4 Shaved Ice Desserts You Have to Line Up For in Kyoto This Summer

18.July.2019 | FOOD

Kyoto, also known as the “old capital,” is renowned for its historical architecture and richness in traditional Japanese culture, bring in tourists every year both Japanese and foreign. The city has an especially popular food culture, serving everything from traditional Japanese cuisine to twists of contemporary cuisine.

 

Today we take a look at 4 different shaved ice desserts you must try in Kyoto this summer all of which are equally worth lining up for.

 

Hatagoya Rihei – Espuma Matcha Shaved Ice

Kyoto is the home of Uji matcha, and its city of Joyo is home to Hatagoya Rihei, a Japanese confectionery shop which specialises in dorayaki, a traditional dessert in Japan which consists of two pancakes filled with sweet adzuki bean paste.

 

The absolute must-try contender on their menu is the Espuma Matcha Shaved Ice which is lavishly packed full of matcha. Available for a limited-time only, this shaved ice is made with espuma, which is Spanish for “foam.” It’s a mix of fluffy shaved ice and a rich matcha sauce which takes on a thick mousse-like texture. The ice and sauce melts the moment it hits your tongue, creating a new kind of texture that makes for light eating. It comes with a side of toppings including matcha honey, red bean paste, rice flour dumplings, and matcha jelly. The dessert can be enjoyed from start to finish as you mix and match all the different flavours to your taste.

 

▼Hatagoya Rihei

Address: Higashinokuchi-44-54 Terada, Joyo, Kyoto

Business Hours: 10:00-18:00

Closed: Tuesdays

Access: Joyo Station via JR Nara Line / Terada Station via Nara Line

Official Website: http://rihe.jp/

 

 

Senba Miyabi – Mix Juicy Shaved Ice

Senba Miyabi is another shop in Joyo which specialises in fruit sandwiches and confections. It is managed by the fruit shop Fruit Shop Senba which are known for their high quality fruit selection.

 

Their Mix Juicy Shaved Ice is drizzled in a cute pink sauce which is a juiced mix of strawberry, banana, kiwi, pineapple and other fresh fruits. The shaved ice is topped with even more assorted fruits for colour and flavour, and even more fruits are hidden inside. If you like sweet things, we recommend making the flavour even richer by topping with condensed milk or ice cream.

 

▼Senba Miyabi

Address: Fukurojiri-19-1 Terada, Joyo, Kyoto

Business Hours: 10:00-19:00

Closed: Mondays

Access: 420m from Joyo Station via JR Nara Line

Official Website: http://www.senba2018.com/

 

 

Amami no Ie Takegushi – Berry Berry Custard

Amami no Ie Takegushi is a cafe located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Kizugawa where you can enjoy handmade Japanese confections and pastries as well as indulge in some great coffee.

 

Their bright-red Berry Berry Custard shaved ice is like powdered snow, topped with an strawberry and assorted berry sauce and velvety fresh cream. Hiding inside the ice is custard made with specially made condensed milk by Clover Farm in Kizugawa. It also contains condensed milk honey and frozen berries for a refreshing sweet and sour combination.

 

▼Amami no Ie Takegushi

Address: 2-6-9 Umemidai, Kizugawa, Kyoto

Business Hours: [Tues] 14:30-17:30 / [Wed-Fri] 11:00-17:30 / [Sat] 11:00-17:30

Closed: Mondays & Sundays

Access: 26-minutes on foot from Kizu Station via JR Kansai Main Line

Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kyoto.kizugawa.kushitake

 

 

Gion Tokuya – Bancha Shaved Ice

Gion Tokuya takes the utmost pride and care in its use of high quality ingredients. Their Bancha Shaved Ice is lined with fresh lemon slices and covered in a syrup made from bancha tea and sugar. The way you eat this shaved ice is to slowly drizzle the syrup over the dessert right before eating. A spoonful will cover your taste buds with fragrant Kyoto-style bancha tea and a gentle sweetness. Eating it together with the lemon slices makes it taste like lemon tea. If you’re looking to enjoy something refreshing or to cool you down then we recommend this one!

 

▼Gion Tokuya

Address: 570-127 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefectur

Business Hours: 12:00-18:00

No Fixed Holidays

Access:

6-minutes on foot from Gion-Shijō Station via the Keihan Main Line
8-minutes on foot from Kawaramachi Station via the Hankyu Kyoto Main Line

Official Website: http://gion-tokuya.jp/index.html

 

 

If you’re visiting Kyoto for summer then what better way to cool yourself down than with some refreshing shaved ice? Be sure to try out one of these 4 cute and unique shaved ice desserts this summer.

 

 

Photos/Information: KYOTO SIDE

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  • From Wine to Hydrangeas Taste the Regional Shaved Ice Flavours of Japan at Hoshino Resorts KAI

    10.July.2019 | FOOD

    Hoshino Resorts hot spring ryokan brand KAI is offering guests the opportunity to explore different regional shaved ice desserts that are served with delicious regional syrups and toppings. Shaved ice is a traditional summer dessert that was even mentioned in the famous work The Pillow Book, which was written by Sei Shonagon during her time as Empress Consort Teishi’s court lady during the 990s and early 1000s of the Heian period.

