Bowls Cafe is a nice little cafe that despite it’s size has a lot going for it. Not only is it completely non smoking (something very hard to come by in Shinjuku) but it has some rather scenic outdoor seating (though slightly cramped) with a great view of the main Shinjuku Gyoen entrance making it a fantastic location for people watching. It’s also just two blocks from Tokyo’s famous gay area, Nichome (2-chome) which I highly recommend checking out if you find yourself in Shinjuku on a Friday or Saturday night.
Bowls Cafe has a very warm, “Craft Cottage” type of vibe and is very welcoming. The staff are very friendly and the service is fairly fast, it’s just a shame that the serving sizes are so small when it comes to the food which is not necessarily a bad thing if you’re expecting a light meal with tea or coffee though if you’re after something more filling, you might be better checking out one of the numerous restaurants in the area.
Having said that, it is a perfect place to catch up with friends for a chat or to meet people before moving on to somewhere else and as as I mentioned before it is a great place just to sit back and people watch over a cup of tea (of which there are numerous blends to choose from).
I ended up having a small curry along with a hot jasmine tea while my friend got a honey lemon tea with a small salad both of which set each of us back around 1000 yen each. The food was pretty good quality and the variety of teas on the menu was impressive. Be warned though that the menu is Japanese only.
Station: Shinjuku, Shinjuku Sanchome or Shinjuku Gyoenmae
Train Line: (Shinjuku Station) Yamanote, Chuo, Sobu, Shonan Shinjuku, Saikyo, Oedo, Seibu Shinjuku, (Shinjuku Sanchome and Shinjuku Gyoenmae Stations) Marunouchi, Fukutoshin, Toei Shinjuku.
Features: 100% smoke free, outdoor seating
Menu Language: Japanese
Hours: 11:30am – 10pm
Address: 〒160-0022 東京都新宿区 新宿2-5-16 霞ビル 1F
1F Kasumi Bldg, 2-5-16 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 160-0022
Phone Number: 03-3341-4331.
Website: www.BowlsCafe.com (Japanese)
Map: View here on Google Maps.
Directions: From the main Shinjuku Station head out of the South Exit and turn left. Walk along this main road for about 5 minutes, going down hill past numerous shops. After a while you should see the huge Shinjuku Gyoen park on your right. Bowls Cafe is opposite the park entrance on the main road.
From Shinjuku Sanchome Station take Exit C1. Turn left and walk one block along Shinjuku Dori (Shinjuku Rd) until you hit a rather large intersection. Cross the intersection and walk one more block. Turn right and walk up two blocks to a major road with the park right in front of you. Bowls Cafe should be on the corner on your right.
From Shinjuku Gyoenmae Station take Exit 1, turn right and walk until you get to the major road with the park on the other side. Turn right again and walk along this road for three blocks. Bowls Cafe is on your right, opposite the park entrance.