Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #6 – ‘Angelus’ in Asakusa Loved by Osamu Tezuka

13.June.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

In this sixth instalment to her café seriesEma Tanioku stopped by Angeles, a café in Asakusa with a history spanning over 70 years.

Angeles is known for its history of famous frequenters including legendary manga artist Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy). This wonderful location is always bustling with customers and is known to be full even during holidays.

When people think of Asakusa, they imagine Sensoji Temple and the district’s old-fashioned architecture. However, Angeles breaks that mould and instead takes on the form of a European-style place of worship. It’s different from all the rest and looks warm and welcoming from the outside.

Even if you have no plans to go into the café, the desserts on display look so invitingly delicious you’ll find yourself stopping in your tracks.

 

They look so tasty…

 

Time to go inside!

You’ll be spoilt for choice because they all look so good.

The café has three floors. It’s like an atrium where you can look down below from the top floor.

 

People who want to kick their feet up and read in the café or relax and space out can head to the second floor which has a hiding-place-like area. There’s a different atmosphere wherever you decide to sit, so it can be fun finding which part fits for you!

‘Angeles’ refers to a devotion in memory of the Annunciation in Christianity signalled by the ringing of church bells. Looking around at the decor you’ll see things like crosses and doves as well as signs of peace dotted about.

Ema ordered the Almond Purin (¥930).

 

In the middle of the bowl is a melon that looks as if it’s been sliced. It’s also plated with various fresh fruits like banana strawberry as well as tinned pineapple and peaches and finished with a side of fresh cream. All of that hides vanilla ice cream underneath. And of course the highlight of the dessert, the purin, also tucked away!

First thing’s first: munching down the strawberry! The fresh cream is a perfect complement to the fruits. Combine and gobble it all up.

 

And finally, the star of the plate. The purin! It has quite a sweet flavour and is supple so it’s very tasty.

The café’s number one recommendation on the dessert menu is the above.

 

The flavour of the Angelus (¥330) dessert hasn’t changed for over 50 years. It comes in either black or white. The black Angeles is made with coffee flavoured butter cream and coated with sweet chocolate. The white Angeles is made with ordinary butter cream and coated in white chocolate.

 

Neither are overly sweet and they’re at an easy-to-eat size. They were exquisite!

Angelus‘ speciality is their Dutch Coffee (¥620). Dutch coffee is made by dripping ice water dripped over the coffee to extract the maximum flavour. It even looks refreshing, making it perfect for the summertime heat. If you’re a coffee enthusiast then you’ve got to try this.

 Ema was contemplating that although she’s sat there there in that moment, what kind of people were talking about what kinds of things 70 years ago? The thought simply excited her ♪

 

“Though the generations will change, this place will continue remaining the same and probably continue to be loved by lots of people. As time flows so does the delicious taste of what they have to offer. More places like this will come to be one by one. I wonder what kind of cafe will I encounter next?♡”

 

■Information

Angelus

Address: 1-17-6 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo

Opening Hours: 11am-9pm (Last Orders 8:40pm)

Closed: Mondays

Access:

3-minutes by foot from Exit 1 of Asakusa Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
4-minutes by foot from Asakusa Staion via the Tobu Isesaki Line
6-minutes by foot from Asakusa Staion via the Toei Asakusa Line
5-minutes by foot from Asakusa Staion via the Tsukuba Express

Website: http://www.asakusa-angelus.com

 

 

Model&Writer: Ema Tanioku

Profile:

“Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

Instagram: @ematanioku

 

Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

Editor :Ai Watanabe

Design: Yuko Abe(ASOBISYSTEM)

Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

 

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe that you want to visit to see someone #1 The popular cafe in Jinbo-cho called “Sabouru” that has retro interior and nostalgic food.

    02.June.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    “Although there are many great things about chain stores, the café has their own dream.”

     

    The café that reminds me of Showa era is somehow nostalgic and comfy inside.

    I, Emma Tanioku, who love to visit the new café restaurants is going to introduce the café that will make you want to see particular person in their café.

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    Today, I came to Jinbo-cho that is good access from middle of Tokyo, and you don’t have to change the train line from Shibuya station.

    Jinbo-cho is socially known as the town which has many secondhand bookstores, it is actually the town for gourmets as well.There are many hidden old-established restaurants in this great town.

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    I want to introduce this café that I was especially curious about.

    “Sabouru” which you can say its representative retro cafe. It locates right there from the exit A7 in Jinbo-cho train station.This 62 years historical café has established in 1955.

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    In front of this café which appears to look like small mountain hut, there is a red public telephones surrounded by some flowers, plants and a totem pole.This makes me want to take a picture in front of there.This public phone is actually functional, so I heard some people are still using it.

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    There are floor first, semi basement and mezzanine inside. It is little dark inside, but you can still enjoy reading books.Either if you come here alone or with your friends, you can spend the relaxed time.

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    The miscellaneous goods that decorated inside the café were donated by customers.

    Even though they are all different kinds of souvenirs from all over the world, they look like it’s coordinated perfectly.I bet the customers who are big fan of this café decide to buy the good souvenirs which are going to match with this store’s atmosphere. For your information, you can decorate your souvenirs inside the cafe even if you are not regular customer.

     

    >>next page

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe you that you want to visit to see someone #3 “Galant” —a retro café in Ueno

    15.November.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    “It’s a mysterious café vacuum sealed with an energy that feels like it’s the time of the Japanese economic miracle”

     

    We’re at the third installment of this series where we take a stroll to old-fashioned cafes filled with a sense of nostalgia.

    I, Ema Tanioka, will be introducing to you another retro café that I am in love with. Today, we go to “Galant” in Ueno, a town where the Showa mood still lingers.

     

    Galant has continued to be loved by many people since it opened its doors back in 1977. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the popular café. “Galant” sounds a little space-y, don’t you think? It’s a little different from the norm. When I enquired to the staff about the origin of the café’s name, they told me that it comes from the Mitsubishi Galant as the owner is a fan of cars. To think that a car’s name became the name of a café! But it has a ring to it and is easy to remember, so it might actually be a huge success.

     

    Anyway, without further ado, let’s make our way there!

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    Galant is on the 2nd floor of this building. As you head up the stairs, it no longer felt like I was in the real world. A completely different world opened before me. Because of the entrance’s chic brickwork, I was surprised by the dazzling lights floating inside.

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    And here!

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    Here too! There was so much sparkle.

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    The first thing to peak my interest was the uniform the staff were wearing. So cute… You don’t see that red & yellow combination much these days. It helped amplify that retro mood of the café even more.

     

    The male staff wore red & black! Black was the base colour and had that well defined, guy-like feel to it. Together with the checkered vests, it completed that retro look. It was wonderful. The café was also playing popular Showa era songs. I really felt like I had stepped back in time.

     

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    And then… and then! The menu arrived!

