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Café Tokyo: a trip in time

Café Tokio Norte is a lost jewellery in the santafesino microcentro. You enter and cross a portal to another dimension. Billiards, history. Nostalgia and coffee.


Café Tokio Norte is located in Rivadavia at 2900, in  one of the most moving areas  of the  city of Santa Fe . In front are Plaza España and the Civil Registry. Next door, a popular high school. The avenue, at that height, has a green wave traveled by hundreds of vehicles per minute. Any bar, in that context, would be a screaming. A crowd. However, just crossing the Tokyo Gate, you travel to another  era . One plunges into  a serene world, with the  smell of coffee   and a nostalgic air of other times.

Tokyo opened in May 1915. It holds with European aesthetics and a few always faithful parishioners. There are no more billiards players, as in other times, and their somewhat particular schedules (its owner closes at 19 hours) make it  a haven visited only by connoisseurs. 

Tables made of wood that no longer exists today, alpaca spoons, bronze teapots of different sizes next to each other, as collectible. Porcelain mugs and antique green table fans, two for each column. And the most striking thing:  five pool tables , covered with a cloth to prevent them from being damaged. Only one is always enabled in case anyone wants to play.It is not a bar chosen by youth, but, in it,  men  who are more than 80 years old today are again young and have been around 60  to play billiards or dominoes. 

 Japanese heritage 

The founders of Tokyo were two  Japanese : Kaijara and Kamachi, who later sold it to the Hirai brothers. Years later, relatives who were employees of those brothers decided to acquire it.  Today there is only Amelia, who several years ago is the only owner , administrator, girl and cashier of Café. Friendly, friendly, serene and very helpful are some of the features that stand out at a glance of this woman of about 80 years.

Amelia Higa has no children. His nephews have their lives formed, with other occupations. Today she does everything alone: from accounts to  shopping , cleanliness and maintenance of the place. That's why,  the day she can't take care of him anymore, the Tokyo cafe will unfortunately close its doors. 

With more than a century, since it was once  a cinema , the building is declared Cultural Heritage of the city. But, unfortunately, this does not imply financial aid. And keeping it is getting harder. However, the bar resists, stoic, to the passage of time.

The  40s and 50s  were the golden age of  bowling . In those years  there was a lot of billiards . It was a youthful entertainment for the students of the school and everyone who attended that always central area of Santa Fe. Each of the furniture and objects that are located between the damero floor and the unreachable ceiling of the living room are  relics . On three wooden shelves rest the jars where, decades ago, they served a forgotten brew: the Mazagrán, which carried cold coffee with ice, water, lemon and  Cubana Sello Verde . Above the walls, there are mirrors that seem to keep   decades of nostalgia  . Memories of other times that, at Café Tokio, come to life.

 We suggest you continue reading the following notes: 

cafe tortoniAn emblematic: Café Tortoni
Gente-de-baresPeople from bars

Publication Date: 11/06/2020

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