It’s Both Playful and Chill at This Japanese Café-Slash-Sauna

Come for the cool interiors, stay for the great Japanese eats.

Ayo Ayo Cafe

44 Emilio Osmeña Street, Guadalupe, Cebu City
Contact: 0998-224-0502
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ayoayocafe 
Open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Ayo Ayo Cafe
PHOTO BY Instagram/ayoayocafe, Facebook/AYO AYO Cafe & Sauna ILLUSTRATION Warren Espejo

(SPOT.ph) It's been a long time since most of us have travelled internationally, and you're absolutely not alone if you've been missing Japan in particular. After all, the Land of the Rising Sun is famous for many things—among them their cool cafés, relaxing saunas, and of course, truly amazing food. But if you're in Cebu, you can at the very least head to one cool spot that merges all three elements: Check out Ayo Ayo Cafe in Guadalupe!

Ayo Ayo Cafe
Say hello to Ayo Ayo Cafe in Guadalupe, Cebu.
PHOTO BY Facebook/AYO AYO Cafe & Sauna
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Owner Tomohiko Terada shares that he came to Cebu as an English student while doing online work, but had difficulty looking for a place "to stay, to chill, to work, and to eat what I want". This led to the birth of Ayo Ayo Cafe. "Having experienced good vibes in shared living accommodation in Tokyo for couple of years helping my friend to operate a hostel, I was convinced enough that I can established same place on my own in Cebu," Terada explains in an exchange with SPOT.ph.

Ayo Ayo Cafe
Check out its playful but chill interiors! 
PHOTO BY Instagram/ayoayocafe
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The café greets you with its one-of-a-kind vibe. On one hand, it's fun and quirky with its pops of yellow, teal, and blue, plus its eye-catching zigzag pattern on the ceiling. At the same time, it's got zen elements to it too, thanks to its wooden fixtures and greenery. These facets make Ayo Ayo Cafe conducive to hanging out in just about any time of day, and you'll be taking photos of every corner, too.

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Ayo Ayo Cafe
Every corner is IG-worthy!
PHOTO BY Instagram/ayoayocafe

You can fill up on modern Japanese eats (mostly of the yoshoku genre) here, like the Omurice (P200) and Japanese Croquette (P200). They've also got Japanese-style burgers, like the Hambagu Steak Burger (P250) with minced-pork patties and tonkatsu sauce, and the Karaage (P200) with deep-fried chicken patty marinated in ginger, sake, and mirin. It's definitely worth saving room for their big plates that come with a mini salad, miso soup, and egg rolls; options include the Tonkatsu Curry (P300) and Chicken Teriyaki (P200).

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Ayo Ayo Cafe
They ingeniously turn chicken karaage into a burger with Japanese flavors!
PHOTO BY Facebook/AYO AYO Cafe & Sauna
Ayo Ayo Cafe
Fill up with this hearty plate of Tonkatsu Curry.
PHOTO BY Facebook/AYO AYO Cafe & Sauna

Ayo Ayo Cafe is also known for its sauna facility, which they added in light of the pandemic. "Sauna is a very popular bath culture in Japan. We love saunas, because it has numerous benefits, like releasing toxins through sweat and [and being] good for mental health," says Terada. "I really wanted to share our bathe culture to Filipinos." What sets Ayo Ayo Cafe's sauna area from others in Cebu is its cold dipping-pool, where you're meant to cool down after sweating it out. Co-owner and partner Alieth Bontuyan shares that the cold dip is important in that it closes open pores and improves blood circulation, which lets you experience the natural post-sauna high that the Japanese dub totonou.

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Ayo Ayo Cafe
Let the steam melt your worries away at their sauna area.
PHOTO BY Facebook/AYO AYO Cafe & Sauna
Ayo Ayo Cafe
You can then cool off post-sauna at their cold dipping pool.
PHOTO BY Facebook/AYO AYO Cafe & Sauna

Ayo Ayo Cafe is at 44 Emilio Osmeña Street, Guadalupe, Cebu City. For more information, check out Ayo Ayo Cafe & Sauna's Facebook page.

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