As I walked down a side street leading off of the 商店街(shopping street) in Ooyama, I almost didn’t notice the small doorway leading up to the cafe, but once I took a look inside, it was an entirely new world.
Started by TEAM missionary Owen Ames in 2009, SonRise Cafe is a charming little cafe in Ooyama, Tokyo.
Before starting the cafe as a mission field, Mr. Ames worked as a lawyer in Australia for 11 years, employed by both a private company and the government. After being called into the mission field, he moved with his family from Australia to Takamatsu for a year before moving to Kobe to study Japanese and to work with the church there. Three years later, he moved to Tokyo to build the cafe.
The idea of starting a cafe as a mission field was inspired by the numerous casual conversations with Japanese people that Mr. and Mrs. Ames were able to have when they were at Starbucks studying Japanese. They noticed that at Starbucks, people would start up conversations on their own so it was a very productive and non-threatening environment for missionary work. Entering a church for the first time is intimidating for most Japanese people, so starting a cafe was a unique and effective way to build a bridge between the community and the church.
With a warm and inviting interior and affordable prices, SonRise Cafe is a great place to go for a casual meal or even just to relax and socialize with friends. I definitely recommend the delicious herb chicken and cheddar cheese panini (550 yen) that is a customer favorite at the cafe.
Access: 3 minute walk from Ooyama Station South Exit (3 stops from Ikebukuro)
Open: 12:00 ~ 18:00 closed Thursday and Sunday
Child Friendly: Yes
Phone: 050-3558 5915