Announcing the Closure of the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center
The MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center, which was established by the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Project under management support from the Shibuya City Tourism Association, officially closed its doors in January 2019.
Since opening 4 years ago, the MOSHI MOSHI BOX (MMB) has always striven to provide tourist information and aid to sightseers in Harajuku, especially foreign visitors to Japan, by offering official multilingual maps from the Shibuya Tourism Association, guidance in multiple languages, foreign money exchange, baggage storage and more. This enabled the MMB to become recognised as a landmark of Harajuku overseas that is used by countless tourists.
What has attracted remarkable attention at the MMB is the huge World Clock that decorates the outside of the building. Created by Sebastian Masuda, the clock became a popular photo spot amongst tourists in Harajuku. Many people have posted photos of themselves next to the clock on social media, making it become a monument that symbolises Harajuku culture. We have received a lot of wishes from people to preserve the clock. The date on which the clock will be taken down has yet to be decided but it will be disassembled at some point.
With only a year left until the Tokyo 2020 Olympics there is much construction work going on at the event’s main site which is located in a neighbouring area. Harajuku and its station, which will be the doorstep to Harajuku, is also undergoing reconstruction. The MOSHI MOSHI BOX too biding its time and is waiting for the opportunity to move and undergo renovations in the brand new Harajuku.
It is expected that many more overseas visitors and tourists will be coming to Japan. We will take advantage of the valuable experience we have earned by running the MMB by continuing to promote and deliver Japanese pop culture to the people of the world both on our website and at events and see what kind of information and services people will be demanding in the future.
Thank you to everyone that has used the MOSHI MOSHI BOX. We ask for your continued support of the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Project.
Review: Trying the New Cheese Tea at The Alley in Omotesando
Hi, everyone. Midori here, editor at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON.
Have you heard about ‘cheese tea’? It’s a drink that’s getting a lot of attention right now. It’s tea topped with cheese foam which results in a perfect match of sweetness from the tea and sourness from the cream cheese.
I heard that The Alley, a well-known bubble tea cafe recognised by its deer logo, released its own cheese tea so I took a trip there straight away!
I went to the branch in Omotesando. There are lots of other branches too so head to the closest one to you. The one in Omotesando sits right next to Gong Cha, another bubble tea store.
Cross the intersection at Laforet towards ICE MONSTER and turn the corner at the flamingo (pictured above).
You’ll come to a road with Cafe Ron Ron on the left and Gong Cha on the right.
Turn right at the FamilyMart at the end of the street and you’ll find The Alley!
The photo above was taken on a weekday before opening hours so there was no line, but it was a different story in the afternoon on the weekend!
The line is so long it’s hard to know where the end even is! It sure is popular. According to the staff working there, the line is constant on weekends from opening hours to when they close, so if you don’t want to line up they recommend visiting during the week.
There’s also a stylish indoor section where you can enjoy your drink.
Other menu items include the following:
Bonsai bubble tea and aurora drinks are really popular on Instagram in Japan right now!
When talking about The Alley you’ve got to mention the deer! There was a big one drawn on the wall inside.
I went with the brown sugar tea from the cheese foam series.
I recommend drinking cheese tea without the lid. If you drink it with the lid on it’s hard to get the cheese foam and tea at the same time. The Alley is best known for its tapioca bubble teas, but they have other ranges too like this one.
Now, onto tasting! Mixed in with The Alley’s famous fragrant tea is brown sugar. It has a smell that is sure to make you happy. The cheese doesn’t have that super sour taste, it’s a mellow flavour. The drink isn’t served hot but “mild hot” so you can get to drinking right away without burning yourself. It’s safe for those with sensitive tongues too. I have to let hot drinks cool down first before drinking them too so I was glad with my choice.
Head to The Alley to try out their new cheese tea yourself!
Address: 6-6-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00
No Fixed Holidays.
Cafe Hohokam – A Hamburger Shop Recommended by the Harajuku Tourist Information Center Staff
Hi, everyone! I’m Midori Blackmore and I work at MOSHI MOSHI BOX, the Harajuku Tourist Information Center.
Today, I went to Cafe Hohokam with fellow MOSHI MOSHI BOX colleague Ellie, so I wanted to share my experience with you all.
Hohokam is located behind MOSHI MOSHI BOX and can be found up the staircase past FABIUS Cafe.
Head up these stairs to find the entrance.
Hohokam is decorated to look like a motel you would see in Arizona. I’ve never been outside Japan before so I had to look up what exactly they’re like. Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the US. It’s bordered by Mexico to the south, is very hot, and is home to the Grand Canyon. It also has the largest Native American population.
*We have blurred the faces of the people inside to protect their identities.
