Harajuku’s New Cosmic Girl Cafe Serves Organic Drinks & Desserts

18.April.2019 | FOOD

A new art cafe has opened in Harajuku based on Cosmic Girl, a character created by Barcelona-based artist Okokume.

All items on the menu are made with organic ingredients, and the colouring of the cakes are made with naturally derived colours from superfood meaning parents can rest assured their children won’t be putting anything bad into their bodies.

The menu features a line-up of healthy treats including blue cupcakes made using spirulina, superfood beets and more.

Spirulina

Spirulina, which is used in the colouring of the food, is said to be one of the oldest life forms on earth. It contains over 50 healthy and nutritional minerals including amino acids, vitamins, unsaturated fatty acids, dietary fibres and more. Because of this it has been eaten as a food since ancient times.

 

The cafe also sells lots of Okokume merchandise, so be sure to stop by the next time you’re in Harajuku.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Fermented Food Cafe ‘Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi’ to Open in Kyoto’s Sanjo Area

    19.February.2020 | FOOD

    Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi is a new cafe opening in the Sanjo area of Kyoto on February 22, 2020, that is centred entirely on fermented foods.

    The name “Haccomachi” derives from the Japanese word Hakko (Hacco), meaning fermented, and Komachi (Comachi), meaning a beautiful woman. The cafe hopes for people to incorporate fermented foods into their livesーsomething which is rooted in Japanese food cultureーand live comfortably.

    The cafe’s logo showcases the making of kōjiーa type of mould used in the fermentation process of certain food products in Japan, like soybeans. The logo hope to pass down this long upheld tradition.

     

    Hakko fermentation is a major part of Japan’s food culture. Since ancient times, the sweetness and umami brought about by the enzymes in the fermentation process have served to accompany many foods in the country, such as miso, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, and so onーall traditional condiments used in the Japanese kitchen that are still fundamental today.

     

    The menu at Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi features a line-up of fermented foods made in Kyoto, including those from Kyoto-based soybean makers Fujiwara Shokuhin, Sawai Shoyu Honten which has produced the same high quality soy sauce for decades, sake brewery Kitagawa Honke which has been around since the Edo Period, and more.

     

    A Small Look at the Menu

    Lunch Menu

    Haccomachi Special – Fermented Lunch Plate: ¥1,690

    This lunch plate is an assortment of hors d’oeuvre made with fermented condiments, tandoori chicken that has been pickled to elevate the umami, marlin fish, soup, and more.

     

    Dinner Menu

    Spare Ribs On The Bone in Miso Yuan Yaki: ¥1,490

    This hearty portion of spare ribs are marinated in a miso, mirin, and soy sauce mix. Taste the full umami flavour of the juicy meat.

    Namerō Miso Salmon in Yoghurt Sauce: ¥770

    The salmon is served namerō style, a type of tataki or pounding method, in miso. The yoghurt has both a refreshing and rich flavour.

    Homemade Komekoji Rice Malt Sweet Sake Yoghurt: ¥470

    The splitting of the sour yoghurt serves to elevate the sweetness of the sake. This is a drink that even those who don’t like sweet sake are sure to enjoy.

     

    Cafe Menu

    Miso Pound Cake w/ Vanilla Ice Cream: ¥550

    The miso pound cake is a collaboration with Japanese confectionery company Sarasa, which has 6 branches of cafes and shops in Kyoto. It’s made using komekoji rice malt powder provided by an old-fashioned Japanese shop (菱六もやし). The umami of the miso is intensified, and the cake stays moist thanks to the powder. It’s served with a dollop of refreshing vanilla ice cream.

    Blackcurrant & Vanilla Sweet Sake Affogato: ¥550

    A unique spin on the affogato dessert which has you pouring hot sweet sake over tangy and refreshing blackcurrant sherbet and rich vanilla ice cream. Enjoy the mix of the hot sake and the cool ice cream.

     

    Discover the Japanese tradition of fermentation at Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi, opening February 22, 2020.

  • This Week’s Dessert: Indulging in a Seasonal Parfait at Kinoshita Chaen in Ise

    18.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    One thing I do at least once a week without fail is treat myself out to some delicious food or dessert. I find it very important time well spent in order to live a happy, fulfilling life.

     

    This week, a business trip took me out of Tokyo to the city of Ise in Mie Prefecture. When the trip was over, I had some spare time to kill before my train arrived, so I went inside a cafe called Kinoshita Chaen which is close to Ise Grand Shrine.

    You can arrive at Kinoshita Chaen in just three minutes on foot is walking from Ise Grand Shrine, or five mintues from Ise Station. The exterior design of the building takes on a Western style, which I found to be both cute and retro. You can feel the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the cafe as soon as you step inside. The decor is decked out with all things wooden.

    The cafe has been around since the Meiji Period. It serves drinks and desserts all made using tea, and offers both eat-in and takeout services.

     

    I ordered their seasonal-exclusive parfait. 90% of the people in there were ordering it, so I thought it must be popular!

