Sai Sai Jaran Jaran #7: SILENT SIREN’s Yukarun Has Her First Afternoon Tea at Ginza’s ‘THE GRAND LOUNGE’

13.May.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

Sai Sai Jaran Jaran is a featured series here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON from the members of the all-female band SILEN SIREN (aka Sai Sai) who visit various hot spots in Japan and experience different things, the Sai Sai way.

 

Band keyboardist Yukarun has always wanted to try having afternoon tea. To make her dream come true, she took a visit to THE GRAND LOUNGE in Ginza.

THE GRAND LOUNGE is a multipurpose lounge for adults located on the 13th floor of THE GRAND GINZA in GINZA SIX.

Normally in restaurants afternoon tea is often reserved just for the afternoon but at THE GRAND LOUNGE you can enjoy it any time.

*The afternoon tea set shown above is for 2 people.

The afternoon tea set here costs ¥4,200 (before tax and service charge). It comes with 7 hors d’oeuvres, 7 sweets, strawberry mille-feuille, and a teapot with free black tea refills. Strawberries are the running theme until June, so the desserts and hors d’oeuvres are made using plenty of Japanese “tochiotome” strawberries. It’s a big tea set so can be enjoyed by couples or big eaters.

Yukarun is very pleased with the afternoon tea set so much so that she must take a photo beforehand! There are so many strawberries sweets. “I feel happy just looking at this assortment♡” she says.

The drinks in the set are made by San Francisco-based high tea brand Mighty Leaf. There are 11 types to choose from―9 hot and 2 iced―all of which Mighty Leaf have ensured are organic with only the best herbs chosen.

You choose your favourite by smelling the fragrant aromas of each bottle. The one most popular with Yukarun was the “White Orchard.” White tea and green tea are used as the base in this drink which are blended with melon and peach fragrance. The fact you get free refills makes it a favourable service.

Time to tuck in!

The tasty line-up will have you wondering where to even begin eating from.

It’s not just the sweets that are piled with strawberries but the light appetisers too. These appetisers include foie gras, salmon and more―all extravagant delectables.

“Delicious!” says a satisfied Yukarun as she takes her first bite from the bottom row appetisers.

The variety of sweets is diverse, from jelly to tarts, mousse and beyond. “The sweets come in cute mini sizes! And they’re all super delicious!” comments Yukarun.

“The tea I chose is really tasty too! I don’t think I’ve ever had tea this good before!”

Then it was time for the crowning jewel of the afternoon tea set: the strawberry mille-feuille. It is a recreation of the legendary mille-feuille sold at Maxim’s de Paris, a much-loved French restaurant in Ginza that closed in 2015. This sandwich-like dessert takes crunchy pie and stuffs fat strawberries and custard cream between them. It’s a popular dessert ordered by itself too. The version of it that comes with the afternoon tea is half-sized.

“So good! This is true happiness♡” says Yukarun who is clearly enjoying herself. The mille-feuille can also be ordered for takeout.

How was your first ever afternoon tea experience, Yukarun?

 

“It felt elegant and sophisticated being in a place like this. There are lots of bite-sized appetisers and sweets so it’s fun to try them one by one. It’s fun thinking about where to eat from too, and I was really glad you get to choose your own tea. I definitely want to come here again in my own time! I want to dress up and come with my girlfriends.”

The items that come with the afternoon teas at THE GRAND LOUNGE change with each season, and right now it’s all about strawberries. Head to THE GRAND LOUNGE yourself and treat yourself and others to a luxurious afternoon tea―at any time of the day.

 

Model: Yukako Kurosaka(SILENT SIREN)

Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

Writer: Sayoko Ishii

Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

 

■PROFILE

SILENT SIREN is a four-member all-female band consisting of vocalist & guitarist Sumire “Suu” Yoshida, drummer Hinako “Hinanchu” Umemura, bassist Aina “Ainyan” Yamauchi, keyboardist Yukako “Yukarun” Kurosaka. The band were founded in 2010 by Umemura and Yoshida who are former models. In 2015, they performed their first solo concert at Nippon Budokan, making them the fastest Japanese all-female band in history to perform there after their major debut. Their new album 31313 is now on sale. The band are currently on their “31313” tour in support of the album. An additional date was added to the tour which will take place on June 10 at Zepp DiverCity in Tokyo.

 

Check their official website for the latest details: http://silent-siren.com/

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  • Sai Sai Jaran Jaran #6: SILENT SIREN’s Hinanchu has her fill of Indonesian food in Tokyo

    15.February.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Sai Sai Jaran Jaran is a featured series here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON from the members of the all-female band SILEN SIREN (aka Sai Sai) who visit various hot spots in Japan and experience different things, the Sai Sai way.

     

    For the long-awaited 6th entry we take a trip with band leader Hinanchu. She lived in Indonesia for 10 years from the age of 5 to 15. She fancied a bite of nostalgia so she hit up an Indonesian restaurant in Tokyo. Indonesian cuisine isn’t a familiar taste to the people of Japan, but it seems like there are a lot of delicious options.

     

    Hinanchu visits “cabe” in Meguro for a bite of nostalgic Indonesian food

    The first place we visit is “cabe” in Meguro. The Indonesian Embassy is close by this restaurant. Over half the customers that dine there are from Indonesia. The restaurant is considerate of Islamic law and so provides authentic Indonesian cuisine that uses absolutely no pork or pig-derived ingredients. The head chef is a Javanese woman who has expert skills in creating major Indonesia dishes as well as food seldom handled in Japan.

    Hinanchu begins by ordering one Sate Ayam (¥220) and Fried Tempeh (¥500). Sate is famous dish from Indonesia of skewered meat. When made with chicken it’s called “sate ayam.” Tempeh is made from soy and used in place of meat for various dishes, making it popular with vegetarians and those on a macrobiotic diet.

    “Tempeh is a food that was always at street food stands. I used to eat it a lot as a snack when I was small! It’s a nostalgic flavour! It’s sort of like natto, but it doesn’t have a smell. It’s easy to eat.”

    The Soto Ayam (¥730) is a chicken soup made with vermicelli. It’s like Japanese miso soup and can be found in all regions of Indonesia. It has a turmeric colour and looks like curry soup but it’s chicken flavoured. It’s said that Sapporo soup curry took a hint from this dish.

