Kanazawa cafe puts you into the world of a black-and-white manga


Customers can feel like they are stepping into the world of manga at the Mono.Chro Chaya cafe in Kanazawa. (Shinkai Kawabe)

KANAZAWA–A newly opened cafe here has created a buzz on social media as entering the cafe feels like stepping into the world of manga, with everything in black and white.

Mono.Chro Chaya stands amid an old townscape about 500 meters from Kanazawa Station.

The walls and the floor are painted white and outlined in black along the wood grains.

Wood grains and the corners of the floor on the second floor are lined in black. (Shinkai Kawabe)

A black-and-white rendering of the raging waves from “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” by Katsushika Hokusai, a renowned ukiyo-e woodblock artist in the late Edo Period (1603-1867), adorns one wall.

There is also a scene from the Kenrokuen Garden covered in snow.

The owner, Yoshiyasu Sakagami, is planning to ask local students and illustrators to draw landscapes on the walls currently featuring pictures of fusuma” sliding doors.

“We want customers to join us in creating the cafe together,” said Sakagami’s wife, Mika, who manages Mono.Chro Chaya.

A winter scene from the Kenrokuen Garden, one of Kanazawa’s most popular sightseeing spots, is drawn on a wall on the second floor. (Shinkai Kawabe)

Sakagami, 35, came up with the idea about two years ago while he was painting the hems of a white sneaker black to make it look like it was straight out of a black-and-white photo.

He thought it might be fun to do the same thing for an entire cafe.

Sakagami, who is an architect running a housing company, used his knowledge to create CGI renderings for drawings and the interior design of the cafe.

A black-and-white version of Katsushika Hokusai’s “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” is particularly eye-catching on the second floor of the Mono.Chro Chaya cafe in Kanazawa on July 27. (Shinkai Kawabe)

He spent four months working on the interior with the help of four local students.

He decided to serve ice cream at the cafe because Kanazawa topped the list of households spending annually on ice cream products in a family income and expenditure survey in 2020 of major cities.


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