    The concept of KAI expresses both originality and the thirst for experimenting to make something new. The event offers a range of original flavours, embracing the Japanese tradition of eating flavoured shaved ice to battle the heat of summer. From wine-flavoured shaved ice in Nagano, to Hydrangea shaved ice at Hakone, this is the perfect opportunity to try a range of shaved ice desserts that are full of vibrant colours. These regional flavours are sure to spark your curiosity for discovery in that region. 

    Wine Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto (Asama Onsen, Nagano)

    The cone-shaped region of Kikyogahara, which is located next to Matsumoto city, is well known for its wine production. This area produces around 50 different kinds of Kikyogahara wine. The flavoured syrup for this shaved ice comes from concord grape wine sourced from Kikyogahara. Each porcelain bowl for the dessert is handmade. Customers can enjoy the smooth, rounded feel of the grape pattern on the bowl as they dig into their dessert. As the alcohol is burned out of the dish, even those who do not like alcohol can enjoy this mature dessert. From the carefully prepared wine syrup to the handmade bowl, you will be able to feel all the hard work put into the making of these luxurious desserts. This is the perfect way to cool off after a hot day.

    Hydrangea Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone

    Due to the altitude differences at Hakone, you can enjoy the beautiful hydrangeas for an even longer time than other areas of Japan. There is a Hydrangea train (Ajisai Densha) that runs up the mountains providing passengers with the beautiful view of blooming flowers, creating the perfect summer memories. Observing the large groups of flowers in full bloom fills you with such a refreshing feeling. Their beautiful colours are expressed in the colour of this hydrangea shaved ice.  

    Strawberry Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko (Chuzenji Onsen, Tochigi)

    Tochigi prefecture has been Japan’s no.1 producer of strawberries for 50 years straight. This shaved ice is served in a strawberry-shaped bowl and is served with sweet yet slightly sour strawberry syrup and a topping of bittersweet matcha sauce. Here, you can enjoy a cool evening up 1,300 metres high overlooking beautiful scenery from inside the establishment whose spectacular interior that boasts Tochigi’s traditional art of Kanuma Kanoko craft. 

    Tomato Flavoured Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso (Sonomoto, Oita)

    As tomatoes thrive during the summer, this tomato shaved ice is the perfect way to cool down. This shaved ice is sweet and slightly sour and the vibrant red colour is enough to refresh you. Tomatoes are low in calories and contain an abundant range of healthy nutrients. They are also high in vitamin C which is good for your skin and is known for helping prevent illness. Tomatoes are also a good supply of vitamin E, which is good at slowing the effects of aging. Take a seat on the terrace and enjoy your shaved ice as a refreshing breeze rolls by. This is the perfect way to enjoy a cool summer with a healthy and delicious dessert. 

    Neputa Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru (Owani Onsen, Aomori)

    The Neputa Shaved Ice represents the Hirosaki Neputa Festival that takes place in the summer at the old castle town of Hirosaki. To represent Tsugaru Vidro coloured glass, which is an important part of Tsugaru culture, red, blue and green coloured jelly pieces decorate the top of the shaved ice. These colours also represent the vibrant colours of Neputa festival. This Instagram-worthy dessert shows off the best of the fresh colours of Tsugaru. 

  • 3 Kyoto Tourist Spots to Visit and Cool Down at This Summer

    17.July.2019 | SPOT

    The bustling Kyoto Prefecture is located in the Kansai region of Japan, adored for its historical architecture and richness in traditional Japanese culture for which it brings in tourists every year both Japanese and foreign.

     

    Summertime in Kyoto is renowned for being very hot. We’ve compiled a list of 3 must-visit locations where you can cool down during the summer heat―each of which have beautiful sights―and how to get to them.

     

    Explore the Caverns of Shizushi Limestone Cave Park

    The only limestone caves in Kyoto Prefecture, Shizushi Limestone Cave Park offers an exciting mix of outdoor activities from cave exploration to camping, bird watching and much more. The caves are a designated national monument of Kyoto Prefecture. Many fossils have been collected from the caves that date back to before the Permian period (which ended 252.2 million years ago) including fusulinida and crinoids. The temperature of the caves sits between 12℃-15℃ throughout the year making it a very popular spot for cooling off during times of hot weather.

     

    ▼Shizushi Limestone Cave Park
    Address: Shizushi, Kyotamba, Funai District, Kyoto

    Access: Board a JR bus from Sonobe Station (JR Sagano Line) bound for Enpuku (園福線) and get off at Hinokiyama (桧山). Change onto a Choei (町営) bus. Get off at the Shizushi Limestone Cave entrance (鐘乳洞口) and walk for 5 minutes.

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Website: http://www.kyotamba.org/質志鐘乳洞公園/

     

     

    Beach Swings and Sunsets at Yuhigaura

    Yuhigaura sits on the coast of Kyoto’s Tango area and is known for its iconic sunsets. Every year during summertime, giant swings made from driftwood and other materials are placed onto the beaches. Sitting on these during the evening sunset make for an incredibly picturesque scene.

    And this year they’re serving an original drink called the “Magic Hour” for a limited time.

