A TASTE of Japanese creativity is the order of the day at a new cafe.

The Artbox Cafe is now open in East Street, Brighton.

It describes itself as a “character cafe” and celebrates the Japanese art of kawaii – the culture of cuteness and cute things.

The cafe doubles as a shop where visitors can buy exclusive merchandise.

Artbox already owns a shop in Covent Garden, London, but has decided to open its first cafe on the South Coast.

Creative director Rosanna Mackney said: “This is a concept that is popular in Japan, it’s ingrained in daily life.

“To be able to experience that concept in Brighton is something quite special.

“We had people come and visit us from Japan and Australia on our opening weekend.

“In Japan, kawaii is targeted at all ages, it’s not like over here where it’s seen as a more childish thing.

“We want to encourage the idea that anyone of any age can come and enjoy the cafe.”

Every three months the cafe will change its featured character and the name of the cafe will change according to which figure is on display.

The first cute cartoon to be featured is Pusheen the cat.

Pusheen was created in 2010 by Claire Belton and Andrew Duff for a comic on their website Everyday Cute.

The cartoon cat is now the subject of comics and sticker sets on social media site Facebook.

For the duration of Pusheen’s stay the cafe will be called Pusheen’s Snack Parlour.

Rob Fulton, the cafe’s kawaii manager, said he wants the cafe to have a positive impact on the community.

He said: “There aren’t any other stores or cafes like this.

“With the way things are at the moment in the UK, we like that these characters make people really happy. They have a very positive impact on people.

“People like kawaii because of the simplicity of the characters.

“They aren’t complicated, they have simple lives.

“I think it’s really nice to just see smiles a lot and Pusheen especially is always happy.

“We had lots of people asking us to open a store in Brighton and we love the city, it’s beautiful. All the feedback we’ve had is from people who are really excited about the cafe.

Artbox Cafe opened in the former Scoop And Crumb cafe.

Rob said the takeover was not about changing everything. All the old staff were kept on and the only thing that has changed is the decor and the food.

The cafe offers an extensive vegetarian menu, of which 50 per cent is vegan friendly.

Artbox is keen to use local suppliers. Its menu is mainly ice cream and waffles.