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    The most popular item on the menu is the chocolate parfait (¥900 tax incl.). It was absolutely stuffed with cream all the way to the middle. For people who love sweet things this is an irresistible delight. By the way, I must ask, what do you do when it comes to the cherry on top of the parfait? The truth is, I absolutely love parfaits, but I’m really not into the cherry – I usually leave it until the end. Even though it looks so cute on the parfait…

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    Another item is the cream soda (¥750 tax incl.). When going to a café, you just have to get a cream soda!! It’s because you don’t see them around much besides at cafes and family restaurants, so I’m the person that ends up ordering one unintentionally when if I see it on the menu.

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    There’s a nice fat serving of ice cream in there. It’s a drink you can enjoy that has the aesthetic of a dessert. The melon soda is crystal clear like a precious gem. The best part about cream soda is how the ice cream slowly melts into the drink. It’s pretty fun to watch!

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    Galant is the kind of café where the more you get to know it, the more you start to love it. Its fans have been supporting it for many years, and even when I become a grandma in the future, I reckon it’ll still be bustling all the same.

     

    ■Information

    Galant (ギャラン)

    Address: 6-14-4 Ueno, Taitō, Tokyo

    Open: 8:00-23:00

    Open all week.

    Access: 2-minutes’ walk from Ueno Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / 1-minutes’ walk from Exit 5b at Ueno Station via the Hibiya Line

    URL:https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131101/13039759/

    Model&Writer:Ema Tanioku

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    Profile:Ema and Eri Tanioku are well-known Aomoji-kei twin models that go by their duo name “EmaEri.” Their twin-like fashion co-ordination and cute looks have earned them a fast growing fan base. They are officially appointed tourism ambassadors and work both in Japan and overseas to promote Harajuku culture. They work as fashion models in a wide range of areas and have appeared in fashion magazines as well as on TV, in dramas, movies and more.  Instagram:@ematanioku

     

    Photograph:Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor:Ryoichi Komaba

    Design:Yuko Abe(ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translation:Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】 The café that you want to visit to see someone #4 Cats working at Shinjuku-sanchome’s Café Arles

    21.December.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD

    “Good service, a jolly owner and cute cats – this café is sure to heal you!”

     

    I’m Ema Tanioku and today I’ll be introducing you to yet another café in Tokyo as the fourth edition of my series “The café that you want to visit to see someone”. Today I’ll be reporting about my visit to Café Arles which can be found at Shinjuku-sanchome. Ever since hearing that there were cats at this café, I’ve been set on going 〜♪♪

     

    The café is very easy to access. To get to there, you can take the Toei Shinjuku line to Shinjuku-sanchome. From here, you can get to the café within a five-minute walk. Walking around the Shinjuku Suehirote theatre, the café soon came into sight. Somehow, I could sense the presence of cats just from the atmosphere…

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    There it was! The entrance to the café was decorated with many ornaments of cats and dogs. I don’ know why but I was filled with excitement before even having entered.

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    As soon as I entered, I immediately spotted a cat.

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    I was then greeted by the cat’s master who had a sweeping grin across his face and was wearing a hat with a cat broach. I could really feel his love for cats ♪♪

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    I took a sweeping glance over the café – cats, cats and more cats – there were so many cat-themed goods everywhere! Apart from cats goods, the master also collects clown goods and displayed everything all huddled together to decorate the café.

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    Although this was my first time at Café Arles, I immediately felt right at home as a warm feeling grew within me. I asked the master what got him into the café business and I was surprised by his response. It all started when the master was working at a mahjong parlour, where a person they knew asked them to start up a café.

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    The master then thought about the numerous paintings he had collected and how he was in search of a place to display them. The idea of choosing his own music, menu and decorating a café interior to his own taste really struck a chord with him.

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    There are many paintings displayed in the café. Amongst these are some by modern artist Tomomi Kondo, who made the paintings “please your master” and “cool your thighs”, which feature the kaban neko (café cats) Ishimatsu and Jirocho, who are “working hard” by lazing around.

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    Café Arles is fun and draws in even more fun. The atmosphere is filled with the love and enjoyment of the customers. That’s why I immediately felt so at home as soon as I entered. You can easily spend a long time here.

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    I asked the master what he recommends from his menu. His response? “My recommendation is what you want to eat the most!” he said wisely. I felt like eating Napolitan spaghetti and so that is what I ordered! (Price: ¥720 including tax)

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    It came with banana and giant corn ❤ – this excellent service made me so happy!

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    The gentle flavour of this homemade dish was delicious and I could really taste the Showa-retro Napolitan flavour to it. The drink, soup and salad services available gives this meal a perfect score for portion size satisfaction!

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    The master allowed me to take his café cat Jirocho-kun out for a walk. This was the first time I’d ever walked a cat – a new, fresh experience!

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    Jirocho-kun is a very calm and obedient cat, so we had a lovely stroll together. Speaking of which, Jirocho-kun loves his owner so much that he runs to meet him whenever he hears his car pull up at the shop.

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    This year marks the 40th anniversary of the café. “I enjoyed every minute of it” explained the master happily. The master created a place where everyone can be happy and in return everyone supports him. Perhaps this cycle is the motivational force that has kept and will continue to push this café to live and thrive.

     

    I’m glad I came to this café today and met such a special person.

    I want to come here again and have another chat with the master!

     

     

     

    ■Information

    Cafe Arles

    Address:1st floor, 5-10-8, Shinjuku, Tokyo

    Opening h0urs: 11:30 〜 22:00

    Regular holidays days: Sundays, New Year’s period holiday period

    Access:398 metres from Shinjuku Sanchome station (reach via Toei-Shinjuku line/ Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line

    URL:https://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1304/A130401/13087540/

     

     

    Model & Writer: Ema Tanioku

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    Profile: “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

    Instagram:@ematanioku

     

    Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor:Ryoichi Komaba

    Design:Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translated by: Samantha Fernandes

     

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe that you want to visit to see someone #5: “café Benisica” – The Birthplace of Pizza Toast

    21.February.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    “A café that has continued to be loved for 60 years”

     

    In this entry to my café series, I visited the familiar Yurakucho, the center of modern Tokyo culture. This year, long-standing café Benisica turned 61-years-old. I stopped by to have my fill of their amazing pizza toast. The café is a 2-minute walk from Hibiya Station via Tokyo Metro lines, and 4-minutes on foot from Yurakucho Station via JR lines, making it an easy place to get to.

     

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    The café opened all those years ago in response to the large number of cinemas and theatres dotted around Yurakucho. They wanted to create place where people could relax on their way back from seeing a show.

     

    Upon arrival, you can still observe stylish older ladies strolling into the café. The scene hasn’t changed one bit which I found to be wonderful.

     

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    Café Benisica is famous for being the birthplace of original pizza toast. They even have a sign at the entrance telling you that! Eye-catching!!!

     

    Without further ado, let’s head on in♪

     

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    I take one step into the café, and… Huh? What’s this?!

     

    That’s right. At Benisica, you can enjoy vacuum brewed coffee. This was the first time I had seen a vacuum coffee maker up close, so I gazed at them with a keen interest.

     

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    Inside, I gazed at the café décor and objects scattered around of Hibiya, a town which changes with the times. You can feel the weight of the times instore – all the wonderful items look stylish simply by being placed in there! The café interior is a collection of warm colours. It’s a place where you can relax and feel comfortable.

