Uji Matcha Masters Tsujiri Release Summertime Soda and Parfait

16.May.2019 | FOOD

Tsujiri―a tea chain specialising in Uji matcha tea―just released its refreshing new Matcha Yuzu Soda and ice cream and fruit Tsujiri Soft Summer Parfait on May 16 at five branches including Kyoto and Ginza. These are available for a limited time only.

Matcha Yuzu Soda (Left) / Tsujiri Soft Summer Parfait (Right)

The soda contains pieces of fresh yuzu, honey and bittersweet Uji matcha, all of which come together to create a striking colour combination. The refreshing summer parfait is an assortment of rich matcha flavoured soft serve ice cream, agar, apricot, and mashed sweet bean paste.

 

If you’re looking for a way to combat Japan’s hot summer heat then be sure to pick up one of these coolers during your shopping trip and sightseeing.

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  • Fall Into Autumn With an Enchanting Boat Ride Through Arashiyama in Kyoto

    08.August.2020 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Kyoto has announced a special new serving for one group a day that lets them bask in the autumn colours of Arashiyama. The service, entitled “Asa no Momiji Bune” (Morning Autumn Colours Boat), will run from November 20 to December 6 this year.

     

    A cosy autumn morning boat ride all to yourself

    Sail down the tranquil Oi River, which runs right beside HOSHINOYA Kyoto, and bask in the surrounding sights of Arashiyama and Ogurayama as they burn aflame with autumnal colours. Wrapped in reds and yellows in every direction, this morning experience is a rare opportunity witness Japan’s fall season like never before as you gaze at the crisp leaves of the trees and their reflection from the water’s surface.

     

    Sweet wagashi treats just for you

    While on the boat, guests are treated to a cup of matcha and some seasonal Japanese wagashi confections, like hard candies shaped like HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s logo and other colourful sweets made to look like maple leaves, ginkgo leaves, and more. These confections are made exclusively for the boat ride by Kameya Yoshinaga, a Japanese sweets shop that has been around since 1803, while the matcha is provided by Rishouen Chasho, a tea shop in Uji, Kyoto who have picked out specially selected leaves just for HOSHINOYA Kyoto.

     

    The roofed Kingfisher boat

    The boat guests will ride is owned by HOSHINOYA Kyoto and is called “Hisui” (Kingfisher). A switch can change the rooftop colour from white to transparent so you can look up and see the gorgeous blue sky.

     

    If you’re in Japan this autumn, and still need to find a hotel, why not treat yourself to a luxurious morning boat ride at HOSHINOYA Kyoto?

  • Chewy, Cheesy and Cute Moomin Obanyaki Desserts Now Being Sold at FamilyMart in Japan

    07.August.2020 | FOOD

    Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart released cream cheese-filled obanyaki branded with Moomin characters on August 4 in celebration of “Moomin’s Day” which falls on August 9.

    Moomin Mochitto Cheese | ¥138 (Tax Included)

    The Moomins are the main characters of Tove Jansson’s series of books and comic strips. August 9 is the birthday of the author, and so this date has become known as “Moomin’s Day” amongst fans of the series.

     

    Obanyaki are a type of imagawayaki which are like waffles and are filled with various ingredients, the most popular being red bean paste which can often be found at festivals in Japan. These chewy Moomin obanyaku however are filled with cream cheese and are stamped with the familiar faces of Moominvalley including the titular characters, Snufkin, Little My, and the Hattifatteners.

    What better way to celebrate Moomin’s Day than with a delicious treat? If you’re in Japan this summer, head to your closest FamilyMart.

     

    ©Moomin Characters™

  • Minions Confections Sneak Their Way Into Lawson Convenience Stores in Japan

    05.August.2020 | FOOD / MOVIE

    Bandai Candy’s character-inspired Japanese confectionery series Tabemas released a new batch of Minion-themed Japanese wagashi confections at Lawson convenience stores in Japan (excluding Lawson Store 100 branches) on August 4, 2020.

