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.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • 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.

  • Seafood Heaven at Shizuoka’s New Restaurant Atami Ginza Osakana Shokudo

    11.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Atami Ginza Shopping District in Shizuoka’s seaside city of Atami is enjoying a new boom of bustling customers this year, and they’re sure to continue pouring in with the opening of its new seafood entertainment restaurant Atami Ginza Osakana Shokudo. The eatery opened its grand doors on August 8, offering fresh, flavourful seafood dishes. In the evenings, the restaurant turns into Osakana Sakaba where they serve gorgeous sake.

    Atami is home to many fishing harbours, including those in Ajiro, Izuyama, and Hatsushima. Atami’s waters are a treasure trove of sea life, offering a bounty of seafood such as mackerel, salmon, shrimp, Splendid alfonsino, shellfish, and more.

    The restaurant uses a previously vacant building which has been renovated for the opening. Their menu concept is “Atami nostalgia” which will fuse together traditional Atami food with new spins. Food is prepared in an open kitchen in a variety of ways including sashimi, grilled, steamed, and so on.

    Splendid Alfonsino Rice Bowl – ¥2,780 (Before Tax)

    The absolute must-try on their menu is their Splendid alfonsino rice bowl. It’s topped generously with huge cuts of horse mackerel, mackerel, and Splendid alfonsino, all caught fresh from neighbouring harbours.

    The restaurant also serves the ginormous Japanese spider crab which is a local speciality in the city of Izu. They are kept fresh in tanks in the restaurant. In the evening, when the restaurant turns into a bar, you can have this crab served however you like: as sashimi, grilled, or even steamed. As well as fresh seafood, they also serve vegetables and other meat, all sourced locally. Tofu, desserts and other food is too.

     

    Japan is known for its exquisite seafood. If you’re travelling to Shizuoka this summer, be sure you pay a visit to the new Atami Ginza Osakana Shokudo.

  • Character cafés are an exciting experience in Japan which sees a café collaborate with well-known anime series, game series or other franchise by decorating the café interior with designs and illustrations based on them and meals and drinks inspired by them.

     

    Before continuing this article be sure to check out our June 2019 list of character cafés as some of them are still running!

     

     

    Sanrio x Ichigo Shimbun Collaboration – Ichigo Shimbun Dinder (July 11-September 30)

    Ichigo Shimbun is a monthly magazine published by Sanrio which includes information about the latest character merchandise and much more. Sanrio has opened a café themed on their magazine at EGG & SPUMA which located on the 8th floor of Shinjuku Lumine EST. “Vacation” is the theme of the café where Sanrio fans can enjoy a summery food menu. Enjoy a fun summer together with the Sanrio characters♡

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/230790

     

    ▼Ichigo Shimbun Diner
    Location: EGG & SPUMA, Shinjuku Lumine EST Floor 8F, 3-38-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo
    Running: July 11, 2019 – September 30, 2019
    Business Hours: Weekdays 11:00-23:00 (Last Orders 22:00) / Weekends & Holidays 11:00-22:30 (Last Orders 21:30)
    TEL: 03-6273-0255
    Website: http://salt-group.jp/shop/egg-spuma/

     

    AAA CITY SUMMER PARTY – AAA Cafés in Tokyo & Osaka (July 19-September 1)

    AAA’s collaborative café is themed on midsummer city pop. Their seasonal menu features drinks, desserts and more inspired by each respective colour of the group members. If you dine at the café you’ll get yourself a special lunch mat, and if you order a drink, you’ll get an original drink coaster. There’s plenty of other exclusive AAA café merchandise too, so if you’re a fan of the pop group then this is one you won’t want to miss out on this summer!