    Mie Bakso (¥800) is an Indonesia meatball soup with noodles. cabe handmakes all of its meatballs so one of its characteristics is how large the meatballs are.

    “This is what I’ve been wanting to eat forever! I’m moved that I’m able to eat proper Indonesian food for the first time after coming back to Japan! The other [band] members love Indonesian food too so I want to come again with everyone.”

    The restaurant is spacious and comfortable. They also sell Indonesian ingredients and goods there too. You can try a lot of different flavours on the menu so we recommend visiting here if you’ve never tried Indonesian cuisine before.

     

    Merah Putih Cafe in Shin-Ōkubo

    Hinanchu’s next stop is Merah Putih Cafe in Shin-Ōkubo. It’s located inside a multi-purpose building that’s filled with a multicultural exotic mood that will have you wondering whether you’re still in Japan.

     

    The restaurant serves food from Padang, the capital of Indonesia’s West Sumatra province. This region is famous for its food which is distinct for its spices.

    The first dish Hinanchu picks is an assortment of Padang style food “Nasi Padang” (¥1,280). The assortment changes each day. On this day it came with fried omelette, fried chicken with coconut, salad and rice.

    “The chicken is spicy. It was delicious. I lived in Jakarta so it was refreshing trying Padang style food!”

    This restaurant has a lot of regulars including tourists from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and other East Asian countries. The people of Indonesia love rice so the restaurant serves it with spicy food, fried food and other types that go well with it. We recommend this place if you’re looking for an authentic taste.

    Having visited two Indonesian restaurants in Tokyo, Hinanchu made the following comment: “Since coming back to Japan I’ve been wanting to eat Indonesian food, but there’s a lot of restaurants here that serve Southeast Asian cuisine. I’m happy I was able to enjoy authentic meals today. I was sucked into the nostalgia, it was like being back over there.”

     

    Hinanchu also spoke Indonesian with the staff who were also from Indonesia and took a photo!

     

    Indonesian cuisine isn’t a familiar taste to the people of Japan, but there are many delicious things to choose from. If you’re in Japan why not try it for yourself?

  • Sai Sai Jaran Jaran #5: SILENT SIREN’s Suu Makes Her Own Candles at ‘Candle Studio’ in Daikanyama

    05.November.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Sai Sai Jaran Jaran is a featured series here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON from the members of the all-female band SILEN SIREN (aka Sai Sai) who visit various hot spots in Japan and experience different things, the Sai Sai way.

     

    Today we follow the band’s vocalist – Suu! Suu is a huge candle lover and says that she has a lot of candles in her home. She’s always wanted to try candle-making, so she’s taken this opportunity to challenge herself to the task!

    Suu visited Candle Studio in Daikanyama and participated in a one-time candle-making lesson. You get to make one complete candle to take home.

    Candle Studio is an all-out candle-making school, offering everything from one-off lessons for beginners to a JCA-recognised candle craft course, candle artist course and instructor course. The location is visited by newcomers and pros alike.

    The one-time lesson Suu took cost ¥4,000. With that, you get to pick from a botanical candle and aroma wax sachet. You can either make 2 of the same type or 1 each. You get to pick different coloured and fragranced dried flowers to make your own personal candle. Suu was given special permission to make 2 of each.

    After putting on her apron it was time to get creating. “I’m nervous whether I’ll do it well or not but I’ll try my best!” said Suu.

    First up, the botanical candles. You start by picking the candle’s base colour. Suu went for blue and orange candles.

    After putting the candles in the silicone mould, you pick the flowers you want and fit them into the gap around the candle. They have a whole range of decorations prepared including dried flowers, preserved flowers, paper berries and so on. Choosing what to go in there is all part of the fun!

    Use pin sets while cutting the flowers of your choice with scissors and place them in. Arrange them around the outside of the flower with the sides you want to show. If you use thin flowers they will look transparent when you light the candle, so keep this in mind when choosing your flowers. The secret to success however is to not think about it too much and just go all in.

    Once you’ve placed all the flowers you want, pick a scent of your choice from the samples provided. Suu went with cranberry and rose.

    Melt the wax to 65℃-70℃ and add one spoon of your chosen fragrance.

    Heat the scented wax once more and pour into the silicon mould.

    After releasing the air from the center of the candle, arrange any flowers that have floated to the top and set aside to harden.

    Next on the list is to make the sachets. Like before, pick out a base colour from the colour samples provided. Suu chose a white base this time.

    Transparent wax is mixed in with the white colourant. To make the colour a little creamier mix in just a tiny bit of vanilla colourant before adding the fragrance. Suu picked plumeria and mango.

    Next is to position the dried flowers. With the sachets, you will add dried flowers on top after pouring the wax into the mould. So think about how you want them arranged first by positioning them in the mould first.

    Once you know what you want, add the wax into the mould.

    Once the wax has cooled slightly and skin has formed on the surface, arrange your dried flowers. Suu styled hers like a bouquet.

    She then added dried flowers and fruits to the other one. Now all that’s left is to wait!

    While Suu was making the sachet, the first candle she started on had hardened. She removes it by pushing it up out of the silicone mould.

    After curling the wick into a beautiful shape it’s complete!

    The sachet was ready now too so Suu removed it from the mould.

    Suu adds an eyelet and chooses a ribbon of her choice to complete the sachet.

    Her botanical candles and aroma wax sachets are complete!

     

    “It was a little hard as it was my first time, but I was able to fully concentrate. It was so much fun! The time that went by making them was very therapeutic. You can make all sorts of other candles too, so I want to come back ASAP!” explained Suu as she booked her next class right there and then. The class was a big success and Suu left super satisfied.

    Candle Studio Daikanyama are now holding classes to make snow dome and Ornament sachets for the Christmas season. It costs ¥5,000 to make one snow dome candle and three sachets with Christmas designs. They cater to all beginners too, so if you’re interested you can feel at ease if you visit. Try it yourself.