‘I see,’ I said to myself and looked around. So that’s the atmosphere they’re going for. It’s very stylish but also feels incomparable to anything else.
We both ordered an orange cream soda with a Hohokam burger and French toast that comes topped with Nutella, bananas and whipped cream.
How amazing does this look? It looks like the cream soda you only see in manga. I was really surprised. It’s tall and the colour is gorgeous. Really just the best. This must be the proper way to make it in the cream soda industry. When you drink your cream soda, don’t you think to yourself, ‘Summer has arrived,’ too?
It’s strange when you first take a sip because although it’s blue it has an orange flavour. The soft serve cream on top is also sweet and really delicious!
There’s four cream soda flavours to choose from: melon, raspberry, lemon and orange, and they’re all supposed to be colourful and taste good. It might be a fun idea to order different coloured drinks with your friends.
Next up is the Hohokam burger! The menu said it has chili beans, cheese and a jalapeno patty.
The flag on top is cute, isn’t it? You can wrap the burger with the napkins provided on the table before biting into it, but we both shared it.
This is how it looks cut in half. The red part is the chili beans. It’s spicy when you take a bite, but it’s not overly spicy at all! For me I thought it was a refreshing kind of spiciness like that of Mexican cuisine. I’m no good with spice and even I could eat it.
The meat inside was made very well. It was just the kind of hamburger you’d expect at a hamburger shop.
There’s a bunch of other burgers to choose from too, like the mozzarella burger, barbeque burger, cheeseburger and more.
Last up is the French toast with Nutella & Banana & Whip cream!
Something looking like this has got to be delicious.
The burgers at Hohokam are of course delicious, but I personally want to give the nod to their desserts. They’re seriously something else!
The fluffy French toast is topped with sweet Nutella and whipped cream, but it’s not heavy at all. We were already quite full but we were able to lap it up easily.
They also have a terrace smoking area. The atmosphere there was fairly nice too! Dining outside can make eating your food taste good too, can’t it?
Another great thing is that everything at Hohokam can be ordered for takeout! We recommend getting a delicious burger and having a picnic in Yoyogi Park!
So, do you like the sound of Cafe Hohokam? It’s great for lunch or dinner, and we also recommend using it as a café to stop by when you’re out shopping.
If you’re in Harajuku and have an empty stomach, or you’re in need of a dessert, then please try Cafe Hohokam for yourself.
Top 7 Places to Eat Curry in Harajuku Not Known by Many People
Did you know that there are lots of places to eat irresistibly delicious curry in Harajuku, but not that many people know about them yet? Now you can get in on the secret.
From standard Japanese-style curry to more unique flavours, here’s our list.
This spinach-based chicken curry (¥900) is a reputable item on YOGORO’s menu, made in a tetsunabe pot! There are two types to choose from: one with spicy tomato as the base and fresh cream, and a milder version made with spinach. You can pick from pork and chicken for the meat to enjoy an original combination. We also recommend it topped with the soft-boiled egg!
This Keema curry (¥900) looks just like a decorative cake. The top of the curry is flooded with cheese. Its rich flavour is simply irresistible! We also recommend the standard Keema curry without the cheese too♡
This curry house is produced by ‘A Bathing Ape’ founder NIGO. The beef & butter chicken curry (¥1,100) has a distinct mild yet rich taste to it. It’s enjoyable to enjoy two different flavours in one as seen in the picture. You can also combine your own flavours to your liking.
If we’re talking soup curry, then where else to go than SHANTi. The spice is on point and there’s a hearty serving of vegetables. There’s also many varieties of curry to choose from, so expect to be spoilt for choice. During lunchtime you can get a large serving of rice for free, and you’re free to enjoy a second helping, so if you’re a big eater, look no further.
BRITISH INDIAN CAFE 1930
You wouldn’t think that this is a curry house, with its landmark stylish red wall. They serve Indian curry made the way the British do. Their popular butter chicken curry mixes together honey and fresh cream to give it its distinct sweet flavour. The faint spiciness and milk sweetness has made it a particularly popular dish with female customers. The softness of the tandoori chicken is great too. Being British-style, the curry goes well together with black tea.
You could call the chefs at HENDRIX spice masters. They’re extremely thorough and attentive with the timing of when they put their spices in the curry. A popular dish on their menu is their pork curry. It’s cooked gradually with a large amount of spice and has a deep flavour that doesn’t just simply scream ‘hot.’ They’re also particular about their saffron rice which complements the curry. They use only koshihikari rice from the city of Inzai in Chiba Prefecture. The fact they’re even particular about the rice means you can look forward to some truly layered flavours!