    Strawberry & Parfait Puree Parfait w/ Japanese Black Tea – ¥1,300 (Tax Included)

    This super cute parfait is completely stuffed to the top with strawberries♡

    You can snap cute photos of it no matter the angle♡

    When I spooned the caramel puree, soft custard reveal itself. You get a delicious pairing of the bitter flavour and crunchy texture of the caramel with the subtly sweet custard.

     

    The next ingredient to show itself was the mascarpone cream, which combines with the rest of the flavours perfectly. Once your mouth is satisfied with the sweetness of the flavour combinations, you’re next met with Ise matcha gelato.

    The matcha gelato is a great palate cleanser for the sweet ingredients when eaten on its own. When eaten together with the sweet puree, you get a completely different kind of delicious flavour. I recommend trying it together with the puree, mascarpone cream, and the crunchy pie which is the next layer.

     

    Moving on from the sweetness and bitterness, the next layer is fresh strawberry sherbet, which is a combination of sweet and sour. To finish, you’re brought back to the subtle sweetness once more with white chocolate mousse, strawberries, and mixed berry jelly.

     

    The final bites of a parfait can generally be hard to get down because you grow tired of the flavour, but the ones sold at Kinoshita Chaen are on another level. The various flavours and textures mean you won’t grow tired as you spoon through the many layersーyou’ll find yourself savouring every last bite.

    The Japanese black tea that came with it was luxurious. The cafe actually caters the type of tea they serve to each seasonal parfait. Enjoy a cup together with your parfait.

    Matcha Soy Flour Dumpling Cream – ¥830

    I didn’t get to order them this time, but I’m really taken by the matcha soy flour shiratama dumplings… The dumplings are made in-house and are topped with brown sugar syrup from Okinawa and Ise matcha. The bitterness of the matcha together with the rich sugar syrup is sure to be delicious with some chewy dumplings. I’ll definitely be trying them when I next visit.

     

    I cannot recommend a trip to Kinoshita Chaen enough. Offering an exemplary menu of Ise flavours, their drinks and sweets maintain the culture and tradition of Japanese tea while keeping up to date with current trends in the world of sweets.

     

     

    Today’s Souvenir

    Houjicha Teabags – ¥400 (1 Pack) 

    On the days you get to eat delicious sweets, you’ve got to share the happiness with friends and family. I bought some houjicha tea bags made with tea leaves grown in Mie Prefecture. They have various other teas too, and the packaging is really cute, so they’re perfect as gifts for friends and family.

  • J-Pop Group Perfume to Open Fashion Pop-Up Shop ‘Perfume Closet’ at Laforet Harajuku

    16.February.2020 | FASHION / MUSIC

    Worldwide famous Japanese pop group Perfume are taking their fashion project “Perfume Closet” to Laforet Harajuku where it will run in a pop-up shop from February 20-26 this year.

     

    Perfume Closet is a fashion project helmed by Perfume which aims to connect with fans through Perfume’s music by making outfits. This is the fourth time Perfume Closet has opened, and will feature a line-up entitled “Perfume Closet 2020SS” which is part of what Perfume are calling “Phase 2,” which started in January this year and centres on clothing. It follows on from “Phase 1” which featured a line-up of miscellaneous items.

    SATIN COMBI TRENCH COAT – ¥49,500 (Tax Included) / FLOWER PLEATS DRESS – ¥44,000 (Tax Included)

    SHEER COMBI KNIT ¥17,600 (Tax Included) / 2 WAY PLEATS SKIRT ¥35,200 (Tax Included)

    RELAX WEAR (LADIES) – ¥16,500 (Tax Included) / PLEATS SLEEVE TEE (WHITE) – ¥9,900 (Tax Included) / SHEER COMBI RELAX PANTS – ¥22,000 (Tax Included)

    The pop-up shop will stock a plethora of items made by the Perfume members, who worked on the designs, chose the materials, and crafted the silhouettes. It includes everything from coats to one pieces, blouses, bottoms, as well as unisex items men can wear too like pants, shirts, and more.

     

    Fans of Perfume and fans of Japanese fashion aren’t going to want to miss out on the new Perfume Closet, open for one week only starting next Thursday!

  • IKEA Harajuku to Open in April 2020 as IKEA Japan’s First Central Tokyo Branch

    15.February.2020 | SPOT

    IKEA Japan has announced the opening of its first central Tokyo branch. Located inside WITH HARAJUKU, and just a 1-minute walk from Harajuku Station, the store will officially open its doors on April 25, 2020.

     

    Harajuku is the hub of Japanese youth fashion culture, and is known the world over as one of the main tourist spots for those travelling to Tokyo. IKEA is taking its Swedish roots and planting them in the ground of central Tokyo with its spacious new storeーwhich will also have its own cafe.

     

    If you’re travelling to Tokyo, make sure to pay IKEA Harajuku a visit during your inevitable Harajuku shopping spree.

