Opened on 3 April, Shuminova is a new kind of drinking and eating establishment. It’s named is derived from the Japanese word shumi which means hobby, and the nova refers to the explosion of nostalgia for middle-aged men contained within.
Among the guitars, laptops and game consoles are the main attraction of Shuminova: Tamiya Mini 4WD’s. You can enjoy some tasty food and drink while tinkering with your own customizable car utilizing advice from the owner, a Mini 4WD expert.
For those unfamiliar with Mini 4WD cars, they’re model kits that run on battery power to drive along a guided track with the help of wheels connected to the front bumper. Although you can find them all over the world, they were the toy of choice for Japanese boys who are now entering their 30s.
■ The Staff Know Their Mini 4WD!
When our reporter visited Shuminova for an interview, the staff were still preparing for the grand opening. Our man arrived unannounced yet was still treated like a king by the two-person staff.
They also had a deep knowledge of Mini 4WD. Most men have lost touch with the hobby as they got older, but in Shuminova you can learn all about the current state of the Mini 4WD art.
The room offers bar seats and couch seats complete with old-school video games on a big screen TV. An NES and SNES system was lying out on the coffee table. The SNES one had a Momotaro Dentetsu cartridge locked and loaded. This game is a long running series of transportation themed board games played through video games.
Although hugely popular in Japan, Momotetsu might not be your bag, so everyone is encouraged to bring in your favorite game to play.
■ Mini 4WD Track!
Only brought out on race days, Shuminova has a full Mini 4WD race track running along the floor. Racers who come on these days can compete and tweak their cars while knocking back a few.
Race days appear to be Monday and Thursday of each week, but you can keep track of when they are on the Shuminova website (listed below).
■ Good Food!
Being a café/bar you’d expect a wide range of beverages, but the food menu proved to be extensive as well. The special “Egg over Rice” caught our reporter’s eye but he ultimately settled on the “Chili Sauce Teriyaki Chicken” and definitely didn’t regret it.
The dish was of a surprisingly high quality. Crispy on the outside yet tender in the middle, it also had a simple spicy sweetness that goes straight to the heart. Mixing in some lettuce made it perfect.
■ Rare Rare Cheesecake!
To accompany their wide drink and food menu is a range of attractive desserts. Among the Cheese Scole and Dark Chocolate Cake was a rare sight; the Rare Rare Cheesecake.
Rare cheesecake is the Japanese term for an unbaked cheesecake. The second “rare” refers to only a limited number available per month. Hungry sweets fans can see when new shipments of Rare Rare Cheesecake arrive by following Shuminova on Twitter.
■ It’s an Official Tamiya Mini 4WD Station!
Shuminova doesn’t just have Mini 4WD advice, cars, and tracks; they are a licensed Tamiya Mini 4WD part dealer as well! No need to hike over to a hobby shop to take the expert advice of Shuminova’s owner you can just buy it there.
And as far as model car part shops go, this one has to be the coziest. It’s kind of like the rec-room one might have played Mini 4WD cars in as a kid, except with beer and cheesecake! What more could you want!?
5-9-6 Artemis 1F Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo (Near Exit C7, Shinjuku San-Chome Station)
Hours: 5:00pm – 11:00 pm
Equipped with Wireless LAN and Power Sources available and they lend Mini 4WD cars and tools.
Webiste: Shuminova (Japanese)
Original Article: GO
[ Read in Japanese ]