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.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • 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

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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 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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  • Top 13 Cream Sodas in Tokyo: Cool Yourself Down This Summer with Classic Drinks & Modern Beverages

    17.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Hey, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON readers! I’m Banako of MOSHI MOSHI FRIENDS.

     

    It’s safe to say that most long-standing, older cafés in Japan serve cream soda. It’s a drink that bellows with nostalgia, topped cutely with a dollop of ice cream and sparkling bright with vivid colour like some rare jewel.

     

    It’s a rather simple drink, but the number of people intrigued by its unique appearance are evidently on the rise. And I’m one of those people! I’ve had times where if it’s available on the menu I want to order it-and further still I’ve gone out of my way to a café solely because I’ve wanted some cream soda.

     

    Depending on the vibe and atmosphere of a café, the appearance of the cream soda will be different, which also means a different flavour. This is all part of the enjoyment of cream soda: it’s fun to compare the different tastes.

     

    I have made a long list of my most recommended cream sodas in Tokyo, all of which I have actually tried!

     

    To make it easier to picture each drink I have also given a rating out of 5☆ stars for the strength of the fizziness, the sweetness of the soda, and sweetness of the ice cream. Use this as reference when picking your drink of choice. Enjoy this specially curated selection of drinks in cafés that you’re going to want to snap lots of pictures of♡

     

    ①CAMPUS TOY cafe&bar

    CAMPUS TOY is located in the Jinbocho district of Tokyo. This exciting little place has gone for an American pop vibe. They sell toys too.

     

    The extra goodies they put in the cream soda here is influenced by the US too. The owner is a really interesting person, so much so that you end up losing track of the time as you get lost in conversation with them.

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    CAMPUS TOY cafe&bar

    Address: 2-10 Kanda-Jinbocho, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: [Mon-Fri] 18:00-22:00

    Closed: Weekends & Public Holidays

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Jinbocho Station’s A2 Exit

    TEL: 03-3261-7383

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/campustoy_matz/?hl=ja

     

     

    ②Café Negura

    This little-known-good-spot can be found in Shimokitazawa. The café interior has relaxed and retro décor. Their cream soda is served with two stacks of ice cream and a crown of whipped cream topped off with a cherry. What a cute-looking drink!

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★☆☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎ Café Negura

    Address: PACKAGE ONE Floor 1F (North Side), 2-26-13 Kitazawa, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:30 ー 20:00

    Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays

    Access:152m walk from Shimokitazawa Station

    Twitter:https://twitter.com/neguracafe_mi

     

     

    ③Sepia

    Another retro-style café, except this one is specifically influenced by the Showa period . Situated in Shibamata, everything about this café, from the outside to the interior, breathes retro-Showa. On the second floor is the Candy Candy Museum.

     

    Their cream soda is the quintessential classic cream soda…but with a twist. It has mikan in it, a type of orange, which is very rare with cream sodas. That gives off a retro-ness too. Another cute beverage!

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎ Sepia

    Address: 7-4-11 Shibamata, Katsushika Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:30 (Last Orders 18:00

    Closed: Tuesdays & Wednesdays

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Shibamata Station (Accessed via the Keisei Line)

    Instagram: https://instagram.com/sepiamama?igshid=1urnwdix23qbx

     

     

    ④ALL C’S CAFE

    ALL C’S CAFE is in Koenji, the retro hub of Tokyo. Decorations of cute bears are what this café is all about. There are enormous life-sized bears everywhere, so you can get ready to snap some seriously kawaii pictures.

     

    The café itself, as well as the adorable smiley bear on your cream soda, is sure to elicit some high-pitched “Aww’s.”

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎ALL C’S CAFE

    Address: Miyake Bldg. 2F, 3-25-24 Koenji, Suginami Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-22:00

    Closed: No Fixed Holidays (except Obon and New Year’s Holidays)

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from the north exit of Koenji Station (Accessed via the JR Chuo Line)

    Website: http://www.allcscafe.com

     

     

    ⑤Café Hosekibako

    Hosekibako, which means ‘jewelry box’ in Japanese, is right next to Chitose-Karasuyama Station. Retro vibes waft their way throughout this cozy little hideaway with the littering of Showa manga and other miscellaneous odds and ends.

     

    This café too has the signature classic cream soda. It has a transparent appearance in its truly beautiful colour.

