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 Revengers Characters Speak Local Dialects on New Posters Across Tokyo Station
Starting September 13, characters from the popular anime series Tokyo Revengers are taking over Tokyo Station in a unique new poster campaign! In addition to one main poster featuring all main characters, 47 local posters–one for each Japanese prefecture–are being displayed throughout the massive train station, with characters speaking in local dialects to promote different areas of Japan. For those learning Japanese, this is a neat way to learn more about the unique vocabulary used throughout the country.
A fun Twitter campaign is also underway, asking fans to tweet #オレの地元が最強 (#MyHometownIsTheStrongest). The special prize will be a B0 Japan Revengers poster, given to only one winner, with the remaining 47 winners able to snag a B2-size poster.
A special advertisement for Japan Revengers will appear in the morning edition of the September 17th edition of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. Additionally, to celebrate the release of the 24th volume of the Tokyo Revengers manga series, those who purchase the new volume will receive one randomly-selected 47-prefecture illustration card during the in-store campaign.
Be sure to check out which prefecture your favorite character is repping!
Special Area for Doraemon Tokyo Banana Opens in JR Tokyo Station
Popular souvenir brand Tokyo Banana is celebrating 30 years! These tasty treats are a must-buy for those visiting Japan, and now, a familiar face will be popping up at a special area in the JR Tokyo Station Tokyo Banana shop: Doraemon Tokyo Banana Tokyo Station opens on August 6, 2021. Our favorite blue robot-cat just turned 50 in 2020, and this is the perfect way to celebrate!
Doraemon Tokyo Banana ‘Found it!’
The Doraemon Tokyo Banana is a fluffy, gluten-free sponge cake. Created to celebrate the original creation of these dreamy sweets, the special Doraemon Tokyo Banana Tokyo Station area is now open at JR Tokyo Station. Adorned with various super cute designs, you’ll also be able to find these treats at convenience stores across Japan!
Visitors will also be able to purchase a special gift box, complete with a gently smiling Doraemon design. The box contains eight Tokyo Banana sweets, and is perfect as a souvenir for family and friends–or even for yourself! The sweets within are decorated with random Doraemon designs, so you’ll have to open the box to find out which ones you got! This item is sure to bring joy to all Doraemon fans both young and old.
A two-pack Doraemon Tokyo Banana will also be available. Three different Take-copter varieties and three different Anywhere Door varieties will be on sale, each with uniquely adorable designs to make you want to collect them all. Be sure to check out this special area, and pick up some memorable gifts!
(Please note that the shop has certain quantities of each package, and not all packages may be available depending on the date.
This product is manufactured in the same facility as products containing wheat flour.)
Doraemon Tokyo Banana Tokyo Station
Store Info: JR Tokyo Station HANAGATAYA Tokyo Doraemon Tokyo Banana Tokyo Station
Address: JR Tokyo Station 1F Central Passage, under the Tokaido Line
Open: August 6, 2021
Hours: 6:30-21:30 (Business hours may vary.)
Official Site: https://www.tokyobanana.jp/
Chibi Maruko-chan and Coji-Coji Get Retro-Themed Shop in Tokyo Station
Two of Nippon Animation’s most loved properties have come together for a limited-time shop like no other! Chibi Maruko-chan and Coji-Coji have joined forces to bring customers a curious collection of retro goods, available now at First Avenue Tokyo Station. The shop will be open until October 4, so there’s plenty of time to grab some new swag!
Wet Wipes: ¥550 each (Tax Included) / Alcohol Hand Spray: ¥880 (Tax Included) / Drug Notebook: ¥550 (Tax Included) / Clear File: ¥385 (Tax Included) / Acrylic Keychain: ¥715 each (Tax Included) / Acrylic Stand: ¥1,100 each (Tax Included) / Mini Tote Bag: ¥1,650 (Tax Included) / Canned Konpeito: ¥1,100 each (Tax Included) / Gacha Can Badge: 1 Turn ¥300 (Tax Included) / Gacha Mini Photo Stand: 1 Turn ¥400 (Tax Included)
Novelty Clear Bookmark
Novelty Set of 4 Clear Bookmarks with Mounts
Ten items in the shop feature this stunning new artwork, inspired by the idea of modern boys and girls in Taisho (1912-1926) retro style. In addition, plenty of other Chibi Maruko-chan and Coji-Coji goods are available at the shop for those wanting a more complete collection!
