Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #9 – ‘Cafe Ace’ in Kanda

27.February.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

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.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】 The café that you want to visit to see someone #4 Cats working at Shinjuku-sanchome’s Café Arles

    21.December.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD

    “Good service, a jolly owner and cute cats – this café is sure to heal you!”

     

    I’m Ema Tanioku and today I’ll be introducing you to yet another café in Tokyo as the fourth edition of my series “The café that you want to visit to see someone”. Today I’ll be reporting about my visit to Café Arles which can be found at Shinjuku-sanchome. Ever since hearing that there were cats at this café, I’ve been set on going 〜♪♪

     

    The café is very easy to access. To get to there, you can take the Toei Shinjuku line to Shinjuku-sanchome. From here, you can get to the café within a five-minute walk. Walking around the Shinjuku Suehirote theatre, the café soon came into sight. Somehow, I could sense the presence of cats just from the atmosphere…

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    There it was! The entrance to the café was decorated with many ornaments of cats and dogs. I don’ know why but I was filled with excitement before even having entered.

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    As soon as I entered, I immediately spotted a cat.

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    I was then greeted by the cat’s master who had a sweeping grin across his face and was wearing a hat with a cat broach. I could really feel his love for cats ♪♪

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    I took a sweeping glance over the café – cats, cats and more cats – there were so many cat-themed goods everywhere! Apart from cats goods, the master also collects clown goods and displayed everything all huddled together to decorate the café.

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    Although this was my first time at Café Arles, I immediately felt right at home as a warm feeling grew within me. I asked the master what got him into the café business and I was surprised by his response. It all started when the master was working at a mahjong parlour, where a person they knew asked them to start up a café.

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    The master then thought about the numerous paintings he had collected and how he was in search of a place to display them. The idea of choosing his own music, menu and decorating a café interior to his own taste really struck a chord with him.

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    There are many paintings displayed in the café. Amongst these are some by modern artist Tomomi Kondo, who made the paintings “please your master” and “cool your thighs”, which feature the kaban neko (café cats) Ishimatsu and Jirocho, who are “working hard” by lazing around.

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    Café Arles is fun and draws in even more fun. The atmosphere is filled with the love and enjoyment of the customers. That’s why I immediately felt so at home as soon as I entered. You can easily spend a long time here.

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    I asked the master what he recommends from his menu. His response? “My recommendation is what you want to eat the most!” he said wisely. I felt like eating Napolitan spaghetti and so that is what I ordered! (Price: ¥720 including tax)

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    It came with banana and giant corn ❤ – this excellent service made me so happy!

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    The gentle flavour of this homemade dish was delicious and I could really taste the Showa-retro Napolitan flavour to it. The drink, soup and salad services available gives this meal a perfect score for portion size satisfaction!

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    The master allowed me to take his café cat Jirocho-kun out for a walk. This was the first time I’d ever walked a cat – a new, fresh experience!

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    Jirocho-kun is a very calm and obedient cat, so we had a lovely stroll together. Speaking of which, Jirocho-kun loves his owner so much that he runs to meet him whenever he hears his car pull up at the shop.

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    This year marks the 40th anniversary of the café. “I enjoyed every minute of it” explained the master happily. The master created a place where everyone can be happy and in return everyone supports him. Perhaps this cycle is the motivational force that has kept and will continue to push this café to live and thrive.

     

    I’m glad I came to this café today and met such a special person.

    I want to come here again and have another chat with the master!

     

     

     

    ■Information

    Cafe Arles

    Address:1st floor, 5-10-8, Shinjuku, Tokyo

    Opening h0urs: 11:30 〜 22:00

    Regular holidays days: Sundays, New Year’s period holiday period

    Access:398 metres from Shinjuku Sanchome station (reach via Toei-Shinjuku line/ Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line

    URL:https://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1304/A130401/13087540/

     

     

    Model & Writer: Ema Tanioku

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    Profile: “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

    Instagram:@ematanioku

     

    Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor:Ryoichi Komaba

    Design:Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translated by: Samantha Fernandes

     

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #6 – ‘Angelus’ in Asakusa Loved by Osamu Tezuka

    13.June.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this sixth instalment to her café seriesEma Tanioku stopped by Angeles, a café in Asakusa with a history spanning over 70 years.

    Angeles is known for its history of famous frequenters including legendary manga artist Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy). This wonderful location is always bustling with customers and is known to be full even during holidays.

    When people think of Asakusa, they imagine Sensoji Temple and the district’s old-fashioned architecture. However, Angeles breaks that mould and instead takes on the form of a European-style place of worship. It’s different from all the rest and looks warm and welcoming from the outside.

    Even if you have no plans to go into the café, the desserts on display look so invitingly delicious you’ll find yourself stopping in your tracks.

     

    They look so tasty…

     

    Time to go inside!

    You’ll be spoilt for choice because they all look so good.

    The café has three floors. It’s like an atrium where you can look down below from the top floor.

     

    People who want to kick their feet up and read in the café or relax and space out can head to the second floor which has a hiding-place-like area. There’s a different atmosphere wherever you decide to sit, so it can be fun finding which part fits for you!

    ‘Angeles’ refers to a devotion in memory of the Annunciation in Christianity signalled by the ringing of church bells. Looking around at the decor you’ll see things like crosses and doves as well as signs of peace dotted about.

    Ema ordered the Almond Purin (¥930).

     

    In the middle of the bowl is a melon that looks as if it’s been sliced. It’s also plated with various fresh fruits like banana strawberry as well as tinned pineapple and peaches and finished with a side of fresh cream. All of that hides vanilla ice cream underneath. And of course the highlight of the dessert, the purin, also tucked away!

    First thing’s first: munching down the strawberry! The fresh cream is a perfect complement to the fruits. Combine and gobble it all up.