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎ Café Hosekibako

    Address: Koyama Mansion 102, 4-18-18 Minamikarasuyama, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-18:30 (Last Orders 18:00)

    Closed: Wednesdays

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from the east exit of Chitose-Karasuyama Station (Accessed via the Keio Line)

    Website: https://housekibako.wixsite.com/2009

     

     

    ⑥THE GREAT BURGER STAND

    This hamburger shop sells an American-style cream soda, topped with swirly ice cream rather than cream soda’s classic dollop. That, together with the huge glass it’s served in, is enough to get you excited before you even take a sip. The café can be found in Shibuya Stream, meaning you can stop by for a breather after shopping.

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎THE GREAT BURGER STAND

    Address: Shibuya Stream 1F, 3-21-3 Shibuya, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo

    Access: 1-minute on foot from Shibuya Station via the JR Yamanote Line 

    Opening Hours: 11:00 ー 23:00 (Last orders:  22:30)

    Closed when Shibuya Stream is closed.

    Access: Approx. 1-minute walk from Shibuya Station (JR Yamanote Line)

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_great_burger/

     

     

    ⑦Coffee Shop Galant

    Right beside Ueno Station you’ll find Galant, a coffee shop also with an air of retro-Showa to it during the bubble economy period. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time when you see the dazzling décor and the staff uniforms. Peeking through the see-through liquid is a cute red cherry♡

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎ Coffee Shop Galant

    Address: 6-14-4 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 8:00-23:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: Directly behind the toy store Yamashiroya (山城屋), just a two minute walk from JR Ueno Station. Also 1-minute on foot from exit 5b of Ueno Station (accessed via the Tokyo Metro Line and Hibiya Line)

    Tabelog: https://www.google.co.jp/amp/s/s.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131101/13039759/top_amp/

     

    ⑧bio ojiyan cafe Harajuku

    Ojiya, also known as zosui, is a type of Japanese rice-based vegetable soup. In my opinion, the ojiya served here is the tastiest in the world! Their cream soda comes in a large round cup and is a nice refreshment after a spot of ojiya.

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎bio ojiyan café

    Location: 4-26-28 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from JR Harajuku Station / 3-minutes on foot from the Jingumae Crossing ticket gate elevator exit of Meiji-Jingumae Station (Accessed via the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line)

    Website: http://mfs11.com/brand/bio-ojiyan-cafe-harajuku/

     

    ⑨PEPPERS DRIVE IN

    The main dish at this Kanagawa-based restaurant is curry. Every single thing about PEPPERS DRIVE IN is influenced by retro US elements, from the car park to the nooks and crannies inside and even the trays. You can take some really cute photos literally anywhere in the restaurant. The cream soda portion stays true to the American taste too with a generous serving.

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎PEPPERS DRIVE IN 

    Address: 1129-1 Kidokoro, Hiratsuka, Kanagawa

    Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30-15:00 (Last Orders 14:45) / Dinner 18:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)

    Closed: Wednesdays (Except on public holidays, in which case closed the following day)

    Access: 6-minutes by taxi from south exit of Isehara Station (Accessed via the Odakyu Odawara Line) / 16-minutes by taxi from the north exit of Hiratsuka Station (Accessed via the JR Tokaido Main Line)

    Official Website: http://www.peppers.co.jp

     

     

    ⑩BRIDGE

    I reviewed the melon bread pancakes at this Ginza-based café earlier this year. It’s located inside a long-standing department store meaning the cream soda here has been around for a long time too, offering a more traditional taste. They are served on coasters which you can take home with you. It’s a great place to stop off for a break when strolling around Ginza.

    Fizziness:★★☆☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★★★☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎BRIDGE

    Address: NISHIGINZA Floor B1F, 4-1 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo

    Business Hours: [Monday-Saturday] 11:00-20:30 (Last Orders 20:00) / [Sunday & Holidays] 11:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30)

    Closed: When NISHIGINZA Department Store is closed.

    Website: http://www.nishiginza.co.jp/page/shopguide/detail/?id=33

     

     

    ⑪HIROMAN’S COFFEE

    Another snug hideout, situated in the backstreets and surrounded by trees, is HIROMAN’S COFFEE. This cute café has lots of antique picture frames, rabbit ornaments, and other tidbits. Their melon soda arrives in a cute round and plump glass. They plenty of other Instagrammable drinks too including one topped with cotton candy. This one is one to keep coming back to!