  • 3 Delicious, Mouthwatering Desserts in Osaka Perfect For Instagram

    10.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Our news website has already touched on a number delicious cafés in Japan’s Kansai region. For those of you who are struggling with their itineraries for their upcoming trip to Osaka, we’ve got a sweet treat for you: a list of cafés serving up irresistible desserts in Osaka that you must try. 

     

    All the cafés in this article were recommended by Instagram expert Tiara who knows everything there is to know about desserts in the Kansai region. Today we’ll be using Tiara’s mouthwatering photos to entice you that little bit more. 

    Chihiro Sweets Shop/Nishiohashi

    This shop belongs to desserts reporter Chihiro, whose reports have even been broadcasted on TV. The financier almond cakes and chocolate cakes here are very popular. You can also order to take out. 

    Neoclassic Purin Set (Comes with financier almond cake and hot coffee)

    This set includes a Neo Custard Purin topped with homemade vanilla ice cream full of rich vanilla flavour straight from the pod. The firm yet jiggly purin enjoys a rich eggy flavour which harmonises perfectly with the vanilla ice cream. The freshly baked financier almond cake is incredibly tasty . Chihiro’s sweets shop opens from 12:00 but the café opens at 13:00 so if you’re planning a  trip, make sure to not mix up the times.

     

    ▼Chihiro Sweets Shop (ちひろ菓子店)

    Address: Floor 1, 1-25-13, Shinmachi, Nishi Ward, Osaka

    Opening Hours:
    Chihiro Sweets Shop: 12:00 – 19:00
    Café: 13:00 – 19:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Website: https://chihiroshop.thebase.in

     

     

    Futsu ni Fruits Tosabori Parlor/ Higobashi

    We’ve covered Futsu ni Fruits Tosabori Parlor in detail because it’s just so good. The first floor serves takeout desserts while the second floor is used as an eat-in space. The café menu varies according to the time of day. For example, the morning menu includes toasts with a variety of toppings including fruit. The lunchtime menu introduces Futsu ni Fruits’ main eye-catcher: the fruit sandwich. 

    Seasonal Fruits Sandwich

     The rich flavour of the fresh cream perfectly embraces the fruity flavours and will leave you feeling refreshed. If a fruit sandwich isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy delicious fruits here. 

     

    ▼Futsu ni Fruits Tosabori Parlor

    Address: 1-1-30, Tosabori, Nishi Ward, Osaka

    Opening Hours:
    Floor 1 Takeout: 10:00 – 16:00

    Floor 2 Eat-In: 10:00 – 19:00
    Closed: Mondays
    Website: https://www.instagram.com/futsuunifuruutsu_cafe/

     

     

    Fukushima Sugar/ Fukushima

    Each dessert at this cake shop is handmade. This is the perfect place to enjoy the flavours of the season. Only 10 groups can eat-in per day so if you want to eat in, make sure to reserve in advance. 

    Fig Chiffon cake/ Grape Tarts Assortment of 2/ Choux Pastry with Chestnut Cream Filling

    The fig chiffon cake is soft and just one bite will fill you with happiness. The cakes are served on the most beautiful wooden plate. The cake menu changes according to the season so if you’re interested, check out their Instagram. The showcase is lined with a variety of takeout desserts – you’ll be spoilt for choice.

     

    ▼Fukushima Sugar

    Address: 6 Chome-22-11 Fukushima, Fukushima Ward, Osaka

    Opening Hours:
    Takeout: From 13:00

    Eat-In: 14:00 – 17:00 (Reservation Required)  

    *It is possible to get a seat without reservation after 17:00

    Closed: Mondays and Tuesdays

    Website: https://www.instagram.com/sugar_fukushima/

     

     

    All of Tiara’s recommendations are just so mouthwatering – can you resist?

     

    Tiara’s Instagram is full of the most gorgeous cafés. If you’re looking for a dessert in the Kansai region, make sure to check out Tiara’s Instagram and you’re bound to find your dream destination in no time. 

    Original Text and Photos: @happy_pinkrose_tiara

     

    *As cafés are constantly updating their menus, please check the official website or social media accounts of the cafés mentioned in this article for the most accurate information. 

  • 5 Delicious Cafés Hidden In Tokyo’s Traditional Yanesen Area

    09.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    At MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON, we’ve covered the top stylish cafés of well-known places such as Ginza and Omotesando. Today, we’re going to look at Nezu and Sendagi. Yanesen is the name given to the collective area of the three neighbourhoods Yanaka, Nezu and Sendagi. Many people are unaware of its historical landmarks and traditional Edo-style structures, which draws in Japanese tourists year after year. 

     

    Upon your visit to Yanesen, the excitement from all your discovering will leave your stomach demanding your friends decide on a spot for lunch as soon as possible. That’s where our city café expert omao never fails to save the day. omao’s Instagram is a buffet of delicious restaurants and cafés. Today omao has recommended us a list of cafés in Sendagi and Nezu.