     

    ▼AAA CITY SUMMER PARTY

    Running

    Omotesando (Tokyo): July 19, 2019 – September 1, 2019

    Shinsaibashi (Osaka): July 19, 2019 – September 1, 2019

     

    Location

    Tokyo: OMOTESANDO BOX CAFE&SPACE (Pine Under Flat B1F, 5-13-2 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo)

    Osaka: Shinsaibashi contact (1-6-24 Kita-Horie, Nishi Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture)

     

    Reservations

    ・Table reservations for August 1 to September 1 opened on July 12 at 18:00 (JST)

    ・Reservation Price: ¥650 (Before Tax) *Comes with bonus merchandise

    AAA CITY SUMMER PARTY Official Website: https://aaa-cafe-2019.jp

    AAA Official Website: https://avex.jp/aaa/

     

    Bonobono & Pompompurin’s First Ever Café Collaboration (July 11-September 1)

    The Harajuku, Umeda and Yokohama branches of the Pompompurin Café have teamed up with the beloved anime character Bonobono to release four menu items themed on playing together at the beach.

     

    Both Bonobono and Pompompurin fans alike won’t be able to resist the cute and delicious dishes being served at the cafes this summer.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/231395

     

    Pompompurin Café Harajuku

    Address: CUTE CUBE HARAJUKU 3F, 1-7-1 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00 (Food Last Orders 20:00 / Drinks Last Orders 20:30)

    Pompompurin Café Umeda
    Address: Hankyu Sanbangai South Wing B2F, 1-1-3 Shibata, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi
    Opening Hours: Weekdays 11:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30) / Weekends & Holidays 10:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)

    Pompompurin Café Yokohama

    Address: Yokohama Sotetsu Square, 2-1-5 Minamisaiwai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi

    Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00 (Last Orders 20:30)

     

    Bonobono Official Website: http://www.bonoanime.jp/

    Pompompurin Café Official Website: http://pompom.createrestaurants.com

    ©Mikio Igarashi /Takeshobo, Fuji TV, Eiken © 1996, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO.S601363

     

    Astronaut Snoopy Soars Up Tokyo Skytree (July 18-October 14)

    Tokyo Skytree is now holding the FIRST BEAGLE IN SKYTREE® event in collaboration with the astronaut version of Snoopy which appeared in the original comic 50 years ago.

     

    Every astronaut needs a good meal to keep them going. Head to the SKYTREE CAFE on the Tembo Deck on floor 340F and enjoy a selection of themed desserts, drinks and more. Astronaut Snoopy decorations line the cafe where you can get limited-edition novelties too. Soar into and learn all about space this summer with your pal Snoopy♡

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/232293

     

    FIRST BEAGLE IN SKYTREE®

    Running: July 18, 2019 – October 14, 2019

    Location: Tokyo Skytree Tembo Deck and Tembo Galleria

    *A separate fee must be paid to to enter the Tokyo Skytree Tembo Galleria

    Tokyo Skytree Official Website: http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/

    Snoopy Japan Website: http://www.snoopy.co.jp/

    ©2019 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

    ©TOKYO-SKYTREE

     

    Gaspard & Lisa x Afternoon Tea TEAROOM (July 25-August 28)

    The Koshigaya Laketown kaze, LaLaport Yokohama, Terrace Mall Shonan, and Nagoya LACHIC branches of the Afternoon Tea TEAROOM have joined hands with the French picture book series Gaspard and Lisa to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

     

    The tea shops have been decorated with a special Gaspard and Lisa theme. There are photo spots at each cafe, and in the Nagoya LACHIC branch there is even a book corner with 20 books from the series. This is the perfect place to enjoy a special summer meal with your family, so don’t miss out!

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/233786

     

    ▼Lisa and Gaspard Collaboration

    Running: July 25, 2019 – August 28, 2019

    Afternoon Tea Official Website: https://www.afternoon-tea.net/

    Lisa and Gaspard Official Website: http://www.lisagas.jp/

    ©2019 Anne Gutman & Georg Hallensleben / Hachette Livre

     

    Koupen-chan Café in Shinjuku & Shinsaibashi (August 8-September 23)

    The baby emperor penguin Koupen-chan, who is often the go-to sticker for many Twitter and LINE users in Japan, is illustrated by the well-known RURUTEA. Many of these social media users turn to the relaxing, soft and cuddly penguin to send soothing words of encouragement and a fuzzy hug to their loved ones. No wonder our adorable penguin has over 300,000 followers on Twitter.

