Office Lady Higashi’s Nonchalant Shibuya Diary #2: “BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR COFFEE KIOSK” – Harajuku

29.July.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

Hey. I’m Higashi.

 

When I was at university I worked a salon model job which started early in the morning. Everyday after my photo shoots at the salon, I enjoyed walking back from Omotesando to Shinjuku. On that route there was a coffee stand called “BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR COFFEE KIOSK.”

 

The friendly staff working there would call out to me with a smile: “Good morning! Where are you returning from today?” My usual course home would be to go there, order a takeout coffee, and walk back to Shinjuku while cheerfully listening to music.

 

But one day I became a working adult and full-fledged member of society. My new workplace was faraway from the coffee shop and so I could no longer visit it. But I would casually wonder to myself what the guys and girls who worked there and would always chat to me cheerfully and friendly were up to now.

 

So, yeah. I went to visit them.

 

BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR COFFEE KIOSK is about a 7-minute walk from Harajuku Station’s Takeshita Exit.

Follow Meiji Dori street.

Make a turn at the corner of The DECK COFFEE and PIE, and you’ll see the sign.

 

THERE IT IS!

I was greeted by a stylish looking guy who looked great with facial hair. He was so cool!

 

I took no time at all ordering a coffee.

 

I found myself remembering how much I loved the gentle atmosphere brought about by the staff here and the smell of the coffee that flows in the air.

Latte art is his forte!

Time to try it.

Oh… this was just pure bliss!!

 

The coffee had slight acidic notes to it which permeated my body. It was really tasty and warmed by body to the core that day because it was raining!

 

“Was this shop built in 2010?” I asked him.

 

“To be precise, a furniture company called Landscape Products was set up here in 1997. It was converted into a corporation in 2000 and made a furniture shop called Playmountain over in Jingumae. The company then moved to Sendagaya in 2002.”

 

“Oh, so it started as a furniture shop.”

 

“That’s right. When making the company, our representative wrote a summary of all the projects that the company wishes to fulfill. Some of the projects on the list are coffee shops, publication and event planning. Based on that list, we opened a cafe called TAS YARD in Sendagaya in 2004.”

“The company office and the cafe were close to each other. They were in Sendagaya along the road I would take everyday. We’d have lunch and meetings in the cafe and then work at the company office. There used to be a tobacco shop smack in the middle of the road I would come and go along. Lots of people would stand at this postbox just in front of the shop. They used it almost like a resting spot from their busy [working] days. Seeing that, our representative thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be good if there was a coffee shop here?’ A while later the owner of the tobacco shop left that place and we immediately went to rent the building.”

 

He carried on explaining that they researched opening the shop, but at first it wasn’t a hit with the locals. They continued to explore for a solution and eventually the locals came to love the place. I never knew that this coffee shop was so earnestly in tune with the people of the town.

He continue: “I hope this becomes a place where people can take a bread, whether it’s sitting on the benches outside the shop or putting their coffee on the postbox when they come to make an invoice. Our shop’s name BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR comes from us wanting to become good neighbours with the locals and for us to make a comfortable and relaxing place together.”

If you’re looking for something new in your everyday life then please be sure to pay a visit here.

You’re sure to be warmed by the delicious coffee and the face of the handsome shop owner!

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  • Office Lady Higashi’s Nonchalant Shibuya Diary #1: “Monmouth Tea” – Sendagaya

    07.May.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Dear You,

     

    Hello, and nice to meet you all. My name is Miyu Higashi.

    I’m an ordinary office lady (23-years-old) and I work at a certain company in the city.

    I love Shinjuku, my home town, beyond all else.

    It’s a town that births Tokyo culture, where you encounter many people, where you repeatedly see people off, where all kinds of stories are written.

    To say the least, it’s the greatest place.

    What kind of people come here, and what sort of things are they thinking about?

    I decided to start this featured article series in hopes it serves as an opportunity to find out, if even a little.

    I hope that you―you are who are kindly taking the time to read this article―pays a visit to that person you’d like to visit the most.

     

    Regards.

     

     

    With all that out the way, here it is―the first article in the series! Yippee!!

    This first one is set smack bang in the middle of Shinjuku and Harajuku.

    (Which is, by the way, in Shinjuku Ward. Higashi’s. Favourite. Place.)

     

    It seems this store has been around for over 10 years and is greatly loved by the locals…

    It’s a shop of deliiicious products, where a Ganko Oyaji is said to work!

     

    Ganko Oyaji…? (…”Stubborn Old Man”)

     

    Huh? So what exactly is delicious about that???

     

    I’d best find out, time to go and meet him!!

    Ta-da!

    We’re off to Sendagaya!

    Come to think of it, this place also became famous because of the film Your Name.

    “Right, I wonder where we’re off to today then! Right?”

    All jokes aside, I know where we’re going. It’s about a five-minute walk from Sendagaya Station.

    Ah… there it is!!

    Ta-da!

    The place with the stubborn old man who sells sweet products is Monmouth Tea.

    (Not Mammoth, Monmouth!)

     

    I want to meet him already, but first thing’s first.

    Since I’ve come all this way let’s get one of the shop’s famous “Monmouth Teas” and have a chat.

    Looks tasty! Milk is being poured into the cup.

