Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #9 – ‘Cafe Ace’ in Kanda
In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Cafe Ace in Kanda.
Being a cafe specialising in coffee it’s no surprise they have 40 different varieties of coffee! They even have 15 kinds of tea. Being able to pick out your favourite coffee before the morning rush every morning is really wonderful.
Cafe Ace is one of the places I’ve wanted to cover for a long time in this series. I was excited to get inside!
Its striped roof gives it quite a retro atmosphere. The warm colour scheme of the decor inside is that from old times – it’s very relaxed. It hasn’t changed since it opened way back when. It has continued to maintain its ways in spite of times changing. I think that’s wonderful.
The cafe carries all kinds of magazines that have been published over the years. They range from 3 to 40 years old. The owner showed me his collection as we spoke about the cafe and conveyed his sentiment for Ace. I feel I have learnt much about its history!
The menu plaques attached to the wall are all handwritten by the owner (he even wrote on the camel artwork above!)
Simply amazing. His handwritten work spreads across the entire wall of Ace.
I have come here on my before but I had no idea he had written all of this out so in learning more about it I have come to love Cafe Ace even more.
His love and warmth can be felt throughout the whole room.
And this―this is Cafe Ace’s famous seaweed toast! It’s made with seaweed, butter and soy sauce.
The ingredients are simple but the flavour of the seaweed complements the butter perfectly. It’s super delicious, I want to eat it everyday! And it only costs ¥170.
In the morning you can have it with blend coffee for ¥500 (+¥20 for iced coffee). You even get free refills on the blend coffee up until noon!
American doughnuts, too. You can enjoy these at the small price of ¥230. They are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and serve with a knob of butter in the ring. The heat of the doughnuts helps the butter to melt so you can lather it all over.
Finally, a photo of the owner himself. Even in the photo I feel like his smile gives his customers strength. Seeing his lively energy gave me energy too.
He holds his valuable feelings close, doing what he loves in the place he loves. I want to keep on seeing his radiating smile.
Address: 3-10-6 Kanda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: Weekdays 7:00-18:00 / Saturday 7:00-14:00
Closed: Sundays & National Holidays
Access: 3-minutes on foot from Kanda Station via the JR Line and Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
Writer: Ema Tanioku
Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
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
“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…
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.
As soon as I entered, I immediately spotted a cat.
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 ♪♪
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
It came with banana and giant corn ❤ – this excellent service made me so happy!
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!
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!
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.
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!
Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #6 – ‘Angelus’ in Asakusa Loved by Osamu Tezuka
In this sixth instalment to her café series, Ema 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?♡”
Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #8 – ‘Ginza West’
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.
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!
Address: 7-3-6 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: Weekdays 9:00-22:00 (Stand Open Until 23:00) / Weekends 11:00-20:00
No Fixed Holidays.
Access: 5-minutes on foot from exit C2 of Ginza Station via Tokyo Metro Line / 10-minutes on foot from Yurakucho Station via JR Line
*347m from Ginza Station
Writer: Ema Tanioku
Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
Editor: Ai Watanabe
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
“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 Station’s White Day Fair Loaded With Loving Gifts and Souvenirs
Tokyo Station’s two shopping centresーGRANSTA, which is inside the ticket gates, and GRANSTA Marunouchi, which is outside themーare holding a White Day Fair which started the day after Valentine’s Day and will run until March 14, 2020.
In Japan, Valentine’s Day usually sees girls and women giving chocolate to guys and men, which can be for both friendship or love. On White Day, the opposite happens, where guys and men are expected to repay the favour. GRANSTA and GRANSTA Marunouchi have the perfect assortment of gifts and accessories that are sure to please any girls this White Day.
Tasty treats to return the favour
These visually-appealing picks are perfect for expressing your thanks to friends and coworkers.
Tokyo Station Exclusive: Mini Pigeon & Heart Biscuits – ¥880 @ Fairycake Fair (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: From February 15, 2020
These cute tiny tins from Fairycake Fair are packed with crunchy and milky pigeon and heart biscuits and mini lemon yoghurt-flavoured meringues. They’re a brand new product from the confectionery shop.
Tokyo Station Exclusive: Strawberry Pie Burger – ¥864 @ Kyobashi Senbikiya (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: February 20, 2020 – March 14, 2020 (*30 served per day)
Adorably cut into love hearts, these pies are lovingly filled with cream, which has a subtle eggy flavour, and cream cheese
White Day Selection – ¥3,672 (Contains 9) @ Pierre Marcolini (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: From March 1, 2020 while supplies last
An assortment of chocolates from popular chocolate brand Pierre Marcolini, named after the famous Belgian chocolatier, which is sure to make anyone happy. It includes a new chocolate called the “Gradation Cool.”
Impress with these little gems
Here’s a selection of gifts other than sweets that are great for those seeking something unique that no one else will buy.
Truffle Salt – ¥1,296 – @ DEAN & DELUCA (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: Now on sale
This blended salt is a mix of summer truffle and natural sea salt. The absolute perfect gift for someone who loves cooking.
