Once upon a time in the magical kingdom of Japan there lived a young girl named Mami. Always she would ask her parents to read a children’s book by the name of Guri & Gura in which two field mice share good times together. Her most favorite story of all was the one in which Guri and Gura find a large egg and make a big fluffy cake out of it. However, as the years passed by and Mami grew into a woman, she gradually stopped reading the adventures of Guri and Gura and eventually went to work as a reporter for RocketNews24.

One day, her wicked step-editor called out, “Maaaaamiiii! Write me something about food! I’m hungry!” Checking the internet for something to write about, Mami learned of a famous café in Osaka. Other women wrote marvelous things about it saying, “It’s a real picture book world!” and “Everything about it is cute!” Thinking this was a nice place, Mami boarded a train for the land of Umeda not knowing what was waiting in store for her.

As she approached the address she got from the internet, Mami saw a sign that read “Picture Books and Coffee: Pennennenemu Green.” Such a magical name could only belong to the place she was looking for. She rushed hurriedly to the door but was stopped.

Mami had made sure she arrived extra early before the café opened so she could get a seat, but there was already other luckier women waiting to enter. Mami was told that she would need a reservation ticket and that she had to wait three whole turns before she could enter. Having now grown into a jaded middle-aged woman, Mami thought to herself “F%$#! This is gonna take forever!”

After patiently waiting and doing a little shopping in the meantime, Mami was finally allowed to enter Pennennenemu Green!

As she set foot in the café, Mami felt something peculiar. The interior was completely covered in dolls, figures, toys and picture books – oh the picture books! In the dim yet warm lighting Mami was feeling a stirring in her chest. It was her heart. Having worn and shriveled over the years it was suddenly growing three times its original size!

But this was just the beginning! Mami was guided to the “Who said this was lucky George’s Seat?” seat. Like the name suggested, her table was surrounded by Curious George paraphernalia, phooferasses, doohickeys and even thingamajigs!

There were bags and clips, key chains and picture frames, caswazzlers and horned fuzzhushers. It was more quaint cuteness than she could handle! The waitress approached with a wooden box. Curious, Mami unlocked the box and reached inside. It was the menu!

Skimming through the range of fairy tale themed items Mami wasn’t sure which to choose. But then she spotted at one particular dish: The Guri & Gura Hotcake! She ordered but noticed it wasn’t her speaking. It was the Mami of decades ago inside her who once dreamed of eating this cake with her beloved mice friends.

When the waitress brought the cake to Mami she gasped in amazement. There it was, exactly as she had once imagined it with some pebbles and two felt hats just big enough for a pair of friendly mice to wear. Mami excitedly patted on the butter, drizzled on the honey and scooped on the cream that came along with it.

It was a simple taste, but Mami could fully enjoy the contrast between the honey and whipped cream flavors. Sitting under the curious eyes of all her new monkey friends, Mami felt her spirits lift with the fluffy goodness of a simple cake that tasted just like it had been prepared by two mice who found a giant egg.

Not wanting this adventure to end, Mami placed another order with the kindly staff. She ordered the “Very Hungry Plate” which had a tiny hotdog, hamburger, and quiche all lined up like a caterpillar.

Then all the food was gone. It was time for little Mami to leave and grow up again. Her hungry and wicked step-editor would be waiting for her report. On her way out she asked the staff about the place. They said that originally they just wanted to make the Guri & Gura cake, and the whole café just kind of grew from that one idea.

Mami smiled, paid, and walked out. Once outside, the bitter cold of winter struck her tired middle-aged face which contorted into a grimace, but inside little Mami smiled. She felt alive again and ready to face the day.

Pennennenemu Green
3F Ueno Bldg. 3-6-4 Toyosaki, Kita, Osaka
11:30am – 9:30pm
Closed on Wednesdays

Original report by Mami Kuroi
Photos: RocketNews24

▼ Even the cutlery is cute!

▼ There was also a Mini-Guri plate available.

[ Read in Japanese ]