     

    And finally, the star of the plate. The purin! It has quite a sweet flavour and is supple so it’s very tasty.

    The café’s number one recommendation on the dessert menu is the above.

     

    The flavour of the Angelus (¥330) dessert hasn’t changed for over 50 years. It comes in either black or white. The black Angeles is made with coffee flavoured butter cream and coated with sweet chocolate. The white Angeles is made with ordinary butter cream and coated in white chocolate.

     

    Neither are overly sweet and they’re at an easy-to-eat size. They were exquisite!

    Angelus‘ speciality is their Dutch Coffee (¥620). Dutch coffee is made by dripping ice water dripped over the coffee to extract the maximum flavour. It even looks refreshing, making it perfect for the summertime heat. If you’re a coffee enthusiast then you’ve got to try this.

     Ema was contemplating that although she’s sat there there in that moment, what kind of people were talking about what kinds of things 70 years ago? The thought simply excited her ♪

     

    “Though the generations will change, this place will continue remaining the same and probably continue to be loved by lots of people. As time flows so does the delicious taste of what they have to offer. More places like this will come to be one by one. I wonder what kind of cafe will I encounter next?♡”

     

    ■Information

    Angelus

    Address: 1-17-6 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11am-9pm (Last Orders 8:40pm)

    Closed: Mondays

    Access:

    3-minutes by foot from Exit 1 of Asakusa Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
    4-minutes by foot from Asakusa Staion via the Tobu Isesaki Line
    6-minutes by foot from Asakusa Staion via the Toei Asakusa Line
    5-minutes by foot from Asakusa Staion via the Tsukuba Express

    Website: http://www.asakusa-angelus.com

     

     

    Model&Writer: Ema Tanioku

    Profile:

    “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

    Instagram: @ematanioku

     

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor :Ai Watanabe

    Design: Yuko Abe(ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

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

    05.October.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

    The most popular is this one – the Mosaic Cake!

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

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

    And then, and then!

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

     

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

    It looks like a very elegant beverage.

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

    Delicious.

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

    TALENT PROFILE

    Ema Tanioku

    “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • A Date With Yutaro: Soaking Up the Japanese Summer Sun & Visiting the Art Aquarium | Tokyo Stroll

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    It’s been a while since our last date with Yutaro. He’s been very busy with film shoots. He had some spare time today so we paid a visit to Nihonbashi for our next date. “ECO EDO Nihonbashi: Enjoy Cool Edo With All Five Senses” is an event held every year in the Nihonbashi area which takes the Edo period cultural idea of “coolness”―an in, to enjoy being cool during the summer-and puts a modern spin on it. There are many exciting things to look forward to, including the art aquarium which proves massively popular every year.

     

    We gave ourselves more time to arrive at the meeting place to be in the safe side, but it seems Yutaro-kun was already there waiting for us!

    Nihonbashi Information Center | IPPIN CAFÉ “Sparkling Herb Tea” – ¥518 (Tax Included)

    “Here, you must be boiling.” Yutaro-kun kindly offers a cup of IPPIN CAFE’s limited-edition sparkling herb tea. It’s a delicious mix of fizzy soda and lemon, a perfect refreshment for the summer. Since he ordered takeout the drink came with a goldfish straw. Goldfish are a staple sight during Japanese summer festivals so it’s very fitting for the occasion! 

     

    With our drinks in hand, it’s time to head to Nihonbashi for our Edo summer date!

    Wind-Chime Forest Path

    Lining the path between Fukutoku Shrine and Fukutoku Garden is the Wind-Chime Forest Path where around 200 Edo-style wind chimes dangled. This year, during the evenings, the path is illuminated with beautiful lighting. 

    When the breeze rolls past the wind chimes ring one by one-a cool and refreshing sound.

    “I hear each one of these Edo wind chimes are individually handmade by craftsmen.”

    When you hear the sound of the wind chimes it makes you feel cool like a gentle breeze of the wind.

     

    After strolling along the Wind-Chime Forest Path we make our way towards this year’s ECO EDO Art Aquarium event.

    The moment we step instead Yutaro is already dazzled by all the goldfish: “Wow! I knew about this place from what I’d seen online, but this my first time here! This art aquarium really is something!”

     

    The full title of the event is “ECO EDO Nihonbashi ART AQUARIUM 2019 ~Edo, Coolness of Kingyo~ & Night Aquarium.”  Goldfish were a huge part of the common culture in Nihonbashi during the Edo period. This event recreates that and brings that “coolness” aspect while combining it with contemporary art by having people observe the fish in lots of different artistic environments.

    Super Oiran

    “This is the biggest fish tank, apparently it has 3,000 fish swimming inside!”

    “Seeing the light reflect on the water from the illuminations lets you see the fish in a different light, doesn’t it?”

    Looks like Yutaro-kun is having a lot of fun taking photos.

    He’s equally interested in just about every fish tank!

    These other fish tanks have a different aesthetic to them. Their Japanese-style designs make for great photos.

    Kaleidorium 3D

    “This one’s beautiful, it’s like a kaleidoscope.”

    It really does look like one. When you take a peek instead you can glimpse all kinds of colourful fish gently swimming around.

    Ceiling Kingyo

    “There’re goldfish swimming on the ceiling too. So cool! This aquarium is incredible. It brings together the great culture of Edo and contemporary art.”

     

    The Art Aquarium bustles every single year with visitors, but this year will mark its last run. It’s being held at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, so if you have the chance to go then please do.

    We of course checked out some local Nihonbashi treats too! We stopped by morozoff for some cheesecake after the aquarium.

    morozoff Kamadashi Cheesecake (Goldfish) – ¥270 Each (Tax Included)

    These cute cheesecakes with their goldfish designs are available for a limited time only. They’re filled with sweet red bean paste. They perfect with iced tea.

    “Got some! Let’s eat them while we head back.”