  • Sai Sai Jaran Jaran #4: SILENT SIREN’s Ainyan Challenges Herself to Artistic Calligraphy

    03.September.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Sai Sai Jaran Jaran is a featured series here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON from the members of the all-female band SILEN SIREN (aka Sai Sai) who visit various hot spots in Japan and experience different things, the Sai Sai way.

     

    This month we’ll be following band bassist Ainyan, who is also responsible for having designed the band’s original character Sai Sai-kun and even handling the designs of the band’s official merchandise.

     

    Ainyan loves writing with calligraphy pens. She also knows about and is interested in artistic calligraphy posted online.

    Teaching her calligraphy art today is calligrapher Yuki who showcases her work at events, and her skills have also been requested for projects.

    All that you need to produce calligraphy art is an ordinary Japanese calligraphy set. As well as a brush, ink, shijajiki mat and paper weight you’ll need watercolour equipment and coloured autograph card.

    The first step is to think of the character you want to write. If you can’t think of one you can flick through a Japanese dictionary. The thing to note about calligraphy art is that you’re free to write as you like! There’s no strict rules like in regular Japanese calligraphy. For example, you can hold the brush in any way you like, write in whatever style you like, and go over any lines you’ve already put on the paper. It’s important to think freely and express yourself in calligraphy art. Also, hanshi paper used for calligraphy has a glossy surface. With calligraphy art you want to let the colours run and spread, so Ainyan is using the back of the paper.

    Ainyan begins by challenging herself to writing the kanji麦 (mugi) which means ‘barley,’ a fundamental ingredient used in beer which Ainyan loves. Don’t think about the art side of things straight away. Just write it normally first.

    This is Ainyan’s first attempt at writing out mugi. Next is to think about how to write it in a more running style. She could write it in a patchier way, drip ink over it, have parts sticking out and so on.

    Ainyan goes ahead and splotches lots of ink on. She dips plenty of ink onto her brush, so much so that it’s dripping off, and begins writing in a large and thick style from the first stroke.

    She continues writing like that until the end without topping up her brush with more ink. Her final stroke comes completely off the paper!

    Ainyan was concerned that the top part of the kanji was too black and blotchy because of how much ink she used.

     

    “What should I do so that the middle part doesn’t become blotchy?” she asked.

    “If you lift the brush up vertically, like it’s floating, then you can draw thinly,” the teacher replied. Ainyan learned while the teacher lent her a hand.

    Her second attempt at writing mugi has fairly thick strokes. You can feel the vigour in this piece.

    Taking into consideration what the teacher said, Ainyan gave it another shot. She dipped it into plenty of ink once more and began writing with strong strokes and keeping the brush upright to draw thin lines while adding variations.

    Compared to the first attempt, this version of mugi is slim and confident.

     

    “I want to hang it up in an izakaya!” said Ainyan laughing.

    After having understood a bit about art penmanship, Ainyan moved onto another kanji. The one that came to mind was笑顔 (egao) meaning ‘smile.’ She starts out by drawing it in the way she likes.

    This is her first version of egao. The first kanji 笑 meaning ‘laugh’ is drawn like a face, while the 顔, meaning ‘face’ also has a face in the 頁 section of the kanji on the right.

    “If you know a kanji like this, then no matter how much you alter it you can still read it as ‘笑顔’ so it’s okay to change it as you please,” the teacher said.

    Next Ainyan thinks on how she can improve the piece.

     

    “The ‘笑’ kanji looks like a dog so I might try to make it look a bit more like a dog. The ‘顔’ kanji has a lot of legs and looks like an octopus so I’ll make it an octopus!” she said.

    Ainyan begins making her kanji characters look like a dog and octopus while having the original to the side as reference.

    She made the strokes of the 笑 look like ears and fit in eyes and a nose to look like a dog. She also connected the 彦 part of 顔 to the 頁 part and made the face look more like an octopus face. Truly a work of calligraphy art!

    The next important step is to add colour. If you add too much water to your water colours they will fade when you add on the ink, so it’s important to layer the two by not using too much water. If it becomes patchy add just a little bit of water.

    Adding a border makes the white parts that are left look cute so Ainyan left part of the inside of the dog’s ear white. She used orange for the dog’s ear and red for the octopus’s legs. To top it all off, she painted a doggy paw print in a free space.

    Looks pretty good!

    Finally, Ainyan drew up a new and final copy on the coloured autograph paper by fixing up any small details and adding colour.

    Her first piece of calligraphy art is complete!

     

    “I’m really satisfied I got to do something I was wanting to do!” she said with a smile – a 笑顔.

    Ainyan looked over pieces the teacher had created and was especially interested in the ones with blotted ink. She decided to challenge herself to making such a piece. The kanji she decided on was 愛 (ai) meaning ‘love’ which is also part of Ainyan’s own name.

     

    Once again she readied plenty of ink and began with strong strokes. She drew the thin parts of the character while bringing out the details until she finished with a final strong stroke.

    She made the right part stroke of the 心 part of the kanji blurry. This effect is achieved by adding some water to the brush and pressing it onto the stroke you have already drawn that you want to make blurry.

    Her kanji is complete! The blurriness gives it a 3D effect. No painting tools were used and yet Ainyan was still able to create art from calligraphy.

    She made a final copy of this on coloured autograph card too. To make it even more arty Ainyan turned the final stroke into a love heart which she added water to for the blur effect.

    Ainyan wasn’t satisfied so she sprinkled ink around the heart for additional effect. To do this, you hold the brush horizontally and hit the end of the brush to make the ink sprinkle down.

    After checking the balance was right, Ainyan signed her completed piece.

    What a vibrant and lively piece of calligraphy art!

    But Ainyan wasn’t done just yet. To commemorate this month’s feature, she drew one for MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON (もしもしにっぽん)! She made the circle part of ぽ (po) a red sun which symbolizes the Japanese flag and made the ん (n) look like Mount Fuji.

    We are pinning this up at the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center, so be sure to look for it if ever you stop by to see us in Harajuku.

    Ainyan wrote so many! Here are her comments on what looked to be a hugely satisfying occasion.

    “Today was so much fun, it was over before I knew it! It’s enjoyable not having to follow a correct way. The more you write, the more you think to yourself, ‘I want to do it this way,’ so you never get tired of writing! It was fun being able to write freely. Even the teacher said things like ‘It’s good like this’ rather than ‘You should do it like this!’ It relieved my stress and I felt refreshed!”