Dashi Stock – ¥1,080 @ Kayanoya (GRANSTA Marunouchi Floor B1F) / Available: Now on sale
An assortment of Kayanoya’s popular “Kayanoya Dashi” and their flavour-packed “Kiwami Dashi.” A great pick for those who want to return the favour with something out of the ordinary.
uka nail oil 13:00 – ¥3,300 @ FruitGATHERING (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: Now on sale
Scented with refreshing mint and lemon and keeps your nails and skin nice and moist.
ecoffee cup-WILLIAM MORRIS – ¥2,310 Each @ Neue (GRANSTA Marunouchi Floor B1F) / Available: Now on sale
These beautifully stylish, textile-design cups are reusable, so you can take your coffee with you wherever and whenever.
Address: 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo (JR Tokyo Station Floor B1F-1F / Inside Ticket Gates)
Opening Hours: 8:00-22:00 (Until 21:00 on Sundays and the final day of consecutive public holidays)
*Opening hours differ from store to store
*GRANSTA’s new area is open 9:00-22:00 (Until 21:00 on Sundays and the final day of consecutive public holidays)
Address: 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo (JR Tokyo Station Floor B1F / Outside Ticket Gates)
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 (Until 21:00 on Sundays and the final day of consecutive public holidays)
*Opening hours differ from store to store
Japanese Travel Website Jalan Set To Launch Tokyo Station Fair As Cat Stalks Closer
Japanese travel website Jalan, which has been running for 30 years, is collaborating with Tokyo station’s shopping centre GRANSTA for their third collaboration fair, which will run from February 15 – March 1, 2020. Travelling in Japan will be even more fun as the travel website’s adorable mascot Nyalan takes to the scene in a variety of delicious foods – just what every cat person kneads!
Even more shops are participating for the third fair, which is now stretching to cover shops at Ecute Tokyo and Ecute Keiyo Street. Everything at the fair cannot be purchased from anywhere else or at any other time. From bento lunches and sweet treats to merchandise, everything is based on Jalan’s adorable cat mascot Nyalan. The fair is full of the essentials to enhance the fun factor in your spring travels around Japan – fur real.
Nyalan Caramel Cream: ¥490 (Fairy Cake Fair) *Only at GRANSTA
A fluffy whipped cream Nyalan sits on top of a delicious fairy cake. Grinning from cheek to cheek, the expressions on these hand-decorated mini cake are packed with detail. The adorable Nyalan cupcake is filled with velvety homemade caramel sauce for a rich sweetness.
Nyalan Paw-Shaped Bento: ¥880 *Only at GRANSTA
Dried katsuobushi and salmon are mixed with rice to create two different coloured paw-shaped sushi rolls. Enjoy the adorable round rolls and sides of simmered bamboo shoots and sakura mochi – pawfect for a spring outing!
Amaou Strawberry Macaron and Nyalan Print Macaron: ¥648 (Pack of 2) *Only at DALLOYAU, GRANSTA
Nyalan print macarons were a big hit last year and now the adorable macarons are making a comeback for a limited time. The set of two macarons includes the popular amaou strawberry macaron and a vanilla macaron. This is great as a souvenir, however there are only 400 sets available so be quick if you want one!
Nyalan Doughnuts: ¥420 Each, Shiretoko Doughnut, available at Ecute Keiyo Street only
You won’t be able to stop yourself from gasping at how adorable these doughnuts are. The moment you feast your eyes on the doughnuts, you won’t be able to stop smiling. These sweet doughnuts are bursting with the delicious flavours of Hokkaido and would make the puurrfect quick munch when on a shopping break or a wonderful souvenir.
Nyalan no Otetechirashi (1 pack: Approx. 12cm diameter)
【Uoriki Kaisen Sushi】 *Available only at Ecute Keiyo Street
On top of this cake-shaped sushi lies a paw made from negitoro (minced tuna). The sushi cake is made of up layers of the finest seafoods including crab and salmon. Only 20 are sold per day.
Nyalan Hand Towel: ¥880 Each, Handkerchief: ¥550 Each 【Hamamonyo】 *Available at Ecute Tokyo only
This cute Nyalan hand towel and handkerchief are just what you need for your hot spring trip and are bound to add a sprinkle of fun to your everyday life. Enjoy spotting the different facial expressions of Nyalan in this Yokohama print design. Once you make a habit of using it every day, you won’t be able to stop because it feels so nice.
If you love cats, spice up your life with Nyalan!
Tokyo Station and Jalan Fair
Running: February 15, 2020 – March 1, 2020
Participating Shops: 10 Shops in GRANSTA, 3 Shops at Ecute Tokyo and 2 Shops at Ecute Keiyo Street
More Information (Japanese Only)
Jalan News: https://www.jalan.net/news/article/422076/
Ecute Tokyo: https://www.ecute.jp/tokyo/campaign/900
Ecute Keiyo Street: https://www.ecute.jp/keiyostreet/campaign/901
Valentine’s Day 2020 Gift Recommendations: Chocolates and Treats at Tokyo Station
If you’re in Tokyo in the run up to Valentine’s Day, and are in in need of some ideas to bestow your loved one, then you’ll want to head to Tokyo Station City where they are never short of great ideas when the season of love rolls around.