    Goldfish Lantern Walkway

    Our first date in Nihonbashi was so much fun. While on the date Yutaro-kun spoke about the new live-action film he’s in, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War.

     

    “It’s a romance film with mind games to try and make the other person confess their love. I play the character Tsubasa. His number one highlight scene is the kabedon scene. That was my first day shooting, so I was super nervous, but I got along well with the other actors, and the atmosphere on set was harmonious, so I was able to relax for the shoots. Tsubasa is a genuine guy who will believe things that have been said to him in earnest. You’ve definitely gotta check out all his scenes throughout the film!”

     

    “A lot of the cast are the same age as me, so we were all energetic together in the waiting room. There’s a scene at the end where all the cast get together. It took 3 days to shoot so we ended up getting along really well.”

     

    “This film has made me realise that love comes in many shapes, and that mind games happen in a variety of ways between guys and girls. There’s cute scenes that express that small bit of pride that teenagers have, the embarassment they feel, when they get butterflies, scenes that will warm your heart. The film has various elements to it so I thoroughly enjoyed watching it myself. I hope that couples in love in their teens and twenties watch it, and I also hope that married couples watch it and crack up laughing too.”

     

    “In the film it’s summer break, and they go and see fireworks and stuff. It’s definitely one to watch durnig the summer. You’re gonna come watch it too, right? Shall we go?”

     

    An offer we cannot refuse! We’ll definitely go and see it with you, Yutaro-kun! 

     

    Model: Yutaro

    Writer: Yuki Yokoo

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yutaro

    Yutaro was born in Hiroshima on June 3rd 1998. His modeling career has earned him lots of attention as a fashion icon of the new generation. The famous model also works as a “charisma” shop assistant. Yutaro has gained his reputation as a “mysterious and handsome guy” from his appearance on Japanese variety shows. His debut was made on the show “Gyoretsu no Dekiru Horitsu Sodanjo” and has since then appeared on numerous different TV shows. He challenged himself to appear on stage for the very first time in March this year and is gaining popularity by the day for his diverse work.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #11 – ‘Hatoya’ in Asakusa

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Hatoya which is located in Asakusa Shin-Nakamise Arcade.

     

    The streets of Tokyo’s historical district of Asakusa are packed to end with cafés. You can be spoiled for choice, but Hatoya stood out to me in particular as it’s an especially old café. Business there began back in 1927 but the actual building was built back in the Taisho period, meaning its history spans more than 90 years ago!

     

    The outside appearance of the shop is smart and chic so it’s very easy to spot. I couldn’t tell by looking from the outside, but the inside is full of old decorations and odds and ends which make you feel the history of the café.

    One reason why I wanted to visit this place so much is because I was drawn to their logo. It’s really retro-kawaii so I just couldn’t resist!

    You should take some photos too if you visit.

    It was time to head inside. It’s really comfy and cozy in there; the atmosphere was nice and relaxed.

    Framed on the wall is a map of the Asakusa area during the Taisho era. Hatoya became famous back then because people could buy coffee for a mere 5 sen (a single sen is one-hundredth of a yen).

     

    When business first began at Hatoya, because the café was opposite the stage door of a theatre, all of the famous actors and actresses would pop in. Some include famous Japanese comedian Roppa Furukawa and film actor Kiyoshi Atsumi who played Tora-san in the film series Otoko wa Tsurai yo.

    I ordered the café’s popular hotcakes which cost ¥600. They have been making these same hotcakes since before the war.

    They were nice and fluffy and had a deliciously gorgeous brown colour. The flavour was out of this world when the butter melted from the heat of the hotcakes and mixed together with the syrup.

     

    The portion might look like a lot but they are fluffy and have a light flavour so can be finished with no problem.

    And is the café’s signature milkshake (¥500).

     

    It’s so refreshing that you can knock it back all in one go. It has a simple flavour but it tasted so good!

    I also ordered the ¥600 cream soda, my favourite beverage.

    I’ve been to many cafés, and have covered many in this series, but this is the first I have dined at with such a deep history. I found myself enthralled by the stories of the owner who has continued to treasure the café and maintained it all the same since it opened. I feel like I have learned about a world I never knew about. The next time I go to Hatoya with a friend I’ll be sure to let them in on its history. I encourage you to visit too!

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
    Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    TALENT PROFILE

    Ema Tanioku

    “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

  • Tokyo Station Top Souvenir and Bento Rankings 2019

    09.August.2019 | Uncategorized

    Tokyo Station is a hive of thriving shops and restaurants. If you are wondering where to start, exit the ticket barriers and head to GRANSTA Marunouchi to discover a new world of bento lunches, souvenir gifts and much more. Still stuck on where to go? Lucky for you, GRANSTA Marunouchi shoppers have voted for their favourite bento meals, sweet souvenirs and general souvenirs. We have summarised the top three winners of each category.

     

    A total of 69 shops have risen to the challenge, submitting a total of 73 of their top items. This year, a total of 4,500 voters took part in the survey, which is 2,000 more than last year. There were 10 winners in each of the three categories of Bento Meals, Sweet Souvenirs, and General Souvenirs. Today, we are presenting you with the top three of each category. (The prices below are the prices after tax has been applied)

     

    ▶︎Bento Meals Category

    1st place: Asakusa Imahan Sukiyaki (Tokyo-limited)

    Asakusa Imahan was founded in the 28th year of the Meiji era (1895) and still serves delicious traditional Japanese food. The Sukiyaki Bento is filled with a range of nutritious vegetables and luxurious Japanese Black wagyu beef, which is a shop specialty. Enjoy the wonderful sukiyaki flavouring of the vegetables and meat. 

    Price: ¥1,450 Shop: Asakusa Imahan (浅草今半)

     

    2nd place: Salted Salmon Roe and Salmon Belly Bento 

    *Limit of 150 sold per day.