    ‘Tabemas’ is an abbreviation of the Japanese words taberareru masukotto, meaning ‘mascots that you can eat.’ It is a Japanese confectionery series that combines well-known characters and Japanese sweets made from ingredients like red bean paste, sugar and rice flour.

    Tabemas Minions | ¥264 (Before Tax)

    The line-up includes familiar faces from the Despicable Me and Minions films, namely the childish Bob, Stuart—who loves a prank—and Kevin who has a leader presence about him. The confections feature all the little details for each character, from the goggles and hair to the colouring.

     

    Each character has its own delicious bean paste flavouring too: Bob is banana flavoured (his favourote), Stuart is strawberry, and Kevin is chocolate. Which do you want to try the most?

     

    © Universal City Studios LLC. All Rights Reserved.

  • Premium Hotel MGallery to Open New Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle This November

    03.August.2020 | SPOT

    MGallery, a collection of over 5,000 luxury boutique hotels in 110 countries worldwide, landed in Japan for the first time last year with the opening of the 5-star KYOTO YURA HOTEL MGallery in Kyoto. Now, the brand has announced the opening of the new “Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery” (Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo-jo Bettei) which will open on November 28, 2020.

    Situated just a short 1-minute stroll from Njio Castle Station, this small, 25 room hotel, aims to offer luxury at the highest level.

    Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery was designed by Yukio Hashimoto, who has worked on countless hotels and facilities around the world. The hotel lobby and all guest rooms face a gorgeous Japanese-style garden where guests can enjoy its beautiful sights through all four seasons.

     

    The hotel takes inspiration from Nijo Castle, a structure which has seen both the end of the shogun as well as the start of modern Japan. As you enter the hotel, from the front door through and through the main entrance, guests will find themselves in their own private domain before they reach the breathtaking Japanese garden in front of them. All 25 of the guest rooms are crafted with high quality, sophisticated interiors.

    On the first floor of the hotel, guests will find a restaurant and bar. The restaurant cooks up creative French dishes made delicately with seasonal ingredients while the bar serves up MGallery’s iconic “mixology” cocktails.

    Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery also offers a range of activities which can’t be experienced anywhere else, including private trips to local shrines and temples that the hotel has connections with.

  • Tokyo’s New Starbucks Branch in Ginza is a Cafe Dream Come True For Workers and Business People

    02.August.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Starbucks Coffee Japan opened a new branch at CIRCLES Ginza on July 30, 2020 that will serve as a dream location for business people.

    The dream coffee shop, split into two floors, offers a unique environment and service created in collaboration with Think Lab. Rather than your regular, more public Starbucks, this branch also lets customers reserve booths and meeting spaces. This includes the SMART LOUNGE™ aimed at business users, as well as solo working spaces by Think Lab.

     

    Starbucks Coffee CIRCLES Ginza caters to both solo workers and co-workers, giving them a space to think and concentrate alone, or come together in groups to exchange ideas. Booths offer a place to host online meetings, the SMART LOUNGE lets groups arrange chairs and tables however they like, and the Think Lab—which you pay an extra fee to use—is the perfect spot for some quiet contemplation.

     

    1st Floor: Quick TOGO experience

    The first floor is for people who aren’t looking to stay at the cafe long. They are looking for a quicker experience where they can order their Starbucks drink and food and head on out. The cafe offers cashless payments, which is notable as Japan is still very much a cash-based country, as well as the Starbucks mobile order and pay service where you pick what you want on your phone and then go and pick it up.

     

    2nd Floor: A place where you can focus

    Reserve a booth for video calls and more


    There are four individual half-booths which can be reserved, each of which have a screen for video calls and online meetings. These can be used for 40 minutes and can be booked in advance. The booking system was co-developed by Starbucks and Vacan.

     

    Tables for in-person group meetings

    The window tables offer a place for meetings, discussions, and business negotiations for 2-12 people. It’s a relaxing area where workers and clients can chat freely.