From little gifts under ¥500 to more indulgent delights over ¥1,000, Tokyo Station has it all. We’ve picked out some recommendations ranging from chocolates to sweets and other great ideas for those without a sweet tooth.
【Under ¥500】Little gifts to hand out
Heart de Katsu Burger – ¥237 @ Tonkatsu Maisen (GRANSTA) *Available until February 14, 2020
For a limited time only, Tonkatsu Maisen’s popular katsu burgers are being served in the shape of a heart up right now until Valentine’s Day. If you’re with your loved one in Tokyo until then, then how about enjoying one of these together?
Heart Senbei (3 Included) @ Fujimido (GRANSTA) *Available until February 14, 2020
Senbei are Japanese rick crackers, and these heart-shaped ones come as a set in black pepper, tuna mayo, and ume katsu (plum pulp and bonito flakes) flavours. Perfect for those who don’t like sweet things, and great with a cup of Japanese sake.
Shizuko Chocolate (1 Included) – ¥378 @ Naruto Kintoki Honpo Kurio (GRANSTA) *Available until February 14, 2020
Kurio’s potato sweet bean jelly is made from the store’s sweet potato bean paste which is set and thus has the original flavour maintained. It’s mixed with dark chocolate for that luxury feel as well as sweet potato skin.
Coffee Bean Chocolates (50g) – ¥432 @ Marche du Chocolat (GRANSTA)
For those with more of an adult flavour palate, these coffee beans are coated in milk chocolate. A must-have for all coffee lovers out there!
[¥500-¥1,000] Show your love with prices too good to overlook
Jelly in Puree Chocolatey in Sachinoka Strawberry & Dark Chocolate (24g) – ¥500 @ Hitotsubu Kanro (GRANSTA) *Available until March 14, 2020
Part of Hitotsubu Kanro’s popular “Jelly in Puree Chocolatey” series, this limited edition flavour is made with sachinoka strawberries. Pick from four different designs.
Orangette (1 Box) – ¥680 @ Fairycake Fair (GRANSTA) *Available until February 14, 2020
Those who love a mix of chocolate and fruit will want a box of these orangettes, which exquisitely combine the bitterness of orange peel with chocolate. Exclusive to GRANSTA.
Hazelnuts & Puffs (1 Box) – ¥680 @ Fairycake Fair (GRANSTA) *Available until February 14, 2020
Two types of chocolate, hazelnut and puff, fill up a box of these treats, each with their own crunchy textures. Also exclusive to GRANSTA.
USHIO CHOCOLATL (1 Included) – ¥810-¥864 @ SHARED TOKYO (GRANSTA)
These chocolates are made simply from cocoa beans and salt. The packaging is super stylish too making them a great gift. They are limited in stock, so if you like the look of them, you’d best get in there quick.
[Over ¥1,000] High quality and luxurious indulgence
Cher Milieu – ¥1,404 @ le billet (Ecute Tokyo)
Made with rich Belgian sweet chocolate, sharp and bitter dark chocolate, and orange-flavoured sake, these raw chocolates are a welcome melt-in-the-mouth experience for Valentine’s Day.
Raw Chocolate (9 Included) – ¥1,500 @ Quatre (Ecute Keiyo Street)
Each and every one of these raw chocolates is handmade with the chef’s specially-selected chocolate and lots of fresh cream from Hokkaido. Every bite is a trip to chocolate paradise.
Dassai Matcha Truffles (4 Included) – ¥1,620 @ Waraku Beniya (Ecute Tokyo)
Waraku Beniya’s Dassai Matcha Truffles are made with high quality Uji matcha from Kyoto, an original blend of white chocolate, and a special brand of Japanese sake.
Tokyo Station is the place to go this Valentine’s Day, and there’s plenty more to see in addition to what’s on this list. Now is the time to give back to your loved one with a Valentine’s treat.
*All listed prices include tax
7 Lucky Foods and Items From Tokyo Station To Push You Towards Success
13.January.2020 | FOOD
You’ve studied as much as you can for your exams and prepared as much as you can for that mid-term presentation but the nerves are still getting to you. How about some lucky items to help you succeed? As the exam season is approaching, Tokyo Station’s shopping centre GRANSTA is holding a fair from January 13 to February 14, selling a variety of lucky items and foods to fill you with the courage and strength you need to calm your nerves and boost your confidence.
As “katsu” also means “win”, a crunchy and juicy “winning” sandwich is the perfect way to boost your confidence and energy levels.
Kinokuniya Katsu Sandwiches (3 Sandwiches): ¥430 (After Tax)/KINOKUNIYA Entrée GRANSTA Marunouchi Floor B1 (Outside ticket barriers)
A crunchy katsu sandwich with a thick slice of juicy Japanese pork – This popular katsu sandwich will provide you with the stamina you need to do that presentation.