     

    ▼Yuhigaura
    Address, 390 Aminocho Hamazume, Kyotango, Kyoto Prefecture

    Access: Board the Limited Express Hashidate (特急はしだて号) train at Kyoto Station and get off at Yūhigaura-Kitsu-onsen Station (夕日ヶ浦木津温泉)

    Homepage: http://yuukan.com/news/17/?view_oft=0

     

     

    Amanohashidate Sandbar Illuminations

    Last year’s illuminations at the Amanohashidate sandbar brought in over 30,000 people. The sandbar is one of Japan’s three scenic views. The illumination event is held annually with this year’s running from July 13 to September 1. The lights turn the sandbar into a truly magical spectacle.

    A special bar is also open for the light-up where you can get drinks along with several other exciting events surrounding it.

     

    ▼Amanohashidate Light-Up
    Address: Monju, Miyazu, Kyoto

    Running: July 13, 2019 – September 1, 2019
    Event Details:  https://www.facebook.com/amanohashidate.machiakari/

     

     

    Stay cool this summer in Kyoto by hitting up one of these tourist hot spots!

  • Kyoto is renowned for its historical architecture and richness in traditional Japanese culture, but did you know it’s also home to some extremely cute and delicious desserts? Their sweets and desserts are actually pretty popular, some of which contain motifs and little nods to the city.

     

    Today, Instagrammer meme takes us on a tour in Kyoto to try out 4 popular desserts.

     

    JEREMY&JEMIMAH

    JEREMY&JEMIMAH is a shop selling cute and colourful cotton candy. Their staple Wata-Hako cotton candy comes in 10 different flavours! In the photo we have yuzu, rose and matcha flavours. Of the two branches of the store, there is one along Furukawacho Shopping Street where you order your cotton candy for takeout, and another in Yasaka that serves cotton candy on long sticks.

    We picked up a few different ones since there are so many flavours and designs. It was fun lining them up to take a picture.

     

    We took them home to eat and they stayed nice and fluffy the whole way back. The yuzu one tasted a little herbal, like it was healthy for you.

     

    ▼JEREMY&JEMIMAH (Furukawacho Shopping Street Branch)

    Address: Furukawacho Shopping Street, 444-3 Hachikenchō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00

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

     

     

    ROCCA & FRIENDS TRUCK

    At ROCCA & FRIENDS TRUCK, you can order these iced dessert matcha and houjicha lattes which are topped with yatsuhashi―a confection sold in Kyoto―shaped into various sights across the city including Kyoto Tower, Hōkanji Temple, Daimonji, a Torii gate, and more.

     

    I ordered the matcha latte. The drink itself isn’t sweet at all so you can enjoy the full original rich and bitter flavour of the matcha. The fresh cream however is quite sweet so you can mix it into the drink as much as you want to get your desired flavour.

    There are lots of great spots in the area such as the Hōkanji Temple pagoda and Yasaka Shrine so  you can snap some great sightseeing photos♡

     

    ▼ROCCA & FRIENDS TRUCK

    Address: 370 Yasaka Kamimachi, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rocca.truck/

     

     

    Jumondo

    We also visited Jumondo which sells Kyoto-style dango, or “sweet dumplings.” We shared three different orders amongst three people: Danraku (団楽) which comes as a set with a drink, Dandan (だんだん) which comes with matcha, and Zenzai to Aburi Kuri Kinton (ぜんざいと炙り栗きんとん).

     

    Once you order, the dango are made fresh so are served hot and chewy. Each dumpling is on the small side so are nice and easy to eat.

     

    The Danraku comes with five different dumplings including sweet soy glaze, mashed sweet bean paste, soy sauce and black sesame seed, fried, and white miso. The Dandan comes with three types of your choice and a wafer filled with mashed sweet bean paste. The Zenzai to Aburi Kuri Kinton with mashed sweet potatoes with sweetened chestnut dango. The final one comes with matcha which can be served hot or cold.

     

    Everything was tasty but my personal favourite was the yuzu flavoured white miso dumpling.

    The one that everybody raved about was the Zenzai which is a thick soup that the dango are placed into. These dumplings are bigger, not too sweet and light. The soup went really well with the dango, it was super tasty.

     

    ▼Jumondo

    Address: 76 Tamamizuchō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

    TEL: 075-525-3733

    Official Website: http://jumondo.jp/index.html

     

     

    Kyo Yasaka Pudding

    Yasaka is a particularly popular tourist spot in Kyoto, and that’s where the cute purin shop Kyo Yasaka Pudding is located.

    Purin is a type of custard purring sold in Japan. The first pudding we picked up was the store’s recommended option named after the store itself, the Kyo Yasaka Pudding. It contains a transparent lemon and honey flavoured jelly inside which there are small and colourful agar agar balls and mango jelly balls.

     

    It has an enjoyable texture and a refreshing sweetness that I’ve never experienced before with other purin. It’s very tasty!

     

    There are five flavours to choose from, the others being hard, smooth, matcha and black soy bean, and houjicha black soy bean. All are served in tiny cute jars. Not only do they look great, they taste amazing too. Each is made with ingredients sourced in Kyoto including the milk, Uji matcha, houjicha, and black soy beans.

    They also sell soft serve ice cream topped with candy balls, very Kyoto-like! You can choose from vanilla, matcha, or a mix of both. I think it’ll be really fun if you can snap a photo of your ice cream with one of Yasaka’s stylish locations in the background! Speaking of which, there was a cute illustration on the wall of the store so we took our photo there.

     

    Be sure to pay a visit to Kyo Yasaka Pudding to pick up your own pudding whether as a souvenir or for yourself.