     

    Amane Saryo, Sendagi, Centre of Nezu

    Cake Set B (Price Unknown)

    The building for Amane Saryo is a renovated attic of an old-style Japanese house. The gorgeous interior is lined with plants and vases and the quiet, relaxing atmosphere spreads throughout. A kitchen and counter space is located on the ground floor whilst the second floor entertains a beautiful eat-in space. The menu consists of dessert sets that come with tea, ochazuke (rice with tea poured on top), and a variety of small, dainty dishes. Each cake is made with the utmost care and is very delicious.

     

    Amane Saryo

    Opening Hours: Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays: 11:30-17:00/18:00-22:00

    Weekends and National Holidays: 11:30-22:00
    Fixed Holidays: Tuesday and Wednesday
    Address: 2-44-19, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

    Official Website: www.amanesaryo.com/ 

     

    SIGNE COFFEE, Nezu

    Pumpkin Purin and Blend Coffee (Price Unknown)

    SIGNE COFFEE is located close to Nezu Shrine. The white theme of the interior brightens the room, creating a soothing atmosphere. All the desserts are so delicious that you will have trouble choosing. Your stomach will still feel nice and light after finishing your coffee too. You’ll find yourself wanting to visit this café again and again. The desserts sometimes sell out so if you want to try them you should visit nice and early. 

     

    ▼SIGNE COFFEE

    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last Orders:17:30)
    Fixed Holidays: Thursdays and Fridays

    Address] 1-22-10, Nezu, Bunkyo, Tokyo

    Official Website: https://www.signecoffee.com/

     

    Suncrest, Nezu

    Mixed Sandwich Set: ¥550, Napolitan Spaghetti: ¥670/ Blend Coffee: ¥430

    Stepping through Suncrest’s doors is like going back in time. This old fashioned café is divided into counter seating and sofa seating. There is a wide range of coffees – perfect for the coffee-lover looking to embrace their love of coffee. Their sandwiches and napolitan spaghetti dishes will melt your heart in an instant. 

     

    ▼Suncrest

    Opening Hours: Unknown
    Fixed Holidays: Unknown
    Address: Suncrest Ikenohata 1F, 2-2-9, Ikenohata, Taito, Tokyo
    Website: tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131106/13142959/

     

    CIBI Tokyo, Sendagi

    CIBI originated in Melbourne, Australia. The bread for their morning menu is made from homemade natural yeast and their homemade muffins and cakes are to die for. Pop in for lunch to have a taste of their popular lunch plate, which changes every month. The plate makes the most of ingredients of the season. If you’re looking to experience organic, fresh and locally-sourced ingredients, this natural café is the perfect place for you. 

     

    ▼CIBI Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 8:00-18:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Address: 3-37-11, Sendagi, Bunkyo, Tokyo
    Official Website: www.cibi.jp/

     

    Cafe Yuu, Nezu

    Beef Stew: ¥1,200

    Tucked away on a small side street is Cafe Yuu. Their irresistible beef stew dominates the lunch menu. The rich-flavoured stew is perfectly matured with tender beef – a match made in heaven. The drinks are poured in the most adorable cups. 

     

    ▼Cafe Yuu (Yuu cafe)

    Opening Hours: 11:45-17:00
    Closed: Tuesdays
    Address: 2-13-4 Nezu, Bunkyo City, Tokyo
    Website: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131106/13018429/

     

     

    Drooling for more? omao’s got you covered. Whether you’re stuck on where to go for lunch in the city or just want to look at gorgeous food, make sure to check out omao‘s Instagram. 

     

    Photos and original text by:omao

  • 6 Stylish Cafés in Ginza You Have To Visit

    09.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Ginza is a district in Tokyo that lures in all the young people. From its high-brand fashion trends to its stylish top-tier cafés and restaurants, the minute the weekend arrives, Ginza is a tourism hotspot flourishing with young people looking for a good time.

     

    When planning a day out shopping with friends in Ginza, for many of us the day’s events revolve around where to go for lunch. Luckily, Instagram expert omao, whose city café and restaurant expertise is on a whole new level, has stepped in to help by sharing six stylish cafés in Ginza with us.

     

    bills, Ginza

    Ricotta Pancakes: ¥2,000 (Before Tax)

    Bills is famous for their pancakes. Check out this luxurious stack of three thick ricotta cheese pancakes. Indulge in the flavour of ricotta cheese and the slightly salty butter, which softens the sweetness. Pour on the maple syrup to unlock a whole new level of deliciousness. It may be crowded on the weekends, but weekday mornings are a good time to go to ensure you get a spot. 

     

    ▼bills Ginza

    Opening Hours: 8:30-23:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Address: Okura House 12F, 2-6-12, Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo

    Website: https://billsjapan.com/jp/銀座

     

    THE CITY BAKERY

    Cinnamon Roll: ¥320 (Before Tax) , Other Items Unknown

    city bakery is a café and bakery with its main branch located in New York. It is so popular that in Tokyo alone you can find a city bakery in Nakameguro, Shinagawa, Kichijōji and three more locations. As the name suggests, their specialty is bread but they also make amazing hamburgers, soups, salads and alcoholic drinks. The best part is that you can sit in the café and enjoy freshly baked bread still hot from the oven. 

