Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #8 – ‘Ginza West’

05.October.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

Ginza is a district in the heart of Tokyo famed for its extravagant streets lined with upmarket shops, luscious restaurants and fantastic entertainment. But it’s not only worthy of note for its flamboyance – it’s also rooted in rich culture and history.

 

Today, I visited Ginza West, a café that has been continuously loved in Ginza ever since it opened in 1947.

Before entering I saw lots of delicious confections lined up on display. You can order takeout too. Your mind will wander off as you ponder on which to take away for snack time.

The entire café is clean and tidy throughout and you can feel the decor has grace. It’s different from other cafés in that it has a dignified atmosphere to it. It has an air of tension to it, the kind that makes you straighten up your back. It’s a place that’s nice if someone wants to enjoy a luxurious experience once in a while.

I ordered cake and tea set! The tea cost ¥1,048. A cake set is the price of the drink plus ¥324.

You can actually have them bring you samples of cakes being served on that day. There’s so many cake varieties it’s hard to choose.

The most popular is this one – the Mosaic Cake!

Its appearance is cute. I ended up wanting to take a lot of photos.

The Mosaic Cake is made of cocoa sponge and butter sponge which is arranged to look like a mosaic piece. You can really taste the different flavours of each sponge. It’s only moderately sweet so it’s not too heavy. I wolfed it down!

And then, and then!

I got the white cream soda which I’d been wanting to try. It cost ¥1,188.

 

When you think of cream soda it’s generally green coloured melon soda with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top. But this one uses no colouring. The soda is clear and also served with vanilla ice cream. Try drinking it yourself after adding a syrup of your choice.

It looks like a very elegant beverage.

In terms of taste, if you eat the vanilla ice cream after drinking some of the soda (which is subtly sweet) it makes for an exquisite balance. It’s a flavour I’ve never had before – it’s a novel sensation.

Delicious.

The chairs in the café have something about them too! They feel extremely comfortable, I felt exhausted. The staff kindly told me the secret behind them.

 

The back legs of the chairs are a little wider than the ones at the front allowing you to lean back much easier and making it feel much more comfortable. The chair legs are also cut to a certain length to allow easier sitting.

So that’s why. That’s why I felt so relaxed simply sitting on them. I felt I could be sat there no matter the hour.

 

t’s a kind of consideration you’d only find at a café. Hearing about those chairs made me think that cafes really are such wonderful places. The more you learn about them, the more you come to love their charms.

 

I wonder where I’ll visit next? Look forward to it!

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.

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  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #7 – Garden Café & Bar ‘Urara’ in Daikanyama

    15.August.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The place I am showcasing today is ‘Urara,’ a garden café and bar located in Daikanyama. Their shaved ice is super popular in summer. It’s somewhere I love and often go to in my private time.

    It’s an old Japanese-style house so it has a much different atmosphere to that of stylish Daikanyama. The outside of it has a warm and welcoming feel to it that will have you wanting to see what kind of place it is.

    Upon entering through the shop sign curtain, you arrive in the courtyard which is surrounded by trees. You can hear the sounds of birds from somewhere, and when the wind blows you also hear the rustling of tree leaves. You completely forget you’re in Tokyo as you feel like you’ve come to a grandma’s house in the countryside. It’s very relaxing.

    Hm? What’s this odd looking thing?

    These unique ornaments were scattered all around the courtyard ready to greet us!

    This sign makes for a great photo spot. It says ‘Urara’ just like the name of the café. Its nostalgic design is so cute!

    When you really look, it says tissue paper on it! There’s lots to be discovered on the posters and signs that make up the interior, it’s a lot of fun!

    I ordered the Uji adzuki bean shaved ice topped with condensed milk! It cost ¥600 for the shaved ice and ¥100 for the topping. The matcha used is from Uji in Kyoto. Such a big portion of shaved ice is enough to cool you down by just looking at it.

    Let’s eat!

    Where have I tasted this before…

     

    The matcha seeped all the way to the middle of the shaved ice. The refreshing sweetness was so tasty. The adzuki beans are from Tokachi in Hokkaido. They were a perfect combination with the condensed milk. The ice used is natural ice from Nikko. It’s fluffy, tastes great, and doesn’t give you brain freeze!

