Ice Cream Lovers’ Paradise: Over 100 of Japan’s Best Ice Creams Unite at Ice Cream Fair in Hokkaido

08.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

For six days only, The most mouthwatering ice cream flavours from all over Japan are heading to Sapporo Kita 3-jo Plaza AKAPLA for the regional ice cream fair Aipaku Hokkaido in Sapporo 2019. The ice cream fair will start on August 15 and end on August 20, 2019. 

 

The concept of Aipaku® is to make everyone’s childhood dream into a reality; a paradise park where visitors are surrounded by the most delicious ice cream flavours that are found countrywide.  The Japan Ice Mania Association carefully selected heart-melting ice cream flavours from all over Japan to sell at this event. The event has been running since 2015 and has so far welcomed approximately 2 million satisfied ice cream lovers, making it the largest ice cream event in Japan. Visitors can tuck in to their ice creams straight away or buy cooler bags and dry ice at the venue to take it back home as a souvenir.

 

This time, Aipaku Hokkaido in Sapporo 2019 is completely changing its lineup. Compared to when it was last run in 2017, this year will see many ice creams and ice cream brands that are new to Hokkaido making their debut. If you are an ice cream lover, this is a paradise world you just cannot miss out on. 

Kikyou Shingen Soft/KIKYOUYA (¥500)

Since being launched in 2015, this ice cream has become the star of the show at Aipaku. This ice cream is otherwise only available in Yamanashi prefecture. The beautiful scent of the soft serve ice cream’s kinako roasted soy bean will be the first thing to reach your nose. This ice cream is made with the original, rich-flavored brown sugar syrup of Yamanashi prefecture. 

Manhattan Roll Ice Cream/ Manhattan Roll ¥850

Roll Ice Cream is currently a big hit in Japan, so naturally it has infiltrated into this ice cream fair. This ice cream is not made using eggs like conventional ice creams. It is made with a unique combination ratio of milk, fresh cream and syrup. The result is a smooth ice cream which is rich but not overpoweringly sweet. 

Double Ruby Fantasy/ MAISON GIVRÉE/¥600

This is an Aipaku-limited ice cream. Its rise to fame occurred as a result of the World Championship of Pastry Ice Cream and Chocolate which took place in Milan in 2015. This Aipaku-limited soft serve ice cream was created by Team Japan’s captain and world champion pâtissier Hiroyuki Emori. It is covered in sugar-coated ruby chocolate and decorated luxuriously with almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios. The pink colour is enough to melt your heart. 

 

Aipaku Original Häagen-Dazs Sundae/ Aipaku Official ¥800

This is an original sundae flavour that can only be obtained from Aipaku. The ice cream is made using Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream with a generous layer of luxurious whipped cream. This is drizzled with a rich caramel sauce. Crispy feuillantine, which is made by smashing baked crêpe batter, accents the flavour and adds texture. Chunky slices of banana and salty vanilla-roasted peanuts are placed on top. This is a special sundae that ice cream-lovers will not be able to resist. 

 

These are just a few of the vast range of ice creams you could be trying. There are just so many that you will be frozen for choice. The venue is also easy to access from Sapporo station. This is a wonderful way to leave the house and enjoy a Japanese summer whilst staying refreshed. 

 

*Prices after tax stated above

* The ice creams at the event may differ to the images above.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Hokkaido is a popular tourist destination for Japanese people as well as foreigners. During the winter, it is the perfect place to go skiing and during the summer, you will not suffer under sweltering heat like the rest of Japan. Hokkaido not only flourishes with wonderful tourist locations and delicious gourmet seafood, but also beautiful and stylish cafés.

     

    Instagrammer Kei @607keih) uses his account to introduce the world to delicious desserts and meals. Today, he will be introducing you to the delicious strawberry-flavoured desserts that Hokkaido’s capital Sapporo has to offer.

     

    holidays pancake/ Susukino

    Strawberry Pancake with Raspberry Sauce: ¥1200

    holidays pancake is only open on Sundays. It is located inside a beer bar called es CRAFT. I ordered the strawberry pancake with raspberry sauce. The plate was stacked with three pancakes which were deliciously covered in fresh cream, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, strawberries and raspberry sauce. The pancakes were soft and spongy. The flavour of the ricotta cheese really came through. Overall, this pancake is a very unique pancake to Hokkaido. 

     

    The sweetness of the raspberry sauce and sourness of the lemon juice balanced out for a slightly sour tinge. The fresh cream and vanilla ice cream toppings can be obtained for free by simply following the café on Instagram. The variety of toppings add a whole new range of flavours and colours for you to mix and match, so there is no getting bored. You can reserve your spot simply by sending them a direct message on Instagram, or by referring to their story! These pancakes are a rare find in Hokkaido, so you must try them.

     

    ▼holidays pancake

    Address: 1st floor N-place Building, 3-2-1, 4 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo

    Access: 3-minute walk from Susuki Station/Hosui-Susukino Station  

    Opening Hours: 11:00 ー 16:00(Last orders: 5:30)

    Closed: Mondays ー Saturdays

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kyujitsulab/

     

    BerryBerryCrazy/ Susukino

    Berry Berry Crazy is located on the 2nd floor of the building between 5-chome and 6 chome of Tanuki-Koji. The desserts here are made using strawberries sourced from Urakawa Sugano Orchard in Hokkaido. The species of strawberry used in the desserts is completely dependent on what is received upon the delivery of the ingredients that are received on the day. The parfait I ordered was made using a species of strawberry called Kaorino.

    The parfait contained fresh strawberries and strawberry compote, whipped cream, strawberry granita, pie crust, chiffon cake, and milk ice cream. You can tell that this parfait is full of strawberry goodness just by looking at it. Not only are the strawberries delicious, but the strawberry granita and strawberry compote were also to die for. This combined with the delicious whipped cream enhances the rich flavour even more. 