    Price: ¥1,280 Shop: Ekibenya Matsuri (駅弁屋 祭 )

    Salmon belly flavoured with natural fat is fried and topped with salmon roe coated in a soy sauce dressing. This exquisite bento is full of flavours that go well together.

     

    3rd place: Shoro Sando

    *Limit of 200 sold per day 

    Price: ¥648 Shop: Tsukiji Shoro (つきぢ松露 )

    The faintly sweet flavour of the tamagoyaki seasoned and flavoured egg is the perfect match with the mayonaise.

     

    ▶︎ Sweet Souvenirs Top 3 

    1st place: Maple Pie Sandwich Biscuit (Tokyo Station-limited)

    Price: ¥1,944 (box of 8) Shop: The Maple Mania  

    Maple cream is combined with maple sugar and sandwiched between two delicious and crispy pie crusts. The box takes on the appearance of a red brick, making it the perfect Tokyo Station souvenir. 

     

    2nd place: Tokyo chocolate Sablé (Tokyo Station-limited)

    Price: ¥1,080 (box of 12) Shop: Marché du Chocolat 

    The packaging features a beautiful illustration of Tokyo Station. There are two chocolate sablé flavours: raspberry and hazelnut.

     

    3rd place: My Captain Cheese Set (Tokyo Station-limited)

    Price: ¥1,080 (box of 8 packets)  Shop: MY CAPTAIN CHEESE TOKYO 

    Although having just opened in April 2019, this shop quickly made the rankings. From the outer packaging to the flavour, the efforts put into the making of this souvenir are clear. This brand new sweet cheese-flavoured treat is a new GRANSTA-limited souvenir.

     

    ▶︎ General Souvenirs

    1st place: Karuizawa Royal Blend

    Limit of 30 made per day 

    Price: ¥1,122 (whole loaf)/ ¥ 561 (half loaf) Shop: BOULANGERIE ASANOYA 

    The recipe used to bake this bread was deeply loved by the Kazoku; the rich and noble family class that existed during the Showa Era of Japan. This thick and fluffy loaf is made with lots of fresh cream for a rich flavour.

     

    2nd place: Suica Penguin Mamegui Wrapping Cloth and Suica Baumkuchen cake (Tokyo Station-limited)

    Prices: Mamegui Wrapping Cloth: ¥648/ Baumkuchen: ¥ 540  Shop: Mamegui (まめぐい)

    The Suica penguin, who is the mascot on the Suica smart travel card, is printed on this round Baumkuchen cake. Wrap it in the hankerchief-sized tenugui cloth and it will be the perfect petit present for your friend.  

     

    3rd place: Lemon and Shiikuwasha Lemon Vinegar (Tokyo Station-limited)

    Price: ¥1,728 (250ml) Shop: Nomusu Ekisupuresu Tokyo (飲む酢エキスプレ・ス・東京)

    This dessert vinegar has a refreshing lemon flavour. The slight bitterness of the Shiikuwasha vinegar makes it a wonderful dessert flavour. 

     

    If you are overwhelmed by the vast selection of bento lunches or souvenirs, referring to these rankings is a safe option. Have fun shopping at Tokyo Station!

  • Tokyo Souvenirs Galore at Tokyo Station’s New Gift Kiosk

    02.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Tourists and travellers using Tokyo Station this summer will be excited to hear that the all-new Gift Kiosk Tokyo souvenir shop will open at the Tokyo Station Shinkansen Yaesu Central Exit on August 7.

    Gift Kiosk Tokyo’s shelves are packed full of gifts and souvenirs aimed at travellers using the Shinkansen. This includes bundles of delicious sweets and desserts such as raw mooncake by Nakamuraya, Tokyo Souvenir Chocolate which comes in packaging featuring Tokyo’s many iconic sites, and lots more.

    Tokyo Chocolate Tokyo Souvenir :  ¥756 (Tax Included) 

    The Tokyo Souvenir Chocolates are exclusive to Gift Kiosk and are a delicious retro-modern fusion combining 6 different chocolates and sweets made with traditional Japanese ingredients, offering an irresistible taste the likes of which you have never tried..

    Nakamuraya’s Raw Mooncake: Set of 5 – ¥756 (Tax Included) / Set of 8 – ¥1,188 (Tax Included)

    Nakamuraya’s chewy raw mooncake is made using traditional Japanese wagashi confection baking methods and is filled with sumptuous red bean paste. The paste is a blend of rich adzuki beans from Hokkaido and black sesame paste which has a strong flavour when combined with the beans. This is the first time it has been sold at Tokyo Station so all sweet tooths’ eyes will be on this one.

    As well as sweet treats, the store is full of drinks, bento boxes, sandwiches and other sundries. If you’re passing through Tokyo Station, particularly if you’re heading to another part of Japan using the Shinkansen, then be sure to stop by Gift Kiosk Tokyo.

  • 2019 Top 10 Souvenirs Available at Daimaru Department Store, Tokyo

    27.July.2019 | FOOD

    Looking for some delicious, well presented Japanese souvenirs? Head to Daimaru department store which is adjoined to Tokyo Station. On the first floor and basement floor lies a Japanese-style desserts and sweets area which contains approximately 70 delicious brands. Every day, approximately 30,000 desserts are sold to customers who are looking for souvenirs to bring to their family and friends. 

    Now we have arrived at the summer holidays, there are many tourists who will soon reach the stage of panic where they are unsure of what souvenirs to bring back to their loved ones. Luckily, Daimaru Department store is a goldmine of beautifully presented Japanese-style sweet snacks made by top brands. Today, we present you with a list of the 10 fastest-selling souvenirs that were sold from July 2018 to June 2019. There is still plenty of time to get your hands on these souvenirs!

