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Akihabara Girls Vol.1 Nagomi Chaya Musume; The Girls Group Consists of Staff of Internet Cafe.

Akihabara Girls Vol.1 Nagomi Chaya Musume; The Girls Group Consists of Staff of Internet Cafe.

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Nagomi Chaya Musume is a Japanese girls group formed in October 2012. The girls regularly work as staff members at Nagomi Style cafe in Akihabara, Tokyo.
Nagomi Style Cafe is an Internet cafe which is famous for its beautiful interior that reminds you of classic Japanese style hotel in Kyoto. Especially, their Tatami mat private rooms are popular as you can lie down and relax.
It is located about 7 minutes walk from JR Akihabara station, and 0 minutes from Tokyo Metro Suehiro-cho station. They are open 24 hours and offering various services depending on your needs.

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Nagomi Chaya Musume has been doing various activities based in Akihabara, such as live performance, radio program host, and appearance on events which mostly hold in Tokyo.
They expand their activities even in the fashion world as they collaborated with famous Japanese food manufacturing company to design over knee socks, also launched their own accessory line called, Rougetukan.

As a matter of fact, every girl working at the Nagomi style cafe is a member of Nagomi Chaya Musume. Since the cafe is open 24 hours every day, there are only a few members are mainly focusing on media appearance.
Today, I interviewed 2 members; Tsubaki and Tokiwa.

Right: Tsubaki / Left: Tokiwa

Right: Tsubaki / Left: Tokiwa

– How did you start Nagomi Chaya Musume activities?

Tokiwa: We all used to be an ordinary Internet cafe staff.
So, to tell the truth, no one has never had an experience in singing or dancing before.
But, our manager brought it up first, I think. He said that he knows someone who is making music so why don’t we give it a try!
You know, I’ve never had that kind of experience before, so I was little intimidated at first.
But when I look back, I am surprised that we have made so many songs now.


The Music: “We don’t limit the genre.”

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– Are there any particular type of music that you prefer?

Tsubaki: We make a whole variety of music.
There are JAZZ, J-pop, rock, ballad, techno, and even Vocaloid style songs too.
I just never really thought that we could or couldn’t make a certain type of music.
We set the theme for the year first, then start making songs.
Our 1st year’s theme was the 4seasons in Japan to express classic Japanese beauty. And the 4th year, we set the theme as human emotion.

I am writing lyrics and I put a lot of effort to make a storyline in each song.
Actually, each song comprises a “hidden theme”.
For example, summer is the theme of Kingyo Yumemi Uta, but its hidden theme is the fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen.

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– What kind of music do you like to listen? Also, who is your favorite artist?

Tokiwa: I only listen to anime songs.
Tsubaki: My older sister likes listening western music, such as Prince. So I’ve spent a lot of time listening to their songs since childhood. Lately, I like Skillet which is an American Christian rock band.

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Fusion of classic and modern Japanese music

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Their latest single; PINK sounds very modern to me,  just as a fusion of Techno and J-pop music.

THE PINK NEW GINGERS – PINK [Official Music Video]

Contributor Wanted!!

Although they are working busy day and night as a staff of the Internet cafe, they have published a lot of amazing works.
I was wondering what makes their so enthusiastic.

– I’m pretty sure that it’s quite hard making music and working at an Internet cafe at the same time. So how do you keep the motivation flowing?

Tsubaki: We are always trying to make a something new for each event.
Tokiwa: In a sense, we would like to work with unremitting efforts. We are just thinking like, “Let’s offer another new thing again at the next event” then we realized a lot of works have made in no time.


Their fashion

They usually wearing Japanese Kimono style costumes in their music videos, it makes their music even more unique.

Tokiwa: The costumes we are wearing in our music video are all done by our staff.
Tsubame makes accessories and she is really good at it. Then Tsubame launched our accessory line called, Rougetukan.
Sometimes we casually wearing Rogetukan’s accessories in our MV or during the live performance, so please watch it carefully.

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Kawaii product designers

Iwashita Foods; a famous Japanese long-established pickles manufacturer and Nagomi style cafe has commercialized the collaborative product “Iwashita’s New Ginger x Nagomi style cafe over knee socks” and “Alpaca plushie”.
Nagomi Chaya Musume designed both over knee socks and cute alpaca plushie.
There is a tiny shop selling their popular products in Nagomi style cafe, which is only one place you can purchase Iwashita’s new ginger museum products in Tokyo.