     

    ▼Berry Berry Crazy

    Address: 2nd floor, 5-20-2, Minami 3 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo

    Access: Approx. 5-minute walk from Odori Subway Station/Susuki Station

    Opening Hours: 18:00 ー 24:00 (Last orders: 23:30)

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/berryberrycrazy/

     

    Café Blue/ Chuo Ward


    Condensed Milk Strawberry Pancake: ¥1380 ※ Can change pancakes to waffles

    A mountain of whipped cream sits on the pancakes served at this popular café. The condensed milk strawberry pancake intrigued me for quite while so I decided to order it. 

    The plate is stacked with three pancakes, fresh cream and condensed milk. This is then drizzled with strawberry sauce and topped with vanilla ice cream. The pancakes were fluffy and the cream balanced the overall flavour, making it moderately sweet. The sweetness of the condensed milk and the sourness of the strawberry sauce were so delicious that there was no way I could get bored. 

     

    ▼ Café Blue

    Address: 16-9-12, Minami 3 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo

    Access: 5-minute walk from Ropeway iriguchi Station

    Opening Hours: 9:00 ー 19:00, (last orders: 18:00) 

    Breakfast: 9:00 ー 11:00, lunch/dinner: 10:00 ー 19:00, desserts: 10:00 ー 19:00,

    Open all year round.

    Official Website: https://cafeblue.exblog.jp/

     

    SHIRAYUKI/Tanuki-Koji 

    Fruit Squash: ¥500 each

    Shirayuki is located in Tanuki-Koji. The fruit squash here comes in four flavours and each contains popping boba. Today I ordered the Strawberry Squash. Strawberry sauce is drizzled into a cup of carbonated water. Popping boba is then added. The drink is topped with strawberries. 

    The bubbles of the carbonated water makes it the perfect way to cool down in the summer. This drink is only available until August 15, so if you want to try it, get there soon.

     

    ▼SHIRAYUKI

    Address: Shirayuki Sapporo Aiseikan Building, 5 Chome, Minami 1-jo nishi 5, Chuo Ward, Sapporo

    Access: Approx. 5-min walk from Odori Subway Station

    Opening Hours: 12:30 ー 19:00

    No regular holidays

    Official Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/shirayuki.hokkaido

     

    So how about it? Kei’s Instagram account is full of desserts and meals that you absolutely must try. If you are going to visit Hokkaido, make sure to check out Kei’s Instagram so you know exactly which restaurant or café you want to visit!

     

    Original article information and photographer: Kei (@607keih)

     

  • 6 Must-Visit Cafes in Hokkaido For Their Kawaii Pancakes

    16.July.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Hokkaido is the northernmost of Japan’s islands and a popular tourist location with both locals and overseas visitors, enjoyed for its winter sports like skiing, hot springs and more. It is also enjoyed for its cool climate, being the coldest region in Japan. It’s home to many tourist spots and seafood restaurants, but today we’re covering its countless cute cafes.

     

    Kei, a Japanese Instagrammer, posts his visits to the many cafes of Sapporo―the capital of Hokkaido―on his Instagram page

    607keih). Today he will introduce us to 6 must-visit cafes in Hokkaido with the cutest pancakes.

     

     

    Fafi Tamago no Pancake g-plus (Susukino, Sapporo)

    This popular little cafe in the district of Susukino showcases its assortment of pancakes in a glass display. The cafe now sells affordable pancake and purin sets. I ordered the “Fruits and Milky & Chocolate Purin” set (¥980).


    The fluffy pancake is made with Fafi’s famous eggs which have a rich flavour and big yolks. The milky cream is sweet and silky smooth. Inside the pancake is delicious pineapple and strawberries which add a deliciously fruity accent.

     

    Their pancakes are noticeably smaller at g-plus but since it comes with a purin in the set you’re sure to be nice and full after. The set is perfect to share too.

     

    ▼Fafi Tamago no Pancake g-plus (Japanese: ファフィたまごのパンケーキ g-plus)

    Address: 9-1019 Minami 5 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

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

    Closed: Thursdays & Fridays

    Official Website: https://g-plus.owst.jp/

     

     

    Café ZIKKA (Kiyota, Sapporo)

    Café ZIKKA serves a variety of pastries and desserts. Their elusive strawberry pancakes are a limited-time-only offer. These fat and fluffy pancakes have a distinctly different taste to other places. Heaping with strawberries, the fruit and pancakes marry in the most sumptuous of flavours when eaten with the yogurt ice cream centre. The strawberries also come in a variety of forms including whole, compote and sauce, making for a variety of succulent textures.


    The fresh cream isn’t overly-sweet making for a lighter pancake. It’s also topped with crushed almond for added texture. The size of the pancakes aren’t huge but since it’s served with two and many toppings you’ll absolutely be satisfied afterwards.

     

    ▼Café ZIKKA

    Address: 11-12 Hiraokakoenhigashi, Kiyota Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Business Hours: 11:00-20:00 (10:00-19:00 in January and February)

    Closed: Wednesdays (Open on national holidays)

    Official Website: http://yoshidacoffee.com/index.html

     

     

    Kaze o Kanjite (Motomachi, Sapporo)

    This cafe is just a 5-minute walk from Motomachi Station via the Tōhō Line. Simply exit from Exit 1 of the station, make a right and you’ll arrive right there.

     

    This cafe’s aim is to bring it lots of students to eat their pancakes which are both cheap and delicious. I ordered the berry sauce pancakes.


    The cafe’s homemade strawberry jam contains pieces of fresh strawberry which alone already make the pancakes tantalising enough. They are served with a side of fresh fruits like extra strawberries as well as orange slices. The pancakes served here are so good that I personally count them as the best in Sapporo. That, and the prices are amazing for the huge portions you get. I want more people to get to know about this place, and not just students.