     

    ▼THE CITY BAKERY

    Opening Hours: 7:30-22:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Address: B2F, Tokyu Plaza, 5-2-1, Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo

    Official Website: https://thecitybakery.jp

     

    Ginza Ginger

    Ginza Ginger’s main store is located in Ginza but there is also a branch at Tokyo Skytree Town Solamachi. Having said that, the calm and exquisite atmosphere at the Ginza branch definitely makes it the winner of the two. Although shaved ice is usually only seen around Japan in summer, Ginza Ginger serves it throughout the year. They sell seasonal shaved ice flavours too which is highly recommended. If you’re looking for a souvenir, don’t forget to pick up their souvenir sweets which are made from ginger.

     

    ▼Ginza Ginger (Ginza main store)

    Opening Hours:11:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Address: Quartier Blanc GINZA, 1F2F, 1,4,3, Ginza, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Website: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130101/13143693/

     

    Ginza West

    Ginza West has been around for a long time and is dedicated to delivering the best flavours by using natural ingredients and avoiding artificial colours and flavours. Pure white tablecloths are spread over the tables and chairs, creating a bright mood perfect for enjoying a dessert to yourself. Their popular “leaf pie” biscuits are the perfect souvenir for that friend who couldn’t come.

     

    ▼Ginza West

    Opening Hours:

    Weekdays: 9:00-22:00 (Shop Closes: 23:00)

    Weekends and National Holidays: 11:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Address: 7-3-6, Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo

    Official Website: https://www.ginza-west.co.jp

     

    Cafe Paulista, Ginza Main Branch

    Cafe Paulista is said to be the place of origin for the slang word “Ginbura” which is a combination of the words “Ginza” and “Brazilian coffee” and literally means “to hang out” (have a coffee) with friends in Ginza. Although this café enjoys a classic and quiet atmosphere, it is the perfect place to make yourself at home and settle down with a warming cup of coffee. Come enjoy your weekend caffeine dose with a small slice of cake and you won’t be disappointed.

     

    ▼Cafe Paulista, Ginza Main Branch

    Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday:8:30-21:30

    Sundays and National Holidays: 11:30-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Address: Nagasaki Center Bldg.1F, 8-9-16, Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo

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

     

    centre the bakery

    Tasting Set: ¥1,700

    This café sells a shokupan set (sliced loaf set) which you can taste and compare. You can choose to eat in, however it is best to reserve in advance as it gets crowded quite quickly. This place is so popular that the queue for take out orders can stretch for an hour. Having said that, it is really worth the wait. You’re guaranteed to leave fully satisfied. 

     

    ▼centre the bakery

    Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Address: 1-2-1,Chuo Ward, Tokto

    Website: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130101/13157424/

     

    So, how about it?

    If you’re stuck on where to go for food in the city, you can count on omao‘s Instagram to be there to help. However, you won’t be able to stop yourself from drooling – you have been warned. 

     

    Photos and Original Text by: omao

  • 5 Must Visit Cafes in Shiga Prefecture: Coffee, Desserts & Lunch – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    08.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Having recommended many cafes to our readers in Kyoto and Osaka, we felt it time to move to another prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. This time, we’re looking at Shiga, and we’re joined by Instagrammer Tiara who posts photos of their trips around Kansai eating sweets. They have kindly provided us with photos along with explanations of 5 must-visit cafes.

    and f CAFE in Moriyama

    and f CAFE is popular for its fresh fruit-filled parfaits and assortment of refreshing drinks. The cafe is adorned with many different plants. Up on the second floor is a spacious kid’s area, which makes it a popular location for people with children. There are even private rooms you can take your pets in, as well as mini dog park seats where you can sit with your dog.

    Morning-Harvested Strawberry Bread / Morning-Harvested Strawberry Latte
    Feast on an enormous thick-sliced piece of fluffy bread loaded with a homemade cream that’s made with mascarpone cheese and not too sweet, and topped with sweet strawberries, which have their flavour elevated thanks to the cream. The latte is also topped with super sweet strawberries.
    ▼and f CAFE (アンドエフ カフェ)
    Address: 208-5 Futamachicho, Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture
    Opening Hours: Lunch 11:00-16:00 / Cafe 11:00-18:00
    Closed: Sundays

    cafe de Boku in Moriyama

    cafe de Boku was actually renovated from an old-time sake brewery with a rich history. It’s furnished with lots of antique furniture. Their lunch menu is packed full of healthy vegetables, and they haven’t skimped on desserts either, boasting a range of parfaits and tarts made with fruits grown in Shiga.

