Alexander Voeler

Cooling Down at Nanaha Café

How I spent an overly hot afternoon in Shinjuku

Alexander Voeler
Alexander Voeler   - 3 min read

If you are not familiar with the Japanese summer, it may come as a surprise when you arrive that both day and night can make you sweat more than you would really want to. Japan is notorious for its warm summer and the humidity that accompanies it, so looking for ways to cool down might take up unexpectedly much more time in your daily routine. On top of that, you might even notice that Japanese people are having a much easier time dealing with the heat than you. Being used to the heat is most likely one cause of this, but also knowing where to go and what to do is, in my opinion, a much bigger factor.

I found this out after I arrived at Shinjuku station one early afternoon. Crowded as it usually is, the heat was unbearable beyond measure, leading me to believe that my only escape would be to find the nearest convenience store and proceed to hide in the cool drinks section. My escape, however, turned out to be in a different place altogether. Shinjuku Station connects to the Odakyu department store, and it did not take me long to figure out that it was the right place to go. Not only was the AC a welcome relief, but a café called Nanaha serving various desserts ended up saving me from a total meltdown.

When I saw that the place was relatively crowded with people spending their afternoon in this somewhat modern Japanese style café, I knew that I had come to the right place. Eating ice cream of a sort I had not tasted before, the fresh Japanese matcha blended in well with the sweet white bean paste topped with red beans. As I got a cheesecake on the side, it turned out that the trend with red beans continued. To my surprise, this combination of a familiar dessert with the twist of Japanese red beans turned out to be quite delicious, and something I definitely had not thought about doing before. Overall, it made for a delicious experience that I have never had in any other country ... besides of course, serving to cool down my warm afternoon in Shinjuku.

Nanaha Cafe is location on the 5th floor of the Odakyu department store, near the west side of Shinjuku station. It should be relatively easy to find, and is definitely worth a visit.

Alexander  Voeler

Alexander Voeler @alexander.vøler