     

    The café returns from 2017 with a refreshed image which plunges deeper into the depths of Koupen chan’s affectionate world. There are even more features packed into this year’s collaboration menu. No matter what you order, your table will be overflowing with adorable penguin love.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/241560

     

    ▼Koupen-chan Café 2019 Summer

    Tokyo Cafe

    Location: SHIBUYA BOX CAFE&SPACE (Shibuya LOFT Floor 2F, 21-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo)

    Running: August 8, 2019 – September 23, 2019

     

    Osaka Café

    Location: Shinsaibashi contact (1-6-24 Kita-Horie, Nishi Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture)

    Running: September 5, 2019 – October 6, 2019

     

    Reservation Price: ¥500 (includes a complementary souvenir for making the reservation)

    *A limit of 4 seats can be reserved through 1 reservation.

    Official Website: https://koupenchan-cafe2019.jp/

    ©RURUTEA

     

    Did you enjoy this list? Be sure to visit a character café while in Japan this summer.

  • 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 &.

  • Kaori’s Easy Recipe: Learn to Make Steamed Minnie Mouse Cocoa Cakes

    11.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

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

    Today, I will show you the perfect recipe for making chocolate Minnie Mouse cakes using the Mickey Mouse Tezukuri Okazu Maker kit which you can buy on Belle Maison.

     

    1. Ingredients

    About 3-4 prep bowls

    1 large egg

    40g sugar

    Oil or 10g melted unsalted butter

    15ml milk

    50g weak flour (sifted)

    10g cocoa

    5g baking powder

    2.

    ①Crack the egg into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and whisk well.

    ②Add a drizzle of oil or melted butter and milk and whisk again.

    ③Add the sifted flour and stir in gently with a rubber spatula.

    3.

    Oil the silicone cake moulds and spoon in your mix.

    4.

    Steam on a high heat for about 10 minutes.

     

    5.

    Now it’s time to make Minnie’s ribbon. I got this ribbon mould from Daiso. Place it onto some baking paper and outline the shape with a pen. Fill the outline with red-coloured chocolate and leave to set in the fridge. Once it has completely set, add the polkadots.

    6.

    Once the cake has finished steaming, stick her onto a lollipop stick so it the cake be eaten like a lollipop, and fix the ribbon onto the top of Minnie’s head.

    And she’s finished! It looks cute when you put a Mickey and Minnie one together side by side. You can make a lot of cute recipes using the Okazu Maker, so get your hands on one and try making your own!

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

     

    ©️Disney

     

    Profile

    Kaori Kubota (@kaopan27)
    I live in Hokkaido and I love to make character themed foods, desserts and pastries♡

    I want to see my family smile, so I enjoy putting in a bit of effort to make character foods and changing food into something cute♡

    You can see more of my character foods and character bento boxes on my Instagram page→@kaopan27

     

RELATED ENTRIES

  • GINZA SIX Announces New Stairwell Art Installation by Tokujin Yoshioka

    29.January.2020 | SPOT

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

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

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

     

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

  • Japan’s First CBD Shop ‘HealthyTOKYO’ to Open in Harajuku in February

    29.January.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    HealthyTOKYO is set to open as the first shop in Japan specialising in the selling of CBD oil, and it’s doing so in Harajukuーone of Tokyo’s most famous towns that’s at the forefront of trends and pop culture. It is both a shop and a cafe.

     

    CBD oil has seen a spike in sales over the past year. Made from hemp, research shows that there are many health benefits to using CBD. The main gains are from helping reduce stress, relieving pain, improving sleep, and helping prevent skin inflammation.

     

    CBD is used by mixing it with food or drink. It’s also been recognised as having an effect as an ingredient in cosmetics and creams. While CBD oil is legal in Japan, the country’s law is strict when it comes to traces of THC, and so only allows oils with 0%.


    As well as the oil itself, HealthyTOKYO will also stock a variety of vegan sweets and drinks containing CBD. The food line-up includes vegan-friendly cheesecake, mont blanc, and gateau chocolate, as well as gluten-free lasagne, amongst many other things. For drinks, there’s a variety of organic matcha, coffee, and more. A lot of these foods and drinks can be ordered with CBD oil too.

