I seem to be going to a lot of lodge / chalet type cafes lately. It is the draw of the natural wood, high ceilings, charm and atmosphere of these type of atypical architecture.
Cafe Terrace Lodgi is in “urakawa”, the term used by locals for off the beaten paths of Kawagoe. It is not in or near the famous Kawagoe area and doesn’t target the fleeting tourist. This is more of a cafe for locals and/or tourists who come to Kawagoe for more than the gourmet, Edo period and famous religious establishments. It is popular among cyclists and they have a bike stand for their convenience.
Apart from cyclists, the cafe is suited to couples, families, groups of friends or a solo diner looking for a bit of chill out time. They have several magazines patrons can borrow to read. Unfortunately, one thing that is lacking in this cafe is that it is not wheelchair friendly. There are steps up to the entrance and down to the toilet.
Children are welcome at this cafe. They don’t have a children’s menu as far as I know, but they have a selection of light meals that would suit children. There are a few trinkets and ornaments in the cafe that would entertain children, including a Totoro in the skylight of the high beam ceiling. The waitress joked he is the guardian of the cafe, looking over the customers, staff and the building.
One thing that really struck me about this cafe is how clean it is. I have a habit of looking at lampshades to see if there is a film of dust; it is a telltale sign of just how clean (or dirty) a restaurant is. The lampshades and ceiling beams, tables ,chairs and flooring in the restaurant are impeccably clean. The toilet itself was clean, but there were some cobwebs in there. But other than not a cobweb in sight.
You can sit indoors and out. The outdoors section is a terrace with plastic garden furniture. They have sun umbrellas for hot days. Please note if you are with children, smokers can use these tables too. There are ashtrays on the tables and the communal ashtray is also on the deck.
Indoors there are wooden tables and benches which are cushioned on the seat part. You can also opt to sit at the counter with its beautiful hand carved stools. Tables sit four people comfortably, but a family of six with small kids could squeeze in too!
You can just order a drink or you can order a set or individual dishes. The menu is quite extensive for a cafe. They have their regular set menu printed up in English too. They don’t have their specials printed in English, but one of the staff seems to speak a bit of English. All the staff are helpful and friendly (yet professional) and they can help you with any inquiries.
The daily lunch, as the name implies, changes daily! It is very good value with a main, soup, a side and drink. They have two main selections, plus a ladies lunch. I got the latter and it was one of the best value lunches I’ve had in a long time. 830 yen for a mini gratin, toast, salad, fruits and a coffee. It was surprisingly filling and delicious to boot. If I’m nitpicking – there was a little too much dressing on the salad and it was very tangy, but everything else was great.
You can get delicious knickerbocker glories here. And they have other desserts too. They have a cake set for 780 yen with a choice of six to eight desserts (depending on the day) with hot or cold tea or coffee.
Cafe Terrace Lodgi Information
Cafe Terrace Lodgi is listed on Google Maps as Lodge Cafe Terrace. I don’t know if the owners submitted this as the English version of the name, but in Japanese it is Cafe Terrace Lodgi.
Hours: 10.30 am to 10 pm (last order 9 pm) from Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Mondays.
Cost: Budget for about 1,000 yen
Address: 2 Chome-18-９ Nodamachi, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama-ken 350-1115
The cafe is located close to Chisaina Tabi Kawagoe hot spring and Kawagoe Water Park. The nearest train stations are Kawagoeshi and Kawagoe both on the Tobu Tojo Line and the latter is also on a JR line. Both are about a 17 minute walk from the west exits: the opposite station exits to the tourist area.
By car: it is on route 160 relatively close to the Kawagoe Interchange of the Kan-etsu expressway. Parking available for about 6 cars.
No Official Website, information on Tabelog (Japanese language only).