    Seasonal Fruit Parfait
    The parfait I had was topped with a variety of fresh and juicy strawberry called akihime, grown in Dainaka. They go lip-smackingly well with the rich flavour of the milky ice cream. Part of the fun of eating the seasonal parfaits as cafe de Boku is that the parfait changes with each passing season, so it’s fun to look forward to what they’ll have next time.
    The cafe also sells a variety of takeout baked confections, making it a great place to stop by to pick up some nibbles for yourself or to share with friends.
    ▼cafe de Boku (カフェ デ ボク)
    Address: 1-10-2 Moriyama, Moriyama-shi, Shiga Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:30
    Closed: Thursdays

    Cafe Marvel in Otsu

    A window seat at Cafe Marvel means you get to watch the trains go past along the Keihan Electric Railway. This beautiful cafe has a wonderful interior with its wooden tables and chairs. They have a unique lunch menu, which is limited to just ten options, and those options change every day. In addition to the mains and soups, there’s around six deli-type foods to pick from.

    Fried Yuto Shrimp & Crab Cream Croquette With Omurice
    I ordered the fried yuto shrimp and crab cream croquette with omurice. The tasty fried shrimps are nice and big, and the cafe’s original tartar sauce is to die for. This is a pretty hearty lunch, but it’s so delicious you get through it quickly. It might be a good idea to check out their menu sheet which shows what’s been served each month, that way you can plan what you want to eat.
    ▼Cafe Marvel (カフェマーベル)
    Address: 5-9 Goryocho, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture
    Opening Hours: Not known
    Closed Days: Not known

    W.Bolero in Moriyama

    W.Bolero is a cafe selling luxurious Western-style confections. Tucked away quietly from the hustle and bustle of the city, their dining space has an antique aesthetic. They sell cakes, sweets, chocolate, pastries, and more.
    Opera d’été
    It has been called the number one confectionery shop in Saga because anything you eat there is exquisite. They also allow for takeout.
    There is also a branch of this cafe in Osaka, but at the Saga branch, with its warm and welcoming homely vibe, you can enjoy your coffee and cake at one of the terrace seats.
    ▼W.Bolero (ドゥブルベ・ボレロ)
    Address: 48-4 Harimadacho, Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00
    Closed: Tuesdays
    Official Website: http://www.wbolero.com/

    Mov’s TOWN & COFFEE in Otsu

    Mov’s TOWN & COFFEE is another cafe with a relaxed atmosphere. It was renovated from a traditional Japanese house, and its interior design is Denmark-made. As well as comfy chairs, they even have sofas, so you can kick back with a cup of coffee or other beverage.

    Left: Cafe au Lait / Right: Coffee Jelly
    The subtly sweet  coffee beans used for the coffee in the cafe au lait are provided by a coffee roasting company based in Moriyama, Shiga called Comeyasu. The creamy coffee jelly contains a cream sauce with a fragrant kirsch and coconut smell. They also sell a variety of other drinks like healthy organic juices.
    ▼Mov’s TOWN &COFFEE (モヴズ タウン&コーヒー)
    Address: 1-56 Miyukicho, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 10:00-8:00
    Closed: Wednesdays / Every 3rd Tuesday of the month

    We hope you enjoyed this list. If you’d like more recommendations of cafes around the Kansai region then be sure to follow Tiara on Instagram.

     

    Original Text & Photos: @happy_pinkrose_tiara

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    *Information written in this article is correct at the time of publishing. For more details on each shop, please visit their official websites and social media pages.

  • Visiting @cosme TOKYO in HarajukuーThe Place That Satisfies All Of Your Makeup & Cosmetic Needs

    04.February.2020 | Uncategorized

    @cosme TOKYO is a new flagship store that opened in front of Harajuku Station in Tokyo on January 10, 2020.

     

    @cosme is a web portal centred on makeup and cosmetics. Offering a wealth of beauty information from a number of perspective, the website lets you see the latest trending items in the makeup world from the word on the streetーby letting people comment on and rank itemsーoffers solutions to skincare and makeup-related problems, and more.

    @cosme TOKYO is the first-ever physical store by @cosme. Its floor space spans over 1,300 square meters where it houses an enormous selection of cosmetics and makeup products, from inexpensive and affordable quality items to luxury brands. Since opening, it has become the talk of the town in Harajuku.

     

    It’s comprised of three floors, each with their own highlights. Let’s go and check it out.

     

    1st Floor: A Hall of Fame for the latest most popular cosmetics

    When you walk into the first floor area, the first thing that’s sure to catch your eye is the incredible “Best Cosmetic Award Tower,” a collection of items that have have won past cosmetic awards for being the best. All the cosmetics are stacked up high in their own little display case.

    As you proceed further across the shop floor, there is the “@cosme Weekly Ranking” corner which ranks the most popular items on the website for that week, so customers can always know what products are the best to incorporate into their makeup and beauty routine.

    But perhaps the centrepiece of @cosme TOKYO is the “Tester Bar,” where customers are free to try out products using the puffs and cotton pads provided. There’s also a tap and sink for rinsing. You can’t deny how great this service is; without worrying about others, you can try out all the cosmetics to your heart’s desire and then buy them if they’re to your liking.