     

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    This is Benisica’s famous pizza toast, costing ¥950 (tax included). They have plenty of set menus, and drink menus are ¥1,350. The story behind the pizza toast was how if you didn’t go to an Italian restaurant back then, you couldn’t eat pizza. So, they took pizza and turned it into something you can eat casually – toast. Since then, it has continued to be a much-loved menu item with customers for almost half a century.

     

     

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    After hearing the story, I took no time at all ordering my own pizza toast! To drink, I chose a strawberry shake. Just so you know, the shake doesn’t come in set orders, so be careful.

     

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    Thick servings of cheese and put onto chunky slices of toast. “The soul of the pizza toast is in the cheese!” is what you’ll be saying at its presence on the toast. Its generous serving makes this pizza toast suitable not just as a light meal, but even a whole lunch. As well as the standard ingredients like salami, onion and bell peppers, I was happy that there were mushrooms too.

     

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    The bread’s texture is fluffy! I was hungry, so I made short work of it. Thank you for the meal.

     

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    This is the owner of Benisica, Setsuko Murakami, who told me the story of the café. She’s a very wonderful person who loves her husband very much. Not only did she tell me about the café – I got to hear about her husband’s way of living and thoughts too. The words of people that have walked the road of life longer than me are deep and enlightening.

     

    I stored the owner’s story safely onto the shelves in my heart. The next time something happens, I’ll rely on those special words she graciously taught me and work hard.

     

    ■Information

    Café Benisica

    Address: 1-6-8 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 9:30-23:45 (Open from 9:00 on Weekends & Holidays)

    No Fixed Holidays.

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Hibiya Station via the Hibiya Line, Chiyoda Line, and Toei Mita Line / 4-minutes on foot from Yurakucho Station via JR Lines

    Webpage:https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130102/13002146/

     

    Model : Ema Tanioku

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    Profile: “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

    Instagram:@ematanioku

     

    Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor&Writer:Ryoichi Komaba

    Design:Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

  • MOSHI MOSHI COOKING: Learn How to Make Wheat, Dairy and Egg Free Okonomiyaki With Rice Powder

    21.March.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Even in Japan, okonomiyaki is the soul food of the people that live in the Kansai region. It looks like a pancake, but inside it’s filled with cabbage and stuffed with ingredients meat and seafood. This Japanese food is eaten drizzled with rich sauce and mayonnaise.

    Today, we will see how to make okonomiyaki using “Okome de Tsukutta Mix Kona” from TOPVALU which uses neither wheat nor gluten.

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    Our cooks Ema and Eri are from Kyoto. The taste of okonomiyaki is one familiar to them since childhood, so they were really excited for this! They’re both confident in their ability since they normally take turns when cooking.

    The two of them will challenge themselves to making two types of okonomiyaki: a recommended recipe written on the powder mix packaging, and another made with tofu. Let’s get cooking!

     

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    First, here’s the ingredients for the recommended recipe.

    ・Powdered Mix: Approx. ¼ cup (30g)

    ・Water: 50g

    ・Bonito Powder: 1 tbsp (3g)

    ・Cabbage: 70g

    ・Yamaimo: Approx. 2 tbsp (15g)

    ・Squid: 30g

    ・Pork Belly (sliced): 40g

    ・Red Pickled Ginger: Approx. 1 tsp (5g)

    ・Dried Bonito Shaving: To taste

     

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    First, shred the cabbage and grate the yamaimo. Add the powdered mix, bonito powder and water into a large bowl and mix well. Then add the cabbage, yamaimo, squid thinly sliced to 1cm, and red pickled ginger and mix well to combine. The powdered mix is used as a base for rice flour so it will make your okonomiyaki cook plump and fluffy.

     

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    Next, here’s the ingredients for the tofu recipe.

    ・Powdered Mix: Approx. ¼ cup (30g)

    ・Water: 50g

    ・Bonito Powder: 1 tbsp (3g)

    ・Cabbage: 70g

    ・Yamaimo: Approx. 2 tbsp (15g)

    ・Drained Tofu: ¼ block (approx. 70g)

    ・Shirasu: 2 tbsp (approx. 20g)

    ・Pork Belly (sliced): 40g

    ・Red Pickled Ginger: Approx. 1 tsp (5g)

    ・Negi: To taste

     

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    Just like the first recipe, start off by shredding the cabbage and grating the yamaimo. Ema is dexterous with a knife. She chopped up the cabbage skillfully and efficiently.

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    It’s important to measure the ingredients out correctly to make it delicious. Be sure to use some kitchen scales to measure the amounts accurately. The powdered mix used in this recipe contains no egg, dairy, wheat, peanut, soba, ebi or crab. Instead, it’s made from ingredients such as rice flour and sprouted brown rice. What’s more is that it’s produced at a factory in Akita, so you can feel at ease using it in your cooking.

     

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    Add the powdered mix, bonito powder and water into a large bowl and mix well. Then, add in the drained tofu and mix thoroughly into the raw mixture. As a side note, you can dry tofu easily by wrapping it with 2 sheets of kitchen roll and placing it into the microwave (500w) for 1 minute 30 seconds.

     

    Next, add your cabbage, yamaimo, shirasu and red pickled ginger and mix well to combine.

     

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    Once your mix is done, it’s time to start frying. Wait for the hot plate to heat up before adding oil (to taste). Wait for the oil to get hot and then spread your mixture on top of the place into a round shape.

     

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    Spread the sliced pork on to the mixture and cook for 3-minutes. Ema and Eri were super hungry and couldn’t wait for them to be finished after hearing the juicy and delicious sounds.

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    After the 3-minutes have passed, flip and cook for a further 2-minutes. The powdered mix is made from rice and not wheat flour, so it can be tricky to tell when it’s cooked. So a top tip is to be sure to cook it for the same amount time as specified in the recipe!

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    Once it’s cooked through well, add sauce and mayonnaise to taste. Add dried bonito shavings to the okonomiyaki made using the recommended recipe and ponzu sauce and negi to the tofu okonomiyaki.

     

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    Our fluffy, well cooked and tasty-looking okonomiyaki are done!

     

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    Hungry Ema and Eri munched and made short work of their okonomiyaki in no time at all♪ The powdered mix made with rice flour makes the mixture springy and plump! The tofu okonomiyaki was Eri’s favourite because of its soft texture. “Try making this yourself at home!” the lively bunch said.

     

    TOPVALU お好み焼き

    The mixture used today was the “TOPVALU Okome de Tsukutta Mix Kona” (150g, ¥213 tax included). It can be used for numerous recipes as well as okonomiyaki such as deep frying. You can buy it from any AEON Group store in Japan, so be sure to try it out yourself.

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    Use this recipe and throw an okonomiyaki party for your friends and family.

