Talk about creative coping mechanisms for being alone - from the blogger who photographs selfies with his imaginary girlfriend to the company that takes your stuffed animals on vacation without you, Japan appears to be cornering the market on accommodating solo travelers.
You can now add the "anti-loneliness" Moomin House Cafe to the menagerie of "wait, what?" strokes of Japanese brilliance.
We first wrote about the Moomin House Cafe in 2012, but the cafe went viral a few weeks ago and has since been besieged with customers wanting a taste of its "anti-loneliness" magic. CNN's Yuki Arawaka paid a visit following the cafe's new surge in popularity.
To save its lone customers from the awkward perils of solo dining, the cafe kindly seats diners with stuffed animal companions called Moomins, a family of white hippo-like characters created by Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson.
Read - Japan's 'anti-loneliness' cafe goes viral
That's me in the corner, that's me in the spotlight eating all alone
How to eat alone at the bar
Grazing the bar
Dining solo on the road
That hippo looks hungry. Really, really hungry...
What about the hippo with the top hat in the background? Do you have to order a super special deluxe meal to get the fancy schmancy top hat one?
I'm not THAT hungry for companionship....
How about if we learn how to interact with strangers and say hello to other people in the cafe?
Hey, that's hippie talk!
Can you take one home with you and make sweet love to it?
If anti-loneliness is that big a problem in Japan, then maybe more gov't-funded shrinks are in order. If you can accept yourself as you are, you will never be lonely.
Nice meeting you, but your personal ad said you were thin.
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