    Here’s the famous Monmouth Tea.

    The balance of the amazing aroma of the tea and milk make for a perfect match.

    It’s sweet and delicious that you have to take a breather after taking a sip.

    I can’t get enough of the rich taste of the tea and milk.

    Too good♥

     

    This takes away my routine fatigue in one fell swoop… I’d like to dedicate this sweetness to all the office ladies around the country.

     

    Just as I’m thinking this…

    “It’s tasty, right?”

    A voice addresses me all of a sudden.

    There he is… there he is!!!

    Are you, perhaps, the stubborn old man of delicious products!?

    I wanted to meet you!!

     

    Please tell me your story―in detail!

     

    “I suppose I’ve got no choice,” the kind owner says to me, and lets me in on it.

     

     

    Higashi: “Why did you open this shop?”

     

    Owner: “I originally set out to be a rock ‘n’ roller in my hometown. I moved to Tokyo with a guitar and worked hard to make my dream come true, but in the end it didn’t work out. After that I worked as a salary man at a firm, but I quit ten years ago and took a fling to open this shop.”

     

    Higashi: “I see… but why a tea shop owner?”

     

    Owner: “A while back I was obliged to the owner of tea shop in Shibuya. He took me on as an apprentice at that shop and taught me about tea. That’s what made me decide to open this shop.”

     

    Higashi: “What a wonderful relationship. Your dream changed from wanting to become a rock ‘n’ roller, but now you’re pushing forward with a new dream and goal.”

     

    Owner: “Well… the truth is I play music while working this shop. I make music with an acquaintance of mine. They’re actually in a record company. I even released a CD some time ago. If you’d like, you sure give it a listen.”

    He looked happy as he told me his story and gave me a copy of his CD.

    He’s actually an active musician and performs live periodically.

    Higashi: “Wow! I’ll give it a listen!! So right now your dreams and the road you are taking are different from the past, but in coming to work as a tea shop owner, your former dream to become a rock ‘n’ roller has come true. If somebody admired you and waned to open a shop like you, what would you say to them?”

     

    Owner: “I’d tell them to forget about it [laughs]. People who imitate what others do will only ever be imitators. I thought that back when I climbed Mount Fuji. I thought that no matter how much I climbed I’d never reach the top. That at this rate, I’ll never arrive. But step by step I walked, and I got there. In other words, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. If you properly take it one step at a time each day your dream will come true some day.”

     

    The owner spoke looked at me intently as he spoke.

    When I looked at him, I felt that the flavour and sweetness of my tea came to fruition out of his many life experiences.

     

    I’ve actually been coming to this shop since elementary school.

     

    Whenever I ran out of energy.

    Whenever I felt down.

    Whenever I was plugging away.

    Whenever I wanted a little more power.

    It’s strange, but when I see the stubborn owner of sweet products and Monmouth Tea, I feel like I want to work hard tomorrow too.

     

    You should visit next weekend too!

    Peace! ✌

    See you next time, owner!

     

    ~Today’s doodle~

    The owner looks good in his hat with cherries on them and his apron which says oyaji (“old man”) on it.

    I made them red like the Monmouth Tea, but the wonderful owner, who looks good in red, had bought friendly pink.

     

    Model/Writer: Miyu Higashi

  • Hello everyone! This is Midori from MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON.

     

    Candy apples are the staple food of summer festivals. A crunchy candy coating and a sweet, fruity apple is such a divine combination. It can be quite difficult to find candy apples outside of festivals. That’s where Candy Apple steps in. This is a brand new shop on the block that specialises in candy apples!

     

    This is located just a five-minute walk from Shibuya Station’s west exit. If you check out their saved Instagram story, you probably won’t get lost. During the weekdays and on Saturdays, this is an Italian restaurant called Buonappetito. On Sundays, when the restaurant is closed, it transforms into a candy apple shop.

     

    The shop interior is gorgeous.

    Plain: ¥600

    I ordered the plain apple without wasting any time. This is much larger than what you would usually get at a festival. Although these are usually eaten by immediately sinking your teeth in and biting out a big chunk, you can cut your apple here and enjoy it at your own pace. 

    After taking your first bite, you will realise just how different this is to your normal candy apple. The apple is coated in a thin layer of candy, creating a delicious crunch. The apple is fresh, juicy and sweet. Some candy apples are made with mushy apples that are not fresh, however these apples are extremely fresh and delicious right to the last bite. 

    These candy apples are full of a variety of flavours.

    Cinnamon Sugar: ¥600

    The apple with the dusting of beige-coloured powder is cinnamon-flavoured. The sweet cinnamon scent spreads everywhere as soon as you set it on the table. The sweet flavour of the apple and the fragrant cinnamon is a match made in heaven. 

    Cocoa: ¥600

    The apple covered in the brown powder is cocoa-flavoured. The slightly bitter flavour of the chocolate is a perfect match for the sweet apple. The colour contrast between the brown chocolate and white apple is also beautiful.

    Matcha: ¥600

    The apple with the green powder is matcha as you may have already guessed! The flavouring of the Uji matcha used for this apple was carefully balanced to maximise the flavour when combined with the apple. After you take your first bite, you just won’t be able to stop. 

