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Event Report: Square Enix Café Osaka With Kingdom Hearts Menu

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Also: pictures from Square Enix Café Tokyo, Eorzea Cafés in Osaka & Tokyo, Artnia

Square Enix opened its second permanent "Square Enix Café," this time in Osaka, on October 14. Similar to the café in Tokyo that opened last year, the Osaka café will have a themed menu every month or so featuring a Square Enix property. The first theme for the café is Kingdom Hearts, in celebration of the franchise's 15th anniversary. The collaboration launched on October 14 and runs until November 10.

Outside the café is a Sora statue as well as several capsule toy machines. The Kingdom Hearts machines only have a certain number of merchandise loaded in each day, and guests are only allowed to buy five per day. Behind the statue is a take-out area where guests can order drinks to go like bubble tea, juice, or soda. Those who order these drinks still get one of the themed coasters, so those who couldn't get a reservation to the café itself can still get limited café merchandise.

Here's some of the food and drinks available at the collaboration café. Guests get a free coaster (randomly chosen, of six possible designs) with each themed drink ordered.

The Promised Sandwich

Sea Salt Popsicle

Destiny Sea drink (left) and Twilight Promise drink (right)

Some of the other food available was a bit of a stretch on being "themed food," such as this "The Round Table that Never Was" veggie plate (is it supposed to represent Organization XIII somehow?).

The café decorations feature framed Kingdom Hearts art, and a framed autograph by game series director Tetsuya Nomura.

Some of the limited merchandise for the café collaboration includes ringed notebooks, pin badges, post cards, and the capsule toys (which are smaller pin badges).

When guests pay their bill, they receive one of three available lunch mats.

Prior to the official opening, the café held a pre-opening campaign from September 30 through October 13. During this pre-opening campaign, the café didn't have one specific game theme, but instead featured decorations and merchandise for various Square Enix properties from mainstays like Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Dragon Quest, to upcoming games such as the Secret of Mana remake and Lost Sphear, and even Western titles that Square Enix publishes such as Agents of Mayhem.

The general theme for the Osaka café is "color," and so the main menu features rainbow-themed dishes, in contrast to the all-white exterior and interior. This menu is only available when the café doesn't have another specific theme.

There's also general merchandise in the store for various Square Enix properties. This merchandise is available at all times in addition to whatever limited merchandise is available for the current theme.

Square Enix opened the first permanent Square Enix Café in Tokyo inside the Yodobashi Camera store in Akihabara in October 2016 (the café in Osaka is also inside a Yodobashi Camera). The café also has a set menu for times it doesn't have a themed menu. In opposition to the Osaka café, the Tokyo one mostly has a black exterior and interior.

The café isn't the only permanent Square Enix-themed café in Tokyo, however. The Artnia café, a bulbous white building in Shinjuku outside of the company's headquarters, opened in 2012. The building has a small seating area, and a much bigger merchandise area than the other two main cafés. Rows of white cubbies line the walls with merchandise, and in the back "museum" area, figures, T-shirts, and other merchandise surround a water fountain display. No reservations are necessary to visit Artnia, although there is limited seating for the café area. After 5:00 p.m. the area becomes more of a bar and serves alcohol.

Square Enix Café Tokyo and Artnia are also both hosting Kingdom Hearts-themed menus and decorations in October and November with the same menus.

Aside from these three cafés, Tokyo and Osaka are also both home to a permanent Final Fantasy XIV-themed Eorzea Café in collaboration with the Pasela entertainment company. Both cafés have multiple PCs set up for players to log in and earn special in-game items. The cafés work the same way as the two Square Enix Cafés. Fans make reservations, get seated, use a tablet to order food, and get coasters for every special drink they order. There's a merch area as well, and art, signed art, and other decorations.

Eorzea Café Tokyo

Eorzea Café Tokyo

Eorzea Café Tokyo

Eorzea Café Tokyo

Eorzea Café Tokyo

Eorzea Café Tokyo

Eorzea Café Osaka

Eorzea Café Osaka

Eorzea Café Osaka

Eorzea Café Osaka

Eorzea Café Osaka

Eorzea Café Osaka

For these and most themed cafés in Japan, reservations are usually needed in advance and can be made online or at a convenience store. The cafés usually get sold out on weekends, but on some weekdays, fans can just go to the café on the day they plan to go and choose an open timeslot they'd like to attend. Timeslots usually last around 1.5-2 hours.

While the cuteness and creativity of the food is usually one of the big draws, don't expect anything glamorous. Most of the food is usually just subpar, but the presentation and the environment easily make up for that. The prices are expensive but not unreasonable. If you're a fan of the property and have the time to book in advance when you're in Japan, I'd definitely recommend it — the experience is always a blast.


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