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎ HIROMAN’S COFFEE

    Address: 3-18-12 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:00-19:00 (Last Orders 18:30)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from Meiji-Jingumae Station

    Instagram: https://instagram.com/hiromans_coffee?igshid=oumb3g7aergo

     

     

    ⑫ blikje button

    ⑫blikje button

    blikje button in Shimokitazawa, which offers both a café and dining experience, has a vintage vibe to it with decorations that have a handcrafted feel to them.  The glasses the cream sodas come in match that aesthetic. The stroking colours of the sodas are something beautiful to behold!

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎blikje button

    Address: Shimokitazawa Central Bldg. 2F, 2-14-7 Kitazawa, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-23:00 (Lunch 12:00-16:00/Café 12:00-18:00/Dinner 17:00-23:00) *Food last orders 22:00, drink last orders 22:30

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Shimokita Station via the Odakyu Line / 2-minutes on foot from the south-west exit of Shimokitazawa Station via the Keio Inokashira Line

    Website: http://www.blikje-button.com/

     

     

    ⑬CAROLINE DINER

    CAROLINE DINER is a famous café in Harajuku inspired by American diners. The cream sodas sold here are striking and nothing short of Instagram-worthy! They go perfectly with the stylish interior of the café that you’ll no doubt find yourself taking photos.

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎CAROLINE

    Address: 2-14-11 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-18:30 (Last Orders 18:00)

    Closed: Thursdays

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from Meiji-Jingumae Station / 10-minutes on foot from Kita-Sando Station / 10-minutes on foot from Setagaya Station

    Website: http://caroline1.theshop.jp/

     

    And that’s all from me Banako and my must-try recommendations for Tokyo cream soda. Do you have a favourite from this list?

     

    Tokyo’s summer is nowhere near over yet. How about treating to yourself to a nice refreshing cream soda to cool yourself down from the scorching heat?

  • 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.

  • Mango Drinks Cafe CAFE MANGOSIX Opens First Japan Branch in Okinawa

    15.August.2019 | FOOD

    MANGOSIX Japan opened its first ever CAFE MANGOSIX branch in Naha, the capital of Okinawa, on August 10.

     

    CAFE MANGOSIX is a hugely popular cafe in South Korea which serves healthy drinks and desserts themed on its 6 S’s concept: Sensual, Slim, Sweet, Social, Sexy, and Style.

    Their must-try beverage is the Mango & Coconut Juice which combines rich mango with sweet coconut milk. The cafe even has some drinks exclusive to Japan so you won’t find them anywhere else!

    The popular Blue Lemonade from South Korea is also being sold.

     

    Cool yourself off after sunbathing on the beaches of Okinawa by grabbing a drink from the new CAFE MANGOSIX!

  • Popular Tokyo Café Bakery BREAD, ESPRESSO & to Open in Fukuoka

    09.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Bakery café BREAD, ESPRESSO &  has made quite a reputation in Omotesando, Tokyo for its stylish interior and delicious coffee and bread. The bakery café is now opening a new branch in Fukuoka called BREAD, ESPRESSO & HAKATA & on September 25th, 2019.

     

    To commemorate 10 years in business, BREAD, ESPRESSO & will be opening their first ever branch in Hakata, Kyushu. The café bakery will be nestled between Hakata Station and CANAL CITY HAKATA. Whether you are a busy commuter looking for a heartwarming cup of coffee or a traveling tourist, the location is ideal for anyone looking for a quick rest stop. 

    The new café bakery is approximately 165 m² in size, making it the largest branch. The shop is decorated with a pure white base theme and has the perfect comfortable environment to enjoy a coffee. 

    Mu: ¥330 (after tax)

    French Toast: ¥750 (after tax)

    BREAD, ESPRESSO &’s popular Mu and French Toast will be on the menu along with Hakata-limited goods. If you are searching for some delicious bread in Hakata, please make your way to BREAD, ESPRESSO &.

  • Enjoy a Meal While Gazing Across the Rice Fields Of Kamimomi at Momian

    06.August.2019 | BUSINESS / FOOD / SPOT

    A new cafe called Momian opened by the Kakimomi Terraced Rice Fields in the Kamimomi area of Kumenan, a town in Okayama Prefecture, on August 3. The terraced rice fields of Kamimomi were selected by Pasona as one of Japan’s top 100 rice fields.

     

    Momian’s menu promotes the local region by using locally sourced and produced ingredients as well as rice from the rice fields.

