Caffeine addicted Tokyoites make their way towards Southern Beach in order to fuel themselves with positive energy and great coffee. Surfers and locals beloved coffee shops’ popularity is growing on a national scale with those who are craving for summer vibes. Let me take you to surfing and beach inspired hidden coffee shop and gallery – YUYU atelier gallery café.
ABOUT YUYU’S ART
The lovely owner’s Yuyu passion is art and painting. Although her café is a big secret even for locals, her art is known all around Shonan. Basically if you are familiar with her art, it is really easy to recognize it. You can find traces of it everywhere, like on canvas in other cafes (e.g. Sportiff Café, Oggi), walls, doors, even I-Phone cases and etc. She uses magical vivid colorful palate and her original drawing style, which is hugely influenced by Hawaiian art. She launched her own label “Favorite Queen” in 2005 and later opened a café and studio in 2011 spring. Now she is working on expanding her label in overseas, especially in Hawaii.
If you asked a random person in the street of Tokyo, what are the best coffee beans, probably he/she would answer Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. If you asked the same question in Shonan, I am pretty sure they would answer it is Hawaiian Kona Coffee. As noticed, it is really true that Shonan people have some kind of Hawaii fever. If you drive along the coast, you will notice tons of Hawaiian pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops. Yuyu, as a big Hawaii enthusiast, uses Kona beans, which she orders specifically for her coffee shop directly from Hawaii. She is still in search for the best blend for her customers. Currently she uses organic 100% Kona Coffee for her blends, which is dark roast, rich with a bit of bitterness. Kona coffee (Coffea Arabica) is one of the most expensive coffees in the world and thought to be the best one. This gourmet coffee is grown on the Kona coast with their warm, moist south-seas climate and rich volcanic soils.
Mark Twain in his letter from Hawaii stated:
“Kona Coffee has a richer flavor than any other, be it grown where it may and call it by what name you please.”
Finding 100% Kona coffee is a difficult task because of availability and low profit margin.
However, YUYU managed to get it from Japanese-Hawaiian friend and now she is proud to share it with her customers. As for original YUYU latte (yuyuアートラテ), it surprises everyone with her art on top (usually a Favorite Queen’s logo).
It would extremely difficult to say what Shonan people love more – coffee or surfing. They equally acclaim to those two passions/addictions. Around Kamakura there is a wide choice of coffee+surfing shops. However, heading more South it is getting more difficult to find one. YUYU café is one of those rear truly surfing coffee shops. You can talk with the owner about surfing all day long, while admiring her surfboard, which is at the entrance of the café. Yuyu is a great surfer as well as her husband and most of her friends. In Shonan, surfing is rather a family of different people who have the same passion than just a hobby. YUYU atelier is a great place to absorb surfing spirit and also meet other surfers.
Opening hours. As most of the local shops in Shonan area, opening hours are not regular, depending on weather or owner’s mood. Just make sure you check in their website for opening hours (there is English version as well http://www.favoritequeen.com/index_english.html) or just give Yuyu a call. Currently this place opens just for exhibitions as a gallery and café.