     

    ▼Kaze o Kanjite (Japanese: 風をかんじて)

    Address: Kita House 1F, 17-2-3 Kita 24 Johigashi, Higashi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Business Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)

    Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays

    Website: https://tabelog.com/hokkaido/A0101/A010202/1058705/

     

     

    ROJIURA CAFÉ (Susukino, Sapporo)

    ROJIURA CAFÉ is another cafe located in Susukino round on the backstreet of Round One. They serve pancakes and parfaits right into the early hours of the morning.

     

    Their caramel sauce has salt in it to add a mouthwatering salty flavour that draws out the sweetness of the fresh cream. The nuts only add to this delectable delight of a pancake.

    Fine and fluffy pancakes fit for the gods. Whether it’s a dessert like pancakes or parfaits or even meals, ROJIURA CAFÉ’s doors are open to  you from the evening until the deepest hours of the night.

     

    ▼ROJIURA CAFÉ

    Address: TAKARA6.3, 3 Chome Minami 6 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Business Hours:

    [Mon-Thurs] 18:00-03:00 (Last Orders 02:00)

    [Fri-Sat] 18:00-04:00 (Last Orders 03:00)

    [Sun & Holidays] 18:00-01:00 (Last Orders 00:00)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: http://sapporo-rojiuracafe.com/

     

     

    OJ Coffee (Kotoni, Sapporo)

    You’ll find OJ Coffee just a few minutes’ walk from Kotoni Station in Nishi Ward, Sapporo. This cafe serves exquisite coffees and boasts an abundant menu consisting of soba noodles, curries, steaks and more. They also serve pancakes so I decided to give them a go.

    Fluffy, moist and glorious. The pancake is topped with custard and served with a side of fresh cream, both of which aren’t overly sweet and go perfectly with the sweet beaten eggs of the pancakes. Decorated the outside of the plate is an assortment of fruits, maple syrup and other tempting treats for a variety of flavours. The coffee flavoured soft serve ice cream is a great palate cleanser too. The ice cream doesn’t have the bitterness that comes with coffee but it’s very coffee flavoured. It’s close to Kotoni Station so if you’re strolling around Nishi Ward looking for a cafe I highly recommend visiting here.

     

    ▼OJ Coffee

    Address: D Planning Bldg. 1F, Kotoni 2 Jo, Nishi Ward, Sapporo

    Business Hours: 7:30~22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: https://www.oj-coffee.com/

     

     

    Café Blue (Ishiyama-dori, Sapporo)

    Café Blue, built up from a renovated old house, is currently selling a new lemon and yogurt pancake for a limited time.

     

    Their pancakes never fail to be anything less than fluffy. The generously drizzled yogurt sauce is fairly refreshing and sweet while still retaining that yummy yogurt flavour. The lemon curd sauce, too, is refreshing and combines well with the pancakes as lemon always does. The lemon also has honey in it making for a satisfyingly sweet and sour combination.


    The ice cream on top is salt flavoured which bring out all the sweet flavours of the dessert. The crunchy almonds are nice and nutty and bring a great texture to the soft and sticky combinations. When I eat pancakes this is the  kind of thing I’m looking for!

     

    The sauce was refreshing and the pancake overall was delicious and very easy to get down. The yogurt sauce really is amazing!

     

    ▼Café Blue

    Address: 16-9-12 Minami 19 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Business Hours: 9:00-19:00 (Last Orders 18:00)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Website: https://tabelog.com/hokkaido/A0101/A010104/1036972/

     

     

    Did you enjoy Kei’s picks? Be sure to check out their Instagram page for more recommended desserts and foods to try in Sapporo. There’s a wealth of choices on there that will make for great reference when travelling to Hokkaido.

     

    Photo & Text: Kei (@607keih)

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Häagen-Dazs Releases Mouthwatering Yuzu Orange Blanc Manger Ice Cream

    22.July.2019 | FOOD

    Häagen-Dazs Japan will release their mini cup Yuzu orange Blancmange ice cream countrywide on 23rd July. This will be available for a limited period only. 

     

    This cooling ice cream is made with milky blancmange. You will be hit by the sudden sourness of the yuzu orange which accents the flavour perfectly. Blancmange is a chilled French dessert which is perfect for the summer. It is made by boiling milk and adding milk, sugar, whipping cream, vanilla and gelatin. This is then cooled to solidify. 

    This ice cream is made using rich-flavoured milk and the juice of Japanese yuzu oranges. This is then combined with Häagen-Dazs ice cream. Yuzu oil is also added to the ice cream so that you immediately taste the deeply-flavoured and aromatic yuzu orange with your first mouthful. The refreshing fruitiness will instantly spread all over your mouth, simultaneously harmonising with the milky flavour.

     

    Even the sauce for the ice cream is made using the skin of Japanese yuzu oranges so that ice cream-lovers can fully enjoy the true flavour of yuzu oranges. The rich milky flavour is accented with the refreshing sourness of the yuzu orange. 

     

    This summer, treat yourself to a mild and milky yet fruity and flavourful ice cream.

  • Baskin-Robbins Releases Pokémon Ice Creams, Sorbets and Cakes

    01.August.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD / Uncategorized

    Whether you’re exploring Japan with your adult pals or on a family holiday with young kids, Pokémon fans from all generations cannot deny that treating yourself to Pokémon ice cream is the golden razz you need in this heat. 

    From August 1 to 30, 2019, Baskin-Robbins will run a collaboration scheme with Pokémon to celebrate the release of the new Pokémon movie Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution. This involves the release of BR’s first ever Pokémon-themed ice creams.

    Pikachu Thunderbolt: Fruit Mix (price for single scoop, regular size: ¥390 after tax) *prices may vary,

    Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution was released earlier this summer and there is no better opportunity to maximise your Pokémon experience than to indulge in the luxurious taste of Baskin-Robbins ice cream that has been combined with your favourite Pokémon with a beauty that no Pokémon fusion generator is possible of producing!

    Pokémon Double Cup

    Pikachu has arrived at Baskin Robins in the form of a sorbet, which is appropriately coloured yellow. The fruity sorbet flavours include pineapple, yellow peach, banana, apple and orange. This is decorated with bright red studs of delicious popping candy which look like Pikachu’s cheeks. This is the first ever Pikachu sorbet to ever be sold at Baskin-Robbins.