     

    Kumenan has the highest rate of ageing in Okayama Prefecture. As of October 2018, over 44.3% of the population is over the age of 65. As a result, the region is facing a serious ageing population and consequential population decline. As well as this, more and more rice fields in Kamimomi have been abandoned in recent years and are no longer cultivated, leading to a serious maintenance problem with Satoyama which share resources in the region.

     

    Pasona has aided in tackling Kamimomi’s farming issue and is working to help revitalise the local community. They also revamped and reopened the Kumenan Rest Area in 2016 through their subsidiary company Pasona Okayama.

    There’s also where Momian comes in. The new cafe uses a refurbished old Japanese house and offers a gorgeous view of the rice fields and natural environment from its windows.

    To help support and build a deeper connection with its local farmers, the cafe will serve up original dishes made using ingredients grown in the area throughout the year.

  • Night Party at Harajuku’s Conveyor-Belt Dessert Cafe Ron Ron for 20 Year Olds Only

    03.August.2019 | FASHION / FOOD

    MAISON ABLE Cafe Ron Ron is a popular conveyor-belt dessert cafe in Harajuku. We visited the cafe last year when it had just dropped, so be sure to check out our cover story if you want more information.

     

    The cafe has just announced a night party that is exclusive to those in their 20’s. Titled “Cafe Ron Ron 20ty’s Night Party -PINK FRIDAY- supported by MAISON ABLE,” the event began yesterday and will run every night up to September 27.

    Customers can enjoy all-you-can-eat unlimited snacks for just ¥500 with no time restrictions. For an additional fee, you can also pick from the food menu which features 5 dishes and order from the drinks menu which includes alcohol.

    Everything on the food and drinks menu is ¥500 too, making it a delicious bargain!

    Desserts are served at varying time slots from 19:00. Depending on what time you arrive or decide to start eating the menu will change which is all part of the fun!

    The cafe has also teamed up with the fashion rental shop airCloset next door so customers can enjoy dining at Cafe Ron Ron while wearing a yukata.

    You can even continue wearing the kimono after you’ve eaten so you can stroll the streets of Harajuku, go to nearby festivals and more for an exciting day out in Japan’s youth and culture hub. The yukata can be rented by people of all ages – full details on the websites below.

  • Snoopy Themed PEANUTS HOTEL Celebrates 1st Anniversary

    03.August.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    To celebrate the 1st anniversary of the PEANUTS HOTEL, which opened on August 1, 2018, the hotel has released a collection of original commemorative merchandise.

    The PEANUTS hotel is home to 18 rooms each with its own unique design. The merchandise collection is themed on each of these rooms.

    PEANUTS HOTEL “Happiness is a warm puppy..” (Room 64) – ¥3,500

    The theme of Room 64 is “Happiness is a warm puppy,” so the PEANUTS HOTEL has made that a reality by creating a huggable Snoopy plush toy which is so cute and soft you’ll never want to let him go. He is a smaller version of the big Snoopy you can hug in Room 64, meaning you can take him anywhere with you!

    PEANUTS HOTEL 1ST ANNIVERSARY Postcards (5 Designs / 2 Included With Each) – ¥2,200

    The hotel’s postcard sets are popular with guests, and to celebrate the 1st anniversary, it is selling limited edition designs. Using special manufacturing methods, the hotel has released sets themed on Rooms 44, 57, 61 and 62. They are packaged in a beautiful box that looks like the outside of the hotel and its windows. They are great for both sending to someone with a message or for simply using them as decoration in your own room.

    PEANUTS HOTEL x tegoto “solarsystem” (Room 42) – ¥49,000 (Only 30 Available)

    PEANUTS HOTEL has teamed up with the internationally popular product brand tegoto to release mobiles inspired by Astronaut Snoopy which is the theme of Room 42. Each mobile is handcrafted individually and features Snoopy, Woodstock and the planetary system. Perfect for both kids and adults alike!

    *Only 30 available. Each comes with its own unique handwritten serial number.

     

    PEANUTS Cafe Nakameguro and PEANUTS DINER Yokohama are also joining in the celebration with their own pop-up corner which will run for the whole month of August. For this limited time only, they will sell items which are usually exclusive to the PEANUTS HOTEL.