     

    ▼Kyo Yasaka Pudding

    Address: 87-4 Hoshinochō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    TEL: 075-533-8338

    Official Website: https://kyo-yasaka-pudding.co.jp/

     

     

    Kyoto is full of shops selling desserts and sweets perfect to walk around and munch on while you walk its ancient streets, or to take home as a souvenir. Enjoy all the tasty things you can during your visit to this beautiful city♡

     

    Photos/Text: meme

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Luxurious Ganache and Mousse Shaved Ice Desserts You Must Try This Summer

    12.June.2019 | FOOD

    Battle the summer heat with a luxurious icy experience at specialty chocolate shop Bonnel Café located in Jujo. For a limited time only, they will be selling cake-like kakigori (shaved ice desserts) that has everyone’s mouths watering. Watch as they lay a long luscious strip of luxurious chocolate over your kakigori, or cover your dessert in fresh chocolate mousse right before your very eyes.  These desserts are only available from April 20 to the end of September.

     

    Out of the four kakigori flavours for your ice, choose from the three standard flavours or treat yourself to the limited edition flavour. Next, pick from the selection of 18 toppings to enhance your kakigori. Unlike other kakigori shops, you can mix and match whatever you like, giving you the power to make your own original kakigori dessert.

     

    Bitter Chocolate Cake: ¥800 + Ganache Strip: ¥300 (prices after tax)

    Out of all the toppings, we recommend the ganache strip topping (Nama chocolate) which was incredibly popular last year. A single 25 cm-long strip of luxurious ganache stretches over your kakigori and gently melts in your mouth. If you love chocolate, you just won’t be able to resist!

     

    Bitter Chocolate Cake: ¥800 + Chocolate Mousse: ¥300  (after tax)

    The chocolate mousse topping is new to this year. Watch your kakigori become shrouded by a thick cloak of fresh chocolate mousse before your very eyes. The moment you take a bite, you will discover the unique flavour and texture of the fresh chocolate mousse, which dissolves immediately on your tongue with a lingering luxurious and rich chocolatey flavour.

     

    The chocolate used in this kakigori is 100% high-quality couverture chocolate. As a chocolate shop, Bonnel Café serves only the finest kakigori desserts. Customers not only take pictures, but also videos as their tongue-tantalizing desserts are carefully crafted before their very eyes.   

     

    Come indulge all of your senses in a whole new kakigori experience!

  • Top 4 Shaved Ice Desserts You Must Try This Summer

    08.June.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Hi everyone, this is Midori from MMN’s Editorial Department.

    It’s really feeling like summer right now in Japan and as it gets hotter, more and more places are starting to sell one of Japan’s most beloved summer desserts; Kakigori (flavoured shaved ice, usually with delicious and luxurious toppings).

     

    Today I’m going to tell you about new Kakigori flavours that are out this summer. ♪

     

    Kori Yuki to Natsu (Ikejiri-Ohashi)

    Last year, Kori Yuki to Natsu opened in Nishi-Ogikubo. This year, there’s a fresh new shop in Ikejiri-Ohashi which is close to Shibuya. The ingredients used at Kori Yuki to Natsu are specially selected and the kakigori is carefully made. The shop in Nishi-Ogikubo is a great hit so there ‘s no doubt the new shop is going to be just as popular.

     

    ▼Kori Yuki to Natsu

    Address: Crimson one5F, 2-16-26, Ohashi, Meguro, Tokyo

    Open from: May 3rd 2019

    Opening hours: 11 am ー 4:30 pm (last orders:)

    No regular holidays

    For more information on their opening hours, please check them out on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/k_yuki_to_natsu/

     

    Rich Shaved Ice (Hotel Gajoen Tokyo)

    At Hotel Gajoen, you can enjoy a luxurious shaved ice dessert that is aimed at adults. Here, melons and pineapples are scooped out, transforming them into bowls which are then filled with fruit and shaved ice. These immensely aromatic desserts can also be enjoyed with champagne as part of a set meal. Melon and pineapple are the two available varieties of this shaved ice treat.

     

    ▼ Rich Shaved Ice

    Available: Saturday 1st June ー Sunday 1st September

    Purchase from: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo’s Cafe & Bar Yuian

    Orders accepted Weekdays 2:30 pm  – 9:30 pm (L.O)

    Weekends/ national holidays: 3:00 pm – 5:00 (L.O)

    Reservations (TEL ): 050-3188-7570 (General restaurant enquiries: 10:00 – 19:00)

    ※ Both dessert are in limited supply.

    ※ Customers who spread the word about these desserts on social media will receive a cup of peppermint tea or oolong tea on the house.

    Hotel Gajoen, Tokyo

    Address: 1 Chome-8-1 Shimomeguro, Meguro City,

    Official Website: https://www.hotelgajoen-tokyo.com/

     

     

    Afternoon Tea Kakigori Parfait (Afternoon Tea: LOVE & TABLE)

    Afternoon Tea: LOVE & TABLE serves fluffy ice coloured with fruit and syrup. Not only do some of the parfaits contain lemon and strawberries, but there are also parfaits that take on the appearance of red bean jam covered in syrup. They looks and tastes so refreshing. There are four different flavours to choose from so you absolutely must try one!

