Are you, people, enjoying the summer? I bet that most of you do, but if for whatever reason you are still failing to enjoy it, please start right now! The Hokkaido summer is relatively short so my friendly advice is not to waste even a second more: grab your hat and sun glasses and just go out. If you have no destination in mind, why don’t you follow my suggestion and pay a visit to the marvelous coffee shop “Chico café” in the nearby Ebetsu town, which I will present below?

“Chico café” is one of the most impressive coffee shops I have been recently so I am very excited to spread the word about it. The café’s design has been inspired by the Greek island Mykonos, so its fresh, brilliant white and sea blue facade grabs your attention immediately. For me it was love at first sight.

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While in the summer the Mediterranean Sea (Aegean Sea to be more precise) blue color brings the fresh and romantic atmosphere of a seaside pavement cafe, in the winter, the shop’s white walls merge beautifully into the surrounding deep and fluffy Hokkaido snow. To say it in a slightly more poetical language: the design of “Chico café” marries the iterranean Sea blue and the Hokkaido snow white.

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The cafe has plenty of sunlight shining through the glass doors which open into a nice “paved street” garden with tables. Just imagine yourself sitting at one of these outside tables in the dappled shade surrounded by greenery, feeling the gentle whiff of the breeze and the warmth of the sunshine peaking through the wood pergola above, enjoying your cup of coffee… or maybe a pink lemonade? Yeah, definitely the homemade pink lemonade sounds exotic and inviting (it seems that the color comes from pomegranate). The menu also includes specially selected coffee blends, pita sandwiches, and parfaits. Another charming touch in this awesome sidewalk cafe (sidewalk cafes are rare in Japan, but very common in Europe) are the few silhouettes of cats graciously strolling through the “seaside” pavement or sneaking around the trim flower pots.

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One more interesting fact is that actually “Chico cafe” is made from an upcycled cargo container, a beautiful example of the Cargotecture that recently has become very popular worldwide. Shipping containers made of steel or aluminum and designed to withstand harsh environments are resistant to forces like hurricanes and earthquakes and are naturally suited for post-disaster housing. However, recently the imagination of designers and architects have been transforming cargo containers into various exciting projects all around the world: houses, cottages, markets, restaurants, bars, offices, hotels, schools, and I must say that many of them are quite luxurious and beautiful. Just a few examples are the Container city and BoxPark mall in London, Mill junction silos in Johannesburg, Starbucks store in Seattle, “hive-inn” conceptual hotel structure. Shipping containers have been used as market and storage places in many of the former USSR countries too, however with hardly any designer involvement, I may guess.Cargotecture has been gaining popularity in the last several years as fast, inexpensive, eco-friendly and sustainable way of building.

 

“Chico café” is a wonderful example of the Cargotecture movement, where enthusiasm, artistic heart, creative ideas, vivid imagination and attention to detail of two beautiful sisters (the owners) has turned a simple shipping container into a splendid Mediterranean sidewalk cafe.

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The place is still not widely known as it is relatively new (it opened only in December, 2014), but I am absolutely positive that due to its unique and elegant romantic style “Chico café” will become a popular spot for the café lovers very soon. The shop has its own parking lot, but even if you are not a proud owner of a vehicle you can easily reach the place by the JR trains departing from Sapporo station. Take the local trains or the semi-rapid Ishikari Liners bound for Ebetsu or Ishikari (Hakodate main line) and get off just one stop before Ebetsu at Takasago station. After you exit through the South exit a short 3 minute walk will take you to the “Chico café” (same block as Ebetsu Suzuran hospital, MaxValu store, Ebetsu High School). In total it will take you only half an hour to reach the place starting from Sapporo station.

 

Work or whatever duty you have will never finish; sadly the same cannot be said for the summer, so why don’t you just go out for a couple of hours and have some summer fun right now!