     

    HealthyTOKYO brand CBD products all use naturally derived CBD oil, and the shop offers degrees of strength and different flavours too. They sell cosmetics, creams, and other products too.

     

    If you’ve been looking for CBD while in Japan, or even vegan-friendly or gluten-free foods, then make sure you pay a visit to the country’s first CBD shop and cafe in Harajuku.

  • Sanrio Gift’s New Shop in Ueno Welcomes Hello Kitty Panda Merchandise & More

    25.January.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Sanrio opened a new gift shop called Sanrio Gift Gate in Ueno on January 24, 2020. This is the 107th branch of the gift shop to open in Japan, following the openning of the Asakusa branch which opened in Asakusa last year. Aimed at tourists both Japanese and foreign, it sells merchandise of Sanrio’s popular cast of characters.

    You can’t miss the shop as a giant Pompompurin embracing a panda suit-clad Hello Kitty are waiting to greet you at the entrance. The panda is a symbol of Ueno due to Ueno Zoo housing giant pandas.

    The souvenir shop features a range of Ueno exclusives, including a line-up of six popular Sanrio characters wearing panda outfits.

    Plush Toys (6 Designs) – ¥2,200 Each / Small Plush Toys (6 Designs) – ¥1,760 Each

    Who could resist one of these cute toys? The bigger ones at 16cm tall and the small ones 11cm. The line-up includes fan favourites Hello Kitty, Pompompurin, Cinnamoroll, My Melody, Kuromi, and Pochacco.

     

    There’s also pop-up cards with a variety of designs, including one that opens up into Ameya-Yokochō open-air market, another that turns into Hello Kitty and a panda sat down, and more.

    Edo-Tamagawaya x Hello Kitty Pink Tonkotsu Ramen – ¥390

    Budoonoki Sanrio Character Baumkuchen – ¥594 Each (Hello Kitty/My Melody/Pompompurin/Cinnamoroll)

    The Salt Industry Center of Japan x Hello Kitty Table Salt – ¥248

    There’s also food and snacks amongst a whole range of other goodies, all perfect as gifts and souvenirs.

     

    Be sure to stop by Sanrio Gift Plaza the next time you’re in Ueno.

     

    ⓒ 1976, 1996, 2020 SANRIO CO.,LTD. TOKYO, JAPAN  Original Text: SANRIO CO.,LTD.

    *All listed prices include tax. Sold items receive stock turnovers.

  • Star Wars Theme Cafe Opens in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido & Fukuoka

    25.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    With The Rise of Skywalker concluding the Skywalker saga of the Star Wars film franchise, fans are left craving more from the galaxy far far away.

     

    If you’re one of those people, and need a fix before season two of The Mandalorian, which is coming in late 2020, then you’ll want to hit up the all-new Star Wars-themed cafes now open for a limited time at branches of OH MY CAFE across Japan in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido, and Fukuoka.

     

    We visited the Tokyo branch of the cafe which is located inside Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku. Here’s our report of this must-see cafe for Star Wars fans, a museum-like space chock-full of concept art.

    Ready to greet you as you walk into the cafe is none other than Darth Vader. This life-size recreation of the Sith Lord is really striking, but don’t worryーthough he is realistic, he won’t use his Force choke on you, he only wishes for you to have a nice meal.

    Plastered across the cafe walls are pieces of concept art used during the production of the Star Wars film series.

    Here’s a galactic showcasing of the cafe’s menu. There are 7 food items and 5 drinks to choose from, all inspired by the franchise and its characters.

    <STAR WARS> Far Far Away Galaxy Black Curry – ¥1,590

    A signature dish of the cafe, this black curry features the Star Wars logo which is actually an edible wafer. The space design is bamboo charcoal-cooked rice which is mixed with spicy sauce and topped with peanuts for stars.

    <BB-8> Seafood BB-8 Gratin – ¥1,690

    Fans of BB-8 won’t be able to resist this delicious gratin, served with salad and French bread for a full belly.

    <Yoda> Root Leaf Stew – ¥1,590

    This stew is inspired by Yoda living his final years in his little shack in Dagobah during Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. It’s packed full of vegetables and will no doubt be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.