     

    ▼Kakigori Parfait

    Please refer to the Official Website to check availability: https://www.afternoon-tea.net/

     

    Adult-Oriented Shaved Ice (Omotesando Hills)

    You can enjoy adult-oriented kakigori at 11 restaurants located in Omotesando Hills. At  Fratelli Paradiso located on the 3rd floor, you can enjoy a hearty serving of Italian-style kakigori with Granita. Frangelico hazelnut liqueur seeps into the bitter espresso granita for a very luxurious taste. Besides this, there are many other kakigori flavours that adults just cannot resist. Other toppings and flavours include tapioca pearls and espresso, too. These adult-oriented kakigori desserts are available for a limited time at Omotesando Hills only.

     

    ▼ Omotesando Hills

    Address: 4-12-10 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

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

     

    So, how about it? Refresh yourself this summer with these delicious kakigori shaved ice desserts. ♪

     

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  • Kaori’s Easy Recipe: Learn to Make Korilakkuma Tofu Pudding

    12.July.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.

    Today, I’ll be showing you a dreamy recipe on how to make the healthy Taiwanese snack douhua topped with Yukimi Daifuku mochi ice cream.

     

    Ingredients


    400ml soy milk
    2-g Lakanto (Zero-calorie natural sweetener)
    Pinch of salt
    8g gelatin (dissolved in 1 tbsp water)

     

    Pre-preparations


    Stick bear-shaped sliced chocolate around the side of a glass and leave to set in the refrigerator.

     

    1.


    Warm soy milk and Lakanto in a saucepan until the Lakanto is completely dissolved.

     

    2.


    Add the gelatin and mix until fully dissolved.

     

    3.


    Leave the mix to cool. Once cooled, remove the glass from the refrigerator and pour the mix into the glass. Place back into the fridge until it sets.

     

    4.


    Add sliced almonds and use a chocolate pen on Yukimi Daifuku to create Korilakkuma’s face, or a face of your choice.

     

    5.

    Remove the glass from the fridge and add the Yukimi Daifuku. Choose your choice of toppings, like soy flour and brown sugar syrup, then enjoy!

     

    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!

     

    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 → @kaopan72

  • Wine and Dine at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto’s Luxurious New ‘Champagne Garden’

    11.July.2020 | SPOT

    Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto opened its limited-time “Champagne Garden” on July 3 at its first floor outdoor terrace restaurant Brasserie. Running until September 6, customers can enjoy free-flow French Bollinger champagne and cocktails.

    Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto opened back in October 2016 as a luxury hotel, home to the famous Sekisuien Gardens which have a history spanning back 800 years and are mentioned in the The Tale of the Heike epic. The hotel’s first floor restaurant Brasserie has towering 9-meter tall windows that look out onto these gardens, while inside customers can enjoy dining in a stylish environment.

    The champagne served in the Champagne Garden is produced by the French Champagne house Bolligner, a company that started by Jacques Bollinger in 1829. Fermented in oak barrels, the champagne has sophisticated and complex flavours. In 1884, Bolligner received a Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria.

    At the Champagne Garden, guests can enjoy four different types of canapé made by the restaurant’s head chef Koga together with a glass of Bolligner. They can also order rosé wine, cocktails, or soft drinks too, all of which are free-flow. And since the restaurant faces the garden, guests can enjoy the view of the greenery throughout all four seasons, in central Kyoto.

    Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto reopened on July 1 after closing temporarily due to COVID-19. The hotel has launched its “Lead With Care” program which ensures guests and staff are at the top of the priority list for safety against the coronavirus.

  • Japanese Tea Flavoured Shaved Ice For Takeout at Susumu Chaya in Tokyo and Kagoshima

    11.July.2020 | FOOD

    Japanese tea shop Susumu Chaya started up a takeout service for shaved ice on Tuesday (July 7) at all of its branches including in Kagoshima as well as Jiyugaoka and Shibuya’s DESCENTE TOKYO in Tokyo.

    The shaved iced takeout service was originally only available at the two Tokyo branches, but now customers in Kagoshima can enjoy the tea-flavoured desserts.

    Matcha Shaved Ice: ¥750 (Before Tax)

    Made using Susumu Chaya’s “koicha,” a rich and full-bodied matcha variety.

    Houjicha Shaved Ice: ¥750 (Before Tax)

    The houjicha shaved ice is made using only first-grade tea leaves picked by Susumu Chaya. It has a refreshing taste.

     

    The shaved ice can be ordered for takeout or eaten inside the cafes. Enjoy the full flavour of Japanese tea coupled with a refreshing portion of shaved ice.

  • Preorder A Mouthwatering Cheesecake Made with Okinawa’s Fresh and Juicy Mangoes

    10.July.2020 | FOOD

    Fresh fruits and vegetable company yoloz is selling an exquisite cheesecake produced by chef Masato Yamazaki. The cheesecake is made using exotic mangoes sourced from Hentonanoen – an exotic orchard located in Okinawa. Preorders are now being accepted.

     

    The new cheesecake takes the name “tabi suru cheesecake” which literally means “travelling cheesecake” – a fitting name for a cheesecake made with ingredients sourced from across Japan. The name also reflects chef Masato Yamazaki’s experience of travel. Each month, chef Yamazaki creates a new limited edition flavour with the goal of “delivering the passion of fresh food producers to their consumers”. This month, Yamazaki and yoloz are teaming up to deliver a delicious cheesecake made with fruits fresh from Japan’s sunny paradise island of Miyako.