     

    In the next article, we will be joined by SILENT SIREN vocalist Suu. Look forward to seeing where she goes and what she gets up to!

     

    ■Information

    Yuki (Calligrapher)

    Yuki works as a calligraphy instructor and is also active in producing works for art events, commissions for projects and elsewhere.

     

    Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/yyyyyuki_14/?hl=ja

     

    PROFILE

    SILENT SIREN is a four-member all-female band consisting of vocalist & guitarist Sumire “Suu” Yoshida, drummer Hinako “Hinanchu” Umemura, bassist Aina “Ainyan” Yamauchi, keyboardist Yukako “Yukarun” Kurosaka. The band were founded in 2010 by Umemura and Yoshida who are former models. In 2015, they performed their first solo concert at Nippon Budokan, making them the fastest Japanese all-female band in history to perform there after their major debut. Their latest single 19. summer note which was released on July 11, 2018 is enjoying big sales. For the latest information, head on over to their official website: http://silent-siren.com/

    Writer: Sayoko Ishii

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

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  • Tea and Cranberry S’mores Cooked Up at Fruit Tart Shop Qu’il Fait Bon

    29.January.2020 | FOOD

    Fruit tart chain Qu-il Fait Bon has announced that it is renaming its s’more products to “SMILE MORE” which will roll out at 10 branches from February 3, 2020.

    S’mores are a classic campfire treat enjoyed in the US, Canada, and Mexico. They are made with two biscuits, or traditionally graham crackers, inside which is placed marshmallows and chocolate which are then melted for a sticky treat. The s’mores at Qu’il Fait Bon are all handmade with care and individually packaged, making for great souvenirs and gifts.

     

    The Shizuoka branch of Qu’il Fait Bon is also releasing a new gyokuro tea and mandarin orange flavour on the same day the rebranding rolls out, February 3.

    SMILE MORE S’mores

    Two crunchy sablé cookies form the foundation of these s’mores, which are filled with sweet marshmallows, sweet and sour-tasting cranberries, and dark chocolate for a mouth-watering combination. The name “SMILE MORE” comes from the satisfied smile you will make when you stuff your cheeks with these s’mores.

    SMILE MORE Gyokuro Tea & Mandarin Orange S’more

    Not the traditional kind of s’more, but for sure a luxurious treat. The cookies are infused with high quality gyokuro tea from Shizuoka Prefecture, and filled with marshmallows, chocolate, and dried mandarin orange. Available at the Shizuoka branch only, this flavour is quintessentially Shizuoka.

  • GINZA SIX Announces New Stairwell Art Installation by Tokujin Yoshioka

    29.January.2020 | SPOT

    A new piece of installation art is coming to GINZA SIX, the largest shopping centre in Tokyo’s Ginza fistrict, next month. From February 27, Japanese artist Tokujin Yoshioka’s “Prismatic Cloud” will adorn the stairwell until the end of October.

    Tokujin Yoshioka is a Japanese artist whose grand and poetic nature-themed work has received international praise. His skills include art, design, and architecture, which are being put to use to give GINZA SIX a new face for 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympics and therefore year in which many people from around the world are sure to flock to Tokyo’s upmarket and luxurious district.

    Prismatic Cloud is an enormous light sculpture inspired by clouds and the fundamentals of nature. It was originally showcased at the Allen Center in Houston, US, and has been arranged once more for it’s Japan debut. It stretches an incredible 10 meters long and is made from 10,000 prism rods which are layered together, making light penetrate through them to look infinite. Its appearance changes depending where you view it from, both your position and your line of sight in relation to it.

     

    GINZA SIX’s stairwell is a symbol of the shopping centre, and it has become an art program filled with creativity and energy, with many international artists having displayed their works there, including Yayoi Kusama, Daniel Buren, Nicolas Buffe, Chiharu Shiota, and Klaus Haapaniemi. Prismatic Cloud is being overseen by Mori Art Museum, who also supervised Kusama, Buren, and Shiota’s work. While these installations are set up for a limited time, GINZA SIX also houses some permanent artwork around the complex by artists from around the world.

  • Valentine’s Day 2020 in Japan: Must-Buy Chocolate & Sweet Gifts

    27.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Christmas is over, and Easter is still on the horizon, but if you love chocolate as much as we do, never fearーas our sweet tooth cravings will soon be satisfied with the season of love.

     

    In Japan, shop’s and restaurant’s are already carving their Cupid arrows to fire at customers for Valentine’s Day to tempt them into one of their many tantalising treats. If you’re in Japan this year, we’ve whipped up a list just for you of five must-buy gifts for Valentine’s Day 2020.

     

    Garrett Popcorn

    Almond Chocolate Truffle | Garrett Valentine’s Tin | Valentine’s Mix

    Garrett Popcorn is an American brand of popcorn that boasts a myriad of gourmet handcrafted popcorn flavours. You may not know that it’s also a household name in Japan, where they also make the popcorn fresh every day for snack-hungry customers. For Valentine’s, they serving up an exclusive series full of love which consists of the “Almond Chocolate Truffle,” “Garrett Valentine’s Tin,” and “Valentine’s Mix.”

    Almond Chocolate Truffle in Garrett Valentine’s Tin – From ¥1,130

    First up, the Almond Chocolate Truffle. If you’re not already drooling at that name, let the description begin: this popcorn takes Garrett’s crushed almond CaramelCrisp™️, coats it in chocolate, and sprinkles it generously with a dust storm of cocoa powder. The fragrant scent and texture of the almonds adds an incredible touch to the combination of the sweet, velvety milk chocolate and the slightly-bitter bite of the cocoa powder. Get in the Valentine’s mood even more by purchasing one of the Garrett Valentine’s Tin – the perfect accompaniment to your movie night in with your loved one.

    Valentine’s Mix (Chocolate Cocoa & Strawberry) – ¥1,200

    Valentine’s Mix (Chocolate Cocoa & White Chocolate Bark) – ¥1,200

    Last year, Garrett Popcorn release a cute heart-shaped tin big enough to fit in the palm of your hands. 2020 will see the return of the tin, this time with two different designs: one with kissing lips and the other with hearts.