     

    BR also introduced a promotion scheme where those who purchase a Small Double-size ice cream (¥490 after tax)  can upgrade it to a Regular Double size for just an extra ¥100. Your ice cream will be served in a Pokémon-themed cup and you can even pick your favourite cup design out of the three available to maximise your ice cream experience.

     

    Customers who order the Double Cup will receive a Pikachu spoon for each cup ordered. There are three different Pokémon spoon designs. Which one will you get? Hurry over to your nearest Baskin-Robbins to collect them all!

    Pokémon Variety Pack

    Small 6 pack: ¥1,550 Small 12 pack : ¥2,990 Regular six pack: ¥2,130 Regular 12 pack: ¥4,140 *All prices tax included and are subject to change. 

    Want them all? The variety pack is perfect for those of you who want a selection to eat while on the go. The Pokémon-themed box is filled with rainbows of colours and all your favourite Pokémon, however, it is only available for a limited time. When you and your friends need a break from catching Pokémon, this is the perfect way to get refreshed.

    Finally, don’t miss out on BR’s legendary Pikachu and Eevee ice cream cakes. The Pikachu Cake features BR’s popular “Popping Shower” ice cream, which is a fusion of white chocolate and popping candy. This is wrapped in yellow strawberry-flavoured whipped cream. Pikachu’s rounded chocolate eyes and red cheeks are enough to charm you. 

    Pokémon Ice Cream Cake (Pikachu/ Eevee): ¥3,300 after tax *prices may vary, a variety of sizes are available

    The Eevee Cake will stare at you with cute chocolate eyes. Eevee is wrapped in milk chocolate whipped cream and is wearing a caramel ribbon. Complete your cakes by placing the ears on by yourself. 

     

    Maximise your Pokémon experience by watching the new Pokémon movie and indulging in Baskin-Robbin’s legendary Pokémon ice creams.

     

    ©Nintendo・Creatures・GAME FREAK・TV Tokyo・ShoPro・JR Kikaku ©Pokémon ©2019 ピカチュウプロジェクト

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Wear Plain Clothes This Halloween at Shibuya’s Jimi Halloween 2019 Event

    13.October.2019 | FASHION

    Worried about what to wear for Halloween this year? No need to panic. If you’re spending your Halloween in Shibuya this year, which is known the world over for its incredible Halloween festivities, then head to Tokyo Culture Culture on October 27 where a very unique event is taking place.

    Jimi Halloween is an event that takes out the stress of having to go all out for Halloween as people go dressed as ordinary people. It has been held annually since 2014, with the number of attendees growing each year. Over 800 people took part last year, all clad in their plain clothes.

     

    This year’s event will be split into three slots, with a capacity of 200 people per slot. Sign-ups begin on October 15 at 12:00pm (JST).

     

     

    Past Examples

    ①Situational attire

    Beauty salon client

    Dressing up as someone doing something has been a popular choice at the event recently. You can come up with some creative ideas that’ll make people say, “You came as that?!”

     

    ②”I’ve seen people like that!” attire

    Flea market woman

    There’s always certain types of people that everyone sees, and in Japan this is one of them!

     

    ③”I get it, but I don’t get it” attire

    Hawaii vibe  uncle

    You’ve heard all about them, but have you seen them?

     

    ④Work attire

    Handing out tissues with pachinko ads on them

    Work attire is a go-to at the plain clothes event. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this is the one that started the entire movement.

     

    ⑤Miscellaneous attire

    Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

    The final entry is those which are hard to categorise. They serve whatever vibes they are feeling.

     

    Attend this year’s event and show off your own unique ideas!

  • Royal Park Hotel Tokyo Transforms For Halloween 2019

    11.October.2019 | FOOD

    Royal Park Hotel Tokyo in Nihonbashi has begun its Halloween festivities for 2019, including a bone-chilling black and orange food and dessert menu, spooky decorations, a photo spot in the first floor main lobby, and more.

    Check out their mouth-watering sweets assortment! Their Halloween Afternoon Tea set is packed full of autumntime flavours, from the glass desserts, to the apple chiboust, chocolate pocket watches with bats on them, adorable monster burgers, and more.

    The hotel is also offering a Halloween Dinner Buffet on weekends and holidays decorated in Halloween colours. Pile your tray with figs and blackcurrants, chestnut mousse, pumpkin tarts, and plenty of other tasty treats, all prepared fresh in the kitchen.

    This is just a peek into the hair-raising fun happening right now at Royal Park Hotel Tokyo. There’s also the Halloween Cocktail Fair, Halloween Sweets & Bread event, and much more.

     

    Spend your Halloween here, or even use it as an opportunity to try wearing your Halloween costume out so you’re ready for October 31!

  • Gaze Over a Sea of Clouds at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu’s New Cloud Bar in Hokkaido