     

    ■Infotmarion

    AEON Official site:https://www.welcome-aeon.com/

    About TOPVALU Okome de Tsukutta Mix Kona

    “TOPVALU Yasashi Gohan” is a series that contains no eggs, dairy, wheat, ebi, crab, soba or peanuts, all of which are foods that can cause allergies for certain people. The “Okome de Tsukutta Mix Kona” (おこめで作ったミックス粉) is a powdered mix that can be used in cooking for okonomiyaki, deep frying and more!

     

    *Please take care to check the recipe ingredients if you have an allergy.

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  • mūya: Tokyo’s New Cafe Opening by ‘Bread, Espresso &’ Serving Fluffy Mū Bread

    25.March.2020 | FOOD

    Bread, Espresso & is a cafe chain with 17 branches in Japan, including Omotesando. The company is set to open an entirely new cafeーspecialising in Bread, Espresso &’s popular mū breadーcalled mūya on April 17, 2020 in Asakusa Mizumachi.

     

    Bread, Espresso &: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/254815

    Mizumachi is a new shopping centre also opening on April 17, 2020. It’s near Solamachi in Tokyo Skytree Town, and sits betwixt Kaminarimon and Tokyo Skytree.

     

    Mū is an original bread recipe baked up by Bread, Espresso & that’s made with lots of butter, giving it a rich taste. The word means “soft” in French. When you break a piece off the fluffy loaf, that rich buttery smell fills your nose.

     

    inside the cafe

    The mū loaf is a cube shape, and the interior of the shop has cube designs all over it.

    Customers sit at tables with chairs that stack up like cubes – a unique and original design.

     

    French toast

    Mū is the main dish at mūya, which can be served as it is, as a sandwich, as French toast, or even in a parfait.

     

    When you’re passing through Asakusa, be sure to pop into mūya to try the famous mū bread of Bread, Espresso &.

  • Japanese Tea Crepe Cafe OCHABA Opens Second Branch in Asakusa

    01.March.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    OCHABA opened its first branch in Shinjuku in March last year as the first cafe in Japan specialising in Japanese milk tea. The cafe has announced that it will open its second branch in Asakusa on February 22, 2020. The new cafe will introduce a new item to the menu: crepes. The chewy wraps are made with matcha and Japanese tea and filled with mascarpone and fresh cream.

     

     

    Plain Tiramisu – ¥600

    Kogashi Houjicha Puree – ¥650

    Strawberry Daifuku – ¥730

    The cafe will also serve OCHABA’s famous Japanese milk tea topped up with warabimochi, made using carefully-selected tea leaves from Maruzen Tea, a Shizuoka-based tea company with a history spanning more than 70 years.

     

    If you love Japanese tea, you’ll love OCHABA’s desserts made using all different kinds of teas.

  • Asakusa’s New Conveyor Belt Sushi Chain Kura Sushi Offers a Traditional Japanese Space

    23.January.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Muten Kura Sushi opened the first of its its all-new chain of “global flagship” sushi restaurants in Asakusa BOX on January 22.

     

    This kaitenzushi restaurant, or “conveyor belt sushi,” aims to promote Japanese culture. It wants people, both Japanese and foreign, to rediscover the wonders of kaitezsushi, and what better place to open its first branch than Asakusaーone of the biggest tourist hot spots in Tokyo?

    The restaurant’s design and decor takes on a more traditional approach, drawing inspiration of Japan’s Edo period with classic ukiyo-e paintings and paper lanterns adorning the walls, amongst many other things. This classic image of Japan has found its way to the dining space itself too, with flat tables made from plain wood and chairs topped with tatami. This gives it that air of grace and beauty which is typically associated with traditional Japanese culture, as well as a relaxed atmosphere.

    The logo used on the restaurant’s paper lanterns, crockery, staff uniform and elsewhere was designed by Japanese art director and creative director Kashiwa Sato. It was created for the brand to be used on all future branches, including all Japanese restaurants and those planned for the US and Taiwan.

    The restaurant even has several Japanese festival games for customers to play, like target practice and ring toss. They can win coupons that can be used in the restaurant, and kids can win toys too.

    Some of the staff can speak foreign languages too, and tablets that you order food from are available in 4 languages.

    Staff also carry a “Langogo Genesis,” a speech translation machine, to allow for smooth customer service. It’s connected to an AI language server which can speak and translate quickly in 104 languages.

    This global flagship restaurant also has a self check-in and payment system. Using touch screen, customers will be shown their seats automatically. The AI also adds up how many plates you have used by scanning their QR codes, and this is used to determine how much you need to pay. This means you needn’t wait for someone to bring the bill, you just head straight to the till.

     

    There’s also a smartphone app (called スマホでくら) which you can use to book a table and makes for easy checking in when you arrive at the restaurant.

    Head to Kura in Asakusa, Tokyo to enjoy Japan’s longtime affordable and delicious fast food: sushi.

  • 8 Delicious Breakfasts to Enjoy in Tokyo’s Traditional District Asakusa

    08.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Asakusa is one of the most touristic spots in Tokyo and enjoys its traditional temples as much as its modern scene. If you’re up early with a day of sightseeing and shopping ahead, starting your day with a good breakfast is the best way to make the most of it. To help out, we’ve got a list of eight recommendations for breakfast in Asakusa which includes both Japanese and western-style foods – bon appetit!

    Byuree @by_byu

    Pelican Cafe 

    Pelican Cafe runs the old bakery called Pan no Pelican which was established in 1942. This delicious menu is not available anywhere else. The scrumptious breakfast menu includes five different meals to choose from. The picture above shows the Ham Katsu Sandwich – a filling breakfast sandwich containing a thick slice of Asakusa ham.

     

    Pelican Cafe 

    Address: Floor 1, 3-9-11, Kotobuki, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 

    Breakfast: 9:00 – 11:00

    Regular Menu: 11:00- 17:00 (Last Orders)

    Closed: Sundays, National Holidays

    Closed for summer holidays and the New Year’s Period

    Official Website: https://pelicancafe.jp/index.html

     

    みきみき @miki_log

    February café

    We’ve previously visited February café for their scrumptious french toast and now we’re back for seconds. You can order the breakfast bread set (Asa Pan Set) from 8:10 am to 11:00 am. The bread used for the set is actually Pelican no Pan bread. This is ideal for those of you who want to enjoy breakfast near Kappabashi.

     

    February café

    Address:1-7-8 Kaminarimon, Taito, Tokyo 

    Opening Hours: 8:10-19:00 (Last Orders: 18:30)

    No Regular Holidays

    Official Website: http://www016.upp.so-net.ne.jp/February-Cafe/

     

    伊藤 @itoufds

    Coffee Lodge Akaishi

    Coffee Lodge Akaishi is located behind Asakusa Kannon and is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 am. This place is loved by everybody from tourists to locals. Their top dish is their Ebi Sando – a sandwich that contains battered shrimp, tartar sauce, cabbage and sauce. The old traditional-style interior provides the perfect relaxing atmosphere to catch your breath between sightseeing and shopping. 