     

    Natural ice is different from regular ice. It’s frozen slowly so the crystals have high density, and it takes longer for it to melt. The cool part was how it didn’t crumple instantly when I poured the syrup on it!

    This is blueberry syrup (¥600). The blueberries used are from Nagano. They make it from jam in the café. Isn’t the colour just beautiful?

    It has that sour flavour that blueberries have and a refreshing, lip-smacking sweetness.

    I normally don’t drink alcohol, but since Urara is a café and a bar I will show you a mojito (¥600). The mint is so refreshing!

    On a hot summer’s day it seems like there are people who order both shaved ice and beer together. They’re seasonal items so will satisfy and cool you down.

    I also got to meet Tama-chan, the cat who comes to play at Urara. One time when I came before Tama was out walking so I didn’t get to meet him.

    Lastly, I snapped a photo with Arai who’s in charge of promoting Urara!

    We’re roughly the same height and have a similar interest in clothes so I grew an affinity with her.

    Coffee shops and cafés in old style Japanese houses tell you something about the people associated with them.

    Urara feels natural thanks to SELIN & Co., an apparel maker who make things that feel one with nature. The staff at Urara all love living things, so the big hearted atmosphere there was really wonderful.

    If I was to set up a shop I wonder what it would be like…

    I think I’d want to put out something warm like Urara.

     

    ■Information

    Urara

    Address: 20-10 Sarugakucho, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: Weekdays 11:30am-7:00pm / Weekends & Holidays 11:30am-7:30pm

    *Closed during rainy weather.

    Access: 4-minutes on foot from Daikanyama Station via the Tokyu Tokoyo Line

    Website: http://www.hrm.co.jp/news/2016/04/garden-cafe-bar-urara

     

    Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor:Ai Watanabe

    Design:Yuko Abe(ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translater:Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    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.

  • 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

     

  • 【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

    DSC07474

    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

     

  • 【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

    DSC05571

    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 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 cafe that you want to visit to see someone #2 “Nanatsumori”—An Attractive Cafe in Kōenji

    26.July.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    “A coffee lounge where you can step back in time and spend it in luxury.”

     

    Showa, retro-style coffee shops that are comfortable and echo a sense of nostalgia. I, Ema Tanioka, love going to these kinds of cafés. I hope to make you want to visit a place like this, the kind of place where you want to meet with someone.

     

    For today’s stroll, I went to Kōenji, a conveniently accessible location from the city just one stop from Shinjuku on the Chūō Line. When you think of Kōenji, you think of its plentiful second hand clothes shops and shops selling miscellaneous goods, among others, all with their individual traits. It’s the kind of town where you’re sure to discover something new each time you visit.

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    This time around, I went to “Nanatsumori,” a café that has a retro look to it from the outside. It was built in Showa 53 (the year 1978). I heard that the building was originally used as a tea house.

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    At the front of the café is an old-fashioned shaved ice machine. I couldn’t help turning it.

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    Upon entering, you can see the interior of the café has weathered. It has an atmosphere reminiscent of the Showa era, like you’ve just stepped back in time. No matter where you take a photograph in the café it will look beautiful.

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    There were lots of mysterious ornaments inside; I couldn’t help but reach my hands out to touch everything♪

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    But, in the end, I didn’t know what any of the things I’m holding in the photos were. How on earth do you use this stuff…?!

     

    While pondering that, just simply gazing around the interior of the café filled me with a feeling of excitement.

    >>next page

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  • Akihabara’s premiere maid café chain “@home café” announced last month the opening of a permanent maid café themed on Sanrio’s popular character Pompompurin. The café is set to open along Harajuku’s famous Takeshita Street on April 14, 2021.

     © 2021 SANRIO CO., LTD.  APPROVAL NO. S620028

    @home café has collaborated with many of Sanrio’s popular characters in the past at its Akihabara-based café branches such as Hello Kitty, My Melody, Cinnamoroll, and of course Pompompurin, but this time the collaboration is flying out of Akiba and straight into the heart of Japanese pop culture: Harajuku.

     

    This new Pompompurin Café is themed on Pompompurin throwing a party for everyone—that’s you and your friends. It’s a place for Purin to deliver happiness to all who visit in the form of cute and tasty food.

     

    Of course, the @home café maids will also be present, and all wearing original maid uniforms coloured like Pompompurin.

