Stepping into the small café—discretely located on the second floor of a small, plain office building—is a Narnia-esque experience. One moment you’re scouring the urban side streets of Araki-Cho, and then, almost in an instant, you’re transported to a warm, nostalgia-filled home in a fictional land where cultures from around the world collide.
The background music is distinctly American—classic jazz tunes, to be specific. The décor evokes Showa-era Japan and the books and classic decorations that fill the room are a feast for the eyes. Mi Refugio is the perfect hideaway for writers and artists who are seeking inspiration for their creativity.
Even at dinnertime, you’ll notice patrons curled up with a good book or hunched over an artistic work while nibbling away at their food or sipping freshly ground coffee. It’s the kind of place where you wouldn’t be surprised to bump into someone like Hayao Miyazaki, working away on his latest masterpiece.
To only describe Mi Refugio as a café would be selling it short. The traditional, homemade Japanese dinners here are simply amazing. A typical dinner costs around 1,000 yen per person and a light desert can be added for an extra 200 yen. In traditional Japanese style, both the beef- and chicken- based meals offer a wide of assortment of tasty treats to sample. From the pickled vegetables to the chicken soup, each item was brimming with flavor. The portion sizes are perfect and will leave you with that impeccable “hara hachi bu” feeling.
If you don’t read Japanese, finding and entering Mi Reugio can be a little intimidating. Fear not, however, as the kindness of the staff will overcome any language barriers. Wherever you come from, Mi Refugio will quickly become your home away from home.