Katsu Fillet Sandwich (4 Sandwiches): ¥880 (After Tax) / Nagoya Meibutsu Misokatsu Yabaton: GRANSTA Floor B1 (Inside ticket barriers)
A soft southern Kyushu katsu meat fillet drizzled with Yabaton’s special sauce. Enjoy the juicy flavour with every bite.
Egg and Shrimp Katsu Sandwich (1 Full Sandwich): ¥388 (After Tax) /Kyo no Gohan Wasai no Kuni: GRANSTA Marunouchi Floor B1 (Outside ticket barriers)
This pack includes a tender shrimp sandwich and a rich-flavoured egg sandwich. (Limited number sold per day)
Sangenton Katsu Sandwich Eat-In: ¥396, Take Away: ¥388 (After Tax)/ BOULANGERIE ASANOYA, GRANSTA Floor 1 (Inside Ticket Barriers)
The Sangenton Katsu Sandwich is a hearty meal that consists of pork of three origins. This is perfect to fuel up on energy before your big moment. (Limit of 40 sold per day)
Chestnut-Flavoured Talisman of Victory
Silver Bell Pancake Sandwich: ¥378 Each (After Tax)/ Colombin GRANSTA Floor B1 (Inside ticket barriers)
Chestnut-based foods as a victory treat date back to the end of the 15th century during the Warring States period of Japanese history. In this pancake sandwich, two fluffy pancakes hug a filling of delicious cream and chestnuts, creating the perfect victory snack. *Sold from January 13 – February 14, 2020
Lucky Iyokan Mikan Vinegar
Lucky Iyokan Mikan Vinegar (1:5 Dilution, 150ml): ¥1,296/ Drinking Vinegar expre・su Tokyo GRANSTA Floor B1 (Inside ticket barriers)
This mikan orange-flavored drinking vinegar is made from Iyokan mikan oranges, which is said to bring luck. “Iyokan” also means “good premonition”, which is sure to provide both an energy and confidence boost. *Limited sales: From January 13, 2020 while stocks last.
Lucky Pentagonal Chopsticks Set
Lucky Pentagonal Chopsticks Set: ¥3,300/ Nihonbo GRANSTA Floor B1 (Inside Ticket Barriers)
These lucky pentagonal (gokaku) chopsticks are a play on words with the word “gokaku”, which also means success. They are pentagonal right to the tip, making it easy to grip your food. This is the perfect present for your friend who is going to take an exam. Limited Selling Period: Until the beginning of March.
Tokyo Station GRANSTA is full of lucky items and foods to help you and your friends prepare for success.
Location: JR Tokyo Station Floor B1/1 (Inside Ticket Barriers)
Address: 1-9-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 08:00 – 22:00 (Open until 21:00 on Sundays and the last days of consecutive holidays)
Location: JR Tokyo Station Floor B1/1 (Outside Ticket Barriers)
Address: 1-9-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 (Open until 21:00 on Sundays and the last days of consecutive holidays)
*Opening hours of some shops may vary
Official Website: https://www.tokyoinfo.com/shop/mall/gransta/
Souvenirs at Tokyo Station’s GRANSTA Shopping Complex Abundant For the New Year
Tokyo Station’s GRANSTA and GRANSTA Marunouchi shopping complexes are holding a New Year’s from December 26, 2019 to January 5, 2019 where sweets and souvenirs will be sold to beckon the new year. The items are based on the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac for 2020.
Sweets and Souvenirs
Baked New Year 2020 (Contains 5) – ¥1,600 @ Fairycake Fair (Available from December 26)
Tuck into these adorable baked cookies with various celebratory designs including rats, flowers and the year 2020. They are egg flavoured and are made with caramel to create a taste similar to Japanese purin (a type of custard pudding).
High Grade Fresh Japanese Confection Assortment (Contains 6) – ¥1,848 @ Ginza Kanra (Available Mid-December to Mid-January)
Ginza Kanra’s assortment of fancy confections are so pretty they almost seem a waste to eat, each with a variety of motifs such as a rat as well as “Gin no Suzu”ーa silver bell inside Tokyo Station that’s famous as a meeting spot.
Ginza Kikunoya Fukiyose Kaiune Shikan (200g) – ¥1,998 @ Jimbocho Ichi no Ichi (Now on sale until all sell out)
This tin of assorted small sweets includes around 30 types of baked wheat bran treats and more. There’s plenty to keep you going through the New Year celebrations.
Left: Eto Kokeshi Rat – ¥2,090 / Right: Mame Kokeshi Rat – ¥880 @ SHARED TOKYO (Now on sale)
Available in limited quantities only, these cute rat kokeshi dolls would look good even as decorations in small spaces. Their red and white colours add to the festive vibe as these are celebratory colours in Japan.
New Year’s Card Shrimp Senbei Rice Crackers (Contains 11) – ¥1,080 @ Keishindo (Now on sale until all sell out)
Forget regular Christmas cards, hand someone one of these rice crackers instead which feature messages like “Here’s to another great year” in Japanese as well as other New Year motifs.