    Blueberry Yoghurt: ¥600

    The bright white dusting on this blueberry yoghurt-flavoured apple is beautiful. The blueberry scent is mild and is perfect with the yoghurt.

    Black Cocoa: ¥600

    The pitch black colour of the Black Cocoa Candy Apple is very appetizing. The black cocoa is even more bitter than the cocoa apple, which really brings out the flavour of the sweet apple even more.

    You can even get chocolate fondue for your candy apple (¥400). By adding the fairly bitter chocolate to your candy apple, you can enjoy three different kinds of sweetness when it mixes with the chocolate, candy and the apple. 

    You can even order your candy apple to go, making it the perfect summer souvenir. Taking it home to enjoy is also another wonderful way to make the most of your experience. 

     

    This candy apple shop is only open on Sundays, but you can order to take away on other days. 

     

    This is a flavour that a festival candy apple will never be capable of offering. You can tuck into your apple inside the beautiful shop, or take it home to enjoy at home at your own pace. 

  • Live the Disney Princess Dream With Tokyo Disneyland Hotel’s Luxurious Afternoon Tea

    25.July.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    If you’ve had the chance to visit Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea you will have tried the many delicious dishes and drinks on offer at its variety of restaurants. But did you ever know that Tokyo Disney Resort also offers afternoon tea?

     

    Tokyo Disneyland Hotel serves the only afternoon tea set across the entire resort on occasion in line with certain events.

    We had the pleasure of joining Disney mega fan Kanako as she went to visit the hotel to try this very special afternoon tea.

    Tokyo Disneyland Hotel is the closest hotel to the entrance of Tokyo Disneyland. The first thing you will notice upon stepping inside is its use of Victorian decor. The ceiling also stands tall, opening the entire hotel up to give it a sense of space.

    The afternoon tea is sold at the Dreamers Lounge in the lobby. In line with the Donald’s Hot Jungle Summer event currently taking place at Tokyo Disneyland until September 1, the tea set is also “hot jungle summer” themed.

    The first thing to note about the three-stack set is how refreshing and summery it looks – a perfect selection for the hot season. It comes with sandwiches, hors d’oeuvre, scones, desserts, and a choice of tea or coffee.

    Kanako started with the very top plate. The plate itself is decorated with what is supposed to look like Donald’s footprints and splashes of water.

    The dessert on the left is haupia, a traditional Hawaiian dessert made with macadamia paste and roasted coconuts. It’s crunchy and has an incredible flavour.

    Sitting temptingly next to it is the panna cotta and melon coulis. It contains a single sage leaf which adds flavourful herb notes. The entire dessert itself has a satisfyingly refreshing taste which covers your taste buds with a single mouthful.

    The middle plate features two types of scones: plain and pineapple. They come with separate servings of clotted cream and honey to lather the scones in. The latter scone is cute in that it’s actually shaped like a pineapple. It’s crunchy and delicious and goes exquisitely with the accompanying tea.

    The tea menu has many options. Kanako went for the “Darjeeling Summer” from the premium tea selection. When you order from the premium menu your tea is prepared in a sleeping pot that is both cute and extravagant as you would expect with an afternoon tea set.

    The bottom plate contains a bunch of different appetisers including tuna and okra tartar, mango and mascarpone canapé, tomato and fish capellini, keema curry quiche, and an ethnic pork sandwich.

    Kanako was very happy with her hors d’oeuvre, saying: “Everything is delicious, but I really like the combination of the pork and the slightly chewy bread for the pork sandwich!”

    The chilled cone cream scoop was very refreshing and a perfect palate cleanser.

    Finally, the cute hot jungle summer dessert plate which caught our attention from the very start. It comes with a tropical cream cheese and passion fruit mousse, white grape and shiikuwasha jelly, and Peach Melba which looks like flowing magma.

     

    You might be surprised to find out that the jungle leaves on the plate aren’t actually part of the plate’s design but in fact green chocolate carefully sprayed on.

    Even the Goofy, Mickey and event logo on the plate are delicately made from chocolate. Once you know that you’ll definitely be reaching for the camera straight away!

     

    The Peach Melba is a lovely combination of peach compote and vanilla ice cream topped with raspberry sauce and almonds. Its mix sweet and sour flavours remind one of summertime.

    It’s not everyday you see a cream cheese mousse, is it? The one that Donald is sat on. Kanako especially enjoyed its passion fruit scent and velvety texture. It’s made even more delicious when eaten together with the jelly surrounding it.

    So, which was your favourite, Kanako-chan?

     

    “Everything tasted amazing, but my favourite was the haupia♡ It’s moderately sweet, and I really liked the flavour of the coconut! Everything in the afternoon tea set is cute down to the tiniest details, so it’s perfect for taking photos for social media. I definitely wanna go again!”

     

    The Donald’s Hot Jungle Summer themed afternoon tea set is being served from 11:30-17:00 until September 1, 2019. Places are limited so I recommend making a reservation in advance.

     

    Enjoy your summer to the fullest with this tropical afternoon tea set!

     

    ©️Disney

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  • Sanrio’s Cinnamoroll Serving Up Drinks at the Sky Drink Stand in Harajuku

    22.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Cinnamoroll’s Sky Drink Stand is finally open in Harajuku where Sanrio’s adorable white puppy will be catering drinks to your taste until August 25.