     

    A little look at some things on the menu

     

    The Food

     

    Soufflé Omurice | ¥1,450

    Butter Chicken Curry | ¥1,300

     

    The Desserts

     

    Pompompurin Pudding | ¥700

    Chocolate Banana Mountain Waffle | ¥1,200

     

    The Drinks

    Custard Pudding Latte | ¥850

    Muffin’s Caffe Mocha | ¥850

     

     

    Take a commemorative photo

    For just ¥550, you can take a chekki photo at the café. It comes with café-original stickers and paper. For an extra ¥300, you can take a photo with one of the maids.

     

    Pompompurin Birthday Party

     

    April 16 is Pompompurin’s birthday, so on that day the café will have a special dessert prepared (which you can see below) along with novelties for customers, new decorations, and more.

     

    Pompompurin’s Birthday Dessert

    Special Birthday Parfait | ¥1,700 | Serving: April 14, 2021 – April 30, 2021

     

    Birthday Novelty

    To commemorate Pompompurin’s birthday and the opening of the café, all visitors will receive the pin below for free.

     

     

     

    Pompompurin will visit the café

    On the evening on April 16, Pompompurin will visit the cafe for his birthday to celebrate with everyone. Details and bookings can be found here in Japanese.

  • Renai Mangaka Drama Series Gets Themed Cafe in Tokyo

    13.April.2021 | FOOD

    Fuji TV’s ongoing drama series Renai Mangaka opened a theme cafe in Ebisu on April 8 with dishes inspired by the series.

     

    The Menu

    Renai Pancakes | ¥1,892 (Tax Included)

    Renai Fondant Chocolate | ¥1,122 (Tax Included)

    Renai Lemon Sour | ¥660 (Tax Included)

    Renai Strawberry Milk | ¥990 (Tax Included)

    Renai Bread Gratin | ¥2,805 (Tax Included)

    Renai Bread Dessert | ¥990 (Tax Included)

    Renai Dessert Plate | ¥1,232 (Tax Included) | Available Early May 2021

    Renai Omurice | ¥1,452 (Tax Included) | Available Early May 2021

    The story of Renai Mangaka follows Karibe Seiichiro, a manga artist who’s not the best at socializing. He rarely goes outdoors and has a strange way of thinking. One day, he meets his late-brother’s former girlfriend Kuon Aiko, and asks her to be his pseudo-romance partner.

  • The Moomin Cafe at Tokyo Dome City Begins Serving Breakfast Menu

    12.April.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    The Moomin Cafe at Tokyo Dome City LaQua introduced a breakfast menu on April 1.

    Hot Ham & Cheese Sandwich: One – ¥510 (Tax Included) / Two – ¥800 (Tax Included)

    Hattifatteners Hot Dog: ¥600 (Tax Included)

    Northern Europe Breakfast Plate | ¥1,500 (Tax Included)

    Open Fruit Sandwich | ¥700 (Tax Included)

    Five fun and delicious items arrive at the Moomin Cafe for the spring season, each with a reference or design inspired by the beloved Moomins.

  • Gaspard and Lisa Themed Menu to be Served in Tokyo

    12.April.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    The popular French characters Gaspard and Lisa are getting their own themed menu at Le Cafe la Boutique du Joel Robuchon in Tokyo. The menu will be served from April 24 to May 9 and takes inspiration from Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben’s children’s book series.

    Gaspard and Lisa One Plate & Cocktail Set | ¥3,300 (Tax Included)

    Non-Alcoholic Strawberry & Lychee Cocktail | ¥990 (Tax Included)

    Strawberry Galette (With Coffee or Tea) | ¥2,420 (Tax Included)

    Coasters

    Pouch

    The first 500 customers who order something from the menu will receive a free coaster, and those who spend over ¥5,000 will get a special pouch.

     

    Enter the charming world of Gaspard and Lisa with this cute themed menu.

     

    (C) 2021 Anne Gutman & Georg Hallensleben / Hachette Livre

  • Ham and Cheese Dorayaki and Other Delicious Foods Release at Old-Time Japanese Dessert Shop Eitaro

    12.April.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    Japan’s 203-year-old confectionery shop Eitaro Sohonpo is rolling out a new series of delicious delights over the next three weeks at Nihonbashi E-Chaya.

