When you think of places that boast out-of-the-box cafe concepts, perhaps Japan springs to mind. With themes including cat, maid, vampire and hedgehog to name a few (these are definitely the tamest) Tokyo and Japan seem to constantly develop playful and wacky concepts to appeal to every niche, no matter how small or specific they may be. And with themed cafes now popping up across the world, including cat and maid cafes in London, as well as a constant news feed of updates about the weird and wonderful in Japan, you may have thought that you'd heard it all.
Cue the latest concept that seems to have caught the world’s attention. The World of Thighs Photography Cafe based in - surprise, surprise - Tokyo!
Now, we’re all for body power and celebrating all shapes and sizes at Cafe Reality, but the thing that raises a rather large question mark over Tokyo’s World of Thighs cafe is how they've chosen to portray their chosen body part.
While you sit comfortably at one of the cafe tables and wait for your order to arrive, you can gaze at a wall plastered in prints of girls thighs photographed from various angles and distances, with the odd cat popping into every other frame. A thinly veiled euphemism, perhaps?
What is problematic is the age that the thigh models seem to portray. Short schoolgirl-style skirts take centre stage when it comes to their attire, which raises issues. The clientele that this cafe appears to be aimed at is predominantly adults and people beyond their high school years. There’s the occasional shot taken in a pool, on a beach or outdoors to break up the pattern, but these images seem to be in the minority.
Alongside thigh photographs placed in every visible position, the cafe serves food accessorised with a side of thighs. From mains to desserts, plates are garnished with tiny edible legs, ensuring that the theme is ever-present. Even better? The cafe boasts a thigh themed gift shop to buy everything all those leggy trinkets that you never knew you wanted.
Thighs aside, the cafe’s decor and furniture are rather demure. Neutral walls and floors, contemporary cafe chairs and simple wooden tables create the bulk of its style, resulting in a strange aesthetic that juxtaposes bold, sexualised imagery and typical cafe culture for a look that sits confusingly somewhere in between. We can only begin to imagine how odd the atmosphere must be.
If it had been executed differently, perhaps Tokyo’s thigh photography cafe could have worked as a quirky yet endearing place to sit and experience something cool and new. Jaunty illustrations, puns and playful images could have worked. However, plenty about this cafe makes it creepy instead. But what are your thoughts? Cool, or creepy?
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