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JAPAN: TOKYO (Boy’s Love Academy Café /Ikebukuro)

I continue to be fascinated with Japan’s captivation with manga and theme cafes. The manga and theme cafes (maid cafes) once catered only to the male otaku but there is a growing trend in catering to the female fans, namely the fujoshi. Fujoshi is a term which refers to female otaku who covet manga and novels featuring romantic relationships between men. Yaoi also called Boy’s Love or BL is becoming more common place these days with conventions, fan sites and fan fiction dedicated to the genre of male+male romance narratives. One such manga simply called Boys Love is written and illustrated by Kaim Tachibana.

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Most visitors to Japan know that the otaku culture is prominent in Akihabara but now there is the yaoi version developing in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district which is renowned for its variety of shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities. Along Ikebukuro’s Otome Road, you will find numerous shops offering anything and everything from manga to cosplay items dedicated to Boy’s Love (BL).

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However, aside from the shops there are also “butler” cafes and the Boy’s Love Academy Café which specifically cater to the teenage girls or young women who comprise the fujoshi population.

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The interior of the café is decorated like a classroom and the waiters are dressed in school uniforms. The waiters are grouped into three grades, freshman, sophomores and third-year high school students. Each group is distinguished by the color of tie they wear. The freshman are uniformed with red ties, the sophomores in blue and the third-year students in pink. Oh and for those that desire something a little different, there is even a teachers & janitor category.

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Each customer is presented with a “student card” when they visit the café. The cards are used to accumulate points which can be used for special services such as birthday surprises, etc.

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The menu is rather limited but the fujoshi do not come here for the meals served. For ¥1000, clients can purchase a Pocky stick which will be shared in a fantasy scenario by two waiters of your choice. It is called Fantasy Coupling Pocky. The fun doesn’t end there girls! You can also purchase Coupling Onigiri which involves a staged scene between two waiters of your choice who hand-prepare the onigiri for you.

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For you girls who want to capture your favorite “school boys” on your cell phone or camera, the café does not allow any photography or videography. (Only still photos of food and beverages ordered is permitted.)

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Dining at the café has a time limit and the options available vary depending on the time of your visit. The “Basic Daytime Fee” of ¥1,000 includes a 60-minute session plus one drink. You can extend your dining experience by purchasing an additional 30-minutes for ¥500. During the evening hours, you have the option of paying the basic fee or purchasing a “free-time package” for ¥2800. The package is available between 12 midnight and 4:00 AM. There is a ¥100 “administration fee” charged for first time patrons and a 10% surcharge is added on to fees and food and beverage orders placed between the hours of 10:30 PM and 5:00 AM. Staying after school will cost you!

The café is open on weekdays between 3:00PM and 10:30PM, Saturdays from 12:00PM to 5:00AM (next day) and Sunday from 12:00PM to 10:30PM. You can reach the café via the JR Yamanote line Ikebukuro Station East exit.

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Web page: http://www.blcafe.jp/pc/index.html

Address: 3 Chome-9-13 Higashiikebukuro, 2F
Toshima-ku, Tokyo-to 170-0013

 

(Images courtesy of Boy’s Love Academy Cafe)

 

7 comments

    1. Nope. Only pictures of the food. The boys explain the rules when you arrive and tell you you’re allowed to take pictures of the food but not video, and you can’t take pictures of the boys or selfies.

  1. I absolutely LOVED this place. It can get a bit pricey very quickly, but it’s worth it! I went early enough that me and my friend were the only two people there so all the boys were talking to us (there was five on staff), and they told us all about each of them and their individual personalities, and they were super helpful with my limited Japanese and were willing to help me. Arata even wrote down phrases i needed for ordering, and when to tell them i was ready to leave and what not. He was SUPER helpful, and probably my favorite next to Haru. I was wearing my Prince of Tennis Rikkai jersey, and Haru left the cafe and came back wearing his matching jersey so we could show them off together and i felt so damn SPECIAL! and i loved it!

    The food was wonderful (I had the omelet rice) and i enjoyed the pudding dessert. Even if you don’t feel brave enough to order the ‘boys love’ scene, just being here is amazing! But we did pay the 900 yen for the pocky coupling and picked Arata and Haru for it. They told me i had to pick the uke and seme and they bantered back and forth about who should be top and bottom with Haru telling me to pick Arata as uke because he was a ‘hard bottom’ and i am reminded WHY i loved these boys!! and after we talked it out, they performed a sempai/kouhai scene in a library setting that ended with a kiss! It was adorable! they put a lot of effort into it! At the end of the day, i really loved this place! the boys are super professional and super sweet and so distinctive in their personalities. Even though it’s a Boys Love themed cafe they made each girl that came through the door feel special, and i loved that. I recommend this place to any fujoshi or boys love fan out there! Because WOW! Loved it!

    (side note, it is kind of difficult to find! It’s actually just a stairwell on the street front. You don’t really know it’s there till they put out the sign. And it’s quite a ways walk from the East exit, but that’s the easiest way to get there.)

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