Customers spending over ¥1,500 or more (with tax) will receive a clear bookmark featuring the new retro art, while those spending over ¥6,000 (with tax) will get all four bookmarks with mounts, making it easy to decorate your space with these limited-time products.
Which of these goods are you most hoping to snag? Don’t miss your chance!
The Maruko & Coji-Coji Store Tokyo
Running: August 4, 2021 – October 4, 2021
Location: First Avenue Tokyo Station, Basement 1F North (Next to Mihashi)
Hours of Operation: 10:00-20:00 (Hours subject to change.)
Phone Number: 03-6260-9048
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chibimaruko_official/
Tokyo’s Cat-Shaped Food Bakery Tokyo Neko Neko Announces New Branch in Tokyo Station
25.January.2021 | FOOD
Tokyo Neko Neko will open a new branch at ecute Keiyo Street inside Tokyo Station on January 25, 2021.
The launch comes just 6 months after the bakery opened its store in Ginza, attracting customers from all over for its line-up of cat-shaped pastries. Both of these bakeries are the result of yet another branch, Kyoto Neko Neko, which opened in June last year as the first in the line of these cute locations.
Tokyo Station Exclusives: Neko Neko Jam Bread – Marmalade, Caramel, Strawberry, Blueberry
Tokyo Neko Neko Bread – Plain, Chocolate, Caramel Almond, Tsubu-an, Matcha, Soybean
As well as the classic Tokyo Neko Neko Bread—which is like a croissant being loaded with French butter, crunchy on the outside, and moist on the inside—the new Tokyo Station branch is also serving its own exclusive pastry treat: the Neko Neko Jam Bread, made with plenty of milk, and arriving in four irresistible flavours including marmalade, caramel, strawberry, and blueberry. And most important of all: everything is shaped like an adorable kitty.
If you’re travelling through Tokyo Station then don’t miss out on a trip to Tokyo Neko Neko, opening January 25.
Tokyo Neko Neko (Tokyo Station branch)
Grand Opening: January 25, 2021
Shop Name: Tokyo Neko Neko ecute Keiyo Street
Location JR Tokyo Station inside the ticket gates of the Yaesu South Exit on Floor 1F
Address: 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, 〒100-0005
Opening Hours: 8:00-22:00 (until 21:30 on weekends and holidays)
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: https://nekoshoku.jp
Tokyo Station’s Pokémon Tokyo Banana is the Souvenir to Buy in Tokyo
Tokyo’s official souvenir sweets brand Tokyo Banana launched pre-sales of its new Pokémon Tokyo Banana series of confections last month, with Pikachu as the first catch. Official sales will roll out at the Tokyo Station branch of Tokyo Banana on December 10, 2020.
Pokémon turn into Tokyo’s official souvenir sweets
Pikachu will be the first Pokémon to feature as the design for Tokyo Banana.
A special Pokémon Tokyo Banana stall will open at Tokyo Station’s JR Line
An official Pokémon Tokyo Banana stall will open inside Hanagataya on the JR side of Tokyo Station on December 10 which will sell exclusively Pokémon Tokyo Banana products. This will begin with Pikachu followed by an upcoming new entry set for release in January 2021.
They come in a cute gift box
Pikachu Tokyo Banana (Contains 8) | ¥1,188 (Tax Included)
Pokémon Trainers can pick up a pack of eight in a special gift box. These boxes are also available at other branches of Tokyo Banana in Tokyo including Shinagawa, Ueno, Ebina, and elsewhere. A must-grab to take home if you’re travelling to Tokyo.
©2020 Pokémon. ©1995-2020 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc.
