After battling online reservation systems from Tokyo Disneyland, The Pokemon Cafe, and the Sunrise Seto, I feel like at this point in my life I’m a veteran of dealing with reservation systems under fire. That is, reservation systems that handle everyone on earth seemingly trying to reserve one of only a few spots available.
(Tokyo Disneyland, I’d just like to note, is usually really good with their systems, but there was a point two years ago I think it was where kids were half off for the summer, and the reservation system for that was absolutely bonkers.)
Reserving four spots at the Kirby Cafe at Tokyo Skytree’s Solamachi shopping center has been my white whale of reservations. I’ve been trying for the past four months to get one.
Reservations open online at 6 p.m. (Japan time) every 10th day of the month for reservations that would be for the following month, and spots fill up literally within the first minute of them becoming available.
I looked around online for any tips and tricks and read the recommendation of refreshing the page for the next half hour in case of cancellations, but I think maybe it was because I was going for four seats that nothing budged even an hour after.
Then, last month, fates smiled on me. Or maybe it was because I nearly slammed my finger through my phone tapping on the exact date and time I wanted, but I managed to finally get the reservation.
Make sure you bring I.D. with you when you finally get to this cafe because they will check it against the name you wrote when you made the reservation (it looks like people selling or giving away their reservations has become a problem.)
I think the reason this cafe is so hard to get into is for three reasons.
- The food was amazing. It was cute, and it was delicious.
- Kirby is popular right now for some reason for being cute. I don’t know – I got the feeling a lot of the patrons didn’t love Kirby for the video games so much as because Kirby is cute. That was just my impression.
- The cafe is much smaller than I thought it’d be. There’s room for maybe 20 people at a time, and you’re given about 90 minutes to eat, I think it was.
The food is expensive, so just prepare yourself if you do get in and plan on going.
Another thing to note is you need to order everything you plan on eating all at once. You’re not allowed to call the server back to your table to order again. One time, then you’re done.
For four of us to have a main course, a special drink, and a dessert, it was about 20,000 yen (or only about $134 for people lucky enough to be converting from the American dollar). A lot of the menu items included souvenir plates and cups, but of course for an extra fee.
The nice thing is at least the food also tastes amazing, rather than it just looks cute. I think considering how fast the food came out, too, it was really impressive.
Can’t get a reservation?
For anyone who wants some Kirby Cafe gifts but can’t get a reservation, there are two Kirby Cafe gift shops in Solamachi to choose from.
There’s a relatively small one you can access inside Solamachi on the fourth floor just behind the actual cafe, and there’s another, bigger, one on the opposite end of the fourth floor across from The Pokemon Center store.
The Kirby Cafe shop opposite the Pokemon Center also offers desserts and some drinks that are also on the menu at the Kirby Cafe, but they sell out really quickly so you’d need to get there first thing in the morning to get one.
Takeout from the cafe is also available without needing a reservation. You just talk to the staff at the Kirby Cafe (or manning the cash register at the shop just behind the actual cafe) and ask for takeout. Just be prepared to go back to that gift shop an hour or so later to get the food.
It was a great experience, though I think considering the price and how difficult the reservation was to get, I won’t be going back for a while. I think this was something I’m going to mark down as a once-in-a-lifetime experience and leave it at that.