     

    Inside the first tin is a mix of sweet chocolate cocoa flavoured CaramelCrisp™️ and sour freeze-dried strawberries. The other tin, which has a more sophisticated chocolate brown and salmon pink design, contains the same cocoa flavoured CaramelCrisp™️ but combines it with “white chocolate bark” – a white chocolate made with almonds and dried cranberries.

     

    ▶︎Garrett Popcorn Valentine’s Day Products

    Running: January 10, 2020 – February 14, 2020 (Mix available from January 17, 2020) *While supplies last

    Prices:
    ・Almond Chocolate Truffle: Small ¥620/Medium ¥1,100/Large ¥1,720/Jumbo ¥3,450/Quart Tin ¥1,750/1 Gallon ¥4,400/2 Gallons ¥8,400
    ・Garrett Valentine’s Tin/Quart Tin: From ¥1,130
    ・Valentine’s Mix: ¥1,200
    Available: Garrett Popcorn Shops®︎ branches in Japan
    Official Website: http://jpgarrettpopcorn.com/

     

    KitKat Chocolatory

    Ruby 2020 Assortment

    KitKat Chocolatory is releasing a new assortment of KitKat treats for the Valentine’s season in Japan made with ruby chocolateーthe fourth type of chocolate alongside milk, white, and darkーwhich was developed by Belgian-Swiss chocolate makers Barry Callebaut.

    KitKat Chocolatory Ruby 2020 Assortment – ¥1,200

    Ruby chocolate gets its striking pink colour from the original bean and has a distinct fruity sourness to it. This is the perfect Valentine’s Day giftーor even just as a treat to yourself!

     

    ▶︎KitKat Chocolatory Ruby 2020 Assortment

    Price: ¥1,200
    Running: from January 15, 2020
    Available: KitKat Chocolatory store/Online
    Official Website: https://nestle.jp/brand/kit/chocolatory/

     

    GODIVA

    Valentine’s Collection

    GODIVA, one of the main players in the Japanese chocolate game, has developed the “Chocolate Chronicle Sweet Collection”ーan assortment of individually unique chocolates. The “chronicle” refers to the many places the chocolates have encountered since being created, both in the past and present.

    Chocolate Chronicle Sweetheart (Contains 6) – ¥3,240

    Chocolate Chronicle Chic Assortment (Contains 15) – ¥6,264

    The “Original Maya” considers the civilisation and mysteries of Mesoamerica. The “Cocoa Honey Delight” uses honey to sweeten the chocolate like they did in the latter half of the Middle Ages when there was no sugar. The “Modern Love”burns into your mind the image of its vivid red heart lovingly made with sweet and sour strawberries, ganache, and milk chocolate.

     

    ▶︎GODIVA Valentine’s Collection 2020

    Running: from January 10, 2020 (Limited Time)
    Prices:
    Chocolate Chronicle Sweetheart: 6 Set ¥3,240/12 Set ¥5,400
    Chocolate Chronicle Chic Assortment: 4 Set ¥1,296/6 Set ¥2,160/10 Set ¥3,240/16 Set ¥5,400
    Chocolate Chronicle Sweet Kare Assortment: 6 Set ¥1,080
    Chocolate Chronicle Chic Collection: 4 Set ¥1,836/6 Set ¥2,700/9 Set ¥3,888/12 Set ¥5,076/15 Set ¥6,264/20 Set ¥8,208
    Official Website: https://www.godiva.co.jp/

     

     

    Koi Suru Chocolate

    Valentine’s Collection 2020

    The base of these treats is chocolate by Shiroi Koibito. The collection was first released in January 2018 and is very reminiscent of Hokkaido chocolate. There are lots of chocolates in the collection made with cute pink ruby chocolate too.

    Mille-feuille (Contains 3) – ¥520

    These mille-feuille are layered with milk and white chocolate and coated in things like couverture chocolate and ruby chocolate.

    The Heart (Contains 7) – ¥1,080

    Each of these hearts has its own distinct sauce: the ruby chocolate has blackcurrant, the milk chocolate has caramel, and the white chocolate has yuzu.

     

    ▶︎Koi Suru Chocolate Valentine’s Collection 2020

    Release Date: January 17, 2020
    Available: ISHIYA store/Online
    Prices:
    Mille-feuille: 3 Set ¥540/6 Set ¥1,080/12 Set ¥2,160
    The Heart: 7 Set ¥1,080/14 Set ¥2,160
    Official Website: http://www.ishiya.co.jp/koi_choco/

     

    Morozoff

    Valentine’s Dessert Plate

    Morozoff specialises in western-style sweets, and at Cafe Morozoff, they’re serving up a Valentine’s-only dessert.

    Valentine’s Dessert Plate – ¥1,200

    The beautiful dessert plate is an assortment of cute heart-shaped treats. The rich chocolate mousse has an orange scent, and the fluffy chocolate sponge combines sweet and sour strawberries with smooth whipped cream which elevate the flavour of the chocolate.

     

    ▶︎Morozoff Valentine’s Dessert Plate

    Running: January 15, 2020 – February 14, 2020

    Available: select Cafe Morozoff branches in Japan
    Price: ¥1,200 (comes with tea or coffee)
    Official Website: http://www.morozoff.co.jp/

     

    Did you enjoy this list? There’s plenty of Valentine’s Day delights to be enjoyed while in Japan. Which on this list has you drooling the most?

  • Succulent Amaou Strawberries From Fukuoka Take These Desserts to the Next Level

    26.January.2020 | FOOD

    BAKE CHEESE TART, a company in Japan specialising in baked cheese tarts (hence the name), is releasing two new desserts on February 15, 2020. Made with amaou strawberries, the Amaou Ichigo Cheese Tart and Amaou Ichigo Sundae will be served for a limited time until March 31, 2020.

    The Amaou Ichigo Cheese Tart was first released in February last year as a seasonal product for spring where it was well-received by sweet-tooth customers. They were so popular in fact that there was growing demand from them for it to return, so BAKE CHEESE TART is delivering that sumptuous request. Topping decoratively with freeze-dried amaou strawberries, the tarts are a sweet call to the coming spring.

