Tokyo – probably the only city in the world where toddlers have their own hang-out spot, where no childless adults are allowed.
Japan may have one of the lowest birth rates in the world, but that apparently only means the few babies that are born here are given everything – even their own exlclusive café. Located in the Omotesando neighborhood of Tokyo, the Nendo-designed Baby Café is the perfect place for children under seven to chill out, and play in a safe environment, while their parents socialize over a cup of coffee. No more having to listen to mommy telling them to “sit up straight”, “don’t play with your food”, “don’t run through the restaurant”, at the Baby Café kids can do as they like. But there are monitors all over the place so parents can keep their eyes on children while giving them the illusion they’re free to do as they please.
Envisioned by design prodigy Oki Sato of Nendo design studio, Tokyo’s Baby Café appeals to both children and their parents. For toddlers it has giant plush couches and chairs that double as diaper-changing tables and playroom, while grown-ups have wooden tables and chairs where they can enjoy various beverages and exchange parenting stories. The main design theme of this place is the difference in scale of its two different users. Floorboards and windows come in both adult and kid sizes, there are two sizes of lightbulbs and while the adults see what’s on their tables, children can only checkout the drawings on their undersides.
The contrast between tiny and huge is everywhere you look, and since non-pregnant women and parents with children over seven ar not allowed, it’s the tiny who hold the power at the Baby Café in Tokyo. As long as you accompany a toddler, you’re free to enter this magical place, so careful how you treat your little ones, they might not take you with them the next time they visit the café.