Wouldn't you know it, there was one other Ghibli-themed Korean experience - also from almost exactly 3 years ago - that I somehow never shared on this blog, despite my prolific posting about cute cafés there.
Maybe at the time I decided that it wasn't that impressive and was too focused on posting about my many weekend trips around the country, I don't know; either way, here it is now, though I don't know if this café even exists anymore.
Shabby chic ahoy!
There were little toys placed all around the café, and spotting them in the nooks and crannies while enjoying coffee and tea was a big part of the charm.
... and also placed here and there were images that had obviously been printed and cut out by hand! It reminded me of being a teenager and doing this kind of thing with my room.
Most cafés in Korea have novels, comics, and photo books you can browse while sipping your brew.
Much like in Japan, the average person lives in a very small, cramped, and unwelcoming apartment where it's also not possible to invite people over because there is simply no space for anyone else, so café culture has exploded in popularity in both countries. It's a comfortable, spacious, warm and welcoming place to relax. That's also why you end up with cat and other animal cafés, too - while a lot of people have cats, a lot of people aren't allowed to have pets in their building or don't have time to care for them.
This Totoro painting (and Porco Rosso plane..!) was of course the centerpiece.
Otherwise, the place was pretty simple.
Man, I miss this: having enough to buy drinks at cafés.
Not only that, but to get two or three! Oh well.
This is a delicious, traditional type of cold summer tea called sujeonggwa -
it's cinnamony and sweet.
This, at least a few years ago, was the most ubiquitous Korean café menu item: essentially a huge slice of white bread or the entire cube-shaped loaf topped with tons of whipped cream and other sweet toppings such as honey, caramel, and chocolate sauce.
I know it's messy, but look at the cute Totoro dishes!
The images revealed themselves as we stuffed our faces
(and yes, I did make myself pretty sick eating all this bread).
But all in all it was delightfully decadent, quaint, and adorable.
Plus, to top it all off, we went from Pyeongchon to nearby Uiwang (these are suburbs just south of Seoul) to the favourite family-owned restaurant of my coworkers at the time to have hot pot bibimbap, hyemul pajeon or savoury seafood pancake, and makgeoli.
According to the date stamp on my photos, this was apparently the same day we met a few others there, and the owners brought us an order of tofu and kimchi for free.
Ahh, good times!