    The Fukuoka-grown strawberries have been nicknamed the “King of Strawberries.” The tarts are filled with a creamy cheese mousse and mixed with a puree made from the sweet berries. They add a rich sweetness to the slightly sour mousse, bringing together a mix of delightful flavours that will leave you wanting another. They also give the inside a light pink colour.

    The Amaou Ichigo Sundae has a dollop of soft serve ice cream so soft it’s almost like melted fresh cream. It’s topped with a sauce and powder made from those incredible strawberries, as well as freeze-dried strawberries. This bright-red mountain of a dessert is a satisfying experience to both look at and consume.

    While these two desserts are being sold, they will be served in special springtime packaging designed by creative studio KLOKA, a notable player in the creative scene that has had a hand in art direction for fashion magazines, shopping centre displays, and more.

  • Explore Kyoto With a Hot Pudding Latte From Kyo Yasaka Pudding

    24.January.2020 | FOOD

    Kyo Yasaka Pudding is a shop with a new vision. Located in Kyoto’s tourist hot spot of Higashiyama ward, it’s home to a team of people who love and are well-versed when it comes to food. Their incredible purin, or Japanese custard puddings, are made carefully one by one to make people happy. These puddings are tried and tested: much trial and error was done to ensure the ingredients, flavours, technique, and appearance were perfect.

     

    On January 24, they’re set to release a new product to the menu: the Kyo Yasaka Hot Pudding Latte.

    This hot beverage combines a pudding latte, made from incredible Kyoto milk, with super rich caramel cream. It’s then topped with a mix of tempting decorations. The caramel and cream are of a high quality, with the caramel cream itself having a unique and irresistible bitter bite you won’t find anywhere else.

    This is the perfect accompaniment to a winter walk through Kyoto while sightseeing.

  • Luxury Kyoto Jewellery Brand NIWAKA Brings its Beautiful Collection to Ginza in Tokyo

    23.January.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

    NIWAKA is a Japanese jewellery brand that first launched in the city and ancient capital of Kyoto. The company has announced it is set to open a special concept store in Tokyo’s district of Ginza, home to luxury shops, restaurants and outlets.

     

    The new jewellery shop will boast the biggest collection in the country, housing five floors of fashion, bridal, and high jewellery.

    NIWAKA’s jewellery is renowned the world over, even being used by Hollywood actresses at the US Acadamy Awards for four years in a row.

    The new concept store in Ginza aims to deliver everything about the NIWAKA brand, with its modern interior littered with traditional Japanese motifs. They hope to grow their name even more with stores overseas in the future.

    The outside of the store is adorned with gorgeous and sparkling wisteria installations. Their abstract design makes them look like light bunches that sway gracefully.

     

    Inside the store, each floor has its own theme, with traditional elements like lattice and paper sliding doors combined effortlessly with the modern design.

    Los Angeles was the first to try NIWAKA’s new collection which was used by famous red carpet actress, and it will now be sold in Japan at the new concept store. The first floor will include a range of fashion jewellery in the company’s “Kyo no Matsuri” range as well as all-new accessories.

    Floors 2-4 will house gorgeous bridal jewellery with centre showpieces and tables and chairs on both sides.

    Up on the 5th floor will be the high jewellery, accessed via an elevator, which brings you to an incredible sparkling bamboo thicket-like space.

     

    If you’re looking to indulge in some expensive jewellery, worn by the famous actresses of Hollywood, then be sure to check out NIWAKA and visit their new Ginza store. Be on the lookout for future branches opening up in Japan and overseas.フ

  • Make Your Own Rilakkuma Valentine’s Day Treats With Kai’s Recipe Kits

    22.January.2020 | FOOD

    Cupid is readying his arrows for Valentine’s Day 2020 which is right around the corner. It’s the time of the year to show your special someone that you love them with some tasty chocolatey treats.

     

    If you’re wanting to make a grand gesture this year by making your own gifts, but are struggling for ideas or are intimidated by the task, the Kai Corporation in Japan has you covered with its collection of Rilakkuma goods. Now you can make some Instagram-worthy gifts with little effort. Let’s take a look.

     

    Make lots of Rilakkuma chocolates with this simple tool

    Rilakkuma Silicone Chocolate Maker – ¥850 (Before Tax) – Buy Here

    Five different patterns of Rilakkuma, Kiiroitori, and Korilakkuma make up this silicone tray, allowing you to make lots of bite-sized chocolates at once. This is perfect for sharing between you and your loved one or amongst friends. It can be used for making gummy treats and ice for drinks too, meaning it’s useful for the entire year.

     

    Make cute cookies by simply pressing your dough

    Korilakkuma Cutter Set – ¥650 (Before Tax) – Buy Here

    Anyone can make cute Korilakkuma cookies easily with this cutter set which you simply press the dough with. It comes with two different poses so you can make an assortment of them. If you know someone who’s not a fan of chocolate, then this is a perfect alternative.

     

    Decorate your sweets and desserts with this mini chocolate tray

    Mini Chocolate Tray – ¥650 (Before Tax) – Buy Here

    This chocolate tray makes makes chocolate bears which can hold things like nuts and candy. They can be used in a lot of creative different ways. The tray was made in collaboration with Cookpad.

     

    Super simple recipes that take out the work

    Here are some super simple recipes that remove the labour out of making and decorating sweet treats. Learn how to make Instagrammable delights with these items and techniques.

    Korilakkuma Cookie Marshmallow Sandwich – Item Used: Korilakkuma Cutter Set

    All you need to do is warm some marshmallows in a microwave and stick them between two cookies for a gooey and crunchy treat. At some toppings like freeze-dried strawberries for colour and to make them even cuter.

    Gateaux Chocolate Cupcakes – Item Used: Rilakkuma Face Cupcake Paper Wraps (5 Included)

    Make your Valentine’s cupcakes even more adorable with these paper wraps with Rilakkuma’s kawaii face on them.

    Tiny Bear Chocolates: Item Used – Mini Chocolate Tray

    There are many creative ways you can utilise these tiny bear chocolates. Make them hold small candy, nuts, and other delicious bites, or just simply top them on another dessert.

     

    Take the stress out of making something for Valentine’s Day this year with this range of items from Kai.