     

    The drink stand is located along Harajuku’s famous Takeshita Street.

    When you step inside you are taken soaring up into the clouds with its fluffy decor and decorations.

    Cinnamoroll can be found all around the cafe looking adorable♡

    To get a drink you first need to purchase a ticket from the ticket machine. Once you’ve got that, it’s time to head on over to the row of Cinnamoroll plushies.

    There are 27 drinks in total to choose from. You will converse with Cinnamoroll and answers his questions which will change the colour, flavour and toppings of your drink. Your specially made and unique drink will arrive bottled with a handwritten name label on the front.

    As you answer the questions you will be able to see Cinnamoroll making your drink on the tablet.

    After a short time your drink will arrive!

    Here is my cute and sparkly drink. I wrote “MOSHI MOSHI” in Japanese (もしもし) for the name tag. Mine was a delicious fizzy summery drink with blue jelly.

     

    If you go with friends then you can have fun comparing your different drinks too!

    You can get some even cuter photos at the shop’s many photo spots.

     

    And if you want to order your drink in advance then you can use the Cinnamoroll Talk app which is compatible with Google Assistant. After you say, in Japanese, “OK Google, Cinnamoroll ni Osora Dorinku Onegai” (OK Google, please give me a Cinnamoroll Sky Drink), the order window will pop up. After you’ve talked with Cinnamoroll on the app you will receive an order number to collect your drink. There are also secret sentences hidden around the store for talking with Cinnamoroll, so if you find them you can have a longer chat with him!

     

    Make your own unique summertime beverage with Cinnamoroll at the Sky Drink Stand♡

  • Top 13 Cream Sodas in Tokyo: Cool Yourself Down This Summer with Classic Drinks & Modern Beverages

    17.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Hey, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON readers! I’m Banako of MOSHI MOSHI FRIENDS.

     

    It’s safe to say that most long-standing, older cafés in Japan serve cream soda. It’s a drink that bellows with nostalgia, topped cutely with a dollop of ice cream and sparkling bright with vivid colour like some rare jewel.

     

    It’s a rather simple drink, but the number of people intrigued by its unique appearance are evidently on the rise. And I’m one of those people! I’ve had times where if it’s available on the menu I want to order it-and further still I’ve gone out of my way to a café solely because I’ve wanted some cream soda.

     

    Depending on the vibe and atmosphere of a café, the appearance of the cream soda will be different, which also means a different flavour. This is all part of the enjoyment of cream soda: it’s fun to compare the different tastes.

     

    I have made a long list of my most recommended cream sodas in Tokyo, all of which I have actually tried!

     

    To make it easier to picture each drink I have also given a rating out of 5☆ stars for the strength of the fizziness, the sweetness of the soda, and sweetness of the ice cream. Use this as reference when picking your drink of choice. Enjoy this specially curated selection of drinks in cafés that you’re going to want to snap lots of pictures of♡

     

    ①CAMPUS TOY cafe&bar

    CAMPUS TOY is located in the Jinbocho district of Tokyo. This exciting little place has gone for an American pop vibe. They sell toys too.

     

    The extra goodies they put in the cream soda here is influenced by the US too. The owner is a really interesting person, so much so that you end up losing track of the time as you get lost in conversation with them.

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    CAMPUS TOY cafe&bar

    Address: 2-10 Kanda-Jinbocho, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: [Mon-Fri] 18:00-22:00

    Closed: Weekends & Public Holidays

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Jinbocho Station’s A2 Exit

    TEL: 03-3261-7383

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

     

     

    ②Café Negura

    This little-known-good-spot can be found in Shimokitazawa. The café interior has relaxed and retro décor. Their cream soda is served with two stacks of ice cream and a crown of whipped cream topped off with a cherry. What a cute-looking drink!

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★☆☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎ Café Negura

    Address: PACKAGE ONE Floor 1F (North Side), 2-26-13 Kitazawa, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:30 ー 20:00

    Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays

    Access:152m walk from Shimokitazawa Station

    Twitter:https://twitter.com/neguracafe_mi

     

     

    ③Sepia

    Another retro-style café, except this one is specifically influenced by the Showa period . Situated in Shibamata, everything about this café, from the outside to the interior, breathes retro-Showa. On the second floor is the Candy Candy Museum.

     

    Their cream soda is the quintessential classic cream soda…but with a twist. It has mikan in it, a type of orange, which is very rare with cream sodas. That gives off a retro-ness too. Another cute beverage!

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎ Sepia

    Address: 7-4-11 Shibamata, Katsushika Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:30 (Last Orders 18:00

    Closed: Tuesdays & Wednesdays

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Shibamata Station (Accessed via the Keisei Line)

    Instagram: https://instagram.com/sepiamama?igshid=1urnwdix23qbx

     

     

    ④ALL C’S CAFE

    ALL C’S CAFE is in Koenji, the retro hub of Tokyo. Decorations of cute bears are what this café is all about. There are enormous life-sized bears everywhere, so you can get ready to snap some seriously kawaii pictures.

     

    The café itself, as well as the adorable smiley bear on your cream soda, is sure to elicit some high-pitched “Aww’s.”