     

    Week One: From April 7, 2021 all year round

    Nihonbashi Dorayaki: Ham & Cheese/Egg Salad/Anko Mochi – ¥303 Each (Tax Included)

     

    Week Two: April 14, 2021 – April 28, 2021

    Assorted Sweets Set | ¥1,000 (Tax Included)

     

    Week Three: April 21, 2021 – April 28, 2021 (and the same dates every month from May)

    Mangetsu Mochi Omusubi | ¥270 (Tax Included)

    Exclusive to Nihonbashi E-Chaya, the new release includes two different deli-style dorayaki as well as an anko red bean paste version, a plate of assorted Japanese sweets, and a red rice ball made with black-eyed peas instead of sesame seeds. Red rice was often consumed on joyous occasions during the Edo period.

  • Peanuts Comic Launches 70th Anniversary Birthday Campaign in Japan

    11.April.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    Japan’s five Peanuts comic-themed cafes are now holding a birthday plan campaign in celebration of the series’ 70th anniversary.

     

    Each cafe branch is offering something different

    PEANUTS Cafe Nakameguro x WHYTROPHY With Birthday Rosette

    PEANUTS DINER Yokohama With Embroidered Striped Pin

    PEANUTS DINER Kobe With Embroidered Striped Pin

    PEANUTS Cafe Snoopy Museum With Tote Bag

    PEANUTS Cafe Nagoya With Tote Bag

    Campaign Art

    Customers at the cafes will also be randomly selected to stay at the PEANUTS HOTEL and will receive a free sticker as pictured above. All who order the birthday plan and their group will even receive a free present.

     

    (C) 2021 Peanuts Worldwide LLC (短縮形 (C) 2021 Peanuts)

  • The popular LINE Friends characters now have their own pop-up cafe inside Ikebukuro PARCO which is running until April 25. The characters form part of a series of stickers used on the Japanese messaging app LINE which is used by other 200 million people worldwide.

     

    The Menu

    Brown’s Beef Burger | ¥1,250

    Lattes | ¥950

    LINE FRIENDS Parfaits | ¥1,100 Each

    Cafe-Original Merchandise

     

    Alphabet Die-Cut Stickers | ¥330 Each

    Lunch Tote Bag | ¥1,650

    Brown Mug | Available to the first 300 people who visit to the cafe

     

    Join Brown, Cony, and Sally as they serve up a fun and tasty menu along with a collection of merchandise exclusive to the cafe as well as items also sold at the LINE Friends Store.

  • Snoopy Café Opens in Niigata in Collaboration With Hoshi Tabeyo Rice Crackers

    08.April.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    Befco is collaborating its Hoshi Tabeyo star-shaped rice crackers with the lovable Peanuts comic strip to open a themed café at Hotel Nikko Niigata. Named the “Hoshi Tabeyo x Snoopy Café @ Hotel Nikko Niigata,” the café will open for a limited time from April 9 to May 9.“

    Snoopy and fans of Japanese snacks can look forward to an original themed menu, with every food item and drink ordered getting them a free novelty. Of course, the café will sell its own original merchandise too. The café will be decorated in all things Peanuts and Hoshi Tabeyo, and there will even be two photo booths for snapping a commemorative photo of your fun day.

     

     

    The Menu

     

    1. Snoopy Beef Stew: With a juicy meat and bouillon base, this stew is made with beef, onion, and mushrooms, all topped off with a Snoopy made from rice.

     

    2. Snoopy Hamburger Curry: Snoopy’s rice ears are topped with a hamburger, and the curry sauce is made with fruit and vegetables. There’s even a little Woodstock made from cheese.

     

    3. Snoopy Hot Sandwich: There are two different sandwiches, one with ham and cheese and the other with potato salad, and both have a different toasted illustration on them. These come in a free lunch box.

     

    4. Hoshi Tabeyo Shaka Shaka Caesar Salad: A salad served in a cup drizzled in a Caesar dressing and with Hoshi Tabeyo rice crackers instead of croutons.

     

    5. Thick Soufflé Pancake: Fat and fluffy pancakes combined with French meringue and served with a Snoopy cookie and sweet-tasting Hoshi Tabeyo. Enjoy together with the accompanying strawberry sauce.

     

    6. Chocolate Parfait: A towering, chocolate-packed parfait layered with chocolate sauce, chocolate cornflakes, chocolate ice cream, and brownie. This is all topped off with a Snoopy cookie and Hoshi Tabeyo rice cracker.