This keema curry restaurant is located on the corner of a secluded street. It originally used to open only as a night bar, but keema curry became the talk of the town for being delicious, so it came to be open during lunchtime too. The most popular item on their menu is undoubtedly their ‘Cheese Keema Curry.’ It offers a large serving of rice topped with keema curry and melty mozzarella cheese. Placed again on top of that is a perfectly round egg yolk, giving it a unique appearance. This exquisite dish is cooked thoroughly with carefully selected spices.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/38757/2
Drooling yet? You’ve absolutely got to try the exquisite curry hidden away in Harajuku. Tuck in during lunchtime or dinnertime!
Popular Nail Salons in Harajuku & Trending Nails by 5 Popular Models
There must be a lot of people out there wondering how to do their nails for spring and summer this year. At the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center we’ve directed many foreign tourists to popular nail salons.
So, we’re compiling a lot of some of the popular locations you’ll find in Harajuku! Check them out alongside the list of trending nail styles by popular models that follows.
This is a nail and eyelash salon who offer a huge range of top class eyelash extensions and high-quality nail painting art. They position themselves as your indispensable partner, leading you on the way to drawing out your natural beauty, offering new a lifestyle. The comfort at the salon is outstanding, set up in an open environment with plenty of light. And the fact that they can do both your nails and hair is enticing!
This place is open from 10am to 10pm, so you can even pop in after a bit of sightseeing. You can never get tired of their gel nails which come in designs based on what’s trending each month, as well as their variety of nail parts and colours. Customers can take in art with them to show the staff, so we recommend Anranju who want to enjoy their nails done exactly in accordance with what they like.
This nail salon is recommended for people to want to get their nails done like their favourite artist during a concert, as well as character art nails, intricate nails, and more. The staff have a lot of experience with nails and have done so many that it’s impossible to count them. They are very talented, and their designs are constantly incorporating the newest trends.
Trending Nails by 5 Popular Models
Yuri Suganuma: Primary colours and glitter make cute, flashy nails
Yuri Suganuma went for different colours across all her nails. Changing the colours of each nail is impactful and gives a pop vibe. As a pointer, glitter using glitter colours makes them look fashionable, doesn’t it!
Saki Shibata: Attractive nails made with dull colours
Dull colours are aplomb and raise your level of maturity. Shibasaki is using gentle, organic nails from Ambiente, so this one’s recommended for people who like to do their own nails.
Misa Kimura: Supporting the springtime vibe with nail art
Misa Kimura is serving spring with her nail art. The holographic nails raise the level of their gorgeousness. Take note of the top coat which is matted!
Mei Nagasawa: Sweet and lovely nails with hearts and pink
Mei Nagasawa’s beautiful nails use pink as the base colour. The little hearts popped on there are super cute, aren’t they? ♡ This design will completely up the appeal of your girliness, so try it for yourself.
Ayumi Seto: Girly dots and rainbows
The dot and rainbow design matches Ayumi Seto’s image perfectly. They’re completely coated in glitter, making them shine and look cute when hit by the light. Colourful nails work well with simple outfit co-ords!
Did you enjoy this list? Use these trending designs by models as a reference and enjoy creating your spring and summer nails!
Introducing AFURI—Harajuku’s Michelin-Starred Ramen Restaurant
Hi, everyone. I’m Shiota, the Director of the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center.
Foreigners coming to Japan love ramen, as shown in our questionnaire where it ranked 2nd place. I’m sure there’s a lot of you reading those who like it too.
Did you know, there’s actually a famous ramen place in Harajuku listed by Michelin? Today, I’ll introduce you to AFURI Harajuku, a ramen shop recognised worldwide.
It’s easy to get to. Just take the JR Yamanote Line to Harajuku Station and it’s a 3-minute walk from there. Head left out of Takeshita Exit and make a right when you come to Nescafe Harajuku. You’ll be able to see it on your left.
The restaurant itself has a very stylish and modern exterior. You’ll actually wonder whether it’s really a ramen shop when you see it. It has a welcoming atmosphere even if you go by yourself. When we went, despite it being 3pm on a weekday, most of the seats were taken up. And half of the customers were non-Japanese! As expected of such a popular restaurant.
The smell of citrus hits your nose upon entering the restaurant, something you wouldn’t expect in a place that sells ramen.
The inner section of the U-shaped counter is in fact an open kitchen, giving the whole restaurant a feeling of openness, and the background music that plays is calm. It feels like you’re in a fancy café.
I ordered the Yuzu Salt Ramen (¥980).
The toppings are simple. It comes with juicy mizuna, a boiled egg, bamboo shoots, char siu chicken fillet, and refreshing yuzu skin. You can choose from a boiled char siu packed with the chicken’s good flavour or a light and healthy chicken char siu.