    10.October.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    This year’s winter season program at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu―Hokkaido’s leading snow resort hotel―is set to begin on December 1. As part of the program, the Muhyou Terrace will open on the same day and run until April 5, 2020. The terrace offers a snow-covered picturesque view from atop the mountain where you can see a sea of clouds and the snow-tipped trees at the bottom.
    Muhyou Terrace sits on Mount Tomamu up 1,088 meters high. When you picture snowy mountains, especially those in Hokkaido, you imagine people skiing and snowboarding. But for Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, this is only part of their goal. They also want guests to enjoy the beauty of the mountain’s natural landscape including the breathtaking view of the scenery below. That’s why they decided to open Muhyou Terrace. As well as the daytime scenery, the terrace has also been turning on illuminations every winter night since 2017, offering a new perspective on the surrounding splendour.
    The Cloud Bar which opened just up the slope of the Muhyou Terrace this summer features a 13 meter-long counter with chairs from which customers can soak up an incredible view. The bar has options of one or two-seat areas and can seat up to 7 people at once. There is a ladder attached to the chairs. Once you’ve climbed up and plopped yourself down you get a front row seat to the sights below. And since the bar is attached to the slope of the mountain and there’s nothing to obstruct your view, it will feel like you’re floating on the clouds as your feet kick the emptiness below.
    Snow Cocktail – ¥1,200
    Muhyou Terrace will offer its own original cocktail called the Snow Cocktail which is inspired by the snowy landscapes at Tomamu. This drink is a margarita made with lime juice and cointreau. Inside is a sprig of rosemary made to look like the Ezo spruce trees at the site. The snowman is in fact made of chocolate. Enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to flavour and finesse!
    Frosted Coffee – ¥500 / Frosted Fondant Chocolate – ¥600
    They also have specially-made chocolate fondant and coffee to warm you up. The chocolate fondant is a warm cake topped with a white chocolate snowflake and is coupled with snow-frosted chocolate branches. The coffee is covered with pure white frosty amezaiku candy. The coffee sweetens as the candy melts into your cup.
    The terrace’s observation points, including the Cloud Walk and Cloud Bar, will be lit up with sparkling illuminations in the cool evenings.
    Illumination Dates: December 15, 2019 – December 25, 2019
    Times: Please check the official website
  • 2019 Kobe Luminarie Winter Illuminations to Light Up Kobe This December

    09.October.2019 | SPOT

    The 25th Kobe Luminarie light festival will take place from December 6 to 15. The theme of this year’s festival is “25 Years, Guided by the Light of Hope” (Original Italian title: Da 25 anni, guidati dalle luci della speranza).

    Kobe Luminarie is an illumination festival that has been held annually since 1995 in commemoration of the Great Hanshin earthquake which hit Kobe that year on January 17. The event has continued as a symbol of hope for Kobe and has also become a festival associated with the winter season. Last year’s festival saw around 3.43 million people in attendance.

    The “Light Bulbs” make a comeback radiating their warm light

    Formerly the doorstep to foreign culture, Nakamachi-dori, lined with countless tasteful stores, will be lined with around 270 meters’ worth of decorations. The entrance decoration, named Frontone, stands almost 22 meters tall with three towering gates each connected to each other. The Sparri Ara is a wide wall of lights which runs 50 meters from Frontone all the way to Kyomachisuji Crossing. And as a special instalment to the 25th run of the festival, the light bulbs used at the first festival will be strung up to create another wall illumination from Itomachi to the East block which will be dubbed the “Memorial Zone.”

    The event’s largest light dome

    In the eastern amusement park plaza, Cassa Armonica―an illuminated church structure set up every year―will be enveloped in a large 21 meter high dome featuring an arch for the first time standing 4 meters tall in the memorial area

     

    Over in the floral clock area, the Sparri Ara wall lights twinkle beside the wisteria trees. The lights will change and transform to the sound of the music. Attendees will also be able to pick up small gifts too as well as take pictures at the various photo spots.

     

    Earthquake Talk Booth

    Talks will be held discussing the origins of Kobe Luminarie and why it started. Earthquake survivors will also talk about their real experiences.

    International Creative Director and Executive Producer Daniel Monteverde, who has been working with Luminaire for 20 years, made the following comment: “The city of Kobe will bustle once again this year, which will mark 25 years. People will fill the streets and look to the sky while they wait for the chime of the bell to signal the illuminations. We hold the memories of the people we lost 25 years ago close to our hearts. I hope we can convey our hopes and dreams and our story to our children and the young people who will bear the next generation. I hope people will be proud of Kobe which has recovered from the earthquake.”

     

    He continues: “The Kobe Luminarie lights will shine once more for Hyogo, for Japan, and for the world. These lights are a symbol of each and every person’s devotion, their efforts, and their love. I pray that the Luminarie lights will send a message of hope to the world and continue shining in our hearts for the rest of time.” * Full comment translated from Japanese

  • Top 6 Desserts Made With Luxurious Pink Ruby Chocolate

    06.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Ruby chocolate is a variety of chocolate that was introduced in 2017 as the 4th main type of chocolate alongside milk, white and dark. It didn’t hit Japan until October 2018, but since then, the luxury pink delight has been getting much love with the release of many new products. The ruby colour of the cocoa beans is completely natural.

    I attended a product conference held by Barry Callebaut, the Belgian-Swiss chocolate company which introduced ruby chocolate to the world. I got to try out various confections made using this chocolate.

     

    When talking about ruby chocolate, you’re inclined to highlight its striking pink colour. But the looks are just part of the story. Compared to dark, white and milk chocolate, ruby chocolate is said to have the strongest cacao fruit flavour. Though it’s chocolate, it has a sour, fruity kind of taste.

     

    Until last year, I was more about the eye-catching pink colour of the chocolate, so I ended up overlooking that ruby chocolate is often paired with berry-type fruits when it comes to confections. I get it nowーso it has a sour taste? Well then, this year I really want to go all out and appreciate the unique flavour of this ruby chocolate.

     

    Today, I’m going to showcase six new products made with Callebaut® Ruby Chocolate. I’ve tried them all, so I can properly break down the flavours and how delicious they are for you!

     

    Ruby Chocolate Otabe – ¥660 (Before Tax)

    This Japanese confection is a combination of ruby chocolate and “Otabe,” which is a confection known as “yatsuhashi,” a popular souvenir sweet from Kyoto. Much time is put into making the ganache to ensure the fruitiness of the ruby chocolate remains intact. The ganache is wrapped in chewy yatsuhashi which is made with domestic koshihikari, which is a type of rice, and carefully selected water. There’s no way this could be anything short of delicious!

    At the taste-testing session, I got to see the ruby chocolate Otabe being made right in front of me. It was done by a kimono-clad Nara who normally makes confections in the factory.

    The rich and sour ganache combined with the chewy yatsuhashi is a match made in heaven! The pink colour really is cute after all, isn’t it? By wrapping the fruity chocolate in mochi, it creates even deeper flavours in your mouth.