  • Cute and Chewy Pompompurin Confection Now Being Sold at Lawson Convenience Stores in Japan

    21.January.2020 | FOOD

    Lawson, one of the main convenience store chains in Japan, has released the all-new Mochi Mochi Pompompurin Yaki, a cute and chewy confection filled with custard pudding flavoured cream.

     

    The kawaii sweet recreates Pompompurin’s adorable sleeping form. Inside of him is a squirt of purin, or Japanese custard pudding, flavoured cream, which happens to be Sanrio Golden Retriever’s favourite treat. You’ll find yourself reaching for your phone to snap a photo of him to post online before tucking in.

     

    The confection will be discontinued once all have been sold, so if you’re in Japan, head to your closest Lawson.

     

    ©1996, 2020 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO.S604266

  • 4 Matcha-tastic Desserts Selling at Convenience Stores in Japan

    20.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    If you love delicious Japanese desserts and are keen to discover more, you’ve visited the right website. Today with the help of Instagrammer Yukko, we’ll be looking at matcha desserts you can purchase from Japanese convenience stores. 

     

    Matcha Purin Cake Sandwich: ¥324/ Family Mart

    Matcha Purin Cake Sandwich: ¥324

    This is a fluffy sandwich with a hearty filling of sweet matcha purin, matcha cream, whipped cream and red bean paste. The fluffy cake and light cream create a wonderful balance of textures and enjoy a moderate sweetness. This dessert is sure to leave your stomach fully satisfied.

     

    Dorayaki Pancakes Stuffed with Matcha Cream: ¥300/ 7-Eleven

    Dorayaki Pancakes Stuffed with Matcha Cream: ¥300

    The delicious aroma of the matcha will entice you before you have even tried it. The refined, rich matcha flavour will spread throughout your mouth and melt beautifully. 

     

    Uji Matcha and Shiratama White Dumpling Parfait:¥300/ 7-Eleven

    Uji Matcha and Shiratama White Dumpling Parfait:¥300

    This is a luxurious parfait containing Shiratama dango, warabi mochi, matcha whipped cream, dorayaki pancake pieces, plain whipped cream, matcha mousse and matcha starch cakes. Enjoy a variety of textures – perfect for the matchaholic!

     

    Matcha & Sweet Red Beans & Whipped Cream Doyayaki: ¥140/ 7-Eleven

    Matcha & Sweet Red Beans & Whipped Cream Doyayaki: ¥140

    Sweet red bean paste, matcha sauce, whipped cream and chewy warabi mochi are stuffed between two matcha dorayaki. The matcha sauce is rich and plentiful, creating the perfect matcha-tastic treat.

     

     If you’re on a matcha hunt, how about starting at the convenience store? There are just so many matcha desserts to discover. Mogu Mogu Yukko’s Instagram is full of delicious desserts that you can buy from Japanese convenience stores and supermarkets. If you’re looking for a sweet treat, make sure to check it out.

     

     Original Article Contents and Photos By: Mogu Mogu Yukko

     

    *Convenience stores are always updating their products and therefore the desserts mentioned in this article may stop selling at any time. Please check the convenience store’s social media or official website for the most up-to-date information. 

  • Tokyo’s MARUKO & COJICOJI CAFE Food Menu is Just Too Kawaii to Eat

    19.January.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD / SPOT

    Fans of Japanese mangaka Momoko Sakura won’t be able to resist the new MARUKO & COJICOJI CAFE which is set to open at Sunday Brunch in Tokyo on January 31, 2020 for six months. It’s collaboration between the manga series Chibi Maruko-chan and Coji-Coji, both by Momoko Sakura.

    The cafe is opening to promote the release of the Chibi-Maruko-chan and Coji-Coji picture book. Customers can look forward to joining the two characters on their adventures as they are vividly recreated on their plates, with food and drink inspired by the beautiful scenes seen throughout the four seasons, cherry blossoms, Mount Fuji, and more. The menu line-up is an homage to Momoko Sakura’s iconic work.

     

    Today, we finally get to take a peek at what’s on the menu at the cafe. Keep in mind this is just a small selection of what will be served.

    *Menu item names are translated from Japanese

    Homage Menu: Coji-Coji Came To Visit- ¥1,850 (Before Tax)

    Both Marko-chan and Coji-Coji are made from cookies and are flying through the air together. Below them is Mount Fuji, made from rice and adorned with cherry blossoms. It’s sat in a lake of cod roe cream sauce littered with tea leaves.

    Summer Menu: King of Sun Kingdom – ¥2,000 (Before Tax)

    Enjoy this healthy keema curry packed full of nutritious vegetables as well as a piece of French toast made from fresh eggs and milk. The individual suns are made from pumpkin flavoured mashed potato, while the two pals have written a letter that says “To the King.”

    Winter Menu: Three’s Company – ¥1,880 (Before Tax)

    Delicious butterfly pea and spinach purees sit atop a bed of shrimp tomato cream and pumpkin soup, creating an eye-popping mixture of colours.

    Sweets: Coji-Coji Came to Visit Baked Cheese Cake – 1 Slice w/Drink ¥1,380 (Before Tax)

    This baked cheese cake celebrates the two’s meeting. You get one slice which will contain Mount Fuji and either Maruko-chan or Coji-Coji. Which will you be given?

    Sweets: A Chat in the Cold Morning Chocolate Cake – 1 Slice w/Drink ¥1,380 (Before Tax)

    Layered with sumptuous mango custard cream, this cute gateaux chocolate cake is moist and delicious.

    Parfait Drink: Onigiri People & Star Festival – ¥1,700 (Before Tax)

    Inspired by the Milky Way in the Tanabata festival, this parfait drink includes jelly under which hides an assortment of fruits, cream, and vanilla ice cream. The juice itself has a squirt of cheese cream in it too.

    Special Drink: What’s The Rainbow Invitation? – ¥980 (Before Tax)

    A glass of lemonade that comes with a cafe-exclusive charm. There’s jelly inside the glass which dances and sparkles as you stir.

     

    The cafe itself will also be decorated in picture book art in the form of tapestries and other things. There will also be a display of Momoko Sakura’s work, as well as Maruko-chan and Coji-Coji merchandise up for sale.