     

    1st Place: N.Y.C. SAND: Caramel Sandwich Biscuits (box of 8) ¥1,080 (1st floor)

     As you take a bite, you will notice that the biscuit, chocolate and caramel will balance in perfect harmony just for a brief glorious moment. 

    2nd place: Fukusaya: Fukusaya Cube (Cut into two) ¥270 (1st floor)

    Have a small slice of luxury with this traditional recipe castella sponge cake which was specially made by experienced bakers. This is presented in a small, cute box. 

     

    3rd place: Kamakura Toshimaya: Hato Sable (box of 10) ¥1,080 (1st floor)

    This is a crispy dove-shaped shortbread biscuit which has a rich buttery flavour. This was first produced in the early 1900’s during the Meiji period and is a souvenir limited to Tokyo.

     

    4th place: Asakusa Mangando: Imokin ¥129 each (1st floor)

    This baked treat is packed with the delicious flavour of sweet potatoes. The freshly baked scent is enough to draw you in. 

    5th place: TOKYO BANANA STUDIO: Panda Banana Yoghurt (Box of 4) ¥515 (1st/basement floor) 

    Children would just love to see the cute panda design. Wrap yourself in the mild banana yoghurt-flavoured cream.

    6th place: Noix: Walnut cookie (Box of 4) ¥648 (1st floor)

    This crunchy cookie is topped with a generous amount of caramelised walnuts.

     

    7th place: Nenrinya: Mount Baum Shikkarime ¥756 (1st floor)

    The outside of this baumkuchen is fragrant and crispy whilst the inside is soft and spongy. Take a bite to experience the wonderful texture of this European-style baked good. 

    8th place: Azabujuban Agemochi-ya: Panchetta Agemochi (40g) ¥442 (1st floor)

    The flavour of this baked mochi dough is like eating bacon cooked in an Italian style. This new flavour is a wonderful discovery that you should also try.

    9th place: Sugar Butter Tree: SUGAR BUTTER SAND TREE (Box of 10) ¥690 (1st floor)

    The crispy biscuit and melty white chocolate is a sublime combination that you will want to try again and again.

    10th place:  Kanou Shoujuan: Ikkoten ¥270 each (1st floor)

    A whole Japanese chestnut is smothered in a thick layer of Tamba Dainagon adzuki bean mix that is simmered lightly. This is especially delicious when eaten with tea. 

     

    What do you think? When in desperate need of a souvenir for your family, friends or work colleagues back home, how about choosing one of the souvenirs listed above?

  • Most Popular Sweets & Chocolate Sold at Tokyo Station

    24.July.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Summer is here, and if you’re travelling around Japan, chances are you’ll be using Tokyo Station station at some point.

     

    We recently covered 6 must-buy souvenirs at Tokyo Station. Today we’ll be looking at the most popular Japanese and western sweets you can pick up there as ranked by sales.

     

    Western Sweets & Snacks

    1st Place: Maple Butter Cookie (Contains 18) – ¥1,900 (Tax Included) / Sold @ The Maple Mania

    These cookies are made from maple sugar and fermented butter and baked with dark chocolate in the middle to make a crunchy cookie sandwich. They have been the most popular treat since they were released♡

    2nd Place: Tokyo Station Waffles (10 Included) – ¥1,300 (Tax Included) / Sold @ R.L waffle cake

    A flagship product of R.L. Waffle Cake, their fluffy waffles contain cream and fruit. These Tokyo Station exclusives have been improved this year and are now made with bamboo charcoal. This set of 10 plain waffles are available for a limited time only.

    3rd Place: Tokyo Gianduja Chocolate Pie (Contains 8) – ¥1,080 (Tax Included) / Sold @ Caffarel

    Chocoholics are going to love Caffarel’s chocolate pies which are made lusciously with their gianduja chocolate. The pies enjoy repeat purchases from people who enjoy the crunchy outside of the pie and rich chocolate centre. They are enjoyed by people of all ages.

    4th Place: Tokyo Kaminariya (Contains 8) – ¥1,062 (Tax Included) / Sold @ Tokyo Kaminariya

    Tokyo Kaminariya is known for its sweet cone puffs which topped with fluffy cream, nuts and sesame seed bean paste. They are shaped like the god of thunder’s horn and are cat tongue biscuits containing fragrant rice flour.

    5th Place: Tokyo Station Assorted Cookies (Contains 20) – ¥1,965 (Tax Included) / Sold @ Tokyo Milk Cheese

    This cookie assortment features the classic Salt & Camembert and Honey & Gorgonzola flavours. A perfect souvenir from Tokyo with its cute packaging!

     

    Japanese Sweets & Snacks

    1st Place: Kinpira Gobo (1 Bag) – ¥350 (Tax Included) / Sold @ Nishikihonrin

    This crispy snack retains the original flavour of the ingredients and is made using 100% domestic wheat flour. It contains great burdock and spicy finely chopped vegetable flavours. It’s a perfect little treat to yourself or someone you know and is a hit with foreign customers!

    2nd Place: Mame Daifuku: ¥206 (Tax Included) / Sold @ Ginza Kanra

    A hallmark product of Ginza Kanra, these soft daifuku contain whole adzuki beans grown by contracted farmers. Their simple flavour has transcended generations and is a beloved traditional Japanese dessert with all ages.

    3rd Place: Panda no Tabi (Contains 5) – ¥1,080 (Tax Included) / Sold @ Keishindo

    Keishindo’s senbei shrimp rice cookies have various designs on them including cute pandas as well as famous sites in Tokyo such as Tokyo Tower and Kaminarimon. Exclusive to Tokyo Station, these are a fun and delicious choice.

    4th Place: Wasanbon (Contains 9) – ¥756 (Tax Included) / Sold @ Kurio Shoten Gransta

    Wasanbon is a type of traditional Japanese sugar. This product is made with traditional molasses which has been used since the store first opened. Using high quality sugar, Kurio Shoten has created a sweet and simple delicious snack.