    <R2-D2 & C-3PO> Buddy Burger Plate – ¥1,990

    This set of two chicken burgers comes with an R2-D2 seasoned with béchamel sauce and a C-3PO burger seasoned with meat sauce. You can take the flags home with you too. We recommend sharing this between two people.

    Portion Bread – ¥500

    This is the one I was most interested in personally, because I was curious to know from its appearance how it would taste. It’s the portion bread that Rey tries eating in the film. At first glance it looks crunchy, but to my surprise it was soft with a subtle sweet flavour.

    Lightsaber Drinks – ¥600 Each (w/ Coaster ¥1,300)

    From the left, the flavours are Darth Vader blood orange, Luke Skywalker ramune, and Yoda melon. When you draw your straw from the paper wrapping, it turns into a lightsaber!

    <STAR WARS > Jet Black Coffee – ¥600 (w/Bottle ¥1,750)

    These limited edition bottles of black coffee feature the famous Star Wars opening crawl credits. Which one you get is randomーa must-have for all fans!

    After enjoying some Star Wars food and drink, it’s time to check out the cafe’s exclusive merchandise. There are 13 types of merch in total all bearing artwork from across the film series.

    Folder – ¥350

    I recommend picking up one of these folders made in collaboration with the cafe. It has illustrations of the food and drinks being sold there.

    Tote Bag – ¥3,500

    This tote bag has illustrations of characters from Star Wars and how they are all connected.

    There’s plenty of other must-grab merch too, from music to stationery and more.

    Customers who spend over ¥1,000 (excluding tax) on any of these exclusive items will receive the above-pictured limited edition bag. These are limited in stock so are available while supplies last.

    There’s plenty of places inside for fans to take great photos, so make sure you snap lots.

    Also, if you book a table in advance and order something from the menu, you’ll receive one of these 25 possible A5 folders, so be sure to book before you go!

     

     

    © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

    *All listed prices are pre-tax. Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

  • Celebrate Tokyo Midtown’s Cherry Blossoms at MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020 Event

    24.January.2020 | SPOT

    MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020 is set to take place in Tokyo Midtown from March 20 to April 19 to celebrate and welcome the spring and the cherry blossoms.

     

    This marks the 13th year of the event, which will take place both in Tokyo Midtown’s garden area which is home to rows of gorgeous cherry trees, as well as around the building where they have sparkling wine, sweets, flower displays, and many other exciting things planned.

     

    CHANDON Blossom Lounge

    Enjoy a luxurious cherry blossom experience this year with a glass of premium Chandon sparkling wine available at the outdoor limited-time CHANDON Blossom Lounge. This vibrant sparkling rosé wine is the perfect accompaniment to your springtime banquet and to say “Cheers!” to this year’s hanami flower-viewing in Japan.

     

    There will also be food prepared by Nagase Mitsunao, head banquet chef at the 5-star Ritz-Carlton Tokyo Hotel, as well as incredibly decorative-looking sweets to adorn the able. There are two new types of seats available this year with Japanese twists to them, including seats in the roofed lounge where you can enjoy the cool spring weather in the evening.

     

    Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020 (Closed in the case of stormy weather)

    Time: 12:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30) *Extended to 21:00 (Last Orders 20:30) on Fridays, Saturdays and during cherry blossom full bloom

    Location: Midtown Garden, Sakura-dori area

    *Select seats require a reservation – full details to be released in mid-February

     

    Spring Flower Display ~Flower Art Award pre~

     

    Za Sogetsu is a performance unit specialising in ikebana, or flower arrangement. One of the most recognised groups in the industry, their work will displayed around various locations at Tokyo Midtown, including large-scale pieces as well as never-before-scene ones. One look at this breathtaking flower art will be enough to fill you with spring vibes.

     

    Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020

    Time: 9:30-24:00 (Galleria Floor 1F) / 11:00-21:00 (Galleria Floors 2F-3F)

    Location: Galleria 1F’s Tree Shower & various locations at Galleria 2F-3F

     

     

    Nighttime Cherry Blossom Light-Up

    The entire 200-meter length of cherry trees in Tokyo Midtown’s garden area will be lit up with beautiful illuminations at night-a sight that never fails to drawn in countless people. Before the flowers are in full bloom, pink lights will be used to get people ready for the main show. When the cherry blossoms are at their height, white lights will be used every night.

