I long for the atmosphere of the Showa era.
ー I heard that you are going to have a old-fashioned tea ceremony event, but what is it like?
From Monday, June 9th to June 30th at Mitsukaru Store in Omotesando, we will have a pop-up shop called "old-fashioned coffee preparation room". At the end of last month, clothes that were made in collaboration with the fashion brand "I AM I", with the image of clothes that you wear at coffee shops, will be on sale throughout the country.
ー It seems like a fun project.
At the beginning, I had only prepared a old-fashioned coffee preparation room as the project, but in the pop-up event at Mitsukaru store, in addition to that, I will sell personal books and selected goods etc. The project is there for people who think it is a bit hard to go to a coffee shop alone or has never gone to one in general, so by doing a pop-up store it makes it easier to go then.
ー I am from downtown Tokyo, but there are still many old coffee shops in my neighborhood.
ー There are in Asakusa.
Oh I’m from Katsushika district.
ー That's right! It is a downtown connection.
There is also a coffee shop with delicious French toast called "One More" near Hirai station. Please go try it if you can.
ー We will try it then. When did you start liking coffee shops?
The first time I went to a coffee shop was 5 years ago, and then I fell in love with it. Originally I like old time fashion and movies and music as well with loved band sounds from the 1960s. In movies with Kaga Mariko's actress she was pretty cute, they were trying hard. Especially clothes like old ones, even if you are watching an old movie, you can see that they put efforts in the actress's clothes and makeup and interior design and the decoration stands out in the movies etc. From that point of view I was longing for such a world from that age. However, no matter at how old I watched the movie, when I looked at some old picture books, it didn’t quite have the same feeling.
ー That's why you actually went to a old-fashioned coffee shop! Right?
That's right. The first reason I went there was because a good friend of mine wanted to work a part time job at a coffee shop so we just went there to see how it was. At that time, I did not drink coffee unlike now, so I thought whether I could go there or not. But as soon as I opened the door of the shop, I was already tricked. The image of the old-fashioned coffee shop and the interior that I was watching in the movie was the same, I thought that time here really stopped, I was impressed. As I went in, I felt I was a part of familiar scene. Since then, I always go to various coffee shops now. But at that time it may have been closer to the feeling of going to Disneyland than going to a coffee shop.
ー It was a new world spreading in front of you, like going to a theme park.
Yes exactly! I was really pleased that I was able to come and feel and became a part of it. So ultimately I don’t care much about the taste of the coffee and the service there (laugh). The reason I go to a coffee shop is that I like to sit on that sofa, I like the design of that wallpaper, I want to see that wall and table with these eyes, that feeling is great. I wondered what kind of clothes should I wear in order to be in phase with the place, this is also the reason I came up with the idea of a old-fashioned coffee shop room and to make it by myself so I can make it perfect! It was a chance I thought. From that point on, I was making products based on the theme of clothes that I would want to wear to a coffee shop.
ー Coffee shops and clothes are an exciting combination.
Thank you very much. I’ve often been asked what the recommendation on the menu by that coffee shop is, but I will always reply that it is everywhere the same depending on the menu. In the contrary, I think that it is the real pleasure of a coffee shop and it is a sense of security that there’s always the same thing that exists. After that the coffee shop feels like an extension of a room outside of my house. For me, I think there’s a big difference between a cafe and a coffee shop. This is a truly personal opinion, but when I go to a cafe I feel nervous.
ー Certainly, I feel that coffee shops are slightly different from a cafe place.
Hospitality is important, not letting the customer worry and let them feel comfortable. I feel relieved like going to grandma's house afterwards. I will leave it in a good way, because I know I can stay long hours without worrying about time. It is a perfect place for me to think about new ideas about cafes, or for anything else.
ー I agree completely. Where was the first store you went to on your own?
It was located near the west exit of Shinjuku station : Tajimaya Coffee shop. A homemade roasted coffee shop where my friend just started working at, the coffee aroma is overflowing there. Even now I like the calm atmosphere of the shop and I sometimes go there.
ー Starting with that shop, you began to go to various coffee shops.
Yes. Tajimaya Coffee shop is a shop that has a particular meaning in me. Do you know a coffee place called Gyaran in Ueno? It is a coffee shop that I like, it has an old cabaret atmosphere with the red gingham check decoration and staff uniforms too, the music and interior look kind of messy and the music played there is also old tunes.
ー It is a shop that is intriguing. We are near, so maybe next time we’ll go there. What kind of coffee place attracts Omiyu?
Anyway I feel strongly about the attention and decoration of the shop. Old-fashioned coffee shops has a long history that it isn't easy to reproduce, but cafe place are the opposite they are extremely simple and are made to be adaptable to everyone. While sitting on a comfy sofa or chair, the person who made this shop imagined the combination of this or that pattern. And I always wonder why they choose this combination or decoration.
ー What store were you the most impressed about?
Well, it is difficult. However, the Ueno Gyaran I talked about earlier, there’s a chandelier that hangs from the ceiling at one corner of the shop, there’s black tiling, every time I wonder if they use this place as something mysterious like a host club or something.
ー Do you go usually to coffee shops with your friends?
I do sometimes go with my friends but I also sometimes just work and do my thinking alone.
Ms. Otani wore a dress with the theme “What should we wear when we go to a coffee shop” and walked around Kanda Nishiki-cho neighborhood. In the second part of the interview next time, we will tell you more about the thought of old-fashioned coffee shop.
- Old-fashioned coffee shop preparation room
- Location: Mitsukaru Aoyama store (BY PARCO 5-2-15 Minato-ku Aoyama 1F underground)
- Date: Friday, June 9th, 2017 - Friday, June 30th
- 【Mitsukaru Production Room】Announced the model "Omiyu" and a product based on old-fashioned coffee shop!