     

    7. Hotel Original Cookies (Set of 4): Crunchy cookies with various prints of familiar faces like Snoopy and Woodstock.

     

    8. Lemonade: A sweet and refreshing lemonade beverage served with honey.

     

    *Dishes 1-3 come with the Shaka Shaka Caesar Salad

    *Ordering anything from the menu gets you one of four possible Hoshi Tabeyo x Snoopy postcards

     

    Merchandise

     

    © 2021 Peanuts Worldwide LLC( 短縮形 © 2021 Peanuts )

  • Disney’s Zootopia Themed Cafe to Open in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya for Film’s 5th Anniversary

    07.April.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    The Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya branches of OH MY CAFE are set to pay host to cafe experiences themed on Disney’s Zootopia in celebration of the movie’s 5th anniversary which hit last month. The cafes will transform into a Zootopia extravaganza from April 23.

    Customers who book a table in advance receive one of six possible lunch mats

     

    The Menu

    Vegetable Curry ¥1,890 (Before Tax)

    Sandwich Plate ¥1,990 (Before Tax)

    Corn Cream Pie ¥1,590 (Before Tax)

    Salsa Burger ¥2,390 (Before Tax)

    Carrot Doria ¥1,490 (Before Tax)

    Acrylic Coasters +¥900 (Before Tax)

    Iced Milk ¥990 (Before Tax) / With Mug +¥1,600 (Before Tax)

    Iced Coffee ¥690 (Before Tax) / With Mug ¥1,600 (Before Tax)

    Iced Drink ¥990 (Before Tax)

    Exclusive Merchandise

    Movie Stills Series

    Acrylic Key Rings

    Square Magnet ¥550 (Before Tax) / Acryluc Key Ring ¥650 (Before Tax) / A4 Folder ¥350 (Before Tax)

    Mask Cases ¥500 (Before Tax) / Masking Tapes ¥800 (Before Tax)

     

     

    Tiny Animals Series

     

    Acrylic Charms ¥450 (Before Tax) / Mini Notebook Set ¥850 (Before Tax)

    A5 Folder Set ¥800 (Before Tax) / Mini Pouch Set ¥1,800 (Before Tax)

    Mini Towels ¥1,000 (Before Tax) / Eco Bag ¥1,850 (Before Tax)

    Zootopia fans won’t be able to resist the tasty and healthy themed menu featuring Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps, as well as getting their hands on a range of merchandise from stationery to fashion.

     

    ©Disney

  • Cafe Product Design Brand COFFEE TIME WITH VAUGHAN Releases New Items

    05.April.2021 | FASHION

    COFFEE TIME WITH VAUGHAN released a new collection of items in collaboration with Koffee Mameya and Rokuyosha on Wednesday.

     

    Just how coffee serves as a tool to help create a relaxed atmosphere when people get together to chat, so too do products like handkerchiefs, bags, and other sundries play a part in people’s bonds. It’s this concept that gave rise to the cafe design line-up of COFFEE TIME WITH VAUGHAN, which its releasing a new collection with Koffee Mamya of Tokyo and Rokuyosha of Kyoto.

    Vaughan was born in Melbourne, Australia, aka the home of coffee. He is an enthusiast of Japanese cafes and has visited countless branches for over 10 years, shining a light on them through this unique lens through a variety of media, at events, and more. And no matter what he may be doing, whether it’s something new or something old, he has a profound respect for both.

     

    COFFEE TIME WITH VAUGHAN Collection

    Gauze Handkerchief | ¥1,100 (Tax Included)

    Drip Coffee Bag Set | ¥1,650 (Tax Included)

    A set of original drip coffees by Koffee Mameya and Rokuyosha.

     

    KOFFEE MAMEYA

    Koffee Mameya is a coffee bean shop that first opened in 2017 with a desire to help improve the quality of coffee we drink at home. The owner, Kunitomo, is a legendary barista and pioneer of thrusting baristas into the limelight. He has help produced many cafes throughout his career.

     

    At Koffee Mameya, the barista hears from the customer what kind of coffee and tastes they like and choose a coffee bean for them based on that information. This creates an intimate one-on-one conversation between the barista and customer.