     

    解放される“ひとり”のためのパーソナル空間

    For those who want to work along, Starbucks has created a spacious area with individual booths where you don’t have to meet eyes or be bothered by other people.

     

    If you’re working in Tokyo, and need a business-oriented location where you can enjoy a coffee, then look no further than Starbucks Coffee CIRCLES Ginza.

  • Kyoto Aquarium Begins Special Opening Service For After 3 o’clock

    02.August.2020 | SPOT

    Kyoto Aquarium is now holding a special “off-peak” opening service after 3:00pm where visitors can receive free novelties amongst other things. The service began on July 23 and will run until September 30 this year.

    The service comes as a measure against the spread of COVID-19. Normally, the aquarium can become crowded during the day, and to spread the number of visitors out, they are offering a special service for those visiting after 3:00pm. This means that visitors can enjoy the aquarium at a more relaxed pace and take their time.

    But that’s not all. On days when the aquarium closes at 6:00pm, visitors will receive a free original Kyoto Aquarium seal made to promote the new jellyfish exhibition area which opened on July 16, 2020. And on days when it closes at 8:00pm, visitors will not only receive a free folder, but can get a serving of the aquarium’s mini soft serve ice cream at three times the amount as usual, or  a free mini drink.

  • Make Your Own Original KitKat at Tokyo’s KitKat Chocolatory Miyashita Park Shibuya

    31.July.2020 | FOOD

    Nestlé Japan is opening a new branch of KitKat Chocolatory inside Shibuya’s new shopping mall Miyashita Park on August 4, 2020.

    KitKat Chocolatory is a direct-to-consumer chain, serving premium, handcrafted KitKats made with top quality ingredients and production methods under full direction by Takagi Yasumasa―the owner and chef of LE PATISSIER TAKAGI. Its product line-up features a range perfect as gifts to friends, family and co-workers, or as a treat to yourself.

     

    Japan is home to eight KitKat Chocolatory branches. The new Miyashita Park Shibuya branch will open as the fourth in Tokyo, as well as the first where you can create your own KitKat products.

    My KITKAT: ¥2,000 (Before Tax)

    “My KITKAT” comes as the world’s first KitKat service where consumers can create their own original chocolate bars.

    KitKat Waffle: ¥1,000 (Before Tax)

    KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Soft Cream: ¥630 (Before Tax)

    KitKat Chocolatory Miyashita Park Shibuya will also sell a variety of unique and exclusive KitKat desserts, like luxurious soft serve ice cream topped with couverture chocolate. It will also offer a cafe menu created by Nespresso, where customers can pair Chocolatory desserts with seasonal coffee menus, and more.

    Shibuya-esque wall art will decorate the interior of the shop, making for plenty of photo opportunities.

  • Laforet Harajuku’s Midsummer Takeaway Desserts Include Cinnamoroll Goodies

    31.July.2020 | FOOD

    Eight shops inside Laforet Harajuku are participating in the shopping mall’s midsummer takeout dessert event which is taking place from August 1 to 31. This includes the new milk dessert shop “MILK MILK MILK” which opened as the first branch in Japan on July 17 this year. Desserts and merchandise of Sanrio’s popular character Cinnamoroll, who won this year’s 2020 Sanrio Character Ranking, will also be sold.

     

    café de paris | Floor B1F


    Many Many Fruits Sandwich: Mango ¥626 / Green Grape ¥561 (Tax Included) *Takeout only

    Fresh fruit is packed onto these adorable looking sweet sandwiches.

     

    CAFE CREPE | Floor 1F


    Honey Summer Orange: ¥730 (Tax Included) *Takeout only

    Another cute summer dessert finished with swirls of fresh cream, fresh orange, and a round dollop of ginger ice cream.

     

    MILK MILK MILK! | Floor 2F


    Milk Bottle Smoothie: ¥880 (Tax Included) *Takeout and have-in

    Served in a cute milk bottle, what better way to cool down than with a cool strawberry smoothie?