     

    This product will be sold at Kyoto Station and various tourist sites around Kyoto, so if you ever visit the city, make sure you’re on the lookout.

     

    Ruby Chocolate Otabe

    Running: October 11, 2019 – Early May 2020

    Available: At Kyoto Station and tourist spots around Kyoto

    Official Website: http://www.otabe.kyoto.jp/

     

     

     

    Ruby Mille-feuille – ¥600 (Before Tax)

    From Juchheim comes these ruby chocolate-coated mille-feuille fingers, laced with butter from Hokkaido and strawberry and raspberry mixed cream layered into a crunchy sandwich.

    The puff pastry is of course tasty, and the sour flavour of the ruby chocolate mixed with the sourness of the berry cream packs a seriously fruity punch. It’s an overall crunchy and rich dessert, but it also has a refreshing taste to it, so one person is sure to be tempted by more than one.

     

    Ruby Mille-feuille

    Released: October 1, 2019 (Online orders from October 8, 2019 )

    Available: At all 272 branches of Juchheim in Japan / Juchheim Premium Online Shop

    Online Shop: https://e-shop.juchheim.co.jp/

     

     

    Pretzel Cookie – ¥480 Each (Before Tax)

    Food company Rosenheim have taken their crunchy butter pretzel cookies and coated them in various chocolate flavours, including ruby, sweet, milk, and white.

     

    The ruby pretzels have that distinct vivid pink colour and of course taste fruity. There’s six in a pack, so you can share them with friends.

     

    Pretzel Cookie

    Released: September 20, 2019

    Available: At mass retailers across Japan

     

    Christmas Wreath Ruby Framboise – ¥5,000 (Before Tax)

    Callebaut’s new ruby chocolate iced cake will be released from Maison Givrée. It’s topped with a ruby chocolate and raspberry ice cream and is adorned with cool and refreshing lychee sorbet.

    The best way to eat this cake is when the ice cream has melted a little bit. You can enjoy the sweet fragrance of the ruby chocolate and the marriage between its sour flavour and the raspberry. Try savouring the melted sorbet and ruby chocolate ice cream by leaving it in your mouth.

     

    Christmas Wreath Ruby Framboise

    Running: October 11, 2019 – December 13, 2019

    Delivery Window: December 20, 2019 – December 25, 2019 (subject to change)

    Stock: 50

    Available: At Maison Givrée and its online store

    Official Website: https://givreetokyo.shop-pro.jp/

     

     

    Ruby Chocolate Corn Puffs – One Box ¥1,450 (Tax Included)

    You can pick up a box of these ruby chocolate corn puffs at Pierre Gagnaire Pains et Gateaux on the 2nd floor of InterContinental ANA Hotel Tokyo. They have a shiny pink pearl-like appearance. The crunchy corn puffs are thick-cut which goes well with that fruity ruby chocolate taste.

     

    Ruby Chocolate Pear Tart – ¥650 (Tax Included)

    These cocoa-laced and ruby chocolate powdered baked tarts are also sold at Pierre Gagnaire Pains et Gateaux. They’re topped with almond cream and a pear compote. They’re also topped with a ganache made from ruby chocolate and a redcurrant puree. Their design is made so that it looks like a flower, crowned with extra redcurrants.

     

    Ruby Chocolate Corn Puffs

    Running: All year round

     

    Ruby Chocolate Pear Tart

    Running: October 1, 2019 – January 14, 2020

    Available: Pierre Gagnaire Pains et Gateaux (InterContinental ANA Hotel Tokyo – Floor 2F)

    Hotel Official Website: https://anaintercontinental-tokyo.jp/en/

     

     

    I’m all about ruby chocolate’s deep flavour now. If you’ve yet to try it then you’ve got to get your hands on some, to enjoy both its striking pink appearance and that sour cacao fruit flavour.

     

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Munch On These Crispy Freshly-Baked Custard Apple Pies Made With Sweet Potato at RINGO

    05.October.2019 | FOOD

    RINGO, a shop which specialised in freshly-baked custard apple pies, has announced that it will release its new Yakitate Custard Oimo Apple Pie on October 17.

    RINGO opened its first branch in Ikebukuro, Tokyo back in 2016. Since then, it has expanded and opened 12 branches across Japan, including Osaka and Fukuoka, and 3 stores overseas. They sell over 6 million custard apple pies every year. Since their products are baked fresh in-house, you can watch and see how they are made.

    The new Yakitate Custard Oimo Apple Pie is a crunchy 144-layer pie packed full of custard cream and an autumntime sweet potato paste for an added subtle sweetness.

    The sweet and sour apple filling is made with a range of domestic apples, including the hatorazu ringo apple from Aomori Prefecture. The pastry is also laced with cocoa powder and topped with roasted white sesame seeds. A deliciously fitting dessert for the autumn season!

  • New York-Style Cafe & Restaurant Sarabeth’s Celebrates 7 Years in Japan With Special Event in Shinjuku

    04.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    It has been seven years since Sarabeth Levine took her New York-based cafe and restaurant Sarabeth’s to Japan back in 2012. To celebrate, the establishment will hold a special one-night event with a commemorative menu.

    “Fermented Foods” is the theme of the event, which will see an incredible line-up of premium dishes. There will also be a talk by Sarabeth Levine herself who will be in attendance.

    The menu line-up features a range of healthy fermented foods, like pancakes and Eggs Benedict, while drinks options include lemonade with fermented syrup, goishicha tea from Aichi Prefecture, and more. There will also be Sarabeth cookies which you can take home with you.

  • Top 5 Halloween Treats to Pick Up at Japanese Convenience Stores This Year

    04.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    October is here, meaning Halloween is right around the corner. If you’re not up for dressing up in a costume or going out this year, then you can still get in the Halloween spirit by picking up one of the many Halloween exclusive goodies now being sold at Japanese convenience stores. We’ve picked out our top 5 favourite for you.

