Have you heard of Japanese illustrator and social media sticker creator Kanahei yet? She’s behind one of the most popular sticker collections on the LINE app, and now her cute critters are set to adorn dishes in their very own theme cafe in Tokyo!

With the rise of social media and messaging apps like Asia’s mega-popular LINE application, our need for cute little illustrations with which to flavour our textual interactions has rapidly increased. Emoticons are all but anachronisms now, and even emoji can fail to satisfy our desire for self-expression.

Yep, these days it’s all about the stickers! Because who doesn’t love adding a cheeky Pusheen to their Facebook correspondences or rabidly purchasing and downloading sticker collections on LINE (yes, it can be addictive, but we can stop any time we want – swear! Well, as soon as they stop bringing out cute new ranges… ahem…).

However, with LINE still not having saturated the Western market, all this sticker loving might seem a bit bemusing to those who haven’t really embraced this new facet of social media interaction in the way that Japan has. Here it’s perfectly acceptable to, for instance, carry on an entire conversation with a friend using only LINE stickers, and with the availability of both animated and audible stickers, we’re really spoilt for choice. A huge sticker market has built up, with many artists using this new platform as a way to promote their art.

One such artist is Kanahei, a Japanese illustrator who has capitalised on Japan and Asia’s fervent desire for stickers and built an empire for herself as a self-styled sticker entrepreneur. Her creations, which feature sweet bunnies, kitties, birdies, and even human characters, have become so popular that they’ve now become Japanese pop culture characters in their own right, joining the ranks of Gudetama, Rilakkuma, and Hello Kitty in adorning pencil cases, notebooks, and all manner of physical merchandise. You can even buy cuddly plush versions of the Kanahei critters.

However, as any successful character can tell you, you haven’t really made it until they’ve opened up a cafe in your honour. From January 28th to March 14th, Kanahei’s characters will occupy space at THE GUEST Cafe and Diner in Shibuya’s Parco department store.

The limited-run cafe, known as Kanahei no Yurutto Cafe (Kanahei’s Relax Cafe) will feature a menu designed around the artist’s trademark characters. Let’s take a look at some of the treats diners can enjoy!

Naturally, the cafe will have merchandise for sale, too!

While it’s not possible to book a table for the cafe in advance, those who simply wish to take a peek and purchase some items are allowed access to the shop without having to sit down and eat.

If you like Kanahei’s cute illustration style but don’t live in Japan, you can still check out her website Kanahei.com which has some free desktop wallpapers for download and lots more information on her work.

Source: Facebook/The Guest CafeParco-Art
Images:  Facebook/The Guest Café