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Today, I offer you an interview of Yuta, the young owner of Mickey House International Cafe in Tokyo. Come discover a young Japanese man who is charming and friendly, very open to foreign cultures.
Since August 2011, I work at Mickey House International Cafe in Takadanobaba –Tokyo. I work for Yuta. But given the athmosphere in this place I never really considered to be at work. This International Cafe is a very friendly place open to the world.
After giving you an interview of Kanta, Owner of Leafcup English Cafe, here is the interview of Yuta.
WHO ARE YOU YUTA
Could you introduce yourself briefly please?
My name is Yuta, I’m in my thirties and I am Japanese. I am originally fromTokyo.
YUTA & ENGLISH
How did you learn English?
Since High School I had foreigners friends. I was able to communicate in English very soon. More often I came to Mickey House International Cafe as a customer. I went there about 2 times a week.
Here the teachers became my friends. But I didn’t come here to speak in English, but more to discuss and exchange with those present. This is the only place like this where you can talk freely and make real friends.
So I came here for 3 years as a customer
YUTA & MICKEY HOUSE
Why you came to Mickey House as a customer?
Because there were not many other places like here in Tokyo. Mickey House has been here for over 30 years now and it’s renowned for its friendly atmosphere.
Why you didn’t go to other English Cafe in Tokyo such as Leafcup English Cafe ou Comm’In?
Because Mickey House Takadanobaba was close to my home. I’ve never been to try the other ones.
What do you like in Mickey House?
One thing: NO BORDER!!! Here anyone can communicate with everyone, no matter their age, origin, sex …
Why and how did you become the owner of Mickey House?
The previous owner told me one day “Why don’t you buy this cafe?”. This was timely because I was just thinking about opening this same concept. It was a great opportunity for me.
And then I had a lot of foreigner friends, so it allowed me to stay in a relaxed place that I knew and I loved.
Finally Mickey House International Cafe has a rich History and is well known (it is even mentioned in the Lonely Planet Japan) which is an advantage to attract new people.
So I became the owner of Mickey House International Cafe in April 2011.
What were you doing before you bought Mickey House?
I was a Freelance Web designer, and I am still doing it from time to time.
What matters most to you at Mickey House?
People who come here, they are really important to me.
How would you describe your customers? Why do they come to Mickey House?
They Japanese are, at the base, not very good with foreign languages. They look at foreigners as people from elsewhere. Here people come to study, for fun or to make new friends.
Usually, for the Japanese, this is a special time when they speak in a foreign language, but not here. Here they can break down all barriers and borders.
And then they come mainly to socialize.
Who are your customers exactly?
These are essentially Japanese, mostly men. They are people from all ages. Recently more and more students started coming here.
Girls usually do not come alone. They come in groups.
The vast majority of people coming here are very friendly, so everyone can enjoy.
Usually, people think Mickey House International Cafe is for people who are advanced in foreign languages, but this is not the case. Besides, many Japanese who are beginners come here to listen and try to practice their foreign languages.
Which languages you offer to your customers?
I propose Chat Table in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Korean, Chinese. The last 4 languages are available since October 2011.
How do you get your new customers?
I do not advertise. My customers come to us because they saw our website on Internet, but mainly by word of mouth.
Who work at Mickey House International Cafe?
They are Chat Host that I hired. They are as many boys as girls working at Mickey House. Typically, they are students or youth people who have a Working Holiday Visa Japan. They are all between 20 and 30 years old.
I hire people from friends who advise me or from my website. The contact at the interview is what matters most to me. I work a lot with feelings.
I pay them 1000 Yen per hour (12.35 USD), less 20% taxes. I take charge of their transportation fees with a maximum of 500 Yen (6.20 USD).
Who is the competition of Mickey House International Café?
Leafcup Tokyo is more a school than an English Cafe. So it’s totally different, especially at the level of the atmosphere.
The Speak Easy is a bar with no entry fee, but many foreigners go there and can, for some girls, have a disrespectful behaviour toward them.
Mickey House is friendly and relaxed. I make sure that people benefit up to the atmosphere.
How do you see the future of Mickey House International Cafe?
I want to keep a single place. I do not want to have many Mickey House. This place is special, it has a very rich past.
If I were to open another International Cafe, I would open a one with a totally different atmosphere.
For the last word, can you tell us what you propose at Mickey House?
I offer Chat Table in different languages and also International Parties, few times a year.
For foreigner there is no entry fee. For the Japanese, the normal price is 1900 Yen (23.4 USD) for all the evening and 1500 Yen (18 USD) for students. But I do propose some passes that reduce these prices.
I want to thank Youta very much for the time he gave me for this Interview. I advice you to go and have a look at Mickey House International Cafe in Takadanobaba – Tokyo
Find out Mickey House International Cafe in Takadanobaba – Tokyo on Google Maps