We have discussed Avatar Robot Cafe DAWN on Accessible Japan before, and the incredible work it is doing to promote a society where every member can participate. After a chance online exchange, I found out I was talking with one of the pilots of the cafe’s avatars – and she spoke English! It was not an opportunity to be missed. I asked, and Marianne graciously agreed to an interview.



Tell us a bit about yourself!

I am a mother of two children, living near Mr.Fuji, Japan.

Though I don’t have a disability certificate, I am living with pain and fatigue on the left side of my body which suddenly began in 2020. Up to now, my doctors have no clear answers or treatments for my conditions..

I used to love travelling and meeting new people. Before I got married, I went to the U.K. for 3 years, Johannesburg for 1 year, and short trips to Switzerland, Paris, Italy, China and Korea. Each and all the experiences were very exciting and travelling was something I thought I would keep doing throughout my life.

In 2019, my father was diagnosed with ALS. We felt hopeless as his doctor just coldly said `there is NOTHING we or you can do`. But somehow I thought she was wrong, So I kept searching and contacting people on the internet for whatever may be our hope. Then I came across the job entry ad of OriHime robot pilot. I applied with joy for my dad but he passed away Feb 2021 – 3 months before the cafe opened. I was in despair with no mental support from my partner or anyone who can understand the ALS related loss and very-very lonely. I was able to connect to a ray of hope when Ory Lab included me to become the OriHime pilot instead of my father.

Cafe tables

What is OriHime?

OriHime is an avatar robot. You can ‘be there’ by controlling it through your PCs or tablets wherever you are. You can see the view, hear, talk and move its neck and the arms with simple taps on the screen or even by eye tracking system if you have no physical freedom. OriHime was created by Ory Yoshifuji – a Japanese robot creator- in pursuit of eliminating negative loneliness. Mr. Ory felt very strong loneliness himself when he had to stay at home and in hospital for a few teenage years. Then he met Yuta Banda who had been paralysed and bedridden for over 20 years. They worked together to create the OriHime in the way it is now and the idea of Avatar Robot Cafe launch came up through their casual conversations.

Robot barrista

Tell us about the purpose of the cafe

There are many purposes but ones I personally would like to emphasise are;

  1. Creating jobs and opportunities for housebound people.
  2. Realising diverse communities.
  3. Experiencing and experimenting ‘beyond bedridden’ life.

What is your job?

I remotely work as an OriHime pilot from my home. Basically I chat with customers of the cafe through OriHime, whilst I try to add movements to the robot to match the words I say. 15 table top sized OriHime are usually placed in the cafe. Reserved customers can enjoy 1 hour close chat with one pilot who will explain the menu and take orders. Non-reserved customers are also always welcome and they can enjoy talking to OriHime pilots, for a flexible shorter time.

There is another type of avatar robot called OriHime-D (D stands for Diner) which is taller and can bring drinks to your tables, or guide you at the reception.

OriHime-D serving guests

This cafe is a permanent venue but OriHime is working in other places as well throughout Japan. A souvenir shop in Tokyo, a cake shop in Osaka, a burger shop in Yokohama, a library in Tsukuba, nursing homes, hospitals and many more. Depending on the projects, we gain wonderful chances of challenging different tasks, ‘going’ to different places and meeting many people.

Let people know how they can visit the cafe!

Avatar Robot Cafe DAWN ver.β is in Tokyo Japan.

About a 15-20 minutes ridewalk by wheelchairs from the closest stations.

Closest stations with elevators are;
Tokyo Metro, MitsukoshiMae Station
JR Kanda Station.

Shin Nihonbashi is another nearby station but has no elevators.

You can visit the cafe with/without reservation! The cafe is barrier free with a spacious rest room. All the tables’ heights would usually fit with wheelchairs.

Wheelchair height seating

At the entrance, you will see a big receptionist OriHime.

With a 1500 yen admission fee which includes one free drink, you can enter the robotic service area where you can enjoy the following experiences;
*Drink delivery by OriHime-D.
*Chat with OriHime pilots.
*Try yourself how to operate a table top size OriHime.
*Watch barista robot demonstration (Mon, Wed, Sat)

Our food menu varies from light meals like sandwiches to double wagyu hamburg steaks for a big meal or afternoon tea sets for desserts along with fair trade coffees, seasonal limited drinks, Japanese wines and more! So I hope you can enjoy one and only robot cafe experience, at any time of the day, any time of the year!

(Hot water for babies’ milk, vegan menus and minced foods are also available. Charging your medical electrical equipments is always welcome. Please feel free to ask for any inquiries.)



If you have a chance, be sure to visit Avatar Robot Cafe DAWN ver.β.  – you may just get to chat with Marianne yourself (see her name in Japanese and OriHime profile in the picture below)!

Find out more on the official website.

If you have any other questions, please leave them in the comments below.

Marianne's profile on a tablet



Sheila · February 28, 2024 at 2:11 am

I don’t speak Japanese but would like to go to the cafe. Is there any way this could work? I am a tour operator and would love to bring my small group of ladies to experience this and support the work you do.


Marianne · February 28, 2024 at 10:09 am

Hi Sheila! Thank you for your comment. Yes, it would work if you don’t mind that not every staff/pilots can speak good English. Non Japanese speakers are always welcome! : ) Many overseas tourists visit the cafe everyday! We have English menu aswell. Please contact the cafe ( https://dawn2021.orylab.com/en/#access ) with details – number of your group, food restrictions, allergies, and any other neccessary information you wish to consult. Hope this helps and please comment again if you need any more infos.

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Image of a phone displaying a person with a prosthetic leg hiking, with text promoting a community for travelers with disabilities on tabifolk.

Skip to content