Today’s Lunch (Kyou no gohan in Japanese) Yururi Cafe is a trendy cafe beside Renkeiji in the tourist district of Kawagoe. Hereafter “Yururi Cafe” for short. During the Coronavirus outbreak they have take out and delivery options available until May 6th. From May 6th there is no delivery, but there you can still get take-out until an unspecified date, presumably until at least the end of the State of Emergency.
Its hard to believe just three months ago we were still living life normally or more poignantly that less than three months later we are living a very different life to the one we used to know. One that doesn’t include lunch dates or eating inside for that matter. But one of my last lunch dates before Covid was to this lovely (and healthy) cafe beside Renkeiji (Renkei Temple). It was the last day of January 2020. Life before Covid. That’s what it will be from now on – life categorized as before, during and after Covid.
The start of Covid in Japan
Actually, when us ladies-who-like-to-lunch (God be with the days!) visited this darling cafe at the end of January, Covid was already in our midst. We were already carrying hand sanitizer’s in our handbags and avoiding anyone who was coughing. We had already started to make changes, but nothing like what was to come a month later.
We still felt comfortable enough to be indoors, to eat indoors and to walk around freely. However, at that point we were already avoiding trains and buses, and crowded places. Japan already had 16 confirmed cases of Covid-19 by January 31st. And it was just after Chinese New Year when there were thousands of tourists from Wuhan in Japan. But it was the day that dozens of airlines cancelled flights to and from China.
So there we were in the quaint Today’s Lunch Yururi cafe beside Renkeiji. I had parked in a coin parking in a back lane far away from the tourist district and avoided walking through the tourist alleys. I arrived before their opening time of 10.30 am so I did pop into Renkeiji because it looked to be pretty empty. But I walked back out when I saw a group of tourists. We knew even then not to take chances.
When the cafe had set up and popped up the “we’re open” sign, I went back to the cafe to secure us a seat. We didn’t have a booking and I read online that its hard to get a seat after 11 am if you don’t have a booking. As first in line I got a choice of space along the counter. The tables were reserved.
The cafe is quite small, with only three tables and the rest counter space. One of the tables seats around six or seven. The others are for four. The counter area fits around 12. The counter area is at the front of the cafe and the tables are at the back with a nice view of a small garden. The back room is brighter with natural light. Every chair has a rug you can use to keep warm should you feel the need. There is a basket for you to put your handbag into and you can hang your coat from a hanger on the wall.
I have to admit I was skeptical before I went because the menu is mainly vegetables. But never have vegetables tasted so good! There is only two things on the lunch menu: a vegetable plate and a meat plate. The latter has a bite sized taste of all the main meats frequently used in Japan.
The vegetable plate has 18 different types of vegetables. Its a really colorful lunch served on a wooden bread board type “plate”. Both come with rice and miso soup. The vegetable plate is surprisingly delicious and well worth the 1500 yen charge. It is not vegetarian though as there is some meat on the plate too.
They also sell ice-cream. It is a gelato made from mushrooms. I tasted a bit of my friends, but I didn’t have one myself. It was very nice, and she loved it. You can get the lunch set with the gelato for dessert for 1800 yen. Or they have a set with the gelato and a drink for 850 yen.
We were very happy with our experience at Yururi Cafe. And pleasantly surprised by how good the food is. I am no super taster, but the food really is delicious. The staff are very friendly and courteous. And there is a relaxed atmosphere and amicable – country kitchen – ambiance.
An abbreviated version of this post available as a review on City-cost.com.
Today’s Lunch Yururi Cafe Information
There is no parking at the cafe and the large car park opposite the cafe is not a public car park. There are several coin parking lots within a seven minute walk of the cafe.
When things go back to normal, reservations recommended for this healthy dining experience in Kawagoe as the cafe is extremely popular. During Coronavirus they are offering take out and delivery (click for menu on official site) in Kawagoe on the day’s the cafe is open ⇊
|Today’s Lunch Yururi Cafe|
|Address:||32-1 Renjakucho, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-0066|
|Hours:||10.30 am to 5.30 pm Tuesday, Thursday to Sunday.|
Closed on Mondays and Wednesdays.
|Cost:||Upwards of 1,200 yen.|