Pokémon Tokyo Banana Tokyo Station
Location: JR Tokyo Station
Grand Opening: December 10, 2020
Opening Hours: 7:00-21:00 (Subject to change)
Official Website: https://tokyobanana.jp/products/banana_pokemon.html
Disney’s Fantasia Gets Sweets Collection by Tokyo Banana
22.October.2020 | FOOD
GRAPESTONE is releasing a new sweets collection at Disney SWEETS COLLECTION by Tokyo Banana, which is located in Tokyo Station, in collaboration with the Disney classic Fantasia. The confections will be released in limited quantities from October 30, 2020.
© Disney Disney SWEETS COLLECTION by Tokyo Banana JR Tokyo Station
Disney SWEETS COLLECTION by Tokyo Banana opened on the JR Line side of Tokyo Station in November of last year. The shop is a joint-collaboration with Tokyo Banana—the official souvenir sweet of Tokyo—and Disney. The shop sold over 100,000 products in the first week of its opening, and caught the attention of Disney fans on social media who described the shop and the packaging of their sweets as cute.
Disney Fantasia Chocolate Sandwich (Contains 28) | ¥3,024 (Tax Included)
The cute packaging features Mickey Mouse as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in the 1940 animated film Fantasia. The light and crunchy cat tongue cookies at filled with chocolate banana milk shake flavoured cream
The confections serve as the perfect gift or souvenir from Japan to yourself or any fan of Disney.
Disney Fantasia Chocolate Sandwich
Running: October 30, 2020 – Mid December 2020
Available: Disney SWEETS COLLECTION by Tokyo Banana JR Tokyo Station
Purchasing: 70 available per day, max 2 per person
Official Website: https://www.tokyobanana.jp/disney/index.html
Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #14 – ‘Kayaba Coffee’ in Yanaka
In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Kayaba Coffee, a coffee shop in Yanaka, Tokyo, which is a perfect example of the old and traditional shitamachi neighbourhoods.
Kayaba Coffee is just a 10-minute walk from both Nezu Station and Nippori Station.
This is a place I’ve visited in my private time out of work and I’m always excited to go. Kayaba Coffee was established in 1938, and actually closed in 2006. But due to public demand, the cafe reopened just two years later in 2008. It’s a popular coffee shop loved by people of all generations.
Time to head on in.
The first floor houses the counter and table seats, while the seating on the second floor is traditional zashiki style on tatami flooring. Although it’s a cafe, you I feel so relaxed in there that it’s like I’m visiting my grandma’s house. The sun shines through the big windows, making you all warm and want to take a nap.
I ordered their super popular egg sandwich! The menu was changed in May this year, and a new and improved version of their egg sandwich was put on there. It’s made using sourdough bread from VANER, a local bakery in Uenosakuragi not far from the cafe.
Breakfast Menu – Egg Sandwich | ¥1,000
The chewy, sour bread is the perfect combination with the fluffy eggs.
Lemon Squash | ¥600
The lemon squash has a cinnamon aftertaste. Everything on the menu is made with love and perfection; before I realised it, I was hooked on going there.
Strawberry Shaved Ice | ¥800
This was my first shaved ice of the year! I went with the classic strawberry flavour. The syrup is super juicy and nearly collapsed the fluffy shaved ice the moment I put it on. It has a syrupy texture and the strawberry juice has a sweet and sour kick that’s just simply delightful♡
And you can make it even sweeter by pouring over your desired amount of condensed milk. It was really tasty.
Kayaba Coffee is the same as it was back in the day, and continues to be loved dearly. I think even people who visit it for the first time will feel a sense of nostalgia. If you have a place you can go to relax on bad days or when you’re feeling down, it’s sure to give you the strength to work hard again. This cafe is a wonderful place that’s close to people’s hearts.
I want to visit there again already.
Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku
Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
Design: Yuko Takayama (ASOBISYSTEM)
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Address: 6-1-29 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: [Tue-Fri] 8:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:30) / [Weekends] 8:00-19:00 (Last Orders 18:30)
Animal Crossing: New Horizons to Host Kanda Shrine’s Summer Festival In-Game
29.August.2020 | ANIME&GAME
Noryo Matsuri is a popular summer festival held every August at Kanda Shrine in Tokyo, bringing in over 40,000 visitors every year to enjoy a variety of fun and exciting activities like the big bon-odori dance to anime songs, live performances, events in collaboration with anime series and more. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled this year due to COVID-19.