Osechi and New Year’s Bento
Houjou – ¥8,000 @ Asakusa Imahan (Available January 1 only)
Osechi is food prepared for the New Year in Japan, and this bountiful harvest includes Asakusa Imahan’s famous wagyu black beef, red rice, rice with minced sea bream, and more. These are limited to 10 sets only.
Osechi Shoufuku Suzen – ¥1,800 @Sasahachi (Available January 1-3)
Another delicious mix of osechi like fish wrapped in kombu seaweed, hand-rolled sushi, and more—all of which goes down best with a cup of sake. Limited to 20 servings per day.
This is just a peek into what’s available this New Year at Tokyo Station, so if you’re using the station this year, be sure to stop by.
*All listed prices include tax
New Year’s Fair
Running: December 26, 2019 – January 5, 2020
TOKYO STATION GUIDE Official Website: https://www.tokyoinfo.com/
Top 10 Most Popular Souvenirs to Pick Up at Tokyo Station’s HANAGATAYA Store | 2019 Edition
HANAGATAYA is a souvenir variety shop that opened in Tokyo Station’s central passage back in July. After over 5 months of sales, the store has revealed its Top 10 most popular products based on sales.
The line-up features a selection of HANAGATAYA exclusives, as well as products from elsewhere which have received pre-sales at HANAGATAYA. You will be spoilt for choice with this selection, all of which are perfect for ringing in the New Year when travelling back home. Let’s take a look.
Banana Custard Cream – Tokyo 2020 Olympic Emblem Design (Tokyo 2020 Official Licensed Product) – Contains 8 – ¥1,134 (Tax Included)
Officially licensed by the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, these chewy cakes are made from domestic Japanese rice, and are filled with deliciously creamy banana custard.
Tokyo Banana Butter Madeleine (Tokyo Banana World) – Contains 4 – ¥560 Tax Included)
Exclusive to HANAGATAYA come these all-new butter madeleine’s created by famous confectionery company Tokyo Banana. These baked treats feature a buttery fragrance and taste, and are made with a banana confiture and finished with fresh lemon.
*Exclusive to HANAGATAYA GRANSTA Tokyo Central Street
Toro One Press Chocolate Chick (Tokyo Hiyoko) – Contains 3 – ¥648 (Tax Included)
This year marks 107 since the company Hiyoko was established. The “Toro One Press Chocolate Chick” is a new confection from them: an adorable skyward-looking chick made up of three chocolate layersーeach with their own distinct flavour. At the heart of the chick is a moist chocolate paste.
*Exclusive to Tokyo Station
Cheese Wich – Contains 5 – ¥594 (Tax Included)
These light and refreshing cheese cookies, called Cheese Wiches, are filled with a chocolate-coated melted cheese sauce. Three layers means an enjoyable amalgamation of flavours and textures.
*Exclusive to Tokyo Station
Chocolate Chestnut Eggs (Ginza Tamaya) – Contains 4 – ¥800 (Tax Included)
“Goma Tamago” is a popular bite-sized egg-shaped confection. This chestnut flavour was created for HANAGATAYA, a mix of dark chocolate and vanilla flavoured chestnut paste.
*Exclusive to Tokyo Station
Strawberry Cookie Sandwich (Berry UP!) – Contains 8 – ¥1,296 (Tax Included)
Berry UP! is a cute confectionery brand which creates baked strawberry sweets. Keeping with that theme, they have created a crunchy quintuple-layered cookie sandwich filled with sweet and sour strawberry chocolate.
Shinjuku Curry Ebi (Shinjuku Nakamuraya) – Contains 6 – ¥600 (Tax Included)
If you’re looking for something more savoury, then this one’s for you: Shinjuku Nakamuraya’s light, fluffy and melt-in-the-mouth ebi, coated in curry spices. One nibble is enough to get you instantly hooked.
Strawberry Polvorón (Berry UP!) – Contains 6 – ¥1,296 (Tax Included)
Another entry from Berry UP!, these polvorón shortbreads are made from lots of fresh strawberries mixed with condensed milk and mascarpone, creating a subtle sweetness that’s enough to have your mouth watering.
BLUE MELTIN SAND (Tokyo Campanella) – Contains 8 – ¥1,200 (Tax Included)
What if herbal tea and cookies became its own snack? That’s what Tokyo Campanella asked too, and so make it a reality. Their BLUE MELTIN SANDs are cat’s tongue cookies stuffed with a herbal tea sauce that has a natural blue colour.
Premium Cacao Full Sablé (Mary Chocolate) – Contains 18 – ¥1,350 (Tax Included)
Finally, we have a premium edition of chocolate company Mary Chocolate’s Cacao Full Sablés. This one’s for the adults, a sophisticated combination of bittersweet chocolate and berries.
*Exclusive to HANAGATAYA GRANSTA Tokyo Central Street
Did you enjoy this list? Which one takes your fancy the most? Whether as a souvenir for the folks back home, or as a treat to yourself to celebrate 2020, if you’re in Tokyo this year then be sure to give HANAGATAYA a visit.