     

    Coffee Lodge Akaishi

    Address: 3-8-4 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 

    Tuesday to Saturday: 09:00 – 04:00/ Sundays and National Holidays: 09:00 – 01:00

    Closed: Mondays

    Tabelog: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131102/13058004/

     

    CHANUNCHIDA.C チダー @chida.c

    Misojyu

    Misojyu’s popular breakfast set includes miso soup, one onigiri, a delicious half-boiled egg, and pickled vegetables. Misojyu is committed to using organic vegetables in their miso soups for healthy and balanced meals so this is the perfect way to start your day. 

     

    Misojyu (Miso Soup Shop)

    Address: 1-7-5 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 

    Breakfast: 8:30 – 10:00

    Regular Menu: 10:00 – 19:00

    No Regular Holidays

    Official Website: https://misojyu.jp/

     

    SUKE6 DINER

    SUKE6 DINER serves up delicious brunches from the morning and homemade sausages and smoked fish dishes in the evening. The breakfast menu is available from 8:00 am to 11:00 am and serves up homemade granola and bread freshly baked on the third floor of the diner. You can also enjoy their scrumptious sandwiches which are topped with meat and vegetables.

     

    SUKE6 DINER

    Address: Ayumi Building Floor 1-2, 1-11-1, Hanakawado, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 

    Tuesday – Friday: 8:00-22:00

    Lunch:10:00 – 17:00

    Weekends and National Holidays: 8:00 – 21:00

    Closed: Mondays

    Official Website: http://suke6diner.com/

     

    Akko @gingerzaru

    SaboAsaichi

    If you’re near Inarichō then pop into Sabö Asaichi for a delicious breakfast, shokupan or Okara bread that is made from bean curd lees. Toppings include red bean paste and butter, honey and butter and red bean paste and cream cheese. Besides bread, you can also add an onigiri and miso soup to your meal so you can enjoy both a western-style and Japanese-style breakfast in one go.

     

    SaboAsaichi

    Address: 6-1-15, Higashiueno, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 8:00 – 20:00 

    Closed: Sundays and Mondays

    Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/saboasaichi

     

    さっちゃん @sachi.coffee1015

    SUKEMASA COFFEE

    If you’re looking for a good latte or espresso to start your day then SUKEMASA COFFEE got your back. A unique feature of the café is that the staff are all dressed in kimonos. The picture above shows the café’s Red Bean Paste and Butter Dog. A rich filling of red bean paste and butter is sandwiched inside crispy bread.

     

    SUKEMASA COFFEE

    Address: Kimizuka Bldg. 102, 2-29-2, Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 8:00 – 19:00

    Closed: Tuesdays

    Official Website: https://sukemasa.tokyo/

     

    アッキントッシュ @diamante_aki

    MIMOSA

    MIMOSA’s morning menu sees toast, sandwiches and the best of Asakusa’s delicious breakfasts. The star of the show is the Big Hotcake (¥720 After Tax) which is a five-layer pancake topped with Calpis butter and a side of whipped cream. You’ll want to savour the nostalgic flavour forever. If you cannot finish your meal, you can take it away with you.

     

    MIMOSA

    Address: 4-28-6 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 8:00 – 17:00

    Closed: Mondays

    Tabelog: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131102/13088749/

     

     If you’re an early bird in Asakusa, treat yourself to a hearty western or Japanese breakfast at one of these cafés and you’ll be sure to have a fantastic day. 

     

    *The cafés and restaurants may update their opening hours and menus at any time so please check their official websites and social media for the most accurate information.

  • WASHOKU: Asakusa’s Newest Restaurant For Experiencing Japanese-Style Cuisine

    07.December.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Asakusaーone of the hottest spots in Tokyo for sightseeing, ever-bustling with Japanese and foreign tourists and travellers alike. This ancient district is famous not only for its sights, like Sensō-ji (the oldest temple in Tokyo) and the Nakamise-dōri shopping street leading up to it, but for its bountiful offering of gourmet restaurants.

    Today, we’re taking a look at Taikenkei Dining -WASHOKU-, a restaurant which opened in Asakusa on November 19 this year. If you’re looking for the full package when it comes to experiencing Japanese food culture, WASHOKU has customers covered. Not only do they serve food, like traditional Kyoto obanzai, but they offer cultural experience plans too where you can learn to make sushi or dress up in a kimono and walk the old streets of Asakusa.

    WASHOKU’s concept when it comes to both lunch and dinner centres around enjoying Japanese-style food that is colourful. And that rings tantalisingly true with their kaleidoscopic obanzai, which is formed of 12 vivid bite-sized delights. Obanzai is a traditional style of Japanese cuisine that comes from Kyoto, made up of mostly seafood and vegetables. The obanzai served at WASHOKU was conceived under the guidance of nutritionists, and so is packed full of healthy nutrients for the body. Not only that, the ingredients selected are all domestic to Japan, and are of a very high quality.


    The obanzai I ate included fried beni haruka sweet potato which is sourced from Ishida Farmsーa sweet potato growerーin Katori, Chiba. It had a moist texture and rich sweetness. When I sank my teeth into it, I was flushed with feelings of the fall season.

     

    Other foods in the assortment included sashimi, scallop and yuzu, saikyo-yaki Kyoto-style grilled fish, and more. Each mouthful of the selection offered its own distinct and unique flavours.

    The obanzai is served with miso soup too with which you get to choose a miso ball from a variety of flavours to put into your bowl. I went for the sesame seed miso ball.

    The miso ball is made from miso paste and various ingredients. Once placed into the hot water, it melts and turns into miso soup. The sweet light-brown miso was perfect for warming up my chilly self.

    Dinner also features a dessert menu, as well as courses with an all-you-can-drink option, so I recommend these options for people who want to relax and take their time with their dining experience.

     

    As I mentioned earlier, WASHOKU also offers a variety of experience-based plans. This includes a sushi class where you can learn to make your own hand-rolled sushi.

    There are two types of “temari” hand rolled sushi you can make: the regular type, which makes use of tuna, salmon and other classic sushi toppings, and the high quality type, which uses more high-end ingredients like uni sea urchin eggs, caviar, gold leaf, and more. And for foreign customers, the restaurant has prepared a handout detailing the history of Asakusa and recipes, as well as souvenirs for them to take home.

    The MMN team of course had to have a go at making our own sushi, but it proved quite difficult. You have to get the right amount of sushi rice to roll, then actually roll it perfectly into a ball before topping with your ingredients. But the sushi I made was actually really delicious! To attend this class you have to book in advance, so if you’ve never tried making your own sushi before or have an need some guidance, then we can’t recommend it enough.

    As well as food-related experiences, WASHOKU provides customers with three different plans to experience Japanese culture. The first of these is the rickshaw ride, where you board a rickshaw pulled by a runner and are taken around the various sites of Asakusa. The ‘Excursion Around Asakusa Course’ takes you to the most popular spots around Kaminarimon, while the ‘Sky Tree Course’ takes you all the way to the Sumida River, and you also get to see Tokyo Skytree and various other attractions in Asakusa.

    The Edo Kiriko plan gives you the opportunity to cut your own Japanese glass to drink from. You can drink from your glass if you reserve the plan with lunch or dinner.