The noodles are thin and a healthy mix of wholewheat flour from Hokkaido and rye. The soup is made with carefully selected ingredients such as roast chicken, seafood and potherbs that have been carefully cooked in natural spring water from Mount Afuri. The flavour is both full-bodied and light and will have anybody who’s tasted it addicted.
There’s also a vegan ramen (¥1,350) option too made with seasonal vegetables for vegans, vegetarians and healthy eaters. It’s made with freshly-harvested Kamakura vegetables. No animal products are used in the dish, whether that’s in the noodles, soup or toppings. The salted soup goes perfectly with the vegetables. This option is also recommended for people who aren’t good with thick ramen.
AFURI in Harajuku is celebrated not only by worldwide fans of ramen, but healthy eaters and vegetarians too. There’s no doubt you’ll become hooked once you give their food a try.
5 Newly Opened Stores in Harajuku & Omotesando Selling Popular Sweets
Hey, everyone. Shiota here, the Director of the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center. Harajuku is a candy and sweets battleground, with many different stores lining the streets. Today, we take a look at Instagram-worthy goodies from much talked about newly opened stores!
“THE PARFAIT STAND” – Takeout Parfaits
Located exactly ZERO minutes from the Takeshita Exit of Harajuku Station is THE PARFAIT STAND, the sister store to popular cheese tart shop BAKE CHEESE TART.
Topping the parfait isn’t fresh cream, but meringue! The taste and texture of the parfait is irresistible throughout, with ice cream, purin, mousse and more. Just holding it is kawaii and something new to take onto the streets of Harajuku with you♡
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/100198
“LONG! LONGER!! LONGEST!!!” – Japan’s Longest Food & Sweets
Opening as Japan’s first shop to center around the ‘length’ of food, LONG! LONGER!! LONGEST!!! is located along Takeshita Street. The menu has three size variations, the same as in the store’s name. ‘LONGEST’ in fact offers the longest food product in Japan!
They have lots of products on offer, including soft serve ice cream, tornado potato, churros and more. You’ll never forget about their crazy length once you try one!
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/93395
“GOMAYA KUKI” – Sesame Ice Cream
GOMAYA KUKI is a store selling sesame ice cream which has received support from inside and outside Japan. They have opened a store in Ura-Harajuku. One serving is covered in close to 9,000 sesame seeds!
Their menu is full of new, unique products including ice cream made with sweets friend in sesame oil, Japanese-style parfaits sprinkled with sesame seeds, and more. They also offer takeaway ice cream in cups.
“Q-pot CAFE.” – Accessories Turned Into Sweets
This café is inspired by Q-pot., an accessory brand who create kawaii products themed around sweets.
The café is decorated in all things sweet as far as the eye can see. The interior has a fairy-tale like atmosphere that female customers will love. The sweets here are both sweet in appearance and taste looking exactly Q-pot.’s necklaces, rings and so on.
“The Pie Hole Los Angeles” – Original Pies from LA
This popular store hails from Los Angeles and sells their own original pies and organic coffee, and it’s found its way to Takeshita Street in Harajuku!
Since April 4, they have been holding their second all-you-can-eat session for all their pie products every Wednesday. From sweet pies to classic pies, each and every one is handmade with care and attention. Why not head to one of their all-you-can-eats to try them yourself?
Are you hungry now? Be sure to use this list as reference if you’re looking for a café in Harajuku!
And if you’re unsure of how to get to any of these places, then pop into the MOSHI MOSHI BOX and we’d be happy to help!
MOSHI MOSHI BOX Questionnaire to 100 Foreigners: #2 “Where are you heading to next in Tokyo?”
Hi, everyone. I’m Shiota, the director of the MOSHI MOSHI BOX.
This is the second entry to our already-popular series where we ask questions to 100 foreigners. We give questionnaires about Japan to foreign tourists that come into the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center.
The 2nd question we asked people was “Where are you heading to next in Tokyo?” Let’s take a look at the answers!
1st Place: Shibuya (34 Votes)
The most popular answer was Shibuya, which got more than double that of the 2nd place rank. It’s common to see lots of foreign tourists taking photos of Shibuya’s famous Scramble Crossing. In the questionnaire answers, a lot of people were planning to go there for fashion and shopping.
I really love shopping. ―Karymoon, Mexico
・I’ve always wanted to try going to 109! I love fashion. ―Brigitte, France
・I’m off to buy clothes. If you’re going from Harajuku you can walk there [Shibuya] and stroll while window shopping. ―liu, China
2nd Place: Asakusa (13 Votes)
Asakusa is popular for its traditional townscape. There was an overwhelming number of people on their way to Sensou-ji Temple. Asakusa is a great for accessing other great sightseeing spots too like Skytree and Ueno.