    Whole: ¥4,980 (After Tax)

    Half: ¥2,780 (After Tax)

    This is the sixth collaboration by chef Yamazaki. The sun-soaked mangoes are sourced from Hentonanoen – an exotic orchard located on Miyako Island, Okinawa. The cheesecake enjoys a subtle splash of white wine for a refreshing aftertaste. Eggs with white yolks are also used to complete its refreshing image. Enjoy the contrast of the tangy yoghurt and ripe, sweet mangoes – the perfect summer treat. The sweet aroma of farm-fresh mangoes will instantly fill you with those cheerful summer vibes. 

     

    Tadashi Hentona (From Hentonanoen)

    Hentonanoen is located on Miyako Island of Okinawa. For more than 20 years, we have been working our hardest to harvest the most delicious mangoes using our own unique farming methods. One step in our procedure is caring for the soil. We periodically analyse the soil of our mango trees, enriching it with the very best nutrients it needs. Our procedure includes taking natural salts from the ocean to further enhance the quality of the soil. We always give it our best when caring for our produce. We hope you enjoy the delicious flavour of Miyako Island mangoes.

     

    Just one bite of this cheesecake will take you on an unforgettable journey to sunny Okinawa. You just have to try it!

  • Kyoto’s World Heritage Site Nijo Castle Announces Summer Evening Illumination Event

    09.July.2020 | SPOT

    NAKED, INC. has announced that it is holding a special summertime light-up event at Nijo Castle, a World Heritage Site in Kyoto, from August 8 to August 30. The company has also released its first ever 3DCG VR experience NAKED NINJA -Nijo-jo Castle- on the official NAKED, INC. online store.

    Enjoy art entertainment in person or at home

    NAKED, INC. has collaborated with many World Heritage Sites, Cultural Properties, tourism centres, leisure spots, and more over the years. Right now, the company is grappling with the question of what the shape of tourism, as well as art and entertainment, looks like during the COVID-19 outbreak—and what shape it will take post-pandemic. Nijo Castle is no exception, a place that enjoys tourism from both Japanese people and people overseas. In considering these issues, NAKED has conceived two different ways Nijo Castle can still entertain tourism now and in the near future.

     

    The first is holding an event in person at Nijo Castle in the form of an outdoor light-up event that will have people wandering around as opposed to being stationary. In spring of 2017, NAKED held “Nijo Castle Cherry Blossom Festival 2017” where they hosted a variety of performances and events in line with the season. In fact, one such event was planned to take place at Nijo Castle this summer, but it had to be reconsidered as a result of COVID-19. Those involved still wanted to come up with a way that people who live close by could still enjoy some leisure time this summer, which is what led to this light-up event from NAKED.

     

    Visitors will be able to enjoy the light-up safely by staying a set distance from one another while walking around Nijo Castle. The number of people inside at once will also be restricted. As well as this, people will need to wear masks, temperature will be regulated, and alcohol gel will be provided—all to ensure that visitors are kept safe.

     

    The second way that NAKED has devised for people to still enjoy Nijo Castle is with the release of NAKED NINJA -Nijo-jo Castle-, the company’s first ever full 3DCG VR experience that lets people enjoy Nijo Castle online in a virtual space. This is so that people who cannot visit Nijo Castle can still enjoy its sights. NAKED plans to launch even more real and virtual, offline and online experiences in the future too in order to promote tourism in a new way during COVID-19.

  • Lipton to Serve Iced Parfaits at New Fruit Tea Stands in Tokyo and Osaka This Summer

    08.July.2020 | FOOD

    Japanese black tea brand Lipton is opening two pop-up tea stands this summer called “Lipton TEA STAND Fruits in Tea.” They will open in Daikanyama and Osaka from July 10 and Kichijoji from July 22.

    Lipton opened its two permanent tea stands “Lipton TEA STAND” in Nagoya and Hakata in winter 2018 in an effort to make black tea more accessible to people. The drinks menus at these stands are diverse, ranging from simple black tea to their “Fruits in Tea” range which are teas filled with fresh fruits, royal milk tea, desserts, and more.

     

    Iced Parfaits


    Passion Fruits: ¥1,200 (Tax Included) (+¥150 for honey milk) / Strawberry: ¥1,200 (Tax Included) (+¥150 for condensed milk)

    Lipton’s “Fruits in Tea” opened as a new way for people to enjoy black tea in summertime. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lipton has decided to whip up some refreshing “Happy!” new iced parfaits for beating the hot weather. Their popular custom menu lets you a variety of vitamin-packed fruits, herbs, and more to your iced tea.

    Frozen tea is the base of the iced parfait and retains the original flavour of the black tea. Added to that is ice and fruits inside a tumbler, all of which is layered to look like a parfait with a shaved iced quality to it. The “Passion Fruits” flavour is topped with passion fruit syrup and frozen lemon, orange, and kiwi, while the sweet and sour “Strawberry” is a mix of strawberry syrup and frozen strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Both options are sure to keep you cool during the hot Japanese summer.

