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Queen of Pop (Decor): Babbi Karuizawa

The other day we went on a weekend trip to Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. It’s a summer resort destination known not only for its cool climate but also for a large (by Japanese standards) outlet mall.

The Karuizawa branch of Babbi. Mirrors make the cafe feel more spacious.

The Karuizawa branch of Babbi. Mirrors make the cafe feel more spacious.

Cute, clear tea cup handles.

Cute, clear tea cup handles.

We had tea at Babbi Karuizawa; Babbi is the Italian confectionery brand whose shops’ bright red-and-white decor stand out in department stores in Japan. The Karuizawa branch is spacious and I very much enjoyed the pop style.

Bar stool at far right.

Bar stool at far right.

The red plastic chairs looked a little bit tacky up close, but it was within context and weren’t uncomfortable to sit on. The bar stools had an interesting shape, like an inverted goblet. A multitude of sphere-shaped, acrylic pendant lamps complete the look.

There was a friendly, pleasant server who asked that we fill out a customer satisfaction questionnaire, and gave us each a mini chocolate wafer bar in return (Yey!). I’m a sucker for all kinds of chocolate and thought of asking for a bag of them in exchange for my writing an essay about the store! Unfortunately, I didn’t have the courage to proposition, but I’m writing this one anyway because I think the place is worth a visit when you happen to be at the Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza. The shop has a Karuizawa-only menu (meaning that the lineup is not available at other Babbi stores in Japan) so be sure to check it out.

For this server it's service with a smile.

For this server it's service with a smile.

External Link

Babbi in Japan – store list

Books to Consider

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  1. krissw /

    nice! were they playing italian pop tunes? 😉 any luck figuring out who did the interior design for this shop?

    • beverlyclaire /

      If I remember correctly they were playing American pop/rock music 🙂 No, I still couldn’t put a name on the interior designer–maybe someone in-house from abroad? It’s a fairly new shop so I guess if I crawl through Shoten Kenchiku’s site I might just chance upon it.


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