I want to see the beautiful, traditional streets. ―Anonymous, US
・I’m collecting goshuin from shrines, so I’m going to the famous temple of Asakusa. ―LEE SUU JUNG, Taiwan
・I like the traditional culture of Japan. I go to Asakusa every time I come to Japan. ―Anonymous, US
3rd Place: Ueno (12 Votes)
Coming close to a tie with Asakusa is Ueno. Ueno is filled with lots of fun places to visit, like museums and the zoo, making it a great place to spend the day.
I heard that the cherry blossoms in Ueno Park are beautiful, so I’m going to go there. ―Celine, France
・I’m thinking about going to the zoo and Ueno Park. ―Kati, Australia
・I like pandas, so I’m going to go and see Ueno Zoo. ―Bianca, Italy
I love anime! If we’re talking anime merchandise, then it’s “Akiba,” right? ―Jackson, UK
Ikebukuro is the haven for female otaku. It’s also the best since there are so many cosplay events there. ―Anonymous, US
I like the stylish streets. I’m gonna go there to shop. ―Adre, Portgual
I love sushi! I’m going to go and eat delicious sashimi at Tsukiji. I want to experience the unique atmosphere too.
I’m going to the big UNIQLO, museum and Hanazono Shrine found only in Shinjuku. ―Anonymous, Australia
It looks fun. It’s a famous place in Japan, isn’t it? ―Sue, US
Did you enjoy this questionnaire? Travelers have a surprisingly similar mindset to that of Japanese people when it comes to having fun in Tokyo.
If you have any questions about anything or topics you want us to cover then please send us a message on our Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/msmsnippon/
We’ll continue to hold more questionnaires with foreign tourists at the MOSHI MOSHI BOX, so be sure to drop by to see us if you’re in Harajuku!
MOSHI MOSHI BOX recommends 4 second-hand fashion shops located in the fashion capital Harajuku
Hi everyone! I’m Midori Blackmore from MOSHI MOSHI BOX Tourist Information Centre. As you all know, second-hand clothing has quickly become the new fashion. I have never worn a matching second-hand clothing outfit with a friend before. My friends are very different from me. They can effortlessly coordinate second-hand fashion whereas I can’t. I love second-hand clothes so much that they make up half the clothes I own in my closet.
…Despite this, I still feel a scared to enter second-hand shops, don’t you?
Whenever I see a new collection of second-hand fashion items making their debut appearance in a shop, I always think to myself, “only fashionable people can buy this stuff!” Running out of courage, there are times that I stop right before the entrance of the shop. That’s why I’m dedicating this article to all the second-hand fashion newbies out there. Today I’m going to introduce you to some second-hand clothing shops that are not scary to enter!
What is scary about second-hand clothing shops you ask? Sometimes they can look kind of dark. After all, dark clothing is fashionable. The dark atmosphere can be quite intimidating and can even put you off checking out the new arrivals of second-hand clothing. However, KENJI is a large shop with a bright interior. The atmosphere is comparable to that of a supermarket. Of course, the items inside are also super cute!
I recommend KENJI’s remade goods! If you own one of these, you will find yourself often being asked by people where you got that from.
Flamingo is the mecca of second-hand shops. This famous shop also has a branch in Shimokitazawa. We are often asked about this shop at MOSHI MOSHI BOX. Compared to shopping malls, not only are there less customers in second-hand clothing shops, but the staff at second-hand shops approach you more, so there are times that I get put off from entering at all.
I recommend flamingo because unlike other second-hand shops, it is always busy with customers. The atmosphere of “no unfashionable people allowed” might play on your mind in some second-hand shops but not here! At flamingo, everyone is too busy daydreaming about clothes to even notice you so there is no need to overthink!
Flamingo has a reputation of selling lots of shoes. Although brand new shoes are cute, worn out shoes also have their charm. You can wear them down yourself but this can be quite difficult to achieve, so it might be worth just buying some from a second-hand shop.
WEGO Harajuku main shop
WEGO is popular with middle school students because it is cheap, affordable and sells second-hand clothes! There used to be a second-hand shop next to H&M but now there is a special second-hand clothing floor inside WEGO Harajuku main shop. The shop is filled with friendly staff and the kindest of people, so this is definitely a place you could challenge yourself to!
Second-hand clothing plus new accessories… It’s fun to think about creating an outfit at WEGO. The prices here are fairly cheap, so you’ll probably end up buying lots of things. Sometimes there are limited sales events where you can stuff your bag with as many clothes as you like for a fixed price, so make sure to keep checking their SNS feeds!