    Finally, you can rent a kimono. Select your favourite from the shop and have a professional dresser get you readyーwith both your kimono and your hair. After you’re dolled up, you can take a stroll around Asakusa to get a real feel for Japanese culture.

     

    All three of these plans are just ¥3,500 per person, and all require reservations which you can book online.

    So, if you’re looking for a taste of Japanese food and culture, why not take a trip to WASHOKU when visiting Asakusa for an all-in-one experience?

  • Instagram Sensation Unicorn Ice Cream Shop Now Selling Christmas Reindeer Ice Cream

    28.November.2019 | FOOD

    Looking for Instagram-worthy ice cream in Japan? You definitely need to check out Asakusa Tsuno Koi. Soon after opening in Tokyo’s traditional Asakusa on July 5, 2019, their soft serve unicorn ice cream instantly earned its fame on social media. From November 28 to December 24, the ice cream shop will be releasing a series of Christmas-limited ice creams that are sure to become a hit sensation.

    This shop is famous for being the only ice cream shop in the world to make unicorn-shaped cones out of financier cake dough and filling them with a sweet spiral of soft serve ice cream for the unicorn’s horn. This Christmas, the shop is introducing Christmas-limited toppings, flowers and wreaths to the decorations menu, making customising your ice cream more fun than ever before. 

    * According to research conducted by Asakusa Tsuno Koi. Protected status has been received for America, Korea and Japan. Applications are still being processed in the EU, Singapore and Mongolia.  

     

    For the Reindeer Soft Serve Ice Cream (¥780), each and every single financier cone is baked carefully, but this time in the shape of a reindeer – and it’s chocolate flavoured. Filled with soft serve ice cream, this reindeer is too cute to eat. 

     

    The Christmas Tree (¥830) is a soft serve pistachio ice cream made using high-grade pistachos: the reigning queen when it comes to nut varieties. The ice cream is finished with one of Asakusa Tsuno Koi‘s original Christmas trees. 

     

    The Santa Claus Soft Serve (¥500) is made using Asakusa Tsuno Koi’s rich-flavoured vanilla ice cream. Young or old, the moment you set eyes on Santa Claus’ face, a smile will automatically appear on yours! 

     

    The Christmas-limited toppings include stars, candy, and gingerbread men (¥100 each). Can’t choose? There is set including all three which costs ¥250.

    The shop interior is also looking more Christmassy. The interior is a fusion of Asakusa’s traditional heritage and the unicorn motif, which is popular in western countries. A colourful flowery background and Asakusa’s traditional folding fans and umbrellas perfectly finish the western-Japanese fusion scene, which is currently soaking in fame on Instagram.

     

    Asakusa Tsuno Koi is serving up a totally unique kind of ice cream that has not been spotted anywhere else in the world. The Christmas-limited ice creams are definitely worth the hype. 

     

    * Prices Before Tax

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #12 – ‘J-COOK’ in Gaiemmae

    08.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited J-COOK in Gaiemmae, a place I visited one time while off work which ended up in me wanting to absolutely feature it in the series!

    It’s just a 5-minute stroll from Gaiemmae Station.

    The cafe enjoys lots of sunlight, which is brightened further by all the plants scattered through the shop. The cafes I have visited to date are often a little darker with only a little light seeping through the windows to create a certain atmosphere, and they are wonderful, but this was the first I have ever visited with so might light and so many plants. The air felt clear, adding to the level of comfort in the cafe, perhaps because there are so many plants adorning the interior.

    The cafe also has a space with a slightly more darker light and atmosphere on the left side. I haven’t sat in that area yet, so I think I’ll try it out on my next visit.

    When I come to J-COOK, my eyes always wander over to the marzipan creations (¥450).

    These ones here were actually all individually handmade by the owner’s husband from the early morning.

    If you look really closely, you’ll notice all the dog designs are different. When ordering, get to pick out which one you want, so try finding your perfect pup!

    I had mine together with an iced coffee (¥450). The sweet marzipan is a delicious combination with the bitterness of the coffee.

    I also got some potted cream (¥450). It’s kind of like a Japanese custard pudding with just a moderate amount of sweetness.

    I had mine with a bit of brandy which had fragrant vanilla notes. They’ve had this brandy for 33 years since the store first opened.

    The cream was sensational, and the gentle notes linger afterwards.

    They have a lot of different homemade soups too which are perfect for the coming cold weather. I got the New Orleans-style gumbo soup. It’s spicy with clam and okra in it.

    Relaxing jazz music plays in the cafe while you sit and enjoy your drink and meal.

    J-COOK is a wonderful little cafe run by a husband and wife. When I first came, the wife came and talked to me. She’s super friendly, and although it was our first meeting, she made me feel really comfortable and welcome. She must be full of happiness, which in turn naturally gives people who visit the strength to be positive and work hard.

     

    I reckon their smiles have saved a lot of people.

     

    I can’t wait to visit again!

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Experiencing Japan: Dining at Denkiya Hall in Asakusa Wearing a Retro and Antique Kimono

    25.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Hi, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON readers! Banako here again from the MOSHI MOSHI Friends group.

     

    I have a question to ask you all. If you’ve been to Japan, did you ever dress up in a kimono or yukata to go sightseeing? It’s become common to see not only Japanese people, but foreign travellers and tourists clad in traditional Japanese ware snapping photos in the country’s historical locations. Dressing up in a kimono and walking the streets really immerses you in that Japanese spirit and transforms your experience entirely.

     

    I visited kesatokyo in Asakusa which rents out kimono that are somewhat different from the norm, got myself a kimono, and took a trip to Denkiya Hall, a long-standing cafe in Asakusa.

    Denkiya Hall is located along Senzoku-dori Shopping Street which is a 10-minute walk from the Tsukuba Express side of Asakusa Station. The street is quiet and peaceful since it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the station front.

    The kimono at kesatokyo are renowned through the town as they give off cute retro-antique vibes with their combination of things like lace necks, head dresses and berets.

     

    You can get some romantic co-ords which you won’t find with other kimono by matching with your friend in terms of design and accessories. I headed into the cafe excited with my kimono choice which matches the old-fashioned design of the cafe exterior.

    A standout feature of this cafe is that some of the tables have arcade games attached to them. If there’s a free seat at one of them, pick your favourite-looking, slot in a coin and start playing! Be sure to ask the staff to switch it on for you beforehand.

    While gazing through the nostalgic games, I ordered the cafe’s popular omumaki (¥700) and cream soda (¥650) while my friend got hot cakes.

    Stuffed and wrapped inside the omelette is a hearty serving of fried noodles. The noodles themselves are on the thicker side and have a rich seasoning like that from the Showa period. You can also pick between different noodles.

    The cream soda had deliciously sweet syrup and vanilla ice cream inside it.

    Your kimono will match the atmosphere of the cafe really well, so you can take some really great pictures at any time.

    Denkiya Hall opened over 100 years ago and incorporates styles from three different historical periods: Meiji, Taisho and Showa, giving it a nostalgic feeling.