     

    COFFEE TIME WITH VAUGHAN x KOFFEE MAMEYA Collection (Excerpt)

    Handkerchief | ¥1,100 (Tax Included)

     

    Tote Bag | ¥3,300 (Tax Included)

     

     

    Rokuyosha

    Rokuyosha is an old-time coffee shop first established in 1950. Serving classic and authentic coffees, the cafe is just a 5-minute walk from Sanjo Station in Kyoto. Its building exterior has a nostalgic feel to it that makes you instantly recognise it as a classic cafe. On the first floor, they served filter coffee that’s filtered through cloth. Downstairs, customers can enjoy some in-house straight coffee blends made with paper drips. The cafe wishes has always preserved the time spent over coffee and wants to continue to.

     

    COFFEE TIME WITH VAUGHAN x Rokuyosha Merchandise (Excerpt)

    Handkerchief | ¥1,100 (Tax Included)

    Tote Bag | ¥3,300 (Tax Included)

  • Tokyo’s New Vegan Dessert Shop the vegan marshmallooow Opens in Ginza

    05.April.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    Ginza Mitsukoshi is welcoming a limited-time vegan dessert shop by the name of ‘the vegan marshmallooow’ which is open from April 1 to June 30. This shop is known amongst the vegan community in Japan for its vegan cakes, and due to that positive response, is now opening its first long-term promotional pop-up shop in collaboration with Mitsukoshi Isetan Group.

     

    Online orders opened at Mitsukoshi Isetan on March 27 with a delicious line-up that includes their signature vegan chocolate cake.

     

    A look at just some of the mouth-watering line-up

    Chocolate Cake

    Their number one most popular order: a gorgeously gluten-free mirror cake made with rich chocolate.

     

    <NEW> Whole Fruit Cake

    For those who like something a little more fruity and refreshing, this juicy cake is topped with assorted fruits like setoka orange, peach, kiwi, blueberry, strawberry, and more. The gluten-free sponge and soy cream give it a light texture that’s also rich.

     

    <NEW> Special Chocolate Cake Slice

    An exquisite three-layered version of the shop’s iconic chocolate make made with plant-based ingredients. Its triple tier is formed harmoniously of sponge, chocolate mousse, and cream. A single serving for a single sweet tooth.

     

    Strawberry Shortcake

    Two moist layers of gluten-free strawberry sponge with a soy milk base. Smooth, creamy, light, and delicious.

     

     

    Mont Blanc

    This mont blanc is specially made with Japanese chestnuts. The addition of soy cream elevates the nutty flavour throughout. A crunchy tart and fluffy sponge also makes for a textural sensation.

     

    the vegan marshmallooow’s vegan cake now available online at Mitsukoshi Isetan

    Vegan Chocolate Cake Set (3 Pieces)

  • Akihabara’s Maid Cafe @home Announces Collaboration With Tanuqn Friends

    02.April.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    Akihabara’s famous maid cafe @home has announced a collaboration Tanuqn Friends, a fictional idol unit led by the cute mint green Tanuki known as Tanuqn. The collaboration will run from April 2 to 25 and will welcome customers with an original menu line-up, merchandise, and more.

     

    Cute maid outfit arrangement for the collaboration

    Tanuqn Friends maid outfit illustration created for the collab (c)yumeminemu

    A cute menu line-up

     

    Omurice | ¥1,450 (Tax Included)

    Ramen | ¥1,300 (Tax Included)

    Chocolate Mint Parfait | ¥1,100 (Tax Included)

    Pudding | ¥1,000 (Tax Included)

    Mint Latte – Mango Passion Latte – Black Sesame Latte | ¥750 Each (Tax Included)

    Free name tags with the Tanuqn course menu

    Novelties

    Customers will receive a free lunch mat for every dish and dessert ordered.

    And every drink ordered will get you an original coaster.

     

    Collab Merch

     

    tiny tot toys x @home cafe Plush Toy | ¥7,150 (Tax Included)

    Acrylic Key Rings | ¥880 Each (Tax Included)

    Acrylic Stand Set of 3 | ¥2,200 (Tax Included)

    Pins | ¥440 Each (Tax Included)

    Hand Towels | ¥1,320 Each (Tax Included)

    Pouch | ¥1,760 (Tax Included)

    The collaboration is taking place on the 6th floor of the main branch of @home cafe in Akihabara, where customers get to see the maids wearing animal ears based on the three characters of Tanuqn Friends.

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