only accepts cash. And no big bills. Ironic how Japan can be so high-tech in some ways and yet so outdated in others. Luckily, the staff at the travel agency that's on the same floor as the cafe can at least be of assistance if you need to change that 10,000 yen bill into something smaller.
Ironic how Japan can be so high-tech in some ways and yet so outdated in others


The cafe is situated in the basement of Shibuya's MODI building, which is the same building as one of my favorite karaoke places in Tokyo. It is a bit of a hidden gem, and so far it hasn't been that crowded when I've visited despite the great location and unique concept. I guess it's probably just a matter of time before it gets run down by visitors once more tourists start to notice it. It is situated in the basement at the very back of a H.I.S travel agency, which might be why there are so few people using it as most people probably don't know that it's there. But now you know! 

Have you been to the robot cafe? Please leave me a comment below and tell me what you think!

- Anette

 ◆Basic Info

  • Henn na Cafe 変なカフェ
    Opening Hours:
    Monday - Friday 12 - 8 PM
    Saturday & Sunday 11AM - 8 PM

    In the Shibuya MODI building, around 5 min walk from Shibuya Station

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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