     

    Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020

    Time: 17:00-23:00

    Location: Midtown Garden, Sakura-dori area/In front of Garden Terrace

     

    Tokyo Midtown has many other events planned for spring 2020, so don’t miss out this year.

  • Capy Neko Cafe: Japan’s First Cat and Capybara Cafe Opens in Tokyo

    24.January.2020 | FOOD

    Capy Neko Cafe is the newest animal cafe to hit Tokyo. Located in the neighbourhood of Kichijoji, right by the station, customers are able to interact with both cats and capybara at the same time.

    Japan is famous for its host of animal cafes, from the ubiquitous cat cafes to more unique ones like the owl cafe. But Capy Neko Cafe stands out from the rest as being the first cafe in Japan to combine cats and capybara.

    You might wonder whether it’s actually safe to pet a capybara. They may be the largest rodent in the world, but they in fact loved to be pet by people. They are gentle creatures that get on with and can live alongside cats. At the cafe, you can take photos of the capybara who are sure to be chilling on the sofas as well as feed them. The comfy environment also means that they’ll feel like your very own pet capybara at home.

    ▶︎Tawashi (Male)

    Tawashi is a sensitive, affectionate, and gentle guy. He loves snacks, and he’s sure to flop down if you start petting him on the butt. Part of his daily routine is having an afternoon nap on the sofa together with the cats.

    ▶︎Dan (Male)

    The vice store manager of Capy Neko Cafe. He adores humans. He’s the kind of guy who’ll probably jump up onto you if you cover your lap with a blanket and sit on the sofa.

    ▶︎Emma (Female)

    Another member with a soft spot for humans, Emma is reserved kitty who lets everybody eat their food first. She’s a needy and spoiled girlーif she’s on your lap, you’re not getting up. She’s siblings with Dan.

    ▶︎Cream (Male)

    Cream is everybody’s idol. He’s unapologetically spoiled and a handsome guy with perfectly round black pupils.

     

    This list is just a small taste of the many cute residents to meet at Capy Neko Cafe. The cafe is also active in finding families for their rescued cats. The number of people who want to own a cat in Japan are looking to rescues now instead of pet shops. At Capy Neko Cafe, you get the best of both worlds: you can meet and interact with a cat and see if they’re a good match for you.

     

    If you’re interested in visiting Capy Neko Cafe, keep in mind that priority goes to those who have booked in advance. This can be done via their official website, so book first and look forward to kicking back and enjoying a cup of tea, coffee or soft drink before interacting with the cats and capybara!

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

    23.January.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

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

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

  • Asakusa’s New Conveyor Belt Sushi Chain Kura Sushi Offers a Traditional Japanese Space

    23.January.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Muten Kura Sushi opened the first of its its all-new chain of “global flagship” sushi restaurants in Asakusa BOX on January 22.

     

    This kaitenzushi restaurant, or “conveyor belt sushi,” aims to promote Japanese culture. It wants people, both Japanese and foreign, to rediscover the wonders of kaitezsushi, and what better place to open its first branch than Asakusaーone of the biggest tourist hot spots in Tokyo?

    The restaurant’s design and decor takes on a more traditional approach, drawing inspiration of Japan’s Edo period with classic ukiyo-e paintings and paper lanterns adorning the walls, amongst many other things. This classic image of Japan has found its way to the dining space itself too, with flat tables made from plain wood and chairs topped with tatami. This gives it that air of grace and beauty which is typically associated with traditional Japanese culture, as well as a relaxed atmosphere.

    The logo used on the restaurant’s paper lanterns, crockery, staff uniform and elsewhere was designed by Japanese art director and creative director Kashiwa Sato. It was created for the brand to be used on all future branches, including all Japanese restaurants and those planned for the US and Taiwan.

    The restaurant even has several Japanese festival games for customers to play, like target practice and ring toss. They can win coupons that can be used in the restaurant, and kids can win toys too.