    Original Iced Tea “Fruits in Tea”: Tumbler ¥1,000 (Tax Included) / Cup ¥600 (Tax Included)

    Lipton’s popular custom menu lets you choose from four tea bases, like Earl Grey and green tea. You can then pick your base fruits, like pineapple or strawberry, topping fruits such  as kiwi and mango, and then a special flavour like mint. Finally, choose your syrup, such as lemon, and you’v got your own custom beverage for the summertime.

  • Harajuku’s Fresh Cream Shop MILK Releases Milky Soft Serve Parfaits For Summer

    08.July.2020 | FOOD

    MILK, a fresh cream shop in Harajuku, is set to hold a new summertime fair this year called “Milky Soft Fair” which will begin on July 8, 2020.

    From Left: Kiwi ¥650 / Peach ¥650 / Strawberry ¥650 / Mango ¥650 / Condensed Milk Coffee Jelly ¥630

    MILK’s “Milky Soft Serve Parfait” usually only comes in one simple flavour, but for the Milky Soft Fair, they are serving up juicy mango, strawberry, and kiwi flavours, fruity peach, and bitter coffee jelly. The summery parfaits are made with fresh cream, fresh fruit, and rich soft service ice cream. The perfect dessert for keeping cool in the hot Japanese summer!

  • Kyoto’s Famous Kifune Shrine Celebrates Tanabata With Bamboo Lamp Light-Up

    07.July.2020 | SPOT

    Kifune Shrine, which is dedicated to the god of water Takaokami no Kami, is currently holding evening illuminations with Tanabata bamboo lamps until August 15, 2020.

     

    About Kifune Shrine

    Kifune Shrine is one of Kyoto’s foremost historical shrines. Records show that the shrine was already built in 677 during the reign of Emperor Tenmu. It is located near the source of Kamo River and is dedicated to the god of water who is said protect Kyoto’s water sources. The area is also known for kawadoko which is where Kibune’s restaurants build platforms over the river where visitors can enjoy their meal as the water flows beneath them.

     

    Kifune Shrine and Tanabata

    Tanabata is said to originate from the Suijinsai Festival (Water God Festival), with the stars themselves as the god of water. At Kifune Shrine, which is dedicate to Takaokami no Kami—the god of water—people not only pay their respects to the blessing of water, but hold Tanabata events as well as the Kifune Water Festival.

     

    For this year’s Tanabata event, bamboo lamps will be lit up with wishes written on them by people.

     

    Tanabata Shinto Rituals and the Kifune Water Festival

    Tanabata Shinto rituals and the Kifune Water Festival will be held on July 7 where people will express their gratitude to the god who watches over Kifune’s waters as well as pray for water’s blessing throughout the year.

  • Chocolate-Piled Shaved Ice & Other Summer Season Delights at BEL AMER Kyoto Villa

    04.July.2020 | FOOD

    Kyoto-based chocolate bar BEL AMER Kyoto Villa is serving up the perfect line of new chocolatey bites for summer 2020.


    The entire line-up is a delight to look at, from a mountain of chocolate piled on top of shaved ice, a summertime mango and melon dessert, and more.

    Chocolate Noir Shaved Ice x Matcha: ¥1,540 (Tax Included)

    Shaved ice is the quintessential summertime dessert in Japan, and since this one is being served at a shop specialising in chocolate, what better way to serve it than drizzled in a mountain of the stuff? The shaved ice is covered in rich chocolate cream and chocolate sauce and is topped with chocolate nibs. It’s also served with a side of matcha sauce which you can pour over yourself, creating a delicious harmony of flavours.


    Mille-Feuille au Chocolat Exotic With 196℃ Chocolate Ice Cream: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)

    This summertime dessert is made with lots of mango and melon. In the centre of it all is even more mango, as well as pineapple and coconuts, for a flavourful layered experience. Served on the side is ice cream made from BEL AMER Kyoto Villa’s own original couverture chocolate.

    Summer Pavlova: ¥1,320 (Tax Included)

    This piece of art of a dessert is a must for lovers of matcha and melon. It’s made from fluffy meringue topped with white chocolate, matcha mousse, and chocolate cream, which itself is then topped with refreshing melon and grapes for a refreshing kick.


    Chocolate Croquette Sandwich: ¥990 (Tax Included)

    BEL AMER Kyoto Villa is also serving up a very unique dish indeed which mixes together chocolate and croquette—a flavour that actually works, combining sweetness and bitterness. The croquette is made from potatoes. The brioche sandwich also contains cheese and bacon.

     

    These are just some of the delights on show at BEL AMER Kyoto Villa this summer. If ever you’re in Kyoto, be sure to stop by, especially in the summer.

  • 3 Gourmet Cheesecakes From Popular Cheesecake Shops in Japan

    04.July.2020 | FOOD

    The cheesecake—a popular dessert with a flavour that is both rich and refreshing. The number of shops in Japan specialising in cheesecakes has been on the rise recently, all of whom are baking up their own unique versions. Here are three summertime cheesecakes available online in Japan from three popular cheesecake shops.

     

    Mr. CHEESECAKE

    This summer, Mr. CHEESECAKE has whipped up a seasonal “Hirami Lemon” flavoured cheesecake which they are selling in limited quantities via their official LINE account from July 12 to 19. The cheesecake is packaged in a special box featuring an illustration of the summertime ocean.

    Made with refreshing hirami lemons, the cheesecake has a sour and slightly bitter kick to it. By combining Japanese sansho pepper and olive oil, the sourness of the hirami lemon is elevate to new heights. Mint is also added to up the refreshing flavour, and salt from Okinawa heightens the sweetness of the cheesecake.