     

    Starbucks® Sweet Caramel Pudding Latte

    Starbucks Japan is now stocking its sweet caramel pudding latte across most convenience stores in Japan. The golden-capped cup features a spooky Halloween design, decorated with ghosts, pumpkins and bats. Enjoy Halloween in a cup with the beverage’s rich and sweet caramel pudding flavour.

     

    ▼Starbucks® Sweet Caramel Pudding Latte

    Price: ¥200
    Available: Most convenience stores across Japan. Select branches not stocking.

     

    Calbee Jagabee Black Consomme

     

    These crunchy potato sticks are a popular savour snack in Japan. This Halloween, Calbee has coloured their sumptuous sticks black, and made them taste like delicious consomme. This is a 7-Eleven and Ai Group-exclusive. Its cute pot design will have you grabbing one off the shelf without even thinking.

     

    ▼Calbee Jagabee Black Consomme

    Price: ¥138 (Before Tax)
    Available: 7-Eleven and Ai Group

     

    KOIKE-YA Karamucho Hot Chili Flavour

     

    The classic thick-cut Karamucho potato chips have been sprinkled with extra spiciness for that heated kick. The packet features all the familiar faces of Halloween, from a witch to a pumpkin, bats, a graveyard and more. If you’re a spice-seeker then this one’s for you. Also a 7-Eleven and Ai Group exclusive product.

     

    ▼KOIKE-YA Karamucho Hot Chili Flavour

    Price: ¥128 (Before Tax)
    Available: 7-Eleven and Ai Group

     

     

    7-Eleven Marshmallow Chocolate Ganache Daifuku

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    7-Eleven is also releasing a range of its own original Halloween treats, including this sweet white daifuku which looks like a marshmallow and is filled with rich chocolate ganache. A Japanese and Western-combined confection you can enjoy with one hand.

     

    ▼7-Eleven Marshmallow Raw Chocolate Daifuku

    Price: ¥118 (Before Tax)
    Available: 7-Eleven (Except in Okinawa)

     

    7-Eleven Black Cat Sachertorte

    Black cats are a popular symbol of Halloween, particularly in Japan. This cake is made with chocolate cream and vanilla cream and is coated in a crunchy chocolate coating for even more tasty texture. This is a seriously cute choice you’re sure to love!

     

    ▼7-Eleven Black Cat Sachertorte

    Price: ¥308 (Before Tax)
    Release Date: October 15, 2019
    Available: 7-Eleven

     

     

    Did you enjoy our picks? There are plenty of Halloween-themed foods, confections and sweets to look forward to this year at convenience stores in Japan. Head to your closest one and see what they have in stock.

  • The Luxurious KitKat Chocolatory is Revamping Its Chocolate Line-Up

    03.October.2019 | FOOD

    Nestlé has announced that it is revamping its 16 products* at the KitKat Chocolatory which will be released on October 11, 2019.

    *One of these products will be released in late November

    The KitKat Chocolatory is a direct-to-consumer chain, serving premium, handcrafted KitKats made with top quality ingredients and production methods under full direction by Takagi Yasumasa―the owner and chef of LE PATISSIER TAKAGI. Its luxurious line is endless, with products ranging from the elusive ruby chocolate, whose cocoa beans give the finish product its pink colour, to volcanic chocolate made from rare cocoa beans sourced from volcanic islands, and beyond.

     

    The Chocolatory takes regular KitKats and the brand to a whole new level while still having that sense of familiarity, making their products great gifts and personal treats.

    The new line-up of 16 products is considered by four categories: 1) the chocolate type, 2) where the cocoa beans are produced, 3) the production process from bean to bar, and 4) the combination between chocolate and other ingredients. Each and every bar has been given equal attention to create chocolates with different flavours, enabling consumers to discover not only which tickle their taste buds, but the story behind each unique bar.

     

    There is a rapidly growing interest amongst consumers who want to know where their food comes from and how it’s made. When it comes to specialist chocolate products, a lot of information isn’t widely known. That’s the reason behind KitKat Chocolatory’s revamp, as well as to create chocolate that nobody has experience before.

     

    Let’s take a look at four of the new KitKats you can get your fingers on.

     

    Enjoy the Chocolate Varieties

    KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Bitter – ¥300 Each (Before Tax)

    A hallmark product since KitKat Chocolatory opened, the Sublime Bitter is couverture chocolate made with 66% cocoa. The bar is a blend of three different cocoa beans from Ghana, Madagascar, and the Dominican Republic. This addictive delight reserves the original bitterness of the cocoa while having a fruity tinge to it.

     

    Enjoy the Difference Between Cocoa Production Areas

    KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Volcanic Malakula Island – ¥400 Each (Before Tax)

    This mysterious ‘volcanic chocolate’ is made from extremely rare cocoa beans sourced from the volcanic Malakula Island which was voted one of the happiest places on earth. It has a distinct bitterness and very fragrant scent reminiscent of the ground.

     

    Enjoy the Chocolate Making Process

    KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Raw – ¥300 Each (Before Tax)

    The cocoa beans of this “raw” chocolate are cooked at a lower temperature than usual to draw out a more natural flavour of the original bean, like it’s been plucked right out of a cocoa bean farm and placed into your hands.

     

    Enjoy the Combination Of Ingredients

    KitKat Chocolatory Moleson – ¥500 Each (Before Tax)

    Finally, here is the world’s first ingredient-topped KitKat. It uses the smooth, melt-in-the-mouth KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Milk bar as the base, and is topped with sweet and sour dried cranberries and fragrant crushed almonds, creating a flavourful and textural ensemble.

    Discover a whole new world of KitKat and chocolate when the new products drop at KitKat Chocolatory on October 11.

