An iconic cafe and show venue that symbolizes Japan's "kawaii" pop culture, and is beloved by tourists and celebrities, has shut its doors in Tokyo, the capital, after business dried up following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Staff members of Kawaii Monster Cafe, called "Monster Girls," pose with Sebastian Masuda, an artist and designer of the cafe, Tokyo, Japan, Jan. 31, 2021.
A funky aesthetic of outlandish colors and designs made Kawaii Monster Cafe in the capital's youth culture hot spot of Harajuku a hit, drawing overseas A-listers, such as reality star Kim Kardashian, singer Dua Lipa and Jenny of K-pop's Blackpink.
The Monster Girls perform on the stage for one last time at the cafe, Tokyo, Japan.
Kida was among the fans who flocked for a last chance to see their favorite cosplay-inspired "Monster Girls" staff and soak up the atmosphere in quirkily themed areas such as the Mushroom Disco and Mel-Tea Room.
Monster girl Baby Manafy, an iconic Harajuku girl and a staff member of the cafe, wearing a face, mask poses for a photograph at Kawaii Monster Cafe, Tokyo, Japan.
The cafe had hoped to capitalize on strong demand during the 2020 Olympics but with the outlook still uncertain after the virus forced a year's delay in the Tokyo games, a decision was made to let the lease expire and shut down.
A staff member of the Kawaii Monster Cafe called "Monster Girls" wipes her tears as she performs on the stage before the cafe ends its five-year run, Tokyo, Japan.
The cafe had kept shorter hours, closing by 7 p.m., since a temporary closure last spring for about 2 1/2 months after Japan declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Monster Girl Crazy Sa-ya, an iconic Harajuku girl and a staff member of the cafe, wearing a face mask, poses for a photograph at Kawaii Monster Cafe.
Japan, with a tally of 390,687 infections and 5,766 deaths, is expected to extend a state of emergency for Tokyo and other areas this week as hospitals face pressure despite a drop in cases from their peaks, according to media reports.
Monster X Jelly no Catherine, an iconic Harajuku girl and a staff member of the cafe, wearing a face, mask poses for a photograph at Kawaii Monster Cafe, Tokyo, Japan.
"In Harajuku, regardless of age and era, the younger generations will always create new cultures. So I believe that the young generation will make something interesting again."
Staff members of Kawaii Monster Cafe pose for a photograph with other performers before the cafe ends its five-year run, Tokyo, Japan.
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