Tokyo: Ever thought it was awkward eating in a restaurant on your own? Try dining with a giant stuffed toy sitting in front of you.

Moomin bakery and cafe in Tokyo. Pic/moomin.com
Moomin bakery and cafe in Tokyo. Pic/moomin.com

A restaurant in Tokyo called The Moomin Cafe sits stuffed Moomin toys in front of diners to make them feel less uncomfortable. There are a selection of toys available to keep diners company at lunch. Some of the meals appear to be inspired by the fictional characters created by illustrator Tove Jansson (see box).

The cafe recently launched in New York but it is still not sure whether there are plans for a restaurant in the UK. Tove Jansson’s Moomin books have sold in millions, and have been translated into 44 languages. Jansson’s first Moomin book The Moomins and the Great Flood was published in 1945, and they have since sold millions of copies.