Well known worldwide for creating Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s music video visuals and running the iconic 6%DOKIDOKI “kawaii anarchy” boutique, Japanese visual artist Sebastian Masuda brings his psychedelic and kitsch style into interior design.
Opened on August 1, 2015, the Kawaii Monster Cafe aims at capturing the spirit of Harajuku, known internationally as a center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. The cafe interiors is filled with vibrant colours, characters and themes creating a never-seen-before experience to overload the senses.
“The concept was inspired by the image of Harajuku as a “swelling monster that swallows everything whole,” and which gave rise to an original fashion culture now renowned around the world.” Masuda explains
“The word ‘kawaii’ first started appearing in katakana after the 1990s,” he notes. “Although it can be used to refer to a strange, novel, or eccentric appearance, that doesn’t really capture the essence of it. In my view, the young people who dress themselves in kawaii fashion are expressing a form of resistance to a society created by adults, using the language of fashion that is most familiar to them. For me, kawaii is a statement about how they go about living their lives. So Harajuku was a place where kids dressed in these fashions could gather, eventually becoming symbol of kawaii fashion,” says Masuda.
Masuda created over-the-top visuals in Harajuku’s largest cafe space, including oversized baby bottle light fixtures,a giant functional merry-go-round, neon animals in a dream forest, a bar from under the sea, oversized candies and much more. The entire cafe space is divided in to five themed areas
A cake merry-go-round: the Kawaii Monster Cafe’s symbol and a great spot for a Harajuku photo.
A large forest with colorful, poisonous-looking mushrooms and plants from outer space covering the area overhead.
Giant rabbits, sheep, and unicorn heads with a large number of baby bottles. A crazy baby room where animals drink milk.
Led by the ants, once you go past the sugar signposts, you’ll be greeted by a tea party full of giant melting ice cream, chocolate, and macarons.
In addition to five different themed areas, Harajuku’s largest cafe Kawaii Monster Cafe will also star five different “Monster Girls”, each with a unique personality and costumed by Tokyo-based stylist Misha Janette. The Harajuku Monster Girls are sweet Baby, the willful Dolly, the happy Candy, the sexy Nasty, or the moody Crazy.
Located on the 4th floor of YM Square Harajuku, across the street of LaForet Harajuku, the Kawaii Monster Cafe is a must visit for a real Japanese pop culture experience.