“BL” Experts!

For those of you who are not familiar with the word “BL”, BL is short for “Boys Love”
The primary and most commonly used name for the category of female-oriented manga, anime and light novel involving a homosexual romance between men.
Nagomi style cafe has a lot of manga collections. They own more than 25,000 comic books, 150 kinds of Magazines. Among those mangas, there are a lot of BL books, which is another reason for the popularity of Nagomi style cafe.

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Some of Nagomi Chaya Musume know BL very well.
They are considered as experts due to offering their own prize for excellent manga in BL information magazine called; “This BL is Yabai”

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Tokiwa: We have lots of BL magazines and various back numbers are also available here.
I think there is no other place that has this much of BL books and magazines around Akihabara.
The staff members share opinions and decide which books to purchase each time.
There are many women who visit alone.
If you don’t know where your favorite BL is, it is kind of embarrassing to ask staff for help to find it.
But in Nagomi Style Cafe, no need to worry. There’s a computer for you to tell where it is!
The manga I would like to recommend now is this!

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Funny moments with foreign customers.

Tsubaki: I remember that one day there was a female foreign customer, she asked me “Where are BL books?” right after the reception procedure.
It was really intense! At first, I couldn’t understand what she was saying.
I was confused but somehow I could catch the word “BL” so I asked, “Did you want to know where the Boys Love section is?” Then she said, “YES!!” with delight.

When I was in art school, we went to the United States on a school trip. I thought if I bought a translated version of Japanese comic books there, it would be a nice token to remember.
So I went to look for it but I couldn’t find it easily. Finally found Naruto and BLEACH after running around the city, I was about to cry. But when I saw the price tag, I was so surprised that it was really expensive!
Also, I noticed there were quite a lot of differences from the Japanese version.
After all the translated version is not as authentic as the original.
From this experience, I totally understand the feelings that foreigners come to Japan and want to read a lot of comic books here as much as they can.

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Since Internet cafes are unique to Japan, it was not well understood by foreign visitors.
Even if we explained the system some people couldn’t understand how it works or misunderstood as it was a regular cafe. But recently, it seems that it has become a pretty well known as one of Japanese modern culture.

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Overseas customers are more likely to use cloak services rather than cafe space.
You cannot leave a giant baggage to the coin locker at the station so it is our popular service. You can leave your luggage and go out for sightseeing in town.
Even if you shop too much in Akihabara, you will be fine!

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– So if you come to Nagomi style cafe, you get to see the members.
There is kind of a similarity of ”Idols you can actually meet” which is the concept of AKB48, isn’t it?

Tokiwa: Yeah, that’s right! Because of the character of the locality, people tend to think that we are an idol group or maids. But actually, we are not both of them.
There are some people who actually like our music and support us.

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Overflowing Infinite Creativity from Kimono Sleeves.

Although they are attired in traditional Japanese clothes, they are always seeking a new thing.
Their unconventional creations are full of passion and ingenuity.
I felt great “girls’ power” as a driving force behind the production of their activities.
Nagomi Chaya Musume is just like fairly blooming flowers which give us cheerfulness
in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.
I would like to continue to follow their activities from now on.

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Related Links

Nagomi Style cafe
Adress: Sakai Suehiro Building B1F, 6-14-2 Soto Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Access: 7 minutes walk from JR Akihabara Station / 10 minutes walk from Ueno station / 7 minutes walk from Okachimachi Station / 0 minute walk from Ginza Line Suehiro Machi Station

Nagomi Style cafe Official site: http://nagomi-cafe.com/
Nagomi Style cafe Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/nagomistylecafe
Nagomi Style cafe Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nagomicafe/

Nagomi Chaya Musume Official site: https://www.nagomi-chaya-musume.com/
Nagomi Chaya Musume Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/753chayamusume
Nagomi Chaya Musume Official Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTOZoQ0q6iZ4sCl8Cn23fNg

Rogetuakan Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/rougets_kan

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Author
Rabi Cosuzu
Rabi Cosuzu

Writer and tour guide in Tokyo. Former cosplayer, maid in Akihabara. An enthusiast in Japanese pop culture. I used to live in the States since I was young so I speak English and Japanese.

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