     

    There are also smart lockers so you can lock your things away, allowing for your hands to be free while you test makeup and shop. But it doesn’t stop there, as there’s even a foreign currency exchange machine which caters for 85 currencies in 120 countries.

     

    2nd Floor: Men’s cosmetics, beauty equipment, and more

    Up on the second floor, you’ll find another area that ranks products, this time the ones with the most sales at @cosme TOKYO. Everything is displayed in such a way that it’s easy to find products as they are separated by base makeup, mascara, lipsticks, and so on. You’ll find pop artwork hand drawn by the staff to highlight products, so enjoy comparing and considering all the different items.

    Recently in Japan, men’s products have been garnering attention, and so @cosme have created an entire section dedicated to male and unisex makeup items. Picking out makeup with your partner is goals, and now it’s finally becoming a reality.

    Another area that’s popularーwith both Japanese people and foreignersーis one that stocks cosmetics made with naturally-derived ingredients from Japan, as well as products with Japanese-style packaging. It’s perfect if you’re looking for Japanese-specific items or for gifts and souvenirs.

    Also on the second floor are beauty mirrors so you can check yourself out as well as two Tester Bars, so you can try out products here too.

    If you have kids, you can drop them off in the kid’s area while you shop. There’s also bread-feeding rooms and places for changing diapers. They have it all!

     

    3rd Floor: A place to relax exclusive to @cosme app users

    The third floor is home to a lounge that can only be used by those who have the @cosme app installed on their phone. It can be used for relaxing or for hanging out with friends. It’s hard to find a such a quiet and relaxing place like this so close to Harajuku Station.

    If you want to retouch your makeup, there’s a powder space you can do that for free, as well as oxygen boxes. This floor is packed full of different great services.

     

    @cosme also has its own points system. One point equals one yen, and you get five for just visiting the store.

     

    Anyone and everyone can enjoy a fun and easy shopping experience

     

    Each product in the store has a JAN code on it which when scanned at one of the tablets in store will give you information about that product in multiple languages, including English, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, and Korean. This goes for the map of each floor too, so you can find out what each floor offers without getting lost.

    @cosme TOKYO also has free Wi-Fi, and can also ship products around Japan. It offers a comprehensive shopping experience that caters to both Japanese and foreign customers.

    You’re sure to find many items you like when visiting @cosme TOKYO, so you can’t miss out on visiting if you’re travelling to Harajuku or Tokyo. Enjoy shopping!

  • Japan’s First CBD Shop ‘HealthyTOKYO’ to Open in Harajuku in February

    29.January.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    HealthyTOKYO is set to open as the first shop in Japan specialising in the selling of CBD oil, and it’s doing so in Harajukuーone of Tokyo’s most famous towns that’s at the forefront of trends and pop culture. It is both a shop and a cafe.

     

    CBD oil has seen a spike in sales over the past year. Made from hemp, research shows that there are many health benefits to using CBD. The main gains are from helping reduce stress, relieving pain, improving sleep, and helping prevent skin inflammation.

     

    CBD is used by mixing it with food or drink. It’s also been recognised as having an effect as an ingredient in cosmetics and creams. While CBD oil is legal in Japan, the country’s law is strict when it comes to traces of THC, and so only allows oils with 0%.


    As well as the oil itself, HealthyTOKYO will also stock a variety of vegan sweets and drinks containing CBD. The food line-up includes vegan-friendly cheesecake, mont blanc, and gateau chocolate, as well as gluten-free lasagne, amongst many other things. For drinks, there’s a variety of organic matcha, coffee, and more. A lot of these foods and drinks can be ordered with CBD oil too.

     

    HealthyTOKYO brand CBD products all use naturally derived CBD oil, and the shop offers degrees of strength and different flavours too. They sell cosmetics, creams, and other products too.

     

    If you’ve been looking for CBD while in Japan, or even vegan-friendly or gluten-free foods, then make sure you pay a visit to the country’s first CBD shop and cafe in Harajuku.

  • Star Wars Theme Cafe Opens in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido & Fukuoka

    25.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    With The Rise of Skywalker concluding the Skywalker saga of the Star Wars film franchise, fans are left craving more from the galaxy far far away.

     

    If you’re one of those people, and need a fix before season two of The Mandalorian, which is coming in late 2020, then you’ll want to hit up the all-new Star Wars-themed cafes now open for a limited time at branches of OH MY CAFE across Japan in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido, and Fukuoka.

     

    We visited the Tokyo branch of the cafe which is located inside Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku. Here’s our report of this must-see cafe for Star Wars fans, a museum-like space chock-full of concept art.

    Ready to greet you as you walk into the cafe is none other than Darth Vader. This life-size recreation of the Sith Lord is really striking, but don’t worryーthough he is realistic, he won’t use his Force choke on you, he only wishes for you to have a nice meal.

    Plastered across the cafe walls are pieces of concept art used during the production of the Star Wars film series.