 

Chico cafe

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chicocafe011

Instagram: CHICO_CAFE

Address: Ebetsu city, Kamiebetsu 442-22

Tel: 070-5068-7783

Working hours: 11:00~19:00

Closed on Mondays

 

チコカフェでの地中海風のロマンス

皆さん、夏を楽しんでいますか? 多くの人はそうだと思いますが、まだの人は今すぐに夏を楽しみましょう。北海道の夏は短いので、ぐずぐずしている暇がないですよ。日よけ帽をかぶり、サングラスをかけて、出掛けましょう。

行きたい場所が頭に浮かばない方は、札幌の隣、江別市にある「チコカフェ」へ行ってみたらいかがでしょうか?最近訪ねたコーヒーショップの中で、チコカフェは一番感動しましたので、皆さんに紹介します。

 

カフェは、ギリシャのミコノス島をイメージしたデザインで、建物の外見の輝く白と海の青の色合いが遠くから注意を引き付けます。私は一目ぼれしました。夏には、地中海(エーゲ海)の青色が涼しいロマンチックな雰囲気を醸し出します。冬には、カフェの白色と周囲の深いふわふわの雪の色が溶け合います。それはまるで地中海の青と北海道の雪の白が結婚したかのように詩的な景色です。

 

カフェの日当たりは良くて、複数のガラスドアを通って石畳の道をイメージした外のガーデンへ出られます。緑に囲まれているまだらな影を落とす木製のパーゴラの下にあるガーデンテーブルに座って、顔にそよ風と優しい日差しを感じ、カップ一杯のコーヒーを飲んでみていかがでしょうか?メニューには厳選のコーヒーブレンド、ピタパンのサンドイッチ、パフェなどがあります。ピンクレモネードが特に美味しそうでした。ピンクレモネードは手作りだろうしピンク色は、ザクロを使っているんだろうか? 想像するだけでも楽しくなります。また、日本ではあまり見かけないオープンカフェには海岸?を歩いていたり、フラワーポットの回りを忍び足で歩く猫のシルエットがあちこちに見掛けられて、とてもチャーミングです。

 

もう一つ興味深いのは、チコカフェはなんとアップサイクルされた運送用コンテナーでできたカフェです。最近世界中で流行っているCargotecture(カーゴ/運送用コンテナーとアーキテクチャーの組み合わせでできた言葉)の素敵な実例です。Cargotectureは早くて、手頃の値段でできる、環境に優しい、持続可能な建設のやり方ですので、過去数年の間に世界中の様々な建築者とデザイナーのプロジェクトにコンテナーが活用されました:住宅、小屋、別荘、店、レストラン、バー、カフェ、ホテル、オフィスなど。興味がある人は次のプロジェクトを検索してみて:ロンドンコンテナーシティとBoxParkモールヨハネスブルクのMill junction silos、スターバックスのシアトル店など。

 

チコカフェのオーナーの美人姉妹は熱心、芸術的な心、創造的なアイディア、色鮮やかな想像力、細部への注意を結び付けた上、ただの運送用コンテナーを唯一で立派な地中海のオープンカフェに一変させることが出来たのです。つい最近できた店なので(2014年の12月)まだ広く知られていませんが、独特で優雅、ロマンチックなスタイルのオープンカフェで急速にカフェ巡りが好きな人の間で人気が出ることは確実だと思います。駐車場はあるし、JRの高砂駅から歩いて3分で着けるし、行きやすいカフェです。札幌駅から高砂駅まで函館本線の普通列車あるいはいしかりライナーを使ったら、全体で30分以内にチコカフェに至ります。仕事には終わりがありませんが、夏の終わりはちゃんと来るので、2〜3時間でも出かけて夏を楽しんでみたらいかがでしょうか?

 

チコカフェ

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chicocafe011
Instagram: CHICO_CAFE

住所:067-0064 江別市上江別442-22

Tel:070-5068-7783

営業時間:11:00~19:00

定休日:月曜日