Friday, May 9, 2014

The Cafe with a Cave

My friend and I went on our own adventure while our husbands were at work. I had read about Cafe Gold Hall which was described as a cafe that was connected to a cave and bonsai tree garden. I was intrigued, so off we went to eat lunch at the cafe with a cave!

We stepped into the cafe that was completely furnished with petrified wood. The tables were ancient tree stumps topped with glass, the stools were carved wood, and the walls were lined with amazing wood carvings. We were the only ones in the cafe at the time, and we gleefully explored the whole room snapping pictures with our phones until our food arrived. After we ate and paid for our meal, we were handed a map full of staircases and arrows to show which way to go through the rest of the building. We were guided to the first stairwell, and on our own we descended into the unknown.

Because most cafes have carved dragons and birds around their doorways. 

Taco rice and caramel latte. Yum!
We passed rooms filled with more wood carvings as we went down staircase after staircase. The walls turned into limestone, and sure enough we entered a cave with all of the stalagmites and stalactites that you would expect. There were even lit pools with dripping water. The cafe used the cave as storage for their alcohol that was still fermenting. We did not stay in the dark for long, because after a few cave rooms the next part of this crazy restaurant was outside.

Scary habu sake!
We stepped outside into a beautiful terraced garden full of statues and waterfalls. Among all the blooming flowers were intricate statues, tiny coy ponds, or hidden shisa dogs. There were the statues one would expect in this part of the world: a coy fish, a smiling Buddha, and a small stone pagoda. The one exception was a giant Statue of Liberty replica that looked out into the ocean. It made me feel very welcome as an American, if not somewhat confused. 


After more rooms filled with wooden carvings (we couldn't help but wonder where they got all of these carvings, they looked expensive), we finally reached the roof where they kept the bonsai tree gardens. There were rows and rows of different species of bonsai that had all been meticulously pruned and wired into the correct shape. I have no idea how many hours it took to care for so many plants.

Cafe Gold Hall was amazing, and it was only around eight dollars to explore the gardens and cave. I am not sure how they collected so many interesting objects or built a cafe on such an interesting location, but I am glad they did. 

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