When you visit Ichinomiya city where I live, I recommend you go to a coffeehouse or a café in the morning. When you order a cup of coffee, the shop serves you a delicious complementary breakfast. As an example, a café “ Kohikann” serves you Danish bread, boiled egg, salad, and a bowl of soup besides coffee only for 420yenn!
This is a custom called” Ichinomiya Morning Service” which originated in the 1950’s. It was a time the wool textile industry of the town was flourishing. As the factories were too noisy, the owners and the clients had business meetings at coffeeshops over a cup of coffee almost every morning. To express their gratitude, those shops started serving a boiled egg and peanuts for free. That’s the origin of the “morning service”. Nowadays, it has been more enriched.
This year, Ichinomiya Chamber of Commerce established “Ichinomiya Morning Council”which encompasses ninety-six shops.
Looking at the homepage is quite enjoyable. You can find detailed information on each shop. You’ll probably see more than a few that appeals to you.
This October, the council will hold “Ichinomiya Morning Competition”. The winner is decided by customer vote. I imagine the competition between shops will be quite tough. They need to strike a balance between the cost and the quality. If they were not in Ichinomiya City, they might be able to offer a (high priced)“morning set”, instead of (the very reasonable) “morning service”.
On the other hand, they can take advantage of the event, because they have more chances to attract new clients: not only Ichinomiya citizen but people from other districts. Once they experience the lovely breakfast, they might become their regular customers. I hope this strategy will be successful. It will be nice if they can thrive together and improve this unique culture.