    Another one of Denkiya Hall’s specialities is their boiled adzuki, the perfect treat to warm yourself up as the weather gets colder.

     

    It was fun strolling around Asakusa after our cafe visit, as well as searching for more modern towns like Ginza and Omotesando.

     

    We returned our kimono to kesatokyo at 18:40, right before the final return time. The basic rental plan for one person is ¥6,050 and it even includes hair styling! You can make reservations either via DMs on the store’s official Instagram or by telephone. You’re certain to get a reply on Instagram so it’s recommended going that route. The shop has more details on their plans on their website.

     

    Wearing a beautiful kimono and warming up inside a cafe during wintertime. How does that sound?

  • A Date With Yutaro: Soaking Up the Japanese Summer Sun & Visiting the Art Aquarium | Tokyo Stroll

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    It’s been a while since our last date with Yutaro. He’s been very busy with film shoots. He had some spare time today so we paid a visit to Nihonbashi for our next date. “ECO EDO Nihonbashi: Enjoy Cool Edo With All Five Senses” is an event held every year in the Nihonbashi area which takes the Edo period cultural idea of “coolness”―an in, to enjoy being cool during the summer-and puts a modern spin on it. There are many exciting things to look forward to, including the art aquarium which proves massively popular every year.

     

    We gave ourselves more time to arrive at the meeting place to be in the safe side, but it seems Yutaro-kun was already there waiting for us!

    Nihonbashi Information Center | IPPIN CAFÉ “Sparkling Herb Tea” – ¥518 (Tax Included)

    “Here, you must be boiling.” Yutaro-kun kindly offers a cup of IPPIN CAFE’s limited-edition sparkling herb tea. It’s a delicious mix of fizzy soda and lemon, a perfect refreshment for the summer. Since he ordered takeout the drink came with a goldfish straw. Goldfish are a staple sight during Japanese summer festivals so it’s very fitting for the occasion! 

     

    With our drinks in hand, it’s time to head to Nihonbashi for our Edo summer date!

    Wind-Chime Forest Path

    Lining the path between Fukutoku Shrine and Fukutoku Garden is the Wind-Chime Forest Path where around 200 Edo-style wind chimes dangled. This year, during the evenings, the path is illuminated with beautiful lighting. 

    When the breeze rolls past the wind chimes ring one by one-a cool and refreshing sound.

    “I hear each one of these Edo wind chimes are individually handmade by craftsmen.”

    When you hear the sound of the wind chimes it makes you feel cool like a gentle breeze of the wind.

     

    After strolling along the Wind-Chime Forest Path we make our way towards this year’s ECO EDO Art Aquarium event.

    The moment we step instead Yutaro is already dazzled by all the goldfish: “Wow! I knew about this place from what I’d seen online, but this my first time here! This art aquarium really is something!”

     

    The full title of the event is “ECO EDO Nihonbashi ART AQUARIUM 2019 ~Edo, Coolness of Kingyo~ & Night Aquarium.”  Goldfish were a huge part of the common culture in Nihonbashi during the Edo period. This event recreates that and brings that “coolness” aspect while combining it with contemporary art by having people observe the fish in lots of different artistic environments.

    Super Oiran

    “This is the biggest fish tank, apparently it has 3,000 fish swimming inside!”

    “Seeing the light reflect on the water from the illuminations lets you see the fish in a different light, doesn’t it?”

    Looks like Yutaro-kun is having a lot of fun taking photos.

    He’s equally interested in just about every fish tank!

    These other fish tanks have a different aesthetic to them. Their Japanese-style designs make for great photos.

    Kaleidorium 3D

    “This one’s beautiful, it’s like a kaleidoscope.”

    It really does look like one. When you take a peek instead you can glimpse all kinds of colourful fish gently swimming around.

    Ceiling Kingyo

    “There’re goldfish swimming on the ceiling too. So cool! This aquarium is incredible. It brings together the great culture of Edo and contemporary art.”

     

    The Art Aquarium bustles every single year with visitors, but this year will mark its last run. It’s being held at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, so if you have the chance to go then please do.

    We of course checked out some local Nihonbashi treats too! We stopped by morozoff for some cheesecake after the aquarium.

    morozoff Kamadashi Cheesecake (Goldfish) – ¥270 Each (Tax Included)

    These cute cheesecakes with their goldfish designs are available for a limited time only. They’re filled with sweet red bean paste. They perfect with iced tea.

    “Got some! Let’s eat them while we head back.”

    Goldfish Lantern Walkway

    Our first date in Nihonbashi was so much fun. While on the date Yutaro-kun spoke about the new live-action film he’s in, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War.

     

    “It’s a romance film with mind games to try and make the other person confess their love. I play the character Tsubasa. His number one highlight scene is the kabedon scene. That was my first day shooting, so I was super nervous, but I got along well with the other actors, and the atmosphere on set was harmonious, so I was able to relax for the shoots. Tsubasa is a genuine guy who will believe things that have been said to him in earnest. You’ve definitely gotta check out all his scenes throughout the film!”

     

    “A lot of the cast are the same age as me, so we were all energetic together in the waiting room. There’s a scene at the end where all the cast get together. It took 3 days to shoot so we ended up getting along really well.”

     

    “This film has made me realise that love comes in many shapes, and that mind games happen in a variety of ways between guys and girls. There’s cute scenes that express that small bit of pride that teenagers have, the embarassment they feel, when they get butterflies, scenes that will warm your heart. The film has various elements to it so I thoroughly enjoyed watching it myself. I hope that couples in love in their teens and twenties watch it, and I also hope that married couples watch it and crack up laughing too.”

     

    “In the film it’s summer break, and they go and see fireworks and stuff. It’s definitely one to watch durnig the summer. You’re gonna come watch it too, right? Shall we go?”

     

    An offer we cannot refuse! We’ll definitely go and see it with you, Yutaro-kun! 

     

    Model: Yutaro

    Writer: Yuki Yokoo

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yutaro

    Yutaro was born in Hiroshima on June 3rd 1998. His modeling career has earned him lots of attention as a fashion icon of the new generation. The famous model also works as a “charisma” shop assistant. Yutaro has gained his reputation as a “mysterious and handsome guy” from his appearance on Japanese variety shows. His debut was made on the show “Gyoretsu no Dekiru Horitsu Sodanjo” and has since then appeared on numerous different TV shows. He challenged himself to appear on stage for the very first time in March this year and is gaining popularity by the day for his diverse work.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #11 – ‘Hatoya’ in Asakusa

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Hatoya which is located in Asakusa Shin-Nakamise Arcade.

     

    The streets of Tokyo’s historical district of Asakusa are packed to end with cafés. You can be spoiled for choice, but Hatoya stood out to me in particular as it’s an especially old café. Business there began back in 1927 but the actual building was built back in the Taisho period, meaning its history spans more than 90 years ago!

     

    The outside appearance of the shop is smart and chic so it’s very easy to spot. I couldn’t tell by looking from the outside, but the inside is full of old decorations and odds and ends which make you feel the history of the café.

