If you ever get the chance to visit Tokyo, and you’re a big fan of the Studio Ghibli films, then visiting a few sites will definitely be on your bucket list. One day I’d love to return to Japan to see the many places that are linked to this amazing company, but one of them should be visiting this Ghibli themed cafe in Tokyo.
It’s called the Shiro-Hige’s Cream Puff Factory, and it’s located on the western side of Tokyo’s main city center. It’s a lovely little town that has a quieter more town like feel compared to some of their many urban locations, and so on a nice cold February morning, I remember visiting this place vividly.
What’s Special About It?
So you might be wondering how and why it’s a Ghibli themed cafe in the first place? Well, as it turns out, it’s actually a family business, and the people who run the cafe are none other that Hayao Miyazaki’s relatives.
You can tell from some of the art work and draft sketches on the walls that it’s the real thing, where it is decorated in Ghibli art and signed by Miyazaki himself. It is a truly enchanting place to visit if you’re sight seeing in Japan.
If you loved My Neighbor Totoro, or you love Studio Ghibli in general, then you’ll absolutely love visiting this little gem in Tokyo.
This little cafe is easily accessible via the trains only, and if you have a JR railway pass, you won’t be able to use this here, which means you must buy a separate train ticket. This is because the company running this line is different to the JR railway company, and they are usually private companies.
So for the trains, you’ll want to take the Odakyu Line to Setagaya-Daita station, which is the nearest stop to the cafe. If you’re not sure how to get there, I would advise you look it up on Google maps and take screenshots so you can find the best route.
After arriving at Setagaya-Daita station, you’ll only have a further 5 minute walk to finally get to your destination. And it’s not going to disappoint!
Once You’ve Found It
When looking for the place, you’ll see signs that you’re going the right way. The first thing I noticed was the Totoro artwork on a sign just outside the place. You’ll know when you’re there as Totoro is everywhere you look!
It’s a lovely little place, not very big at all but it doesn’t need to be as it sells a small selection of high quality pastries and treats.
So their most popular pastry is of course the Totoro-shaped filled cream puffs, which are just divine! I wish I could remember exactly how nice they were but all I know was how happy I was when visiting the place.
At the time of visiting, there were 4 flavors to choose from which were plain/custard flavor, strawberry, banana/caramel and chocolate. However, if you check their website for more info, it will tell you what flavors are available depending on the time of year, which I found pretty exciting!
I believe they are priced at about 420 yen per cream puff, which translates to about £3 or $4. Since this was a treat, I felt it was worth it.
The other treat I decided to buy was a cookie selection containing a range of different flavored cookies in the shape of a Totoro. These are specially packaged in a beautifully illustrated box, which is again gift wrapped in paper. Everything about it looks so careful and well made. If I remember right the set costs around 1500 yen, so around £11 or $14.
I decided to take the cookies home with me as a souvenir of my visit and to share the treats I got from a visit I could only have dreamed of.
So the place is split into 2 sections; the downstairs half is the bakery which is Shiro-Hige Cream Puff Factory.
If you want to take your cream puffs upstairs and dine, you will be charged an extra 40 yen, plus there is a time limit for dining in there. Since it is actually a separate cafe of its own, they do also have a separate menu consisting of a few drinks and other little bits.
We didn’t dine in there and decided to take our treats with us, but you do have the option if you wanted to enjoy more of the experience in the town’s retreat.
Like the bakery, the cafe is a small space where you can enjoy those treats, hence why the time limit for dining (since it is growing more popular with tourists).
As you can see, I chose the pink strawberry cream puff, and my partner picked the banana and caramel cream puff. It’s such a lovely thing to spend an hour or two in the morning doing, and I couldn’t recommend this place enough to anyone looking for a slightly off the beaten track adventure in Tokyo!