Official Website: https://www.j-retail.jp/hanagataya/
Tokyo Station’s Top 10 Edible Winter Souvenirs as Chosen by Station Staff
There is just a month and a half left of 2019, with Christmas, the winter holidays and New Year celebrations right around the corner.
Tokyo Station City has compiled a list of must-grab food-related souvenirs and gifts at Tokyo Station. If you’ve ever visited Tokyo Station, you’ll know that you can be spoilt for choice from the amount of goodies you can get your hands on. The list is based on the votes of 305 station staff members working at Tokyo Station who have voted on their Top 10 most recommend souvenirs to pick up this winter.
The staff members went around the shopping area and taste-tested different edible souvenirs across an 8-day period. Their early thoughts as they went down the list were how delicious or unique things were, but they soon began to take it more seriously to consider things like price, how easy an item was to carry and transport, and what certain people might like in particular.
If you’re travelling to or from Tokyo Station during the holiday season, be sure to bookmark this list so you know what to buy for on the flight back home!
Rakumadoka @ Terra Saison (GRANSTA) – 5 Set ¥1,080 (Tax Included) / 8 Set ¥1,728 (Tax Included)
This cheesecake is like a cream cheese-stuffed souffle-like sandwich. Branded with the words “Gin no Suzu” (a place in Tokyo Station) and “Tokyo,” this seasonal product is exclusive to Tokyo Station. In December last year, they sold over 1,500 in a day.
Mount Baum Kuchen @ Nenrinya (Meihinkan) – ¥1,080 (Tax Included)
With its French bread texture, this delightful treat has a fragrant scent, is moist, and is simply delicious. It has a rich buttery taste and is baked slowly to perfection.
Shinjuku Curry Arare Ebi @ HANAGATAYA (GRANSTA) – 6 Set ¥600 (Tax Included)
This rich curry snack is made by Shinjuku Nakamuraya, and has a light melt-in-the-mouth texture with spicy curry seasoning and shrimp flavour. The shrimp flavour comes from a mix of shrimp powder and shrimp oil. The mix of curry powder and spices gives it a really authentic curry taste.
Tokyo Vegetable Rice Crackers @ nomono (GRANSTA Marunouchi) – 12 Set ¥950 (Tax Included) / 18 Set ¥1,598 (Tax Included)
An assortment of rice crackers with three different flavours: great burdock, onion, and pumpkin. They have a set of 18 too which is perfect for handing out to lots of people.
Maple Pie Sandwich @ The Maple Mania (GRANSTA) – 8 Set ¥1,944 (Tax Included)
Coated in caramel, this crunchy pie is made with a cream laced with maple sugar. Exclusive to Tokyo Station, the packaging design for this dessert is made with souvenirs in mind as it’s made so it’s easy to carry and take around with you.
Kuzumochi @ Funabashiya Koyomi (ecute Tokyo) – 24 Cut (Serves 1-1.5) ¥790 (tax Included) / 36 Cut (Serves 2-3) ¥895 (Tax Included) / 48 Cut (Serves 4-5) ¥1,200 (Tax Included)
Funabashiya’s kuzumochi is made with wheat starch that is fermented over a 450 day period before being cooked. It claims to be “the only fermented Japanese wagashi confection.” Since it is fermented over such a long period of time, it takes on a unique flavour and elasticity.
Cheddar Cheese Pie Sandwich @ Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory (ecute Keiyo Street) – 6 Pack ¥1,620 (Tax Included)
A crunchy pie filled with an addictive cheddar cheese cream. Exclusive to ecute Keiyo Street.
8th Place (Joint)
Premium Cacao Full Shortbread @ HANAGATAYA (GRANSTA) 8 Set ¥648 (Tax Included) / 18 Set ¥1,350 (Tax Included) / 27 Set ¥2,052 (Tax Included)
This is a premium edition of the store’s Cacao Full Shortbread, made using the methods used to make the chocolate brand Merry Chocolate. The crunchy texture and full-bodied flavour of the cacao has been left as it is, while a few things have been added to make it a little more luxurious: French sour cream butter, strawberries, and raspberries.
8th Place (Joint)
Yaoki Senbei @ Mankaso (Meihinkan) – 16 Set ¥1,080 (Tax Included)
These plump senbei rice crackers are made with 100% domestic rice and come in six different delicious flavours: agodashi soy sauce, salted, shrimp, seaweed, plum and coarse sugar, and chirimen pepper.
Tartlette Neuf @ le billet (ecute Tokyo) – 6 Pack ¥1,728 (Tax Included) / 9 Pack ¥2,592 (Tax Included)
la billet make their own tarts, and this assortment comes in a variety of flavours. Exclusive to Tokyo Station. A great option as a gift for meeting a business in Japan.
Which of these looks most tempting to you? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!
Butter Sandwich Shop PRESS BUTTER SAND Releases Uji Matcha Flavour at Tokyo Station
11.November.2019 | FOOD
The butter sandwich specialists over at PRESS BUTTER SAND are bringing their famous Uji matcha flavour butter sandwiches to their Tokyo Station branch on November 13.