Have you ever made the effort to buy specifically from a second-hand shop but then the clothes you have and the atmosphere in which you try the clothes on have changed so much that you cannot coordinate anything? When you buy basic items, patterned shirts and large jackets from a second-hand shop, you sometimes think your new purchases are cute when you see them in the shop but then when you go home you lose the confidence to wear them…what a waste, right?
For those of you out there who have experienced this, I recommend MARTE.
I definitely recommend the dresses from here. Just put one on and you will transform into a vintage girl. You can always coordinate these dresses with a jacket and trainers. Consult the fashionable shop assistants and make sure to get your hands on some clothes that are easy to mix and match!
MARTE’s original items are also really cute!
I have so many more recommendations for you in mind but the more I write the more likely I am to expose just how nervous I am about entering shops so I’m going to stop here!
If you are ever lost, please come see us at MOSHI MOSHI BOX!
Harajuku’s artistic okonomiyaki restaurant: Reporting from Sakura Tei!
Hi! I’m Ellie from MOSHI MOSHI BOX Tourist Information Centre. At MOSHI MOSHI BOX, we get a lot of people asking us to recommend a place where they can eat authentic Japanese food in Harajuku. That’s why I’ve decided to take a trip to “Sakura Tei”. Sakura Tei is a restaurant not far from MOSHI MOSI BOX that serves a typical Japanese dish – onokomiyaki. Half of Sakura Tei’s customers are tourists from outside of Japan, so I would really recommend this place to foreigners.
What exactly is okonomiyaki? Its basic form is a savoury pancake made from water, wheat flour, shredded cabbage and fried batter pieces. The name okonomiyaki means grilled (yaki) as you like it (onkonomi). Therefore, it can be customised with seafood or meat. The ingredients are mixed together and then grilled in a cast iron pan. This is one of the most popular dishes in Japan.
Look out for the artistic exterior and bamboo
Walk down Meiji-dori in the direction of Murasaki Sports (ムラサキスポーツ) . Meiji-dori is the street on which MOSHI MOSHI BOX is also located. Once you are at Murasaki Sports, walk down the street between Murasaki Sports and New Balance (NB) and then turn left at the Family Mart. You will immediately notice that the road splits off into two directions. From this point, take the thin pathway on your left. You will see a white building on your left called “DESIGN FESTA GALLERY”. The restaurant Sakura Tei is on the left of this building. Look out for the vivid wall art and bamboo exterior – this is a sign you are in the right place. If you get lost and don’t know the way, don’t hesitate to ask us for help at MOSHI MOSHI BOX.
The interior is also photogenic! Each wall is painted with beautiful artwork. A new design is painted on the walls every half year, so you might see something different if you come back later in the year! Some paintings were offered by a solo exhibition artist from the “DESIGN FESTA GALLERY” next door. Other designs were even painted by the restaurant staff! The restaurant seats more than 200 people, making it perfect for even large parties.
Being hit by a wave of beauty, it was fun to take pictures of the interior even before having entered.
What caught my attention the most were the trees that are growing inside the restaurant. I was told that they were growing here before this place became a restaurant, and rather than cutting them down, the owner nurtured them, incorporating them into part of the restaurant. From this dynamic and unique idea, an atmosphere of freedom formed. You wouldn’t even believe you are still in Harajuku. The atmosphere is so relaxing.
Order an original Okonomiyaki at Sakura Tei!
Besides okonomiyaki, the menu includes an abundant range of dishes such as monjayaki (similar to okonomiyaki), yakisoba (fried noodle dish) gyoza (dumplings) and teppanyaki (grilled food served on an iron plate). There is also an English menu available and many foreigners belong to the team of staff. They can speak many languages including English and Korean. You can order vegetarian, vegan and halal food too so if you have any questions, feel free to talk to the staff!
I ordered Sakura Tei’s most popular item off the menu – the “Sakura yaki” (￥1,400). All the prices on the menu are the prices including tax. Pork, squid, shrimp, matsutake mushrooms, welsh onions, pork belly slices and egg are the eight ingredients mixed into the batter of this okonomiyaki. Each table has a hot teppanyaki plate fitted into it so you can make your own okonomiyaki yourself.
It’s ok even if you’ve never made one before! Easy instructions on how to make it are provided on each table.
I immediately took up the challenge of making one. First, you have to mix the ingredients with the batter with all your might – that’s the key to making it so delicious. After mixing well, place the batter onto the grill plate and form it into a round shape. Then, place the pork belly slices on top and cook until golden brown. (Approx. 6-8 minutes)
Once the underside is golden brown, it’s time to flip it over! It’s heavier than I thought… I wasn’t sure if I could do it…
I drew up all my courage and went for it!!
I did it! Whenever customers flip their okonomiyaki particularly well, there is always a mini celebration. It’s all about celebrating the process of making okonomiyaki and having fun here. A staff member even mentioned: “I love seeing the customers having fun while making okonomiyaki”.