    One reason why I wanted to visit this place so much is because I was drawn to their logo. It’s really retro-kawaii so I just couldn’t resist!

    You should take some photos too if you visit.

    It was time to head inside. It’s really comfy and cozy in there; the atmosphere was nice and relaxed.

    Framed on the wall is a map of the Asakusa area during the Taisho era. Hatoya became famous back then because people could buy coffee for a mere 5 sen (a single sen is one-hundredth of a yen).

     

    When business first began at Hatoya, because the café was opposite the stage door of a theatre, all of the famous actors and actresses would pop in. Some include famous Japanese comedian Roppa Furukawa and film actor Kiyoshi Atsumi who played Tora-san in the film series Otoko wa Tsurai yo.

    I ordered the café’s popular hotcakes which cost ¥600. They have been making these same hotcakes since before the war.

    They were nice and fluffy and had a deliciously gorgeous brown colour. The flavour was out of this world when the butter melted from the heat of the hotcakes and mixed together with the syrup.

     

    The portion might look like a lot but they are fluffy and have a light flavour so can be finished with no problem.

    And is the café’s signature milkshake (¥500).

     

    It’s so refreshing that you can knock it back all in one go. It has a simple flavour but it tasted so good!

    I also ordered the ¥600 cream soda, my favourite beverage.

    I’ve been to many cafés, and have covered many in this series, but this is the first I have dined at with such a deep history. I found myself enthralled by the stories of the owner who has continued to treasure the café and maintained it all the same since it opened. I feel like I have learned about a world I never knew about. The next time I go to Hatoya with a friend I’ll be sure to let them in on its history. I encourage you to visit too!

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
    Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    TALENT PROFILE

    Ema Tanioku

    “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

  • Moomin Stand in Asakusa Releases Strawberry Daifuku Milk Drink

    01.August.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    On July 16 this year, a new branch of Moomin Stand―a drinks shop inspired by the Finnish children’s books The Moomins―opened in Asakusa, one of the most popular tourist spots in Tokyo.

     

    Moomin Stand serves original fruity beverages, drinks with rich milk bases and more, all with chewy tapioca-like pearls.

    Moonmin Stand is produced by Moomin Café. The first branch opened in Kichijoji and proved popular with women in their 20s and 30s, high school and university students, and families with children. It continues to enjoy flurries of customers; you’re guaranteed to be lining up on weekends.

    Strawberry Daifuku Milk – ¥700 (Before Tax)

    The newly-released Strawberry Daifuku Milk drink is exclusive to the Asakusa branch. Its mix of sweet and sour strawberry flavour with the chewy pearls gives a texture reminiscent to daifuku, a traditional Japanese confection which takes mochi and stuffs it with a sweet filling. The drink has a delicious white bean paste base and is topped off with fresh pieces of strawberry.

    The café interior is decorated with beautiful illustrations from The Moomins making for plenty of great photo opportunities. There is also a bar to lean on as well as spaces on the wall to rest your back on to relax with your drink after walking around.

    All drinks also come with a cute Hattifattener straw toy that bites onto straws and pens which you can take home with you.

     

    After you’ve taken a stroll around Asakusa and seen the Kaminari gate, Nakamise Shopping Street and Sensō-ji temple, why not stop off at Moonmin Stand for refreshments?

  • Tokyo Stroll: Shopping & Sightseeing with Mozuku-kun the Dog #5 – Uzumako Ceramic Art School

    12.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    It’s been a minute since we last ventured out with Japanese model Yuna Yabe and her beloved pet pup Mozuku. If you’re new to this feature, Yuna Yabe takes her trusty partner Mozuku to various hot spots in Japan that you can enjoy with your pet dog. Their relationship continues to deepen in this priceless experience.

    Today, Yuna and Mozuku head to Uzumako Ceramic Art School which is close to Shiba Park. You can get a good view of TokyoTower from this famous park.

    What’s unique about this art school is that visitors are allowed to take their pets with them. So this means you can take your dog with you to do some ceramics!

     

    Yuna has always had an interest in ceramics. And what better way to experience creating something than with her partner in crime Mozuku! With him tottering beside her, she headed through the entrance curtain with a spring in her step.

    When you enter the classroom, there are lots of examples of pottery ware lining the shelves. The room has that smell of craftsmanship which lingers as you begin the class with a demonstration by the teacher. Once you have your apron on and are fired up to begin, it’s time to start.

     

    The work begins with kneading the clay to make its firmness uniform. This step helps prevent air bubbles from forming.

     

    Yuna asked the teacher many different questions as she enjoyed kneading her clay. “Where does ceramic work originate from?” “What kind of things to other dog owners make when they come here?”

    “What’s Yuna up to?” Mozuku’s puzzled face seemed to imply as he listened to Yuna and the teacher talk.

    Yuna turned to Mozuku and said to him, “I’m going to make you a food bowl!” It seemed like the message got through as his face read, “Looks like my owner is making something just for me.”

     

    Yuna wet her hands with some water and began forming a hole in the centre of her clay bundle. The hole forms and gets bigger as the pottery wheel spins.

    Next, she used both of her hands to ensure the thickness of the bowl was even all the way around.

    “Amazing! The shape of the clay changes in an instant!”

    By adding a little bit of pressure the pile of clay can change shape rapidly. It’s like a living thing.

    “It’s like the clay is my own child. I wanna wrap it up!”

    Once the shape is formed, Yuna cut around the edges. She is a skilled individual, she got the hang of it straight away.

    Mozuku sat right beside Yuna, quiet and curious.

    “Is it my turn yet?”

    He seemed itching to have a go at making something himself too.

    He watched over Yuna’s work from atop the table.

    “I wanna try spinning the wheel too!”

    Mozuku in fact had the most important job of all. Yuna popped a wooden mould onto his paw and stamped a paw print into thebottom of the bowl.

    “There we go!” said Yuna

    Mozuku mustered all of his strength to make his mark, his facial expression unusually serious as he carried out his big task.

    Time to check if the print was done properly!

    Here’s the final product―Mozuku did a great job!

     

    Their teamwork paid off as they were able to create a really cute dog bowl. The tiny footprint is packed with pet love. The art school actually sells a lot of different cute and stylish pet items but the owner making their own makes it unique―the only one in the world.

     

    If that love is able to get through to your pup, the food they eat from the bowl is sure to be even more delicious.

     

    Thanks for your help, Mozuku.

    “I can’t wait to fire it!” Yuna’s excitement was peak from start to finish. She was very satisfied after the class finished.

     

    After two weeks of waiting, the bowl was completely finished.

    Why not try creating something unique special for your own pet―together with them?

     

    Model: Yuna Yabe/Mozuku @yunaaay1030

    Text: Ai Watanabe

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yuna Yabe

    Yuna Yabe won the grand prix prize at the “Zipper×ASOBISYSTEM Model Auditions” at the age of 15. She is an expert not only in fashion but make-up and video editing too. She’s an influential figure to the people in her generation. Recently, her work has expanded greatly, such as appearing in music videos. Her activity continues to grow and looks to be very promising indeed.

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