Japan – Dining alone without dining alone

Photos and article by CNN

(CNN) — Talk about creative coping mechanisms for being alone —
To save its lone customers from the awkward perils of solo dining, the Moomins House 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.

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Moomins are brought to each table so that patrons — solo or in groups — can have a turn sitting with them.

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Moomintroll (L) and his girlfriend the Snork Maiden hope for a double date.

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Weekday mornings are the quietest time, while weekends are packed all day long.

While there are three Moomin Cafe locations in Japan, the Tokyo Dome cafe is popular with Dome concert goers.

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Moomin House Cafe features bread made from Finnish rye and food in the shape of Moomin characters, such as Hattifattener cookies (pictured).

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This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Moomins creator, Tove Jansson, who was born in 1914 and died in 2001.

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