     

    ©️Momoko Sakura ©️Sakura Production

  • Delicious Valentine’s Desserts and Drinks All Over Japan For You and Your Sweetheart

    12.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    As Valentine’s fever slowly sets in across Japan, for many of us, thoughts turn to what we could give to our lovers. For the rest of us, how about a  bit of self-love with a romantic dessert for one? Whether it’s for just yourself or that special someone, if you’re in Japan, you got to try one of these Valentine’s-limited desserts.

     

    Eggs ‘n Things

    Fondant Chocolate Strawberry Pancakes: ¥1,580 (Before Tax)

    Eggs ‘n Things Fondant Chocolate Strawberry Pancakes will be love at first bite. Hazelnut gianduia chocolate pancakes are topped with a luxurious mountain of fruity strawberries and drizzled with chocolate sauce for an overall mellow flavour. The pancakes come with a generous tower of whipped cream – a sweet treat perfect for you and your sweetie. 

     

    ▼Eggs ‘n Things

    Fondant Chocolate Strawberry Pancakes 

    Price: ¥1,580 (After Tax)
    Selling: January 16 – February 27, 2020
    Available At: Most Eggs ‘n Things restaurants across Japan

    Not Available At:
    ・EGGS’N THINGS Lalaport Nagoya minato AQULS
    ・EGGS’N THINGS Coffee OPA Takasaki
    ・EGGS’N THINGS Coffee Kashiwa Takashimaya Station Mall

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

     

    nana’s green tea

    Choco Orange Latte/Hōjicha Chocolate Brownie Parfait

    nana’s green tea is serving up a gorgeous Valentine’s latte and parfait topped with orange zest and gold leaf. The Choco Orange Latte is full of chocolatey goodness. The orange zest contributes a tangy kick to the sweet yet bitter chocolate latte. The Hōjicha Chocolate Brownie Parfait is topped with Valentine’s limited hōjicha chocolate brownie and hōjicha ice cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with gold leaf. nana’s green tea is the perfect place to enjoy a sip of luxury with your lovebird. 

     

    ▼nana’s green tea

    Choco Orange Latte/Hōjicha Chocolate Brownie Parfait

    Selling: January 6 – February 14, 2020
    Available At: All nana’s green tea restaurants

    Please check the official website for pricing.

    Official Website: http://www.nanasgreentea.com/

     

    Sarabeth’s

    Choco Pudding French Toast: ¥1,600 (Before Tax)

     Sarabeth’s Choco Pudding French Toast is made with their special challah bread. The bread is toasted and topped with their popular Chocolate Pudding dessert. The beauty of this Valentine’s-limited dessert is captivating. Enjoy a moment of pure bliss with this luxury treat.

     

    ▼Sarabeth’s

    Choco Pudding French Toast

    Price: ¥1,600 (Before Tax)
    Selling: January 14 – February 14, 2020
    Available At: Sarabeth’s LUMINE Shinjuku, Shinagawa, Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka

    Official Website:http://sarabethsrestaurants.jp/

     

    Segafredo Zanetti Espresso

    Chocolat Peach Melba: ¥560 (After Tax)

    White chocolate is poured over a peach melba sauce made from peaches and raspberries. The barrister then seals the drink under a thick lid of their unique, smooth foam. The sweetness of the chocolate enjoys a fruity accent and the rich flavour of the milk will warm your body and your heart.

     

    ▼Segafredo Zanetti Espresso

    Chocolat Peach Melba

    Price: ¥560 (After Tax)
    Selling: January 7 – February 14, 2020
    Available At: All Segafredo Zanetti Espresso Cafés in Japan

    Official Website:https://www.segafredo.jp/

     

    Give yourself and/or your loved ones a wonderful treat this Valentine’s Day.

  • Kaori’s Easy Recipe: Learn to Make My Melody Strawberry Purin

    12.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    With just a small bit of ingenuity, turn everyday food into something cute using Kaori’s easy recipe! With a few simple ideas, an ordinary recipe magically transforms into a cute dish.

     

    As strawberries are currently in season in Japan, today we’ll be looking at an easy recipe for delicious strawberry purin. All you have to do is mix the ingredients and you’re done! In previous recipes, we’ve looked at purin recipes that involve decorating the inside of the glass. Many people commented that this is quite difficult so today we’ve got a recipe that is easy enough for even kids.

     

    Ingredients (For 2 Portions)

    Two small jars (this recipe uses Weck jars)

    200g Strawberries with stems and leaves removed (approximately one small pack)

    20g Sugar

    20ml Fresh Cream (or milk to substitute)

    5g Gelatin (dissolved in a tablespoon of water)

    ½ Teaspoon Lemon Juice

     

    To Decorate

    Premade Chocolate Decorations or Chocolate Slices (as you like)

    Strawberries to Decorate (as you like)

    Fresh Cream (As you Like)

    Chocolate Pen

     

    2: After removing the leaves and stems from the strawberries, blend them in a mixer.

     

    3: Heat the mixture in a microwave on 600w for 50 seconds. Afterwards, add the sugar, gelatin solution and lemon juice in that order. Finally, mix in the fresh cream.

    4: Meanwhile, press the premade chocolate decorations or sliced chocolate (white) into the inside wall of your jar.

    5: Use the chocolate pen to draw the face, strawberries and ribbons from the outside of the glass. If you make a mistake, wipe it off using kitchen paper and try again.

    6:Put the jar into the fridge for the chocolate to harden. Once the chocolate does not sink when the jar is placed upright, slowly add your strawberry mixture into the jar and put it back in the fridge until hard. After your dessert solidifies, you can add the finishing touches of whipped cream and strawberries.

    And you’re done!

     

    Kaori invites you into her world of character-themed food dishes in her recipe series. Be sure to check out her Instagram where she has uploaded many pictures of her character dishes!

     

    Profile
    Kaori Kubota @kaopan27
    I live in Hokkaido and I love to make character-themed foods, desserts and pastries♡I want to see my family smile, so I enjoy putting in a bit of effort to make character foods and changing food into something cute♡You can see more of my character foods and character bento boxes on my Instagram page→ @kaopan27

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