    Cinnamoroll Milk Pudding: ¥1,078 (Tax Included) *Takeout and have-in


    Cinnamoroll Sky Beaker Parfait: ¥1,048 (Tax Included) *Have-in only

    There are two tasty Cinnamoroll desserts to choose from, including the milk pudding made with Hokkaido milk and a parfait with a gradient or jelly and chocolate mint ice cream, topped with mint, and served in a beaker.

     

    © 2001,2020 SANRIO.,CO.LTD. APPROVAL NO.S610695

  • 4 Must-Try Colourful & Kawaii Cream Sodas in Kyoto

    30.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    The rainy season in Japan, known as Tsuyu, is finally coming to a close, which means the real summer is right around the corner. And what better way to stay cool in Japan during the summertime than with a glass of coo, refreshing cream soda?

     

    We’ve compiled a list of 4 must-try cream sodas in Kyoto recommended by Tiara on Instagram, who posts photos on her Instagram of drinks and desserts she tries around the Kanto region of Japan, and who has kindly provided us with photos on this occasion too.

     

    and C Kyoto | Kita-ku

    Yellow Cream Soda / White Cream Soda / Red Cream Soda / Blue Cream Soda

    and C Kyoto is a stylish bar, cafe, and second hand clothes store located right by Hirano Shrine. They serve four different colours of their cream soda which look super cute when lined up in a row.

     

    and C Kyoto
    Address: 30 Hirano Kamihatchōyanagichō, Kita-ku, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 12:00-23:00
    Closed: Tuesdays
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andc102/

     

    BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO | Gion Shijo

    Mango Passion / Classic Blue / Amaou Strawberry

    BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO is located along the Kamo River and is famous for its gelato. They also sell some super refreshing cream sodas topped with their tasty gelato.

     

    BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO
    Address: 134 Saitocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 13:00-20:00 (Temporary hours due to COVID-19)
    TEL: 075-585-5200
    Official Website: http://www.babbi.co.jp/showcase/gelateria-kyoto/

     

    Kissa Zou | Imadegawa

    Pudding a la Mode / Lemon Squash & Elephant Cookie

    This cute cream soda comes with an elephant-shaped cookie. The custard pudding has a rich eggy flavour.

     

    Kissa Zou
    Address: 440-3 Santeichō, Kamigyō-ku, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)
    No Fixed Holidays
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kissa_zou/

     

    Bread, Espresso & Arashiyama Garden | Arashiyama

    Cherry Blossom Cream Soda

    This old cafe is renovated from an old family estate which was built at the end of the Edo Period and is designated as a cultural property of Kyoto. This beautiful cafe coincides with the gardens and has gorgeous thatched roofing.

     

    Bread, Espresso & Arashiyama Garden
    Address: 45-15 Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)
    TEL 075-432-7940
    Official Website: https://bread-espresso.jp

     

    Tiara has lots of other delicious dessert recommendations over on her Instagram, so be sure to follow her if you’re travelling in the Kansai region and are in need of a sweet treat.

     

    Original Text & Photo: @happy_pinkrose_tiara

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    *The information about the items on this list are correct at the time of publishing. For the latest information, please visit each cafe’s official websites and social media pages.

  • Dragon Ball Confections Kamehameha Into FamilyMart Convenience Stores in Japan

    29.July.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    Character-inspired Japanese confectionery series Tabemas has revealed that its next batch of sweet treats are Dragon Ball Super inspired. The sweets were released at FamilyMart convenience stores in Japan on July 28, 2020.

     

    ‘Tabemas’ is an abbreviation of the Japanese words taberareru masukotto, meaning ‘mascots that you can eat.’ It is a Japanese confectionery series that combines well-known characters and Japanese sweets made from ingredients like red bean paste, sugar and rice flour. The sweets are also made with a dough called “nerikiri” which is used in making traditional Japanese wagashi sweets.

    Tabemas Dragon Ball Super: ¥369 Before Tax | 1 set of 2

    The confection designs include the iconic Dragon Balls from the series up to Seven-Stars, as well as Shenron.