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎ALL C’S CAFE

    Address: Miyake Bldg. 2F, 3-25-24 Koenji, Suginami Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-22:00

    Closed: No Fixed Holidays (except Obon and New Year’s Holidays)

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from the north exit of Koenji Station (Accessed via the JR Chuo Line)

    Website: http://www.allcscafe.com

     

     

    ⑤Café Hosekibako

    Hosekibako, which means ‘jewelry box’ in Japanese, is right next to Chitose-Karasuyama Station. Retro vibes waft their way throughout this cozy little hideaway with the littering of Showa manga and other miscellaneous odds and ends.

     

    This café too has the signature classic cream soda. It has a transparent appearance in its truly beautiful colour.

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎ Café Hosekibako

    Address: Koyama Mansion 102, 4-18-18 Minamikarasuyama, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-18:30 (Last Orders 18:00)

    Closed: Wednesdays

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from the east exit of Chitose-Karasuyama Station (Accessed via the Keio Line)

    Website: https://housekibako.wixsite.com/2009

     

     

    ⑥THE GREAT BURGER STAND

    This hamburger shop sells an American-style cream soda, topped with swirly ice cream rather than cream soda’s classic dollop. That, together with the huge glass it’s served in, is enough to get you excited before you even take a sip. The café can be found in Shibuya Stream, meaning you can stop by for a breather after shopping.

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎THE GREAT BURGER STAND

    Address: Shibuya Stream 1F, 3-21-3 Shibuya, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo

    Access: 1-minute on foot from Shibuya Station via the JR Yamanote Line 

    Opening Hours: 11:00 ー 23:00 (Last orders:  22:30)

    Closed when Shibuya Stream is closed.

    Access: Approx. 1-minute walk from Shibuya Station (JR Yamanote Line)

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_great_burger/

     

     

    ⑦Coffee Shop Galant

    Right beside Ueno Station you’ll find Galant, a coffee shop also with an air of retro-Showa to it during the bubble economy period. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time when you see the dazzling décor and the staff uniforms. Peeking through the see-through liquid is a cute red cherry♡

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎ Coffee Shop Galant

    Address: 6-14-4 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 8:00-23:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: Directly behind the toy store Yamashiroya (山城屋), just a two minute walk from JR Ueno Station. Also 1-minute on foot from exit 5b of Ueno Station (accessed via the Tokyo Metro Line and Hibiya Line)

    Tabelog: https://www.google.co.jp/amp/s/s.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131101/13039759/top_amp/

     

    ⑧bio ojiyan cafe Harajuku

    Ojiya, also known as zosui, is a type of Japanese rice-based vegetable soup. In my opinion, the ojiya served here is the tastiest in the world! Their cream soda comes in a large round cup and is a nice refreshment after a spot of ojiya.

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎bio ojiyan café

    Location: 4-26-28 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from JR Harajuku Station / 3-minutes on foot from the Jingumae Crossing ticket gate elevator exit of Meiji-Jingumae Station (Accessed via the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line)

    Website: http://mfs11.com/brand/bio-ojiyan-cafe-harajuku/

     

    ⑨PEPPERS DRIVE IN

    The main dish at this Kanagawa-based restaurant is curry. Every single thing about PEPPERS DRIVE IN is influenced by retro US elements, from the car park to the nooks and crannies inside and even the trays. You can take some really cute photos literally anywhere in the restaurant. The cream soda portion stays true to the American taste too with a generous serving.

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎PEPPERS DRIVE IN 

    Address: 1129-1 Kidokoro, Hiratsuka, Kanagawa

    Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30-15:00 (Last Orders 14:45) / Dinner 18:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)

    Closed: Wednesdays (Except on public holidays, in which case closed the following day)

    Access: 6-minutes by taxi from south exit of Isehara Station (Accessed via the Odakyu Odawara Line) / 16-minutes by taxi from the north exit of Hiratsuka Station (Accessed via the JR Tokaido Main Line)

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

     

     

    ⑩BRIDGE

    I reviewed the melon bread pancakes at this Ginza-based café earlier this year. It’s located inside a long-standing department store meaning the cream soda here has been around for a long time too, offering a more traditional taste. They are served on coasters which you can take home with you. It’s a great place to stop off for a break when strolling around Ginza.

    Fizziness:★★☆☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★★★☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎BRIDGE

    Address: NISHIGINZA Floor B1F, 4-1 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo

    Business Hours: [Monday-Saturday] 11:00-20:30 (Last Orders 20:00) / [Sunday & Holidays] 11:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30)

    Closed: When NISHIGINZA Department Store is closed.

    Website: http://www.nishiginza.co.jp/page/shopguide/detail/?id=33

     

     

    ⑪HIROMAN’S COFFEE

    Another snug hideout, situated in the backstreets and surrounded by trees, is HIROMAN’S COFFEE. This cute café has lots of antique picture frames, rabbit ornaments, and other tidbits. Their melon soda arrives in a cute round and plump glass. They plenty of other Instagrammable drinks too including one topped with cotton candy. This one is one to keep coming back to!

