When I first laid my eyes on Canal Cafe from a passing train in summer, I was impressed by one thing only – an expansive waterfront patio set for al fresco dining – somewhat of a luxury in Tokyo. I made a mental note and a further research showed that not only is it a lovely place for meal outdoors, but it actually has a beautiful view in spring, when all the cherry trees lined up along the canal come to full bloom! Cafe actually is part of Tokyo Suijyo Club, the capital’s oldest boat house which has been around since 1918. There is an indoor restaurant with expansive, more formal menu featuring Italian fare (including fresh Neapolitan pizza roasted in the wood-burning oven). A spacious wooden deck set in a cafe style, however, seemed to attract more diners. You order one of the set meals or dessert at a counter, take a seat and when the buzzer goes off, pick up your food. I opted for seafood spaghetti and sakura pudding, both of which were surprisingly tasty. Although, the view of the blooming sakura is undeniably the biggest charm of this place and makes it a great spot for cherry blossom viewing in spring. I found it to be a perfect alternative to traditional hanami in the park on the ground. You can also rent one of the colorful boats (just like at a Chidorigafuchi boathouse 20-minute walk away, sans a 2-hour wait).
Details: 〒162-0825 Tokyo, 新宿区Kagurazaka, 1−9; Mon-Sun 11:30 am till 11:00 pm.
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