    “Lila” Aroma Essential Oils – ¥2,300 / Aroma Air Mist – ¥2,200 / Aroma Stone Diffuser – ¥2,200 / PEANUTS HOTEL Bath Towel – ¥3,200, Face Towel – ¥1,800, Amenity Set – ¥3,400 / Compression Bag (Contains 5) – ¥1,500

    These items are also available over on the PEANUTS Cafe Online Shop. Join Snoopy and his friends in celebrating the 1st anniversary of the PEANUTS HOTEL by picking up some cute merch!

     

    *All listed prices are pre-tax.

    © 2019 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

  • Irresistible Midsummer Parfait Fair Tantalises at Shiseido Parlour in Ginza

    01.August.2019 | FOOD

    Get ready to dine on desserts in style as Shiseido Parlour announces its second-ever Midsummer Parfait Fair at its Salon de Cafe in Ginza which will be held from August 1 to 25.

     

    Four incredible summery parfaits make the fair’s lineup, each centred around local and seasonal fruits. This year sees the return of the popular mango, fig and strawberry flavours, and for the first time ever, a melon flavour made with melons from the city of Furano in Hokkaido.

    Hokkaido Prefecture Furano Melon Parfait – ¥1,980 (Tax Included)

    Made with sweet and fragrant Furano melons grown in Hokkaido’s city of Furano, this angelic delight of a parfait is made with classic silky vanilla ice cream, refreshing hibiscus jelly, and for added accent, a squeeze of cranberry sauce. The fresh melon piece toppings are packed full of mouth-watering melon juice. The melon is served in several different ways for textural enjoyment including skinless slices, a slice with the skin on, and melon balls.

    Wakayama Prefecture Kinokawa Fig Parfait – ¥2,160 (Tax Included)

    The seasonal figs in this parfait have been grown and nurtured laboriously. The figs are plucked in Wakayama prefecture and are served fresh on your dessert. Tucked under the hearty serving of figs is a red wine-laced compote, sauce and sherbet while placed gracefully on top is a baked tuile. There is also a fig and apple jelly for that cheek-sucking sweet kick.

    Okinawa Prefecture Apple Mango Parfait – ¥2,580 (Tax Included)

    If you love mangoes, then you’re in for a treat with this parfait which is prepared with mangoes from Okinawa which have been cut up into different shapes and sizes. The dessert contains a midsummer medley of ingredients including a tropical homemade mango sherbet, an exotic sauce, milk flavoured ice cream, and cranberry sauce. Savour the succulent taste, smooth texture and sweet aroma of the elusive Keats mango, the richest and most delicious of all mangoes, and one which has only a limited production in Okinawa from mid-August onward.

    Nagano Prefecture Hatake Kobo Koihime Strawberry Parfait – ¥1,890 (Tax Included)

    Finally, this tempting parfait is made with strawberries from Hatake Kobo in Nagano. Because of the regional climate of Nagano, these gorgeous strawberries are delicious from summer through fall. They are served with classic vanilla ice cream for the absolute perfect pairing.

     

    Which of these do you want to try the most?♡

  • Vegan Bubble Tea Arrives at Harajuku’s BOTANIST Tokyo Tea Stand

    30.July.2019 | FOOD

    For the whole month of August, the BOTANIST Tokyo tea stand in Harajuku is serving two different tapioca bubble tea beverages. Just 100 of each will be sold each day.

    The two delicious drink flavours include “Butterfly Pea Soy Milk Tea” and “Matcha Milk Tea.” Both beverages are made with high quality tapioca pearls from bubble tea store Bull Pulu who serve up Taiwanese pop culture with their tasty menu.

     

    Vegans shopping in Tokyo’s Harajuku and Omotesando areas will be excited to try the vegan-friendly Butterfly Pea Soy Milk Tea. Both of the drinks are also sold in eco cups and come with paper straws.

    Tapioca Butterfly Pea Soy Milk Tea – ¥600 (Tax Included)

    The vegan-friendly option is a combination of bright and colourful butterfly pea tea and soy milk. It’s laced with a tropical coconut syrup for enhanced flavour.

    Tapioca Matcha Milk Tea – ¥600 (Tax Included)

    The matcha milk tea is a combination of rich and smooth matcha foam and milk. It’s mixed with a fragrant hazelnut syrup.

    Both drinks are takeout only and are available to buy on the first floor. If you fancy a little refreshing drink while strolling through Harajuku then be sure to visit BOTANIST Tokyo.