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎ HIROMAN’S COFFEE

    Address: 3-18-12 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:00-19:00 (Last Orders 18:30)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from Meiji-Jingumae Station

    Instagram: https://instagram.com/hiromans_coffee?igshid=oumb3g7aergo

     

     

    ⑫ blikje button

    ⑫blikje button

    blikje button in Shimokitazawa, which offers both a café and dining experience, has a vintage vibe to it with decorations that have a handcrafted feel to them.  The glasses the cream sodas come in match that aesthetic. The stroking colours of the sodas are something beautiful to behold!

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎blikje button

    Address: Shimokitazawa Central Bldg. 2F, 2-14-7 Kitazawa, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-23:00 (Lunch 12:00-16:00/Café 12:00-18:00/Dinner 17:00-23:00) *Food last orders 22:00, drink last orders 22:30

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Shimokita Station via the Odakyu Line / 2-minutes on foot from the south-west exit of Shimokitazawa Station via the Keio Inokashira Line

    Website: http://www.blikje-button.com/

     

     

    ⑬CAROLINE DINER

    CAROLINE DINER is a famous café in Harajuku inspired by American diners. The cream sodas sold here are striking and nothing short of Instagram-worthy! They go perfectly with the stylish interior of the café that you’ll no doubt find yourself taking photos.

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎CAROLINE

    Address: 2-14-11 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-18:30 (Last Orders 18:00)

    Closed: Thursdays

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from Meiji-Jingumae Station / 10-minutes on foot from Kita-Sando Station / 10-minutes on foot from Setagaya Station

    Website: http://caroline1.theshop.jp/

     

    And that’s all from me Banako and my must-try recommendations for Tokyo cream soda. Do you have a favourite from this list?

     

    Tokyo’s summer is nowhere near over yet. How about treating to yourself to a nice refreshing cream soda to cool yourself down from the scorching heat?

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

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

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

     

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

     

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

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

    You should take some photos too if you visit.

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

    TALENT PROFILE

    Ema Tanioku

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

  • Mango Drinks Cafe CAFE MANGOSIX Opens First Japan Branch in Okinawa

    15.August.2019 | FOOD

    MANGOSIX Japan opened its first ever CAFE MANGOSIX branch in Naha, the capital of Okinawa, on August 10.

     

    CAFE MANGOSIX is a hugely popular cafe in South Korea which serves healthy drinks and desserts themed on its 6 S’s concept: Sensual, Slim, Sweet, Social, Sexy, and Style.

    Their must-try beverage is the Mango & Coconut Juice which combines rich mango with sweet coconut milk. The cafe even has some drinks exclusive to Japan so you won’t find them anywhere else!

    The popular Blue Lemonade from South Korea is also being sold.

     

    Cool yourself off after sunbathing on the beaches of Okinawa by grabbing a drink from the new CAFE MANGOSIX!

  • Harajuku Summer Festival 2019 to Take Place at Togo Shrine

    14.August.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

    GLOBAL PRODUCE, a Japanese event organiser, is set to sponsor Harajuku Summer Festival 2019 which will be held at Togo Shrine in Harajuku, Tokyo on August 23. Bringing together professional event producers, the festival will combine elements of traditional Japanese culture with the latest trends.

    Food trucks and stalls will open in the dozens, including appearances from the shaved ice shop Kooriya bebe which makes its fluffy shaved ice from the natural spring waters of Mount Fuji―perfect for the hot weather―as well as Ichika, a cafe known for its tapioca Japanese tea lattes made with high quality tea leaves from Kagoshima. Current popular restaurants will also serve up delicious summertime food. There will even be the Harajuku Bon Odori 2019 dance event, and the marchers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will also be present.

    Tokyo Bijin Project will make their first ever live appearance, a group of shining Japanese women with “wisdom, dignity and compassion” who are set to speak out for other strong women. They will talk leadership, interpretation, attending to people, the spread of Japanese culture, and more.

     

    If you are in Japan for the summer then make sure you attend all of the different summer festivals you can.

  • STRAWBERRY MANIA: Harajuku’s Cutest & Tastiest Strawberry Ice Cream | Food Review

    13.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Hey, readers. It’s Midori again, from MMN’s editorial team.

     

    Summertime in Harajuku means the cafes and ice cream shops start serving up some seriously kawaii and tasty ice creams. It’s always nice to grab a cone to enjoy while walking around shopping, but relaxing in a cafe to enjoy it is fun too♡

     

    If the latter sounds like your kind of thing, then I’ve got a new recommendation for you. I visited STRAWBERRY MANIA recently, cafe located along Takeshita Street in Harajuku that specialises in strawberry desserts.

    You’ll find it right above the 7-Eleven on Takeshita Street. Look for the strawberries!

    There’s also a sign outside showing a few of the desserts. Go up the staircase right next to it and you’ll come to the cafe entrance.

    No matter where you turn while you’re here, your eyes will be met with strawberries. It looks so cute♡

    The shopfront showcase is shelved with lots of succulent strawberry treats. The chef whips up other desserts to order besides these too. Everything’s almost too cute to eat!

     

    For the strawberry soft serve ice cream you can pick between three flavours: milk, strawberry or mixed. I couldn’t pick between them so I went for mixed.

    The combination of the bright red strawberry ice cream and pure white milk ice cream makes for a beautiful colour contrast.

    It’s also topped with a huge fresh strawberry.