    Shenron is matcha-flavoured. Using nerikiri dough, Tabemas has brought the dragon god to life with his iconic red gaze, whiskers, and tail. Each of the seven Dragon Balls are filled with custard cream. One set of these confections comes with both Shenreon and one of the Dragon Balls, so fans can enjoy both flavours.

    As well as all of the seven Dragon Balls, there are two secrets ones too. What exactly they are requires a trip to FamilyMart.

     

    ©Bird Studio/Shueisha・Fuji TV・Toei Animation

  • Tokyo Neko Neko: Cat Shaped Desserts and Pastries Served at Ginza’s New Bakery

    28.July.2020 | FOOD

    ALL HEARTS COMPANY, a Japanese company that develops bakeries and patisseries across Japan, opened its new bakery and confectionery shop Tokyo Neko Neko in Ginza, Tokyo on July 22, 2020. The shop has replaced Heart Bread ANTIQUE, another bakery also run by ALL HEARTS COMPANY, which was previously at this location.

    At Tokyo Neko Neko, they are serving cat-shaped pastries and desserts including Tokyo-exclusive products from their Neko Neko Bread brand and Neko Neko Cheesecake shop. This is the second branch to open following the opening of Kyoto Neko Neko last month.

     

    A stylish bakery


    Tokyo Neko Neko’s pastries and interior design takes on a completely different look from Kyoto Neko Neko, with the walls acting as a canvas to display their food like an art museum. The bakery’s line-up centres on seeing as well as eating, adding an extra level of deliciousness to the products. If you’ve visiting Tokyo, you don’t want to pass up on the opportunity to visit Tokyo Neko Neko.

     

    Tokyo Neko Neko Bread

    Tokyo Neko Neko’s cat-shaped bread is palm-sized and so is a perfect gift and takeaway snack. The outside is crunchy while the middle is kept nice and moist. The secret behind the bread’s tastiness is the use of fermented butter which they get from France. The use of lots of almond cream adds a tasty kick too.

    Tokyo Neko Neko Bread – Plain: ¥1,000 (Before Tax)

    Made using croissant pastry and loaded with fermented butter.

    Tokyo Neko Neko Bread – Caramel Almond: ¥1,200 (Before Tax)

    Caramel almonds and almond slices are added to this version, also made with lots of fermented butter.

    Tokyo Neko Neko Bread – Praline Rose: ¥1,200 (Before Tax)

    This flvour is filled with praline rose, a traditional French confection of caramelised sugar-coated almonds.

     

    Tokyo Neko Neko has lots of other tasty foods to offer too, like their Neko Neko Cheesecake, Neko Neko Butter Sandwiches, and more.

  • Tokyo Banana’s New Disney Sweets Collection Looks Delicious

    27.July.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    Japan’s popular confectionery souvenir shop Tokyo Banana is collaborating with Disney for one week from July 29 to August 7 at the Hankyu Umeda branch of Tokyo Banana in Osaka.

     

    Officially named the “Disney SWEETS COLLECTION by Tokyo Banana,” the line-up brings together the iconic Disney characters and centres them around the company’s brand concept which is to bring happiness to all who see and taste their products.

    Mickey Mouse Pancake Sandwich: ¥1,080 for 4 / ¥1,382 for 6 (Tax Inclusive)

    A box of “Mickey Mouse Pancake Sandwiches” contains baked, deliciously fluffy treats filled with soft cream. They come in two shapes: Mickey’s face and the iconic Tokyo Banana. The Mickey ones contain caramel cream and roasted almonds while the Tokyo Banana designs are filled with banana milk cream and chocolate chips.

    Mickey Mouse Chocolate Sandwich: ¥1,080 for 12 / ¥2,160 for 24

    The “Mickey Mouse Chocolate Sandwich” are crunchy cat tongue biscuits which have Tokyo Banana’s distinct milky flavour. They are made to be like a delicious banana milkshake you can eat and contain rich chocolate.

     

     © Disney

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