Do Japanese people need this?
It's going to start out rainy today, but it should stop around lunchtime...then the next couple of days will be mostly sunny with highs in the mid-teens. The end of the week and the weekend are looking slightly cooler than normal for this time of year, highs will be around 12C and overnight lows around 4C whereas 15C and 6C are the average temperatures in late March.
Japan is never short of ideas when it comes to new themes for restaurants and cafes. So far, we’ve seen amazing eateries styled as elementary school classrooms, fairytale Disney settings, and historic inns loved by samurai, but now there’s a new place that promises to take visitors away to another world, and this time the destination is the world of sleep.
It’s all part of a new collaboration between Nescafe and France Bed to help mark World Sleep Day, which is held on the Friday before the March Equinox every year. The limited-time cafe has opened up at Nescafe Harajuku, which has transformed its premises into a dimly lit wonderland for the event, with a total of ten electronic reclining beds from France Bed for customers to try.
Three varieties of electric reclining beds will be available for customers to rest on, including the luxury double-sized “Bosutesso BO-08”, which retails for 980,000 yen.
▼ The “Gran Max GX-04C 3M”, which retails for 420,000 yen
And the single mattress “RP1000DLX”, which has a built-in recliner and can be used on a bed frame or by itself on tatami or wood floors, with a price tag of 118,519 yen.
Each bed will come with a smartphone-controlled Phillips “Hue” light, set to “relax” mode, and a Sony Hi-Res corresponding walkman and headphone set, to help visitors drift away to the land of sleep, no matter what time of the day or night they visit.
While there’s no obligation to try the sleep experience when visiting the cafe, customers who’d like to participate are required to order at least one food item from the cafe’s regular menu. Before customers drift off, staff will serve up a free cup of Nescafe decaffeinated coffee, and upon waking, customers will be given a cup of regular coffee to help perk them up before they step back out into the real world.
The Nescafe × France Bed Sleep Cafe will only be around until 26 March, so if you’re looking for a break while you’re in the Harajuku area, be sure to pop by soon. With a two-hour sleep limit for each customer, it’s the perfect place to stop and recharge during a long day of sightseeing around the city!
But I wonder if Japanese people need this café. One of the quirky things foreign visitors notice when they're here is the ability for Japanese people to sleep anywhere. And I have to say that it's kind of true. People sleeping on buses or trains is so normal here that it's not even noteworthy. But I've seen people sleeping at McDonald's, coffee shops, park benches and even one guy sleeping while standing at work in Fukuya! Ha ha! So, either Japanese people don't need a sleep café or they really, really DO need one...which one is it?
Have a great day!