     

    I took no time at all in taking a spoonful. The strawberry ice cream has a really rich flavour. It’s sweet but has that sour kick too, like you’re eating a real strawberry. The milk ice cream has a milder sweetness and a real milky taste, the kind you’d imagine if it was sold at a farm with cows.

    Everything is packed snug into the cone right down to the bottom, making it a filling treat. It can be ordered for takeout if you like, and if you do that you can get your ice cream straight away so you don’t have to wait for seats.

     

    They serve other things besides soft serve too, like shaved ice and parfaits. There’s so much to choose from, I think you’ll be spoiled for choice! Be sure to visit if you’re in Harajuku.

  • Popular Tokyo Café Bakery BREAD, ESPRESSO & to Open in Fukuoka

    09.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Bakery café BREAD, ESPRESSO &  has made quite a reputation in Omotesando, Tokyo for its stylish interior and delicious coffee and bread. The bakery café is now opening a new branch in Fukuoka called BREAD, ESPRESSO & HAKATA & on September 25th, 2019.

     

    To commemorate 10 years in business, BREAD, ESPRESSO & will be opening their first ever branch in Hakata, Kyushu. The café bakery will be nestled between Hakata Station and CANAL CITY HAKATA. Whether you are a busy commuter looking for a heartwarming cup of coffee or a traveling tourist, the location is ideal for anyone looking for a quick rest stop. 

    The new café bakery is approximately 165 m² in size, making it the largest branch. The shop is decorated with a pure white base theme and has the perfect comfortable environment to enjoy a coffee. 

    Mu: ¥330 (after tax)

    French Toast: ¥750 (after tax)

    BREAD, ESPRESSO &’s popular Mu and French Toast will be on the menu along with Hakata-limited goods. If you are searching for some delicious bread in Hakata, please make your way to BREAD, ESPRESSO &.

  • Enjoy a Meal While Gazing Across the Rice Fields Of Kamimomi at Momian

    06.August.2019 | BUSINESS / FOOD / SPOT

    A new cafe called Momian opened by the Kakimomi Terraced Rice Fields in the Kamimomi area of Kumenan, a town in Okayama Prefecture, on August 3. The terraced rice fields of Kamimomi were selected by Pasona as one of Japan’s top 100 rice fields.

     

    Momian’s menu promotes the local region by using locally sourced and produced ingredients as well as rice from the rice fields.

     

    Kumenan has the highest rate of ageing in Okayama Prefecture. As of October 2018, over 44.3% of the population is over the age of 65. As a result, the region is facing a serious ageing population and consequential population decline. As well as this, more and more rice fields in Kamimomi have been abandoned in recent years and are no longer cultivated, leading to a serious maintenance problem with Satoyama which share resources in the region.

     

    Pasona has aided in tackling Kamimomi’s farming issue and is working to help revitalise the local community. They also revamped and reopened the Kumenan Rest Area in 2016 through their subsidiary company Pasona Okayama.

    There’s also where Momian comes in. The new cafe uses a refurbished old Japanese house and offers a gorgeous view of the rice fields and natural environment from its windows.

    To help support and build a deeper connection with its local farmers, the cafe will serve up original dishes made using ingredients grown in the area throughout the year.

  • Night Party at Harajuku’s Conveyor-Belt Dessert Cafe Ron Ron for 20 Year Olds Only

    03.August.2019 | FASHION / FOOD

    MAISON ABLE Cafe Ron Ron is a popular conveyor-belt dessert cafe in Harajuku. We visited the cafe last year when it had just dropped, so be sure to check out our cover story if you want more information.

     

    The cafe has just announced a night party that is exclusive to those in their 20’s. Titled “Cafe Ron Ron 20ty’s Night Party -PINK FRIDAY- supported by MAISON ABLE,” the event began yesterday and will run every night up to September 27.

    Customers can enjoy all-you-can-eat unlimited snacks for just ¥500 with no time restrictions. For an additional fee, you can also pick from the food menu which features 5 dishes and order from the drinks menu which includes alcohol.

    Everything on the food and drinks menu is ¥500 too, making it a delicious bargain!

    Desserts are served at varying time slots from 19:00. Depending on what time you arrive or decide to start eating the menu will change which is all part of the fun!

    The cafe has also teamed up with the fashion rental shop airCloset next door so customers can enjoy dining at Cafe Ron Ron while wearing a yukata.

    You can even continue wearing the kimono after you’ve eaten so you can stroll the streets of Harajuku, go to nearby festivals and more for an exciting day out in Japan’s youth and culture hub. The yukata can be rented by people of all ages – full details on the websites below.

  • Shop in Harajuku & Omotesando With a Takeout Dessert From Q-pot CAFE

    03.August.2019 | FOOD

    The real summer is here now, and what better way to cool yourself off during your shopping spree in Harajuku and Omotesando than with a cool and refreshing takeout dessert from Q-pot CAFE?

    Melty Mousse (Peach x Apricot Seed) – ¥500 (Tax Included)

    Q-pot CAFE’s Melty Mousses are encased in an adorable jar. This one is a heavenly mix of fruity peach mousse and a smooth apricot kernel milk mousse. Laced in the peach mousse is a divine blend of raspberries and lychees. The subtle sweetness of the peach coupled with the sourness of the raspberries and refreshing taste of the lychees make this dessert a perfect summer pickup. Also hidden within the delicious mix are pieces of fresh and juicy peach.