After flipping, cook for another 6 minutes.
When your okonomiyaki is cooked, place your egg on top (that you lightly cooked on the teppanyaki grill) and then add the original sauce and mayonnaise.
Sprinkle on some katsuobushi (dried skipjack tuna flakes), some more mayonnaise and you are done!
I immediately took my first bite while it was still piping hot. Normally, okonomiyaki is slightly thinner than this one…but what about the flavour..?
…Super delicious!!! The batter is packed with ingredients that taste great with the seafood stock. The slightly sweet sauce makes it into a delicious specialty that can only be experienced at Sakura Tei! Normal okonomiyaki uses wheat flour that makes you full very quickly, however Sakura Tei’s okonomiyaki is soft and thick – you will hungrily eat it all up! ♡
A fried parfait?! My first dessert experience here
After having okonomiyaki, you always want something sweet in your mouth! Skimming the menu, the one thing that caught my eye was the “ama-imonja yaki banayan” (￥550). Monjayaki uses wheat flour that is lightly mixed with water amongst a range of ingredients and then fried on the pan. It resembles okonomiyaki but is thicker. I quickly gobbled up the ama-imonja yaki.
It was easy to make! Just mix all the parfait ingredients together and then cook it. Just looking at this dessert made feel like an excited child. I had never tasted anything like this before!
It tasted a bit like a banana muffin and the caramelised golden-brown areas were sweet – I just couldn’t stop! You should try making this one too!
There is one more thing I would like to recommend you to have after your meal. The homemade “Sakura Lemonade” (￥500 ). Their lemonade includes a Sakura-salted flavor that is popular among foreigners. The fresh flavor and taste of sakura brings back memories of spring. You can enjoy this drink at any time of year, so please check it out!
That was my first visit to Sakura Tei. It wasn’t just the okonomiyaki, dessert and drink that I enjoyed, but also the way the restaurant makes the customers laugh and smile. If you’re ever in Harajuku, make sure to check this place out!
Model & Writer Ellie
Eat Takeout Parfaits at THE PARFAIT STAND While Strolling Through Harajuku
Hi, everyone! I’m Banako and I work at the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center.
THE PARFAIT STAND is a newly opened store in Harajuku that specialises in takeout parfaits. I dropped by to see what they’re all about. Here’s the report.
To get there, head out of Takeshita Exit at Harajuku Station and you’ll find it immediately to your left.
Originally there was a collection of train ticket machines there, but they renovated the space to open the new store. It’s literally outside the station!
The staff all welcomed me with gleaming smiles.
THE PARFAIT STAND is the popular sister store to BAKE CHEESE TART which, as the name suggests, sells freshly baked cheese tarts. Deliciousness is guaranteed.
There are two items on the menu! You have the Parfait Chocolate Blanc (¥756 w/tax) made with rich chocolate and bitter coffee, and the Strawberry White Parfait (¥972) which is a limited-edition item available until May 31st. They’re both amazing in their own way – you’ll be spoilt for choice.
After a lot of thought, I decided to go with the limited edition Strawberry White Parfait!
I thought it was fresh cream that crowned the top of the parfait, but contrary to my expectations it was meringue! It has a crunchy and crumbly texture and its mellow sweetness fills your mouth.
The parfait contains a milk pudding made with vanilla ice cream and Hokkaido milk. It’s also filled with thick strawberry jelly and mousse. The texture is irresistible from top to bottom – you won’t grow tired of it at any section.
You can get yourself an authentic, cute takeout parfait too at THE PARFAIT STAND. Just holding it is kawaii and something new to take onto the streets of Harajuku with you♡
How about it?
MOSHI MOSHI BOX Questionnaire to 100 Foreigners: #1 “What’s the tastiest food you have eaten in Japan?”
Hi, everyone. I’m Shiota, the director of the MOSHI MOSHI BOX.
We are starting a new series where we ask questions to 100 overseas visitors to Japan. We will give questionnaires to foreign tourists that come into the MOSHI MOSHI BOX related to Japan and announce the results on the website.
For the first entry, we asked 100 people from overseas “What’s the tastiest food you have eaten in Japan?” Answers varied from traditional Japanese food that you can probably guess to other unexpected choices. Let’s take a look at the ranking!
1st Place: Sushi (43 Votes)
Coming in 1st place is sushi which is nearly double that of the 2nd place result! The view must be that Japanese food = sushi. There were lots of opinions by people expressing their love for sushi like the ones below.
