Yesterday we went to Time Walk, a cafe in Yokohama (near Hoshikawa Station) that has a selection of board games for you to borrow and play while enjoying a nice cup of coffee. It was our first time there, and we had a ton of fun! We played 枯山水 (“Stone Garden,” great), 百鬼夜行 (“Night Parade of a Hundred Demons,” meh), 緑の砂漠 (“Green Desert,” interesting premise but a bit hard to get into), and Forbidden Island, which we brought with us. It was a really good time, and we’re probably going to try and go there at least once a month.
The cafe itself is quite nice. It looks very much like a “normal” cafe, with nice decor, good coffee, and a relaxing atmosphere. Unfortunately, like every Japanese cafe in Kanto, the tables are quite narrow and close together, making it a tight fit when getting around to use the restroom and view the selection of games. We brought our own green felt gaming mat which we ended up using since the tables are standard varnished wood tables. This might be kind of a weird observation to make, but it’s very much a cafe first and foremost, as opposed to a place geared especially for gamers.
That said though, the atmosphere really was about the games. There is a great selection of games to choose from, and the owner of the cafe is very friendly and encouraging to customers, whether they are total noobs or battle-hardened veterans. When we went, every booth was filled with groups playing games, and the air was full of delighted game chatter. At first it was a bit hard to break the ice and ask other people to join us for a game of 4-player Forbidden Island, but the owner immediately recognized what we wanted without us explicitly asking for his help and he was only too happy to introduce us to another couple, who went along with good measure. I have a feeling that he’s often called on to “read the atmosphere” for this exact situation!
The cafe is open from 10 AM to 6 PM on weekends, and you pay ¥1,500 at the door to hang out for as long as you want. The entrance fee also includes one drink, and additional drinks are about ¥200 each. The coffee as I said was surprisingly good and comes in very beautiful tea cups, and you get the full cafe experience on top of the board games. They are also open on weekdays from 2-6PM with an ¥800 entrance fee.
I highly recommend it, and hope to be visiting again very soon!