Known as the Uji Matcha Butter Sand, this tasty snack was developed to celebrate the grand opening of the Kyoto Station branch of PRESS BUTTER SAND. Due to high demand, they’ve decided to take the product to Tokyo for a limited time.
The exterior is made with butter cream and carefully selected Uji matcha. You get the full rich flavour of the matcha and delicious taste of the butter at once. The sandwich itself is filled with bitter matcha butter cream and sweet caramel butter for a sumptuously smooth combination that marries temptingly with the crunchy cookie exterior.
The sandwich biscuits come in packaging that features navy Kyoto-esque artwork inspired by the characteristic cultivation method for Uji matcha which blocks out sunlight. The sandwiches themselves are individually packaged in matcha green packets to contrast with the box.
Don’t miss out on a chance to enjoy the flavours of Kyoto while in Tokyo. Available at Tokyo Station only.
Uji Matcha Butter Sand
Price: Box of 5 – ¥1,150 (Tax Included) / Box of 9 – ¥2,070 (Tax Included)
Shop: PRESS BUTTER SAND Tokyo Station
Available: November 13, 2019 – November 30, 2019
Official Website: https://buttersand.com
Tokyo Station’s Best Rice Bowl & Noodle Dishes as Voted by Commuters
Tokyo Station and surrounding facilities are currently holding the “Tokyo Station Rice Bowl vs. Noodles Grand Prix 2019” tournament from October 7 to November 24 to find out people’s favourite rice bowl and noodle dishes at the station.
The past three tournaments have focused only on rice bowls, but this year sees the introduction of noodles too, with past restaurants in Kitchen Street and GRANSTA competing once again as well as new ones in ecute Tokyo and KITTE for a total of 13 participating station areas. 92 dishes are in the line-up, the biggest list to date.
The current rankings for the rice bowl and noodle categories have finally been unveiled, so let’s take a look at the Top 3 of each to see which is leading the race.
Category Is: Rice Bowl
Ultimate Japanese Spiny Lobster Bowl – ¥2,200 (Tax Included) @ Tsukiji Sushiko (GRANSTA Marunouchi)
Tsukiji Sushiko was the victory of last year’s grand prix. This year, they’ve whipped up a hearty seafood bowl made with a whole Japanese spiny lobster and 11 other delicious critters from the ocean.
Premium Wagyu & Uni Otsukimi Date – ¥2,530 (Tax Included) @ Uniya no Amagokoro (Kitchen Street)
Served with sliced premium brand wagyu, this bowl is topped with uni sea urchin eggs and ikura salted salmon roeーa luxurious combination you won’t find anywhere else.
Ura Ooedo Tempura Bowl – ¥1,800 (Tax Included) @ Tenkiyo (Grand Roof)
This is an alternate version of the restaurant’s famous Ooedo Tempura Bowl, served with delicious tempura.
Category Is: Noodles
MISO JIRO – ¥1,000 (Tax Included) @ Tokyo Style Miso Ramen Do Miso (KITTE GRANCHE)
A super-filling bowl piled with pork char siu and a mountain of vegetables.
Lanzhou Wagyu Noodles – ¥950 (Tax Included) @ Mazilu Lanzhou Beef Noodles
Authentic Lanzhou ramen served by the Halal-certified Mazilu Lanzhou Beef Noodles, customers can choose between nine different thicknesses for their noodles to satisfy their palate.
Dehydrated Hamburger Bolognese – ¥1,190 (Tax Included) @ HAMBURG WORKS
Enjoy the full flavour of the hamburger meat made from Japanese black wagyu beef and served with pasta.
Be sure to use this list as reference if you’re looking to eat while travelling through Tokyo Station!
Tokyo Station Rice Bowl vs. Noodles Grand Prix 2019
Running: October 7, 2019 – November 24, 2019
Locations: Kitchen Street, Kurobei Yokocho, Kitamachi Dining, Grand Roof, Grand Roof Front, GranAge, GRANSTA, GRANSTA Marunouchi, KITTE, ecute Tokyo, ecute Keiyo Street
Participating Restaurants: 91
Menu Items: 92 (79 of which are exclusive to Tokyo Station)
Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #12 – ‘J-COOK’ in Gaiemmae
In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited J-COOK in Gaiemmae, a place I visited one time while off work which ended up in me wanting to absolutely feature it in the series!
It’s just a 5-minute stroll from Gaiemmae Station.
The cafe enjoys lots of sunlight, which is brightened further by all the plants scattered through the shop. The cafes I have visited to date are often a little darker with only a little light seeping through the windows to create a certain atmosphere, and they are wonderful, but this was the first I have ever visited with so might light and so many plants. The air felt clear, adding to the level of comfort in the cafe, perhaps because there are so many plants adorning the interior.
The cafe also has a space with a slightly more darker light and atmosphere on the left side. I haven’t sat in that area yet, so I think I’ll try it out on my next visit.
When I come to J-COOK, my eyes always wander over to the marzipan creations (¥450).