    Some of the staff can speak foreign languages too, and tablets that you order food from are available in 4 languages.

    Staff also carry a “Langogo Genesis,” a speech translation machine, to allow for smooth customer service. It’s connected to an AI language server which can speak and translate quickly in 104 languages.

    This global flagship restaurant also has a self check-in and payment system. Using touch screen, customers will be shown their seats automatically. The AI also adds up how many plates you have used by scanning their QR codes, and this is used to determine how much you need to pay. This means you needn’t wait for someone to bring the bill, you just head straight to the till.

     

    There’s also a smartphone app (called スマホでくら) which you can use to book a table and makes for easy checking in when you arrive at the restaurant.

    Head to Kura in Asakusa, Tokyo to enjoy Japan’s longtime affordable and delicious fast food: sushi.

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

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

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

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

     

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

    *Menu item names are translated from Japanese

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

     

    ©️Momoko Sakura ©️Sakura Production

  • See Tokyo’s Cherry Blossoms at the SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET Event

    17.January.2020 | SPOT

    SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET is set to take place in the Nihonbashi, Yaesu and Kyobashi areas of Tokyo from March 15 to April 5 this year.

    This marks the 7th run of the event. Naoki Ono, the chief editor of Kohkoku magazine, was invited on board as creative director for this year’s event, which promises plenty of cherry blossom-themed activities and content which you won’t experience anywhere else.

     

    Running alongside the festival will be the Kengai・NIHONBASHI event which will take place on March 28 and 29. This two-day event encourages people to turn off their smartphones and spend some quality time in the real world away from the digital world. There will be a food market run by local famous restaurants of Nihonbashi, which is known for its incredible food, who are preparing some special bites to eat. There will also be live performances, a book market, and much more.

     

    SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET Schedule

    The Tree Of Light –Akari Sakura-

    This cherry blossom art display will see around 100,000 LED lights bloom their beautiful radiance.

     

    Running: March 16, 2020 – March 31, 2020

    Location: COREDO Muromachi Terrace Main Roof

     

    Nihonbashi Art Street -Kotobana Mik

    Inspired by the weeping cherry trees that blossom in Nihonbashi during springtime, this art installation will react to people’s voices as they walk and talk around it, causing the trees to bloom.

     

    Running: March 16, 2020 – March 31, 2020

    Location: Naka-dori Street

     

    Sakura Menu Walk

    Around 120 participating restaurants and eateries will serve up special cherry blossom-inspired menus for the season. When you order any  of these menu items, you’ll receive a special novelty gift exclusive to the SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET event.

     

    Running: March 15, 2020 – April 5, 2020

    Location: Restaurants in the Nihonbashi area

     

    Sakura Light Up

    The town’s major facilities and establishments will be adorned and lit up beautifully with cherry blossom pink, as well the rows of cherry trees along Edozakura-dori Street.

    Running: March 15, 2020 – April 5, 2020

    Location: Edozakura-dori Street / Facilities along Chuo-dori Street

     

    Kengai・NIHONBASHI Schedule

    Kengai・SACOCHE

    10,000 bags will be given away for free for locking your smartphone inside. This will enable attendees to enjoy the here and now of the event without being distracted by technology

     

    Location: Handed out around Fukutoku Shrine

     

    Kengai・BOOK MARKET

    The book market is offering a new way to encounter books. The stock will include those featured at the Eslite Spectrum Nihonbashi pop-up shop from September 2019, as well as a selection of books from around Japan.

     

     

    This is just a small look at what to look forward to at this year’s event, there is lots more planned. More details are to be announced in the coming months, so stay tuned.

  • BALCÓN TOKYO: Roppongi’s Sophisticated New Bar and Restaurant Offers Luxurious Food & Drinks

    16.January.2020 | SPOT

    BALCÓN TOKYO is the newest luxury bar and restaurant to hit Tokyo’s Roppongi district. Set to open on the 14th floor of Mitsui Garden Hotel Roppongi Tokyo Premier on January 24, BALCÓN TOKYO offers opulent lounge and balcony spaces for fine wine and dining.

