English information for カフェN36° Café N36°
Café N36° (カフェN36°) is a cafe with a dog run in Okegawa City, Saitama Prefecture. But rather than being ‘a cafe with a dog run’, it feels more like a dog run with a cafe! The cafe was doing a roaring trade today, despite being between meal times. However, it was the dog run that was teeming with people. I was quite taken aback by how many people – and dogs – that were there!
Google Maps often suggests cafes that I “might be interested” in. They are hit and miss. When it suggested this café I had bookmarked it, because it must have appealed to me. However, not sufficiently it would seem as I’d forgotten all about it. But today, when I did a search for nearby (we were at the farm, AGAIN!) cafes with outdoor seating, it brought it up again. It was love at second sight! A quick search on Japanese blogs – my usual source of information for local recommendations – stamped Google’s suggestion and off we went.
For the record, Google Maps did bring up a few other suggestions. However, the ones it listed first only had a small two people table outside or an area that looked more like a smoker’s ashtray. Café N36° カフェN36° was the only one with a decent sized outdoors. Moreover, the dog run was a huge appeal to us. We can’t own a dog even though all six of us love them, because my middle daughter is allergic to dogs. We love going to cafes with dog runs because the kids can usually interact with at least one dog.
Café N36° カフェN36°
As per above, you don’t have to have a dog to eat at Café N36° カフェN36°. Furthermore, if you are not great with dogs, there is a seating area were dogs are not allowed. However, that area is indoors. Reversely, if you don’t want to eat but want to use the dog run, that is possible too…
The dog run is quite a large one. Probably around the same size, maybe a tiny bit bigger than Fukurou no Mori. There are two sections. They have a self service shampoo room too. Moreover, there’s a dog pool! But it is seasonal. Judging by reviews I have since read it would seem it is very popular and booking in advance is recommended.
Costs start from basic entry to the dog run of 500 yen. On weekdays (except Wednesday) it is open from 10 am to 6 pm with last entry at 5 pm. On weekends it opens from 10 am to 8 pm with last entry at 7 pm. The phone number for queries and reservations is 048-729-1125.
We arrived around 2.30 pm, which is when lunch finishes. You can get a light meal at anytime of the day. But the very kind lady said that if we liked we could order a lunch set. So that is what we did. Two of them. It was just half the family – my 8 year old, 6 year old and I. The two lunch sets were just the right amount for the three of us. The basic set comes with a salad. We paid extra for drinks and a dessert. It was reasonable, but not cheap.
I got a really good vibe from the staff . And judging by the excellent reviews on Google Maps I’m not the only one. Its probably a funny thing to say, but the customers were also good people. I personally think you can tell a lot about a cafe from its customers. Anyone else with me on that!? There’s a very amicable feel about the place.
I realized after the fact that you are probably meant to wait to be seated. But we just took a table and it wasn’t a problem. There are five tables with chairs in the courtyard of the main entrance. However, one of them is a standing table. And I think another is a smoker’s table. There is also another table with chairs on a patio on the east side of the cafe. We got the best seat in the house I think!
There are two separate inside areas. One with a beautiful wood stove. This is where the kitchen is and the cash register. There are several seats in this area and dogs are allowed. The other seating area, is completely separate. You have to go out of the reception area and up on to the veranda (where we sat) and in a separate door. There are a few tables and chairs and as far as I know dogs are not allowed in that area.
The style is somewhat Western Saloon meets retro with a hint of kitsch! I’m thinking of the room on the east with retro furnishing when I suggest a hint of kitsch! The rest is more “country” and outdoor living style. Four of the outdoor tables have a roof overhead, so they can be used even on a rainy day.
The menu isn’t that extensive. For example, the lunch menu is just three fixed dishes – one pasta, one rice and a pork dish. Curry seems to be available daily too. Dinner is similar with just three main choices. However, the specialty of the cafe is the French Brulee Toast. It was the nicest French Toast I’ve ever tasted, but I am no expert. Moreover, the knife sliced through it with grace. It was like cutting through air! And it was really fluffy inside. My 8 year old, who can be quite a harsh critic with food (possibly a super taster like her Daddy!) was raving about it. Said its the best toast she ever had. (Insert crying with laughter emoji here!)
They also have several light dishes, mainly dessert type, to choose from. Currently they have a take out menu with the three dishes for lunch and dinner, plus a couple of extra things such as curry and sandwiches. They have the usual drinks choice – a couple of juices, a couple of fizzy drinks and a few hot drinks to chose from.
If I had to nitpick! …One downside for people like us (who love dogs, but can’t own one) is that the dog run is closed off to non dog owners. In the likes of Bokuranote and Fukurou no Mori, if the dog owners invite you into interact with the dogs (and it happens often) its no problem to go in. But at Café N36° there is little chance of being invited in due to the set up. Plus, I did ask the staff about it, I always check first. And unfortunately you can’t go in unless you’ve paid to bring your own dog in. But we could admire the dogs from afar. And a couple of dog owners came up to us with their dogs. I guess they overheard me asking the staff and / or heard my six year old practically crying that she couldn’t pet a dog!
I was intrigued by some of the information at the site today. And by a couple of buildings closed off to customers. It would seem that the owners are a bit of a Jack and Jill of all trades. The cafe is under the Hodaka Style umbrella. Hodaka Style are architects, landscapers, log cabin builders. But they also grow blueberries and keep bees from what I can tell. There is probably more! I didn’t have time to read all the information on the posters on the wall or to more than skim the official website.
Cafe N36° Information
|カフェN36° Cafe N36 Okegawa|
|Address:||カフェN36° 572-1 Sakada, Okegawa, Saitama 363-0008|
|Hours:||The cafe is open from 11 am to 6 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. And until 8.30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. |
Both the cafe and the dog run are closed on Wednesdays.
|Cost:||roughly 1200 yen for a basic lunch, about 2000 yen with drink and dessert.|
In the area
- Okegawa Children’s Park is a two minute drive or about a 10 minute walk from the cafe
- Kamihira Park (Ageo City) is approximately 8 minutes away by car
- The excellent fun-for-all-ages Spocha (Ageo City) is a 10 minute drive
- Seasonal blooms riverside in Okegawa is about a 12 minute drive from the cafe (early blooming Kawazuzakura end of February / early March, hydrangea in June)
- Shiroyama park is approximately a 14 minute drive
- Enomoto Farm (Ageo City) is about a 23 minute drive