These ones here were actually all individually handmade by the owner’s husband from the early morning.
If you look really closely, you’ll notice all the dog designs are different. When ordering, get to pick out which one you want, so try finding your perfect pup!
I had mine together with an iced coffee (¥450). The sweet marzipan is a delicious combination with the bitterness of the coffee.
I also got some potted cream (¥450). It’s kind of like a Japanese custard pudding with just a moderate amount of sweetness.
I had mine with a bit of brandy which had fragrant vanilla notes. They’ve had this brandy for 33 years since the store first opened.
The cream was sensational, and the gentle notes linger afterwards.
They have a lot of different homemade soups too which are perfect for the coming cold weather. I got the New Orleans-style gumbo soup. It’s spicy with clam and okra in it.
Relaxing jazz music plays in the cafe while you sit and enjoy your drink and meal.
J-COOK is a wonderful little cafe run by a husband and wife. When I first came, the wife came and talked to me. She’s super friendly, and although it was our first meeting, she made me feel really comfortable and welcome. She must be full of happiness, which in turn naturally gives people who visit the strength to be positive and work hard.
I reckon their smiles have saved a lot of people.
I can’t wait to visit again!
Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku
Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Address: 3-36-26 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: [Tue-Sat] 8:00-22:00 (Last Orders) / [Sun] 11:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:30)
Official Twitter: @jcookjp
5 Christmas Desserts to Buy at Tokyo Station | Christmas 2019
04.November.2019 | FOOD
Shops in and around Tokyo Station are starting to roll out their Christmas products this month. We’ve select our Top 5 must-buy Christmas cakes and desserts if you’re travelling in Tokyo or passing through Tokyo Station this year.
Christmas Koisuru☆Kumagoron – ¥980 (Tax Included) @ Siretoco Donuts (ecute Keiyo Street)
The perfect, most adorable doughnut treats to pick up this Christmas to share with friends and familyーor to enjoy yourself!
*Exclusive to the ecute Keiyo Street branch. Online orders available.
Suica Penguin Waffle Cake – ¥540 (Tax Included) @ RL waffle cake (GRANSTA)
Inspired by the adorable Suica penguinーthe mascot for Suica travel cardsーthis mini cake is a fluffy waffle rolled into whipped cream and yellow peach and is coated in chocolate.
*Only 100 to be sold. Sales begin from November 5 and is are first-come, first served. Reservation-only. Online reservations available.
*Delivery Window: December 20-25, 2019.
*Exclusive to GRANSTA.
©︎Chiharu Sakazaki/East Japan Railway Company/DENTSU by East Japan Railway Company
Suica is a registered trademark of East Japan Railway Company
Christmas Box (4 Included) – ¥1,940 (Tax Included) @ Fairycake Fair
Cute cupcakes decorated for Christmas. Also available in boxes of 6 and 9.
*Reservation Window: November 5 – December 20, 2019
*Delivery Window: November 30 – December 25, 2019
*Available for direct purchase in-store between November 30 – December 25, 2019
*Online reservations available. Exclusive to GRANSTA.
Chestnut Yule Log – ¥3,780 (Tax Included) @ le billet (ecute TOKYO)
This Christmas yule log is a mix of chestnuts and hazelnuts and contains a rich tiramisu-style chestnut cream.
*Online reservations available.
Noel – ¥6,200 (Tax Included) @ Tokyo Station Hotel
This chestnut cake is inspired by the pine pillars that supported the Tokyo Station Marunouchi station building until it was restored. It has a chestnut and sweet potato base and is layered with chestnut mousse and coffee mousse to recreate the rings of a tree which are used to tell a tree’s age.
*10 served per day
*Reservation Window: November 5 – December 17, 2019
*Delivery Window: December 22-25, 2019
*Online reservations available. Exclusive to GRANSTA.
Eat all of the cute treats you can this Christmas and holiday season.
Tokyo’s Newest Bubble Tea Shop PEARL LADY CHA BAR Opens at Tokyo Station
18.October.2019 | FOOD
Bubble tea chain PEARL LADY opened a new tea and tapioca beverage cafe called PEARL LADY CHA BAR at GRANSTA Marunouchi in Tokyo Station on October 17.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of CHA BAR, a Japanese tapioca drink chain that serves different types of tea from around the world. The chewy tapioca pearls added to the drinks are made in the company’s own factory and delivered fresh everyday to stores.
They boast a large drink line-up for tea-lovers, such as their specially-made rich milk tea latte, rock salt cream cheese made with mascarpone, seasonal fruit beverages, and more. The menu offers new and original ways of enjoying tea.
If you’re passing through Tokyo Station during your travels to the capital, be sure to pick up a drink from PEARL LADY CHA BAR.
PEARL LADY CHA BAR GRANSTA Marunouchi
Address: JR East Tokyo Station Floor B1F (Outside Ticket Gates), 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00
Access: 1-minute on foot from the Marunouchi F central ticket gates at Tokyo Station
Official Website: http://www.pearllady.jp/chabar/