    Melty Mousse (Mint x Chocolate) – ¥500 (Tax Included)

    This summer sees the return of Q-pot CAFE’s popular mint chocolate mousse. Chocolate and mint are always an exquisite combination, and this mousse mix proves it, fusing rich chocolate with a cool mint kick. The cute melty-looking mint chocolate at the top also gives it an appetising appearance.

    Cat Ice Creams – ¥600 Each (Tax Included)

    Also returning once more this summer are Q-pot CAFE’s adorable cat ice creams, a mix of ice cream and various toppings. Choose from strawberry, vanilla or chocolate.

     

    All of these desserts will be available to buy from August 5. They are all super cheap and are perfect for getting for takeout and walking around Harajuku and Omotesando. Be sure to stop by if you’re planning a shopping trip there this summer break.

  • Snoopy Themed PEANUTS HOTEL Celebrates 1st Anniversary

    03.August.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    To celebrate the 1st anniversary of the PEANUTS HOTEL, which opened on August 1, 2018, the hotel has released a collection of original commemorative merchandise.

    The PEANUTS hotel is home to 18 rooms each with its own unique design. The merchandise collection is themed on each of these rooms.

    PEANUTS HOTEL “Happiness is a warm puppy..” (Room 64) – ¥3,500

    The theme of Room 64 is “Happiness is a warm puppy,” so the PEANUTS HOTEL has made that a reality by creating a huggable Snoopy plush toy which is so cute and soft you’ll never want to let him go. He is a smaller version of the big Snoopy you can hug in Room 64, meaning you can take him anywhere with you!

    PEANUTS HOTEL 1ST ANNIVERSARY Postcards (5 Designs / 2 Included With Each) – ¥2,200

    The hotel’s postcard sets are popular with guests, and to celebrate the 1st anniversary, it is selling limited edition designs. Using special manufacturing methods, the hotel has released sets themed on Rooms 44, 57, 61 and 62. They are packaged in a beautiful box that looks like the outside of the hotel and its windows. They are great for both sending to someone with a message or for simply using them as decoration in your own room.

    PEANUTS HOTEL x tegoto “solarsystem” (Room 42) – ¥49,000 (Only 30 Available)

    PEANUTS HOTEL has teamed up with the internationally popular product brand tegoto to release mobiles inspired by Astronaut Snoopy which is the theme of Room 42. Each mobile is handcrafted individually and features Snoopy, Woodstock and the planetary system. Perfect for both kids and adults alike!

    *Only 30 available. Each comes with its own unique handwritten serial number.

     

    PEANUTS Cafe Nakameguro and PEANUTS DINER Yokohama are also joining in the celebration with their own pop-up corner which will run for the whole month of August. For this limited time only, they will sell items which are usually exclusive to the PEANUTS HOTEL.

    “Lila” Aroma Essential Oils – ¥2,300 / Aroma Air Mist – ¥2,200 / Aroma Stone Diffuser – ¥2,200 / PEANUTS HOTEL Bath Towel – ¥3,200, Face Towel – ¥1,800, Amenity Set – ¥3,400 / Compression Bag (Contains 5) – ¥1,500

    These items are also available over on the PEANUTS Cafe Online Shop. Join Snoopy and his friends in celebrating the 1st anniversary of the PEANUTS HOTEL by picking up some cute merch!

     

    *All listed prices are pre-tax.

    © 2019 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

  • Wrap Yourself in Harajuku Fashion With These New Stores Opening at Laforet Harajuku

    01.August.2019 | FASHION / SPOT

    Laforest Harajuku is getting a revamp towards the end of August with new stores as well as renewals of current stores. The revamp aims to “promote Harajuku’s uniqueness and creativity.”

     

    August 24th – RENEWAL OPEN

    <Floor 1F> Vivienne Westwood RED LABEL Concept Store

    Vivienne Westwood is fusing the Japanese branches of its prêt-à-porter Red Label and Anglomania collections to serve up the all-new Vivienne Westwood RED LABEL branding. Japan will get its very first Red Label concept shop at Laforet Harajuku on August 24 which will act as the flagship store where they will sew to perfection a very special capsule collection that will offer a unique and exciting clothing consumption experience.

     

    August 23rd – NEW OPEN

    <Floor 4F> Charles Chaton

    After the success of its first ever pop-up shop in March 2019, girly brand Charles Chaton is setting up a permanent store in Laforet. The brand’s concept is “Girl, Forever!” which caters to girl culture and offers up items which it hopes that will catch the attention of girls in 50 years to come. The store’s slogan at Laforet Harajuku is “My Sweet Home” with which it will sell cute, comfortable and casual everyday clothing.

     

    August 23rd – NEW OPEN

    <Floor 2F> starblinc

    starblinc are set to showcase “cute pop age of the 1960’s” with bright colours and flashy silhouettes, combining nostalgia and futurism to create an entirely new style. Look forward to diving into the unique future retro world of starblinc on August 23.

    There are plenty more shops opening at Laforet Harajuku in addition to these ones, so if you’re in Tokyo this summer, get ready to stock up your wardrobe.

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