Tokyo is practically overflowing with great places to eat–being one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world has to have some benefits, right? While rush hour traffic might be test the patience of even the most benevolent Buddhist monk, at least you can find a good place to eat without too much effort. Of course, not every eatery is going to be excellent, and some places tend to rely on gimmick as much as their culinary skills to pull in patrons, like hanging hammocks inside the dining area. Can you really enjoy a nice meal will swinging from the ceiling like a lazy Tarzan?

Well, we stopped by Cafe Asan in Ueno and sat in their hammocks to find out! Read on to see if you should add the cafe to your Tokyo itinerary.


Located about 10 minutes from Ueno Station, Cafe Asan is the perfect way to finish a day exploring the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Science, and the rest of the museums in Ueno Park. The cafe isn’t terribly large, but it does feature about six chair-like hammocks hanging freely from the ceiling. Aligned along a wall, the hammocks are perfectly situated to avoid any unfortunate bumps with other patrons. Of course, Cafe Asan isn’t the only hammock cafe in Tokyo, but it is in a great location and they do have amazing soufflé!


In addition to hammocks and soufflé, both of which we’ll come back to in a second, Cafe Asan also boasts a wide selection of flavored coffees and teas.


After ordering a soufflé, some coffee and a pasta meal, we decided to pick a place to sit. Perhaps to keep people from accidentally smacking into each other, the hammocks are actually separated by regular chair. There’s enough room to comfortably seat 12 people facing the metal wall, but you’ll have to flip a coin with your buddies to decide who gets the hammock and who’s stuck in the boring plastic chair.


Of course, if you’re feeling mature, you could always take turns sitting in the hammock, but we prefer the easier method of using trick coins.

▼Because hammocks!!


The hammocks were surprisingly comfortable. Well, it’s not like we’ve ever seen an uncomfortable hammock, but once we got situated it would have taken a fire to get us to moving. Though, if we’re being honest, getting into the hammocks was a bit of an ordeal.

▼”Wait, what is…how did…where…what??”


▼”Aaaah! Much better!”

ASAN7 (2)p

▼”I believe I can flyyyyy!”


As you may have guessed from the graphics on the wall, the owner’s of Cafe Asan have gone out of their way to give the establishment a unique atmosphere with a strong anime/manga influence. For example, the counters in front of the hammocks have windows cut into their surfaces with photocopies of comic drawings and pictures of voice actors underneath. Sadly, you can’t really open them up and flip through the pages, but it is a nice touch!


▼Even Astroboy loves a good soufflé, apparently!


And here’s the menu in case you’re wanting something a bit more substantial than some soufflé. The set meal is 1,010 yen (about US$10) for lunch and includes a main dish (pasta, rice, and curry dishes are available), a drink, and free use of the salad bar. While the rest of the food was great, the salad bar was incredibly underwhelming, if we’re being honest.


We ordered some meat sauce pasta that was heavy on the cheese (in a good way!) and some orange juice. It’s hard to mess up spaghetti, so it was probably a safe choice, but it was definitely tasty. Not “fresh from Italy,” but certainly not a waste of money. Of course, there was one problem–it’s hard to eat from the counter while dangling in a hammock! If you have long arms, you can stay in your ultra relaxed position, but we eventually had to give up and switch to one of the plastic chairs to finish our food.


In addition to our main course, we also ordered some coffee. The cafe offers three types of flavored coffee–maple crème brûlée, chocolate caramel, and chocolate macadamia nut–and flavored tea, which comes in ginger peach and bergamot. In fact, you can buy packages of the coffee and tea to take home with you if you like them enough! There are even shot glasses with coffee grounds available for sniffing, though we’d recommend ordering a cup before making any coffee grounds purchasing decisions.


We ended up getting a cup of the caramel macadamia nut coffee and a regular cup of joe for taste-testing purposes. The regular coffee was…well, regular coffee. It probably won’t win any awards, but it was good coffee and didn’t need to be drowned with cream and sugar to be drinkable. As for the flavored coffee, the biggest difference we could detect was more in the smell than the taste–the aroma of the caramel macadamia nut was much stronger than the actual taste. There’s no doubt that it enhanced drink, but if you’re looking for a mouth full of macadamia nuts and melted caramel, you’ll probably be disappointed–though if that’s what you’re looking for, you might as well buy a candy bar!

▼Not pictured: A candy bar.


Once we’d finished our pasta and coffee it was time to sit back and wait for the soufflé. And wait…and wait! Big warning: You’ll want to order food with your soufflé, since it will take between 30 and 40 minutes for the dessert to be ready. To be fair, they don’t start the soufflé until you order, so it’s not like they’re making you wait for no reason. If you visit on a weekday, you can even call ahead to reserve a seat and put in your soufflé order, though you’ll just have to wait on the weekend. Even if you can’t make a reservation over the weekend, you might still want to call ahead to be sure they haven’t run out. As you can see in the sign below, they were already out of the cinnamon apple when we arrived around noon.


A small soufflé costs 977 yen (about US$9.50) and takes 30 minutes, while a regular takes about 40 minutes and costs 1,132 yen. There are quite a few flavors available, including prune, lemon custard, honey butter, forest berry, maple cream cheese, ram raisin, and walnut custard caramel. A regular might be a bit too much for someone to eat by themselves, but it’s just about perfect for two people to share. And while you wait, you can enjoy Cafe Asan’s free wi-fi.

▼Great for reading your favorite website or catching up on your favorite TV shows.


▼You can also take a nap!
Just make sure your dining buddies aren’t carrying any markers first…


After a nice nap and a TV show, our forest berry soufflé arrived! In terms of diameter, it was about as wide as a typical pancake or waffle. In terms of height, well, it wasn’t short.

▼”They should have sent a poet…or Godzilla.”


▼It’s just so…beautiful!


And that was the best soufflé we’ve had in Japan. Now, there may be better soufflé to be had, but we haven’t found them. It was soft, moist, and perfectly sweet–not too sweet, but somewhere between angel food cake and a pancake. Our mouths are watering just thinking back to that delightful delicacy. The berries and syrup were excellent, and the tangy sweetness perfectly matched the soufflé. Of course, the mountain of whipped cream was…a mountain of whipped cream! What more can you want from whipped cream than for it to be mountainous?

▼Well, we suppose you may want it in your mouth


After devouring our dessert–and contemplating ordering another–it was time to head home. But be sure not to sprint back to the station. Cafe Asan is part of 2K540, an “artisan” shopping area. You can find everything from handcrafted leather goods shops and a glass studio to a 3-D design and printing studio and a handmade Japanese goods store. It’s an excellent place to find souvenirs or unique gifts.


So, is Cafe Asan worth stopping by? We’d say, unequivocally, yes! You should expect to spend at least an hour there, though, since there’s not much point going if you don’t get some of that incredible soufflé, but the hammock chairs are wonderfully relaxing and the establishment has a very calm, welcoming atmosphere.

Cafe information

Address: 5-9-9 Ueno, Taitou-ku, Tokyo
Phone number: 03-6803-0502
Email address:
Hours: 11:30 to 19:00, last order 18:30 (last order for soufflé 18:00), closed Wednesdays
Location: Google Maps

Reference: Cafe AsanCafe Asan Twitter
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