  • GODIVA Releases New Heavenly Chocolixir Tea and Chocolate Pairing Drink

    03.October.2019 | FOOD

    As the almighty creator of the chilled chocolate drink called the Chocolixir, GODIVA has now transcended to a whole new level with its Tea Magic Series which pairs luxurious GODIVA chocolate with a specially made tea. The fourth and final heavenly Chocolixir drink for the Tea Magic Series has now been revealed to be called the Chocolixir Uji Matcha Kiwami. This is a pairing of GODIVA white chocolate and Uji matcha. A limited number of these will be released for sale from October 1, 2019 to November 30, 2019.  

     

    The GODIVA Tea Magic Series is made using the finest GODIVA chocolate. The chocolatier considers the most appropriate tea to enhance the flavour of the chocolate and only uses the finest tea leaves to make the drink. The result is a chilled chocolate tea which is filled with a flavour that will enlighten you. Hojicha Chocolate tea was the first tea of the series and was released on July 1st.

    Chocolixir Uji Matcha Kiwami (270ml): ¥602 (before tax)

    GODIVA’s mildly sweet and velvety white chocolate is blended with rich uji matcha tea and then chilled to a perfectly refreshing temperature. A light cloud of whipped cream floats on the surface and is sprinkled with carefully made uji matcha powder. Matcha chocolate sticks garnishe the drink. 

     

    From your first sip to your last, your mouth will be filled with a rich and luxurious matcha flavour. From time to time, your tongue will discover the exciting texture of small pieces of smashed white chocolate pieces.

     

    This is the perfect opportunity to indulge in the luxurious flavour of mild white chocolate blended with rich uji matcha. 

  • Netflix Anime Series ‘Beastars’ Promotional Event to Take Place at Tobu Zoo in Saitama

    02.October.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Tobu Zoo is set to collaborate with the upcoming drama anime series Beastars from November 2 to December 29.

    Beastars is a manga series written and illustrated by Paru Itagaki. It is serialised in Weekly Shōnen Champion which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

    Beastars is set in a world of herbivores and carnivores. The story follows Legoshi, a quiet and gentle grey wolf and student at Cherryton Academy. His world is turned upside down when one of his fellow students is brutally murdered.

     

    The collaboration event will see Tobu Zoo decorated with illustrations drawn specifically for the event. There will also be exclusive and original merchandise on sale, as well as themed food and more.

     

    Beastars will premiere in Japan on Fuji TV’s +Ultra programming block on October 9. It will also be streamed exclusively on Netflix.

     

    ©板垣巴留(秋田書店)/BEASTARS制作委員会

  • Embark on An Aquatic Adventure to The Little Mermaid OH MY CAFE in Tokyo

    01.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    It has been 30 years since Disney’s The Little Mermaid came to theatres. To celebrate, The Little Mermaid cafe has dropped its anchor in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Hokkaido and will be around for a limited time only.  Curious travellers are sure to fall in love with this world filled with Disney magic.

    As a big Disney fan, curious model Kanako just could not miss the opportunity to visit, so we headed over to Tokyu Plaza, Omotesando (Tokyo) to create a tongue-tantalizing report just for you. 

    The entrance was a treasure trove of exciting 30th anniversary celebratory designs.

    Venturing deeper, we came across illustrations of the exciting underwater world. 

    Seeing all the images of the characters, memories of the film will come floating into your mind. Just how many wonders can one cafe hold?

    There are five delicious meals and five delicious drinks on the menu. Everything was so cute that it was difficult to decide what to order. Time to dive in!

    Ariel Vegetable Pasta with Genovese Sauce: ¥1990

    This dish particularly caught Kanako’s eye. A graceful print made of powdered spices and sauce depicts Ariel gliding through the sea. It went perfectly with the salad. Feel free to take the beautiful paper mat home with you as a souvenir. 

    Cream Beach Risotto: ¥1,990

    This creamy risotto depicts a beautiful beach. Look closely and you will spot Ariel’s most prized treasure: a dinglehopper.  Feel free to take the dinglehopper home with you and add it to your collection of treasure. A layer of shrimp sauce lies hidden between the rice and mountain of salad. Can you spot Sebastian keeping a careful eye on Ariel? 

    Seven Princesses of Atlantica Colourful Tartine Plate: ¥2,290

     This plate of tasty tartines depicts the seven sisters and will send you on an exciting flavour journey. The fruity tartine will fill your mouth with a fresh fruity burst of blueberries and strawberries. Next on the plate is a luxurious cream cheese tartine, followed by a chunky vegetable tartine and finally, a filling boiled egg and potato salad tartine. The tartines are surrounded by colourful sauces such as blueberry sauce, pumpkin sauce and carrot sauce. 

     Sebastian’s Strawberry Smoothie: ¥890 (with themed drink coaster: ¥1,790)

    This yoghurt smoothie is dedicated to King Triton’s royal court composer Sebastian. Mix in the strawberry sauce before tucking in to enhance the flavour. You can also take the decoration on the glass back home with you. 

    Upon noticing the coaster that came with her drink, Kanako’s eyes were sparkling with desire. The drink coaster is a sure way to add some magic to all your drinks at home. Unfortunately, they are in limited supply, so make sure to get one before they are all sold out.

    Next, the curious Kanako explored the merchandise corner. The illustrations on the merchandise have been specifically designed for this special cafe.

    Canvas Art A/B  (two designs): ¥3,500

    Now you can decorate your room with your own collection of whose-its, whats-its, and thingamabobs.

    Letter Writing Set with Case (1 design): ¥800

    BIC Ballpoint Pen (2 designs): ¥500 each (Flounder/Seahorse)

    The pink-themed gadgets and gizmos are very cute too.

    Spend over ¥1000 (before tax) in the merchandise corner and you will receive a special Little Mermaid 30th anniversary shopping bag. There are a limited number of these and they are available on a first-come-first-serve basis, so we recommend you go to the cafe as soon as possible if you want one.

    This cafe is a whole world waiting to be discovered. Reservations cost ¥500 per person (before tax). Just ordering from the menu will grant you the special gift of an A5 clear file and you can even pick your favourite from 30 designs. Make sure to reserve your spot in advance and get ready to plunge straight into the fun!

     

    ©️Disney

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