    Here’s a galactic showcasing of the cafe’s menu. There are 7 food items and 5 drinks to choose from, all inspired by the franchise and its characters.

    <STAR WARS> Far Far Away Galaxy Black Curry – ¥1,590

    A signature dish of the cafe, this black curry features the Star Wars logo which is actually an edible wafer. The space design is bamboo charcoal-cooked rice which is mixed with spicy sauce and topped with peanuts for stars.

    <BB-8> Seafood BB-8 Gratin – ¥1,690

    Fans of BB-8 won’t be able to resist this delicious gratin, served with salad and French bread for a full belly.

    <Yoda> Root Leaf Stew – ¥1,590

    This stew is inspired by Yoda living his final years in his little shack in Dagobah during Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. It’s packed full of vegetables and will no doubt be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.

    <R2-D2 & C-3PO> Buddy Burger Plate – ¥1,990

    This set of two chicken burgers comes with an R2-D2 seasoned with béchamel sauce and a C-3PO burger seasoned with meat sauce. You can take the flags home with you too. We recommend sharing this between two people.

    Portion Bread – ¥500

    This is the one I was most interested in personally, because I was curious to know from its appearance how it would taste. It’s the portion bread that Rey tries eating in the film. At first glance it looks crunchy, but to my surprise it was soft with a subtle sweet flavour.

    Lightsaber Drinks – ¥600 Each (w/ Coaster ¥1,300)

    From the left, the flavours are Darth Vader blood orange, Luke Skywalker ramune, and Yoda melon. When you draw your straw from the paper wrapping, it turns into a lightsaber!

    <STAR WARS > Jet Black Coffee – ¥600 (w/Bottle ¥1,750)

    These limited edition bottles of black coffee feature the famous Star Wars opening crawl credits. Which one you get is randomーa must-have for all fans!

    After enjoying some Star Wars food and drink, it’s time to check out the cafe’s exclusive merchandise. There are 13 types of merch in total all bearing artwork from across the film series.

    Folder – ¥350

    I recommend picking up one of these folders made in collaboration with the cafe. It has illustrations of the food and drinks being sold there.

    Tote Bag – ¥3,500

    This tote bag has illustrations of characters from Star Wars and how they are all connected.

    There’s plenty of other must-grab merch too, from music to stationery and more.

    Customers who spend over ¥1,000 (excluding tax) on any of these exclusive items will receive the above-pictured limited edition bag. These are limited in stock so are available while supplies last.

    There’s plenty of places inside for fans to take great photos, so make sure you snap lots.

    Also, if you book a table in advance and order something from the menu, you’ll receive one of these 25 possible A5 folders, so be sure to book before you go!

     

     

    © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

    *All listed prices are pre-tax. Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

  • Capy Neko Cafe: Japan’s First Cat and Capybara Cafe Opens in Tokyo

    24.January.2020 | FOOD

    Capy Neko Cafe is the newest animal cafe to hit Tokyo. Located in the neighbourhood of Kichijoji, right by the station, customers are able to interact with both cats and capybara at the same time.

    Japan is famous for its host of animal cafes, from the ubiquitous cat cafes to more unique ones like the owl cafe. But Capy Neko Cafe stands out from the rest as being the first cafe in Japan to combine cats and capybara.

    You might wonder whether it’s actually safe to pet a capybara. They may be the largest rodent in the world, but they in fact loved to be pet by people. They are gentle creatures that get on with and can live alongside cats. At the cafe, you can take photos of the capybara who are sure to be chilling on the sofas as well as feed them. The comfy environment also means that they’ll feel like your very own pet capybara at home.

    ▶︎Tawashi (Male)

    Tawashi is a sensitive, affectionate, and gentle guy. He loves snacks, and he’s sure to flop down if you start petting him on the butt. Part of his daily routine is having an afternoon nap on the sofa together with the cats.

    ▶︎Dan (Male)

    The vice store manager of Capy Neko Cafe. He adores humans. He’s the kind of guy who’ll probably jump up onto you if you cover your lap with a blanket and sit on the sofa.

    ▶︎Emma (Female)

    Another member with a soft spot for humans, Emma is reserved kitty who lets everybody eat their food first. She’s a needy and spoiled girlーif she’s on your lap, you’re not getting up. She’s siblings with Dan.

    ▶︎Cream (Male)

    Cream is everybody’s idol. He’s unapologetically spoiled and a handsome guy with perfectly round black pupils.

     

    This list is just a small taste of the many cute residents to meet at Capy Neko Cafe. The cafe is also active in finding families for their rescued cats. The number of people who want to own a cat in Japan are looking to rescues now instead of pet shops. At Capy Neko Cafe, you get the best of both worlds: you can meet and interact with a cat and see if they’re a good match for you.

     

    If you’re interested in visiting Capy Neko Cafe, keep in mind that priority goes to those who have booked in advance. This can be done via their official website, so book first and look forward to kicking back and enjoying a cup of tea, coffee or soft drink before interacting with the cats and capybara!

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