  • Office Lady Higashi’s Nonchalant Shibuya Diary #2: “BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR COFFEE KIOSK” – Harajuku

    29.July.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Hey. I’m Higashi.

     

    When I was at university I worked a salon model job which started early in the morning. Everyday after my photo shoots at the salon, I enjoyed walking back from Omotesando to Shinjuku. On that route there was a coffee stand called “BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR COFFEE KIOSK.”

     

    The friendly staff working there would call out to me with a smile: “Good morning! Where are you returning from today?” My usual course home would be to go there, order a takeout coffee, and walk back to Shinjuku while cheerfully listening to music.

     

    But one day I became a working adult and full-fledged member of society. My new workplace was faraway from the coffee shop and so I could no longer visit it. But I would casually wonder to myself what the guys and girls who worked there and would always chat to me cheerfully and friendly were up to now.

     

    So, yeah. I went to visit them.

     

    BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR COFFEE KIOSK is about a 7-minute walk from Harajuku Station’s Takeshita Exit.

    Follow Meiji Dori street.

    Make a turn at the corner of The DECK COFFEE and PIE, and you’ll see the sign.

     

    THERE IT IS!

    I was greeted by a stylish looking guy who looked great with facial hair. He was so cool!

     

    I took no time at all ordering a coffee.

     

    I found myself remembering how much I loved the gentle atmosphere brought about by the staff here and the smell of the coffee that flows in the air.

    Latte art is his forte!

    Time to try it.

    Oh… this was just pure bliss!!

     

    The coffee had slight acidic notes to it which permeated my body. It was really tasty and warmed by body to the core that day because it was raining!

     

    “Was this shop built in 2010?” I asked him.

     

    “To be precise, a furniture company called Landscape Products was set up here in 1997. It was converted into a corporation in 2000 and made a furniture shop called Playmountain over in Jingumae. The company then moved to Sendagaya in 2002.”

     

    “Oh, so it started as a furniture shop.”

     

    “That’s right. When making the company, our representative wrote a summary of all the projects that the company wishes to fulfill. Some of the projects on the list are coffee shops, publication and event planning. Based on that list, we opened a cafe called TAS YARD in Sendagaya in 2004.”

    “The company office and the cafe were close to each other. They were in Sendagaya along the road I would take everyday. We’d have lunch and meetings in the cafe and then work at the company office. There used to be a tobacco shop smack in the middle of the road I would come and go along. Lots of people would stand at this postbox just in front of the shop. They used it almost like a resting spot from their busy [working] days. Seeing that, our representative thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be good if there was a coffee shop here?’ A while later the owner of the tobacco shop left that place and we immediately went to rent the building.”

     

    He carried on explaining that they researched opening the shop, but at first it wasn’t a hit with the locals. They continued to explore for a solution and eventually the locals came to love the place. I never knew that this coffee shop was so earnestly in tune with the people of the town.

    He continue: “I hope this becomes a place where people can take a bread, whether it’s sitting on the benches outside the shop or putting their coffee on the postbox when they come to make an invoice. Our shop’s name BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR comes from us wanting to become good neighbours with the locals and for us to make a comfortable and relaxing place together.”

    If you’re looking for something new in your everyday life then please be sure to pay a visit here.

    You’re sure to be warmed by the delicious coffee and the face of the handsome shop owner!

  • You Will Need All 10 Fingers to Challenge These American Style Burgers

    29.July.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Burgers are becoming a big sensation in Japan. In the country’s current burger boom, some very unique burgers have been whipped up. From the atmosphere to the wallpaper, at TEN FINGERS BURGER in Sangenjaya, you will feel like you are in an American Diner.  

    If that isn’t enough to excite you, then the menu sure will. The burgers come in three different sizes: 10 Fingers, 8 Fingers and 6 Fingers to represent how many fingers you will need to hold the burger.

    We all love a filling burger, but TEN FINGERS BURGER has taken this to a whole new level, commemorating their one-year anniversary in June with the release of a seriously huge burger which stirred a drooling sensation. 

     

    We recommend you demolish this burger with a cream soda to enjoy a wonderful flavour combination. 

    Inviting your friends to challenge this burger with you surely would be fun. And afterwards, you can all treat yourselves to this tempting and colourful banana split.

     

    This burger is not only huge, but also delicious. Come challenge your 10 fingers (and possibly toes) to this impossibly massive burger!

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