     

    Mr. CHEESECAKE hirami lemon

    Price: ¥5,400 (Tax Included)
    Official Website: https://mr-cheesecake.com/

     

    Neko Neko Cheesecake

    Neko Neko Cheesecake, a cheesecake shop which opened in Tokyo in May, serves cat-shaped cheesecakes. This summer-only cheesecake is made using setonai lemons. It was released on Friday and will be sold in limited quantities only.

    ​The cheesecake has lemon jelly in the middle and is topped with sliced lemons grown in the Seto Inland Sea area that are baked together with the cake. It’s finished with a smear of lemon jam and cream, making for a real summertime treat.

     

    Neko Neko Cheesecake ~Setonai Lemon~
    Online

    Release Date: July 1, 2020

    Price: Single ¥3,800 / Lemon & Plan ¥5,980

    Online Store: https://hbantique.official.ec

     

    In-Store

    Release Date: July 3, 2020

    Price: Single ¥2,200

    Available: Neko Neko Cheesecake in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo

     

    LeTAO

    Confectionery shop LeTAO has released their popular “Melon Double” cheesecake again this summer.

    A popular cheesecake released every year by LeTAO, the Melon DOuble is a sweet baked cheesecake made with individual layers of melon puree and mascarpone cream cheese. The refreshing sweetness of the melon goes hand in hand with the cheese.

     

    Melon Double ~Hokkaido Melon~
    Price: ¥1,728 (Tax Included) *Shipping fee ¥890
    Available: Until August 31, 2020
    Product Details: https://shop.letao.jp/item/F695.html

  • Gourmet Shaved Ice Served Up at the New VERMICULAR PREMIUM SHAVED ICE SALON in Nagoya

    03.July.2020 | FOOD

    For this summer only, a limited-time gourmet shaved ice shop called “VERMICULAR PREMIUM SHAVED ICE SALON” is opening up inside VERMICULAR VILLAGE in Nagoya from July 2 to September 13.

     

    The exquisite shaved ice options are topped with fruit confitures which are made without any water involved, allowing for the original flavour of the fruits to come through, as well as adzuki beans cooked with Vermicular cookware, and more. The shaved ice is served inside Vermicular’s high quality mini pots, which have been kept cool, meaning the ice doesn’t melt when it’s put inside, meaning it stays nice and fluffy until the end.

     

    There are three to pick from, and underneath each the shaved ice is a blancmange which goes hand in hand with the shaved ice flavours.

    Strawberry, Pistachio, & Condensed Milk: ¥1,300 (Before Tax)

    This ice pot is topped with a strawberry jam which was made using no water, and pistachios—which go really well with the fruity confiture. At the very bottom is a condensed milk blancmange, making it delicious down to the last spoonful.

    Nishio Matcha, Adzuki Beans, Brown Cane Sugar Warabimochi, & Houjicha: ¥1,500 (Before Tax)

    Next is a matcha flavoured shaved ice pot made with adzuki beans and matcha grown in Nishio, Aichi. Sat at the bottom of the pile is a houjicha tea blancmange and brown cane sugar warabimochi.

    Mango, Passion Fruit, & Coconut: ¥1,300 (Before Tax)

    Lastly is a mango and passion fruit sauce covered shaved ice with coconut milk and a topping of fresh mango. At the bottom is a coconut blancmange.

  • Summer 2020 Parfait Fair Begins at Shiseido Parlour in Tokyo

    03.July.2020 | FOOD

    Shiseido Parlour began its annual “Midsummer Parfait Fair” at its Ginza, Tokyo branch on Wednesday which will run until August 30 and be divided into two different slots serving different parfaits. The cafe is serving up a selection of parfaits made from ice cream and local seasonal fruits under the trust that the chefs and farmers have built over the years.

    2020 Midsummer Parfait Fair: Slot ① July 1, 2020 – July 31, 2020


    Furano, Hokkaido – Furano Melon Parfait: ¥2,100 (Tax Included)

    This parfait is made using Furamon melon which is grown in Hokkaido’s city of Furano between the mountains where there is a major temperature difference. The melon is ripened after being harvested and so make it nice and soft, giving a sweet and juicy flavour and fragrance.

    Sakai Nouen, Wakayama – Arakawa Peach Parfait: ¥2,300 (Tax Included)

    The “Arakawa” peach is a brand of peach grown in Wakayama Precture. The peaches are grown until their nearly completely ripe while in the tree, giving them a soft texture. Inside the sweet flavour is a sour kick, both of which explode with the juiciness of the peach in the parfait.

    Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa – Apple Mango Parfait: ¥2,700 (Tax Included)

    The “apple mango” is a type of mango grown in the hot climate of Okinawa. The mango has a super soft, melt-in-the-mouth texture and a sour tinge which elevates its rich sweetness.

    Hatake Kobo, Nagano Prefecture – Koihime Strawberry Parfait: ¥2,000 (Tax Included)

    The “koihime” is a type of summer strawberry grown in-house by Shiseido Parlour. The strawberries get plenty of water, air, and sunlight so they grow into red jewels packed full of sweetness.

     

    The second slot of the 2020 Midsummer Parfait Fair will run from August 1 to August 30.

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