Those with a fondness for cartoon-character dolls and action figures will find a kindred spirit in Yoshitomo Nara, whose paintings and sculptures of devilish children are as disconcerting as they are cute.
A joint project with the Graf design firm, A to Z Cafe, with its original artwork, mismatched furniture, and liberal use of worn wood and corrugated iron, is a cool place to spend the afternoon. Nara's conceptual home on the range provides an interesting contrast to the fifth-floor view of the teeming metropolis outside.
The cafe offers daily lunch specials starting at Y800, in addition to the extensive menu of wafu-inflected dishes ranging in price from Y315-1000. Mentaiko nori toast makes an unusual salty snack; deep-fried baby squid and crispy rice cakes are almost too cute to eat.
Choose from a selection of coffee drinks or Chinese and Japanese teas to go with tempting desserts like kabocha and coconut cake. Cocktails, beer, shochu, and champagne are also available if you fancy something stronger. Drop in for one of the free artist lectures or just sit around and enjoy the atmosphere: the pretty people drift in and out as softly lilting ambient music floats in the air.
by Melinda Joe