However, that isn’t stopping the festival from being held in some sort of form. In fact, the festival organisers are teaming up with Animal Crossing: New Horizons to bring the festival to the Nintendo Switch title in Japan.
Players can even get their hands on some original Kanda Shrine outfits, as well as visit Kanda Shrine Island by using Luna’s dreaming service in game (until September 30).
Kanda Shrine Noryo Matsuri x Animal Crossing
Release Date: August 28, 2020 at 10:00 (JST)
Official Website: https://www.kandamyoujin.or.jp/atumori/
Dreaming Service: August 28, 2020 – September 30, 2020
Dreaming Service ID: DA-0760-0601-9410
Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #13 – ‘Sepia’ in Shibamata
In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Sepia in Shibamata, a Showa-retro style cafe which I’ve always wanted to visit.
The cafe is just a 2-minute stroll from Shibamata Station which appears in the Japanese film Otoko wa Tsurai yo. The walk along the road that leads to Sepia, which is nearby the Buddhist temple Shibamata Taishakuten, is a pleasant one. Tokyo is a city consistently perceived as one that is cutting-edge in every aspect, but what I felt from each and every building surrounding Shibamata Station was a kind of warmth that you feel when something has history to it.
It’s been seven years since I came to Tokyo. Visiting Shibamata made me me realised how many places there are which I still don’t know about. It invigorated me. As my mind wandered with these pondering thoughts, I finally spotted the sign outside the cafe, and it sure is a cute one!
The moment I stepped inside, I stood, my mouth agape, and looked at my surroundings. It’s the first time I’ve entered such a bright, shining cafe. It was littered with characters I’ve never seen before, manga, magazines, and more.
When you hear the word kira kira (“glitter,” “sparkle”), the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people is probably Harajuku and the Harajuku style, but Sepia’s version of kira kira is a nostalgic one betwixt 1965 and 1975 during the Showa Period. The cafe is incredibly delicate in every spot and corner, like I’m looking inside some grand treasure chest.
The owner of Sepia is Kiyoko Hasezawa. The cafe gets its name from the manga Milky Sepia Monogatari by Ako Mutsu. Ms. Hasezawa said that she wanted to bring to life the world of the manga she loved. The cafe is full of her dreams and is enjoyed by everyone, both children and adults alike.
The cafe menu is even inspired by the food that appears in the Milky Sepia Monogatari manga. The hard pudding I had, which combined caramel sauce and cream, was an absolute delight.
Homemade Showa Pudding & Cream Soda Set: ¥1,200
If we’re talking cafes, then you can’t go wrong with cream soda. The cream soda served at Sepia comes in seven different flavours and colours: melon, Blue Hawaii, strawberry, lemon, peach, grape, and orange. I was spoilt for choice on which to go for, but in the end I went with the pink-coloured strawberry. It had a sweet flavour and was really delicious.
Strawberry Cream Soda: ¥750
I devoured the hotcakes too. The pastry was so fluffy and tasty – I could have eaten a hundred of them. The second one I ate with honey.
At the back of the cafe, they also have the “Candy Candy Museum.” There’s a personal collection of items from Candy H Milky, a female fashion enthusiastic who used to be a customer at Sepia. There’s a photo spot for snapping a photo in the cafe too.
It’s a great time getting to go and look at the displays after eating. I recommend going to see the collection yourself with your own eyes. Entry to the museum is ¥300.
There’s a tearoom up on the second floor which has a nostalgic vibe to it. I felt warm and relaxed, like I’d been transported to my grandma’s house.
Humans can’t travel back in time, but if we look after mementos properly, we can go back there in our minds and memories. Sepia, a place that continues to be cherished and loved, is everybody’s treasure trove.
My oh my, I really want to go back there again.
Address: 7-4-11 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo
Days Open: Fridays, Saturdays, Mondays
Business Hours: 12:00-17:00 (Last Orders 16:30)
For the latest information, visit Sepia’s official Twitter page @sepia_mama
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
Tokyo Station City Official Website: http://www.tokyostationcity.com/en/