    Located away from the hustle and bustle of busy Roppongi, the establishment offers a breathtaking view of Tokyo’s city nightscape in both the eastern and western directions.

    When customers pass through the beautiful bar and lounge they are met with the spacious museum-like balcony area where they can enjoy a dining experience wrapped in soft warm lights. For those looking for a more private meal, they can reserve one of the individual private rooms, each of which has its own distinct touch and flavour. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or dinner, or even midnight teatime, BALCÓN TOKYO caters to customers’ needs.

    The interior design is the brainchild of none other than Yasumichi Morita of GLAMOROUS co.,ltd., and company that specialises not only on interior and exterior building and establishment designs, but graphic visuals, products, and more.

    Taking the spotlight at dinnertime is the restaurant’s incredible and mouthwatering roast beef which is aged at ice temperature and cooked carefully with time and care. The gravy sauce drizzled over the meat takes three days to make and only adds to the delicious offering of the beef.

     

    The restaurant also offers plenty of seasonal foods and ingredients that go perfect with a glass of champagne. Whether you’re celebrating something special or just out for a casual meal, the restaurant caters to all.

    For breakfast, a half-buffet of western-style food is prepared where you can pick one main. And so that foreign guests can get a taste of the quality of Japanese food, all ingredients used at the restaurant are domestic to Japan. The restaurant also uses organic vegetables shipped directly from growers and producers.

     

    To celebrate the grand opening of BALCÓN TOKYO, customers who reserve a table online or via telephone between January 24 and February 29 this year will receive a 30% discount on meal courses.

  • PEANUTS Cafes and DINERs Are Holding a Joe Cool Fair For a Limited Time Only

    15.January.2020 | FASHION / FOOD

    PEANUTS Cafes and PEANUTS DINERs in Nakameguro, Minami-machida, Yokohama and Kobe are holding a Joe Cool fair from January 15, 2020.

    PEANUTS Cafes and DINERs across Japan have held quite a few Snoopy-themed events based on a number of his disguises. In the past, the master of disguise has made an appearance in PEANUTS Cafes and DINERs as Astronaut Snoopy, Flying Ace Snoopy and Beagle Scout Snoopy. For the fourth and final theme of the series, Snoopy will be taking to the scene as his alter-ego Joe Cool. 

     

    Joe Cool is the guy that everyone yearns for. The cool dude who is always hidden behind his signature jet black sunglasses. Although he’s got the cool looks, he doesn’t seem to have a knack for attracting girls. 

     

    During the fair, there will be hot drinks decorated with illustrations of Joe Cool and a lineup of fair-limited merchandise.

    Joe Cool Black Caramel Au Lait
    Eat-In: ¥800 *Comes with an original drink coaster/ Take Away: ¥600 (Prices Before Tax)

    The jet black caramel café au lait is topped with creamy milk foam and a dusting of black cocoa in the silhouette of Joe Cool. Enjoy the changing appearance of your drink as you take a sip. Even the label on the take out cup is decorated with a Joe Cool fair logo that you won’t be able to resist taking a photo of.

     

    Sold At:

    PEANUTS Cafe Nakameguro: Eat-In/Take Away

    PEANUTS DINER Yokohama: Eat-In/Take Away

    PEANUTS DINER Kobe: Eat-In Only

    PEANUTS Cafe Kobe: Take Away Only

    *Not available at PEANUTS Cafe Snoopy Museum

    Original Joe Cool Eco Tote Bag: ¥1,600 (Before Tax)

    The popular Snoopy Eco Tote Bag has had a Joe Cool makeover. It has a simple design and is easy to use. The jet black colour makes it appropriate for anyone and it is large enough to fit an A4-size item inside. You can use it as your main bag or fold it up to store in your main bag so you’re always ready for that unplanned shopping trip. The merchandise lineup also includes original-design stickers, keyrings bearing a Joe Cool Snoopy design and a stainless steel mug. 

     

    All fair merchandise is available to purchase from the merchandise area of PEANUTS Cafes and PEANUTS DINERs or the online shop. 

     

    The special Joe Cool menu and merchandise is available for a limited time only – perfect for a special trip!

    © 2020 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

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