”It’s totally different from the food in Germany! The fish and rice are delicious.” (Kasey/Australia)
・”The sushi I ate at Tsukiji was the freshest and most delicious in the world.” (Mary/Hong Kong)
・”I don’t like the sushi in my country all that much, but eating it in Japan is delicious.” (Nadia/US)
・”I love the tuna! I really love the tuna!!” (Kyle/Brazil)
”I tried to imitate making ramen once in Chile but it it’s no match for Japan’s ramen!” (Cristobal /Chile)
・”Ramen isn’t well known in my country. I can only eat it in Japan, so I feel great today!” (Mark/Australia)
・”I had Iekei ramen. I like fatty things, so it was really satisfying.” (Costa Rica)
”There was cheese inside, but it was so good together with the sauce.” (Mario/UK)
・”I love rich flavoured things. The sauce is the best!” (Denis/France)
・”I’m happy that I can make it myself, it’s fun.” (Naomi/US)
“It’s like friend chicken but even tastier.” (Carld/US)
“I wanted to eat crepes in Harajuku! They were delicious.” (Wan/Hong Kong)
・”I like it because the flavour of the soup is light. The crunchy texture of the tempura batter is nice too.” (Himana/Argentin)
“I love Japanese curry. The fact that it has katsu too makes it amazing!” (Emily/Australia)
“I ate breakfast at a hotel. With just a small quantity I was amazed at the number of items that were served.” (UK)
“I don’t have it in my country, so I was astonished, but it was delicious. It’s an innovative idea, it’s great.” (Philippines)
Roast Beef Don:
“I ate at the famous ‘Red Rock’ and it was the best! I could see why everyone was lined up.” (South Korea)
Did you like our first questionnaire? There was a lot of food on the list that Japanese people love too, but it’s interesting to see it from different points of view.
If you have any questions about anything or ideas that you want us to cover then send us a message on our Facebook page!
We’ll continue to hold more questionnaires with overseas tourists at the MOSHI MOSHI BOX, so be sure to drop by if you’re in Harajuku!
Let’s wear a kimono and enjoy Harajuku! 7 recommended photo spots in Ura-Harajuku
Hello everyone! My name is Shiota and I am the curator of MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center.
There are many photo spots in Harajuku gathering much attention on TV programs and SNS.
In this article, I will introduce to you some recommended photo spots in Ura-Harajuku with a staff member of “MOSHI MOSHI Kimono Salon,” located next to MOSHI MOSHI BOX. Even places that you visit often look different when you are wearing a kimono. Just try, and you will see!
The kimono she is wearing is yellow/green which are colors that suit this spring season. The color of the obi (band) is the same as the color of the kimono so it has a settled-look and it is suitable to walk around town in this kimono.
We took a photo in front of the cute shoji (paper door) of MOSHI MOSHI Kimono Salon!
The big wall painting beside BEAMS Harajuku was depicted by an artist ZIO ZIEGLER. The wall painting is very outstanding since the wall is painted black and white!
Design Festa Gallery Harajuku
A building that has a café and gallery. The exterior of the building was designed as an art work. The entrance fee is free so let’s visit this location!
NOW IS FOREVER
A famous wall which is often featured on TV programs. The wall is located at the end of the street (Meiji Street) between New Balance and Muraski Sports.
Santo Nibunno Ichi
You will find this colorful building by going straight down the street between New Balance and Murasaki Sports located on Meiji Street, make a right turn at Family Mart and then make a right turn again at the first corner. The building includes tenants such as Harajuku’s popular second-hand-clothing store, “Santo Nibunno Ichi” and the photogenic ice cream shop, “Eddy’s Ice Cream.”
Princess One Spoon Tokyo
This is a store that sells 500 kinds of accessories, girly sundries and sweets items. It is recommended to take a photo in front of the store since the exterior of the store is Western-style.
You can find many stylish adds on “Tonchan Street” behind MOSHI MOSHI BOX.
Let’s find your favorite location!
SOUVENIR SHOP Kaho
This store is suitable to be used as a resting place. This is the strawberry parfait (1,200 yen – tax included) sold at this store located near the intersection of Meiji Street and Tonchan Street. The store is located above the power stone store and they sell sweets items that are great souvenirs.
You will feel happy eating sweets items here since many of their items include lots of big strawberries! The texture and taste of the ice cream is similar to gelato.
MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center
The clock designed by Masuda Sébastien who works with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu as her art director can be found at MOSHI MOSHI BOX. It is a land mark of Harajuku which is featured in magazines and on TV programs and is used in many artisits’ PVs.
It is recommended that you hide the silver-colored base of the clock when taking a photo.
How did you like our recommended photo spots? In this article, I introduced to you some standard/new photos spots of Ura-Harajuku.
Feel free to contact MOSHI MOSHI BOX if you ever get lost!
Why not check out this article as well.