    5th Place: edocco Nami Ningyo Yaki – ¥1,080 (Tax Included) / Sold @ Hattendo & edocco

    Ningyo yaki are little baked doll cakes, and these ones have a “raw” texture to them which is both moist and chewy, a texture enjoyed by Japanese people.

     

     

    Did you enjoy this list? Be sure you get to try all the sweets and snacks you can in Japan and share them as souvenirs when you travel back home!

  • Tokyo Stroll: Shopping & Sightseeing with Mozuku-kun the Dog #5 – Uzumako Ceramic Art School

    12.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    It’s been a minute since we last ventured out with Japanese model Yuna Yabe and her beloved pet pup Mozuku. If you’re new to this feature, Yuna Yabe takes her trusty partner Mozuku to various hot spots in Japan that you can enjoy with your pet dog. Their relationship continues to deepen in this priceless experience.

    Today, Yuna and Mozuku head to Uzumako Ceramic Art School which is close to Shiba Park. You can get a good view of TokyoTower from this famous park.

    What’s unique about this art school is that visitors are allowed to take their pets with them. So this means you can take your dog with you to do some ceramics!

     

    Yuna has always had an interest in ceramics. And what better way to experience creating something than with her partner in crime Mozuku! With him tottering beside her, she headed through the entrance curtain with a spring in her step.

    When you enter the classroom, there are lots of examples of pottery ware lining the shelves. The room has that smell of craftsmanship which lingers as you begin the class with a demonstration by the teacher. Once you have your apron on and are fired up to begin, it’s time to start.

     

    The work begins with kneading the clay to make its firmness uniform. This step helps prevent air bubbles from forming.

     

    Yuna asked the teacher many different questions as she enjoyed kneading her clay. “Where does ceramic work originate from?” “What kind of things to other dog owners make when they come here?”

    “What’s Yuna up to?” Mozuku’s puzzled face seemed to imply as he listened to Yuna and the teacher talk.

    Yuna turned to Mozuku and said to him, “I’m going to make you a food bowl!” It seemed like the message got through as his face read, “Looks like my owner is making something just for me.”

     

    Yuna wet her hands with some water and began forming a hole in the centre of her clay bundle. The hole forms and gets bigger as the pottery wheel spins.

    Next, she used both of her hands to ensure the thickness of the bowl was even all the way around.

    “Amazing! The shape of the clay changes in an instant!”

    By adding a little bit of pressure the pile of clay can change shape rapidly. It’s like a living thing.

    “It’s like the clay is my own child. I wanna wrap it up!”

    Once the shape is formed, Yuna cut around the edges. She is a skilled individual, she got the hang of it straight away.

    Mozuku sat right beside Yuna, quiet and curious.

    “Is it my turn yet?”

    He seemed itching to have a go at making something himself too.

    He watched over Yuna’s work from atop the table.

    “I wanna try spinning the wheel too!”

    Mozuku in fact had the most important job of all. Yuna popped a wooden mould onto his paw and stamped a paw print into thebottom of the bowl.

    “There we go!” said Yuna

    Mozuku mustered all of his strength to make his mark, his facial expression unusually serious as he carried out his big task.

    Time to check if the print was done properly!

    Here’s the final product―Mozuku did a great job!

     

    Their teamwork paid off as they were able to create a really cute dog bowl. The tiny footprint is packed with pet love. The art school actually sells a lot of different cute and stylish pet items but the owner making their own makes it unique―the only one in the world.

     

    If that love is able to get through to your pup, the food they eat from the bowl is sure to be even more delicious.

     

    Thanks for your help, Mozuku.

    “I can’t wait to fire it!” Yuna’s excitement was peak from start to finish. She was very satisfied after the class finished.

     

    After two weeks of waiting, the bowl was completely finished.

    Why not try creating something unique special for your own pet―together with them?

     

    Model: Yuna Yabe/Mozuku @yunaaay1030

    Text: Ai Watanabe

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yuna Yabe

    Yuna Yabe won the grand prix prize at the “Zipper×ASOBISYSTEM Model Auditions” at the age of 15. She is an expert not only in fashion but make-up and video editing too. She’s an influential figure to the people in her generation. Recently, her work has expanded greatly, such as appearing in music videos. Her activity continues to grow and looks to be very promising indeed.

  • Tokyo Station’s Pokémon Store & Tokyo Gourmet Zone Announce Collaborative Event

    04.July.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Tokyo Gourmet Zone in Tokyo Station’s First Avenue shopping complex turned 1 year old on June 28. To celebrate its 1st anniversary, the station’s Pokémon Store located along Tokyo Character Street is teaming up with Tokyo Gourmet Zone to host a Pokémon-themed event where you can meet Pikachu, get your hands on original merchandise, and more.

    From July 13th to 15th at 11:00-15:00, if you order a soft drink or dessert at participating restaurants in Tokyo Gourmet Zone you can receive the above-pictured 1st anniversary lunch mat with a Pikachu design. These are limited to 1,000 per day on a first-come, first-served basis.

    You can also get a photo with Pikachu on the same three days. Your photo will be printed with an original photo frame.

    Over at the photo spot, you can get your photo taken next to 278 Pokémon plush toys. This is running right now until September 1 and includes Pokémon No. 001-251 in the Pokédex and all 28 forms of Unown.

    Several restaurants at Tokyo Gourmet Zone are also serving special meals in celebration of the 1st anniversary. These are available now until July 31.

     

    Head to Tokyo Gourmet Zone and help Pikachu in celebrating their first year!

     

    ©2019 Pokemon. ©1995-2019 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.

    Pokémon, ポケットモンスター and ポケモン are registered trademarks of Nintendo, Creatures and Game Freak.

  • Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo: A Michelin-Recognised Modern Ryokan in Front of Tokyo Station

    28.June.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The area surrounding Tokyo Station is home to many different types of hotels. One standout location is Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo. This hotel, which featured in Michelin Guide Tokyo 2017, renovated 30% of its guest rooms as part of its 10th anniversary. Its concept is a modern-style ryokan (a traditional Japanese in) and it stands just so as the closest to Tokyo Station. Today, we will take a look at the hotel’s design rooms.

    Of its 38 rooms, 33 of them take on a ryokan style design. The rooms are fitted with small tatami flooring spaces where guests must take their shoes off on which sits a small chabudai, a short-legged table, on a raised floor. These elements have a nostalgic quality to them with Japanese guests and an inherently Japanese feel to them for foreign guests.

    The carpet is decorated with a chrysanthemum design in a traditional Japanese dusky purple colour.

    There are also kendama toys, books on Japanese confections and more to elevate that feeling of Japanese culture. There is plenty of space for tired bodies to relax after a long day trip.

    The other 5 rooms are “Office Rooms” made with business workers in mind. They come with a big sofa and whiteboards to create a lounge-type space.

     

    All of the bed mattresses are the highest quality models provided by long-standing bed makers Nishikawa. They aren’t excessively soft which I really liked and ensure a long, deep and natural sleep.

     

    Rooms come with three types of original tea blended by the staff so you can pick whichever caters to your mood that day.

    The feature you must absolutely try however is the hotel’s breakfast. It’s served in a buffet style so there is plenty to choose from with everything from Japanese-style food to Western-style. The buffet is packed with vegetables too so you can get your daily intake nice and early.

     

    All of the new rooms are double rooms and are priced from ¥27,000 per night. The price changes depending on the season to be sure to check the official website for more details.

     

    If you’re looking for a taste of Japan with that ryokan feel then be sure to check out Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo.

  • 3 New Shops Open In Tokyo Station selling Curry Buns, Souvenirs, Bentos and More

    13.June.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    From 2012, East Japan Railway has been developing the shopping area in the north eastern part of Tokyo station. As part of this project, three new shops will be added to this shopping area from July 10, 2019. The shops include a highly praised bakery, which is adored by bread-lovers, and even a shop that sells a wide range of Japan’s finest desserts, sweets, souvenirs and much more.

    Zopf Curry bun shop (First Tokyo shop)

    In a quiet remote part of Matsudo, Chiba lies what is known to many as the “sacred home of delicious bread”. This shop is called Zopf, and it brings in masses of customers daily, selling up to 700 delicious breads every single day. Zopf’s original recipe curry bun cannot be shaken from its holy heights. They are all deep fried at the station so your first bite is always crunchy and delicious.

    HANAGATAYA, Gransta Tokyo Chuo Line area  ※New brand

    HANAGATAYA Gransta Tokyo located in the Chuo Line passage contains a variety of carefully chosen popular Tokyo souvenirs, limited edition goods that cannot be purchased elsewhere, specially selected souvenirs and carefully-made bento lunches. The storefront will sell special branded goods which will regularly changed, displaying the latest and finest of Tokyo goods.

    NewDays Gransta Tokyo Chuo Line Area

    NewsDays convenience store never fails to serve the various needs of the busy people at the station. From food to items to services, quickly pop in here to solve all your last-minute problems!

     

    Come explore the new souvenirs, delicious bento lunches and much more at Tokyo Station!

  • Tokyo Stroll: Walking Through Akasaka Palace, a European-Style Splendor

    29.May.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Akasaka Palace―a building that has welcomed emperors, presidents and prime ministers across the world into its architectural wonders. While it is mainly used for official purposes, did you know that it also offers a public viewing, one that doesn’t hinder on business affairs?

     

    The palace is considered a national treasure of Japan. I paid a visit to this gorgeous edifice that looks just like a European-style palace. Photography is strictly forbidden when visiting, but I was able to receive special permission to cover the inner secrets of this exclusive wonder.

    Akasaka Palace is open throughout the year. There is a daytime reception that lets you enter without having to book a spot in advance (though you’ll have to book if you want to visit the Japanese Style Annex). Visitation is restricted when international state officials are present, so when planning your trip be sure to check the palace’s schedule on the official website. Visitation through the daytime reception begins at the West Gate.

    Originally built in 1909 as the Imperial Palace for the Crown Prince, the building is the only example of neo-Baroque architecture in Japan. It was built by Japanese imperial court architect Katayama Tōkuma. When planning the design for the building, he referenced various palaces across Europe which is why people liken it to Palace of Versailles in France.

     

    Hagoromo no Ma – A reception hall for visitation welcomings

    The first room you come to on the public viewing is “Hagoromo no Ma.” It was originally called a ball room which is why it houses orchestra boxes. Aperitifs dance around the room for invitees who may be there for send-offs, dinner parties or even musical performances.

    Overhead is a gorgeous chandelier which is made up of almost 7,000 separate parts, most of which is crystal. It is the biggest chandelier in the entire palace. The inner part of the mezzanine floor, which looks like a balcony, is used as an orchestra box when the room is used for orchestral concerts.

    The intricate design of the chandelier includes masks inspired by a ball while the walls too are littered with relevant motifs such as instruments. The whole room is decorated in all things musical.

     

    Asahi no Ma – The most high-class room of the palace

    The next room you step into is “Asahi no Ma” which is used for courtesy calls of officials and important people as well as summit meetings. It is the most high-class room in all of Akasaka Palace and is where the state guests say their goodbyes to the Emperor and Empress. The room began reconstruction two years ago and reopened in April this year.

    The room gets its name Asahi (“morning sun”) from the painting of Aurora, the Roman Goddess of dawn, that overlooks the room.

    It is said that in the Meiji Period, when the palace was built, people painted pictures of helmets to symbolize the army and boats to symbolize the navy as the country declared the political measure known as Fukoku kyōhei, which meant to “Enrich the Country, Strengthen the Armed Forces.”

     

    Shoumen Genkan/Large Hall – Welcoming guests of honour

    The “Shoumen Genkan,” or front entrance is where international guests of honour are welcomed. When visiting during public opening hours you don’t enter from this entrance but you are allowed inside. The large hall, which is located up the stairs from the hall that continues through the entrance room, has a striking and vivid deep crimson carpet. Together with the eight towering marble pillars, this hall makes for an overwhelming viewing. The room directly opposite down the stairs is Asahi no Ma.

     

    Sairan no Ma – Where treaties are signed

    The next most high-class room from Asahi no Ma is “Sairan no Ma” which is primarily used for signing ceremonies of treaties. When Asahi no Ma was undergoing renovations, this room was used for informal talks carried out by the emperor and prime minister with foreign rulers.

    The entire room takes on the Empire style which was popular during the rule of Napoleon I. Scattered throughout the room are gold leaf designs of armour, helmets, swords and so on.

     

    Kacho no Ma – Dinner parties with guests of honour

    Kacho no Ma is used for dinner banquets with important official from countries around the world. The room has a more relaxed feeling from the others due to its interior wooden design. It’s also often used for press conferences so those who watch Japanese news may recognise it.

    The room, with its mellow deep wooden design, houses 30 oval cloisonné medallions, depicting four seasons’ flowers and birds. The ceiling art, too, depicts images of birds and wildlife killed by hunting.

    It also has the heaviest chandelier in the palace inside which is a globular speaker.

     

    Yushintei – Japanese-style hospitality in the Japanese Style Annex

    The Yushintei is located in the Japanese Style Annex on the west side of Akasaka Palace. It was built in 1974. Akasaka Palace carries out events and receptions in a western style but the Yushintei welcomes international guests of honour with Japanese-style hospitality. Those who wish to enter must book in advance. The booking comes with a tour.

    As you step through the entrance and into the inner garden through the passage, you will see moso bamboo. This area has a garden with shirakawa gravel and kibune stone from Kyoto.

    In the main Japanese-style room where guests are served Japanese food one can observe the pond from the window. You might recognise it as the place where Prime Minster Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump fed the fish.

    The tea room comes with chairs for foreign visitors who are unable to sit in the traditional Japanese seiza position. Tea is prepared on the upper step which is inspired by Noh theatre.

     

    Afternoon tea in the extraordinary front garden

    20 afternoon tea sets are prepared each day to be enjoyed in the front garden of Akasaka Palace. These cannot be reserved in advance so be sure to arrive early if you’d like to order one. As you enjoy your afternoon tea while gazing around you are filled with a gorgeous feeling you can’t experience anywhere else.

    The general public viewing offers a chance to see numerous parts of the palace. We asked Rinko Murata, who’s pictured in the photos on the viewing, for her thoughts.

     

    “With the first step you take in a gorgeous space unfolds before you. Its grand design made me feel as if I had been summoned to the palace. It was like visiting a foreign country. When you look closely there are lots of decorations that symbolize Japan. It was a fresh experience where you can feel both the Japanese spirit and culture of another country. I feel moved that Japan has such a place as beautiful as this. You all need to visit too.”

     

    There is no requirement to book this viewing in advance, but during busy times (20+ people) those who do book online prior to visiting will be prioritized. Foreign visitors won’t miss out on anything either as they can purchase a voice guide machine for ¥200. These guides come in Japanese, English, Chinese, French and Spanish. A visit to the Japanese Style Annex Yushintei however requires booking prior to your visit. When doing so you can choose between either a Japanese or English-speaking guide. In the case of a sudden official reception, all scheduled public viewings for that day are cancelled, so be sure to check the calendar on the official website before heading there.

     

    Model:Rinko Murata

    Writer:Sayoko Ishi

    Photographer:Kayo Sekiguchi

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    TALENT PROFILE

    Rinko Murata

    Rinko Murata works in fashion and is active on radio and TV. Sales of her first style book were so successful that it required extra printing during its first week. She also has a rapidly growing following on her social media. As well as modelling at big fashion events, she has her own column online at “She magazine,” and receives much attention for her work in the areas of culture and lifestyle.

  • Over 30 Matcha Desserts to be Sold at Daimaru Tokyo’s Green Sweets Fair

    14.May.2019 | FOOD

    Matcha is a huge part of Japanese food culture that has earned much love around the world. Its bitter taste is enjoyed in both traditional Japanese desserts and delicacies as well as those in the west too.

     

    Daimaru Tokyo is currently holding the Green Sweets Fair until May 31 where you can enjoy over 30 different matcha desserts. Let’s take a look at some of them.

     

    <Nenrinya> Matcha Mound Baum: ¥1,836

    This baumkuchen cake is left to mature after cooking over a long period of time. It’s made with Uji matcha from Kyoto and has a strong matcha fragrance.

     

    <YOKUMOKU> Cigar au Matcha (8 Pieces): ¥1,080

    The round cigars are made with lots of Hokkaido butter and filled with matcha chocolate.

     

    <Funabashiya> Matcha Rice Flour Dumpling Anmitsu: ¥583 (1 Pot)

    Enjoy an assorted pot of rich matcha agar, specially-made strained bean paste, and rice flour dumplings.

     

    <Ginza Mamehana> Soy Cream Animitsu Daifuku (Matcha/Brown Sugar Syrup): ¥1,029 (Box of 6)

    These daifuku rice cakes come in two different flavours: one with brown sugar syrup soy cream and sliced agar and another with matcha, bean paste and agar.

     

    There are plenty more where that came from, so head to Daimaru Tokyo for the Green Sweets Fair.

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