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.

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  • 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

     

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  • Make Your Own Matcha Drink and Try Black Bean Butter Toast in Nakameguro, Tokyo

    13.November.2019 | FOOD

    If you’re looking for a cool café experience in Tokyo then head to Nakameguro for a goldmine of craft beer taprooms, coffee roasters and restaurants. One café to consider adding to your list of must-go places is music café and wine bar epulor. The café has added a number of exquisite and unique items to its menu this November including a matcha drink, black bean paste and butter toast and craft cola.

    Take a seat and admire the walls of old records which create a soothing artistic atmosphere while sipping your cup of the café’s specialty hand drip coffee or sommelier-selected wine as the music of old records fills the air. When you have finished, feel free to take a gander at the gallery corner to appreciate the cafés art. 

    The November menu introduces a high-quality matcha by UK brand Matchæologist®, providing the opportunity to make and enjoy your own matcha drink. From the high-quality rich flavour to the contemporary design of the tea vessel, Matchæologist® lives up to its reputation as artisanal matcha green tea specialists.

    Fans of epulor’s popular Red Bean Paste and Butter Toast are in for a treat as the café is now serving up the Black Bean Paste and Butter Toast. The bread is a charcoal bread from the bakery Lotus baguette, which uses only natural yeast, Japan-produced wheat and no additives. The binchotan charcoal used to prepare the bread is a traditional charcoal which has been used since the Edo period. The appearance is just as striking as its taste. 

    The café has also started to sell Japan’s craft cola TOMO COLA. The cola is spiced with flavours from around the world including kola nut, nutmeg, Japanese herbs and Japanese citrus fruits. This natural cola contains no additives so you can indulge in the taste of nature and enjoy a unique flavourful experience of Japan. 

     

    epulor is the perfect spot to enjoy a luxurious moment of relaxation during your busy day while immersing yourself in an artistic and cultural experience. 

  • Instagram Launches #MY TOKYO IS Campaign With Tokyo Metropolitan Government

    12.November.2019 | SPOT

    Instagram launched a campaign with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government entitled “#MY TOKYO IS” on November 11 together with three limited-time stamps that can be used on people’s Instagram stories.

    The campaign is a global initiative to have people capture their favourite moments in Tokyo in the form of photos, videos and stories on Instagram. Shared posts will be used to curate places and scenery in Tokyo that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government want to showcase to the people of the world. This curation will take the form of an exhibitionーwhich will take place at GINZA ATRIUM on floor 6F of GINZA SIX and GINZA TSUTAYA BOOKS in late March 2020ーas well as a website and a book.

     

    Statistics have shown that Instagram has a significant influence on the Japanese economy in terms of tourism, and so the Tokyo Metropolitan Government hopes that this interactive campaign will help to promote the city to tourists and travellers worldwide.

    The stamps created as part of the campaign only appear in the tray when you’re in the city of Tokyo. When you click the stamp, the #MYTOKYOIS search result page will be displayed, allowing you to see the other photos and videos posted by the people who have used the campaign hashtag.

    If you’re in Tokyo, then be sure to get involved in the campaign and show the world your favourite things about the city!

  • Tokyo’s Instagram-Worthy Christmas Cakes Are a Must-Grab This Holiday Season

    10.November.2019 | FOOD

    With Halloween now out of the way, it’s time to plunge ourselves into that Christmas spirit! We’ve compiled a list of some of the most delicious-looking and Instagrammable Christmas cakes available to buy in Tokyo this year that make for the perfect Christmas party accompaniments.

     

    Noel Tokyo Station Hotel @ Tokyo Station

    Noel – ¥6,200 (Tax Included) @ Tokyo Station Hotel

    This chestnut cake is inspired by the pine pillars that supported the Tokyo Station Marunouchi station building until it was restored. It has a chestnut and sweet potato base and is layered with chestnut mousse and coffee mousse to recreate the rings of a tree which are used to tell a tree’s age.

    *10 served per day

    *Reservation Window: November 5 – December 17, 2019

    *Delivery Window: December 22-25, 2019

    *Online reservations available. Exclusive to GRANSTA.

     

    More Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/267999

     

     

    pon pon×Chris.P @ Tokyo Solamachi

    Crispy Cakes (Happy Wreath/Santa/Reindeer) – ¥508 Each @ pon pon×Chris.P (East Yard Floor 2F) [Available From November 15]

    These tiny crispy cakes are another great little bite to eat. The cute Santa version is cookie and milk flavoured and has marshmallows as the fluff of his hat.

     

    More Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/269015

     

     

    Café Cova Milano @ GINZA SIX

    Panettone Babbo Natale – ¥7,407 @ Café Cova Milano

    Cova’s panettone is made with a secret recipe that has been handed down since the beginning of the 19th century.

     

    More Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/265169

     

     

    Tokyo Disney Resort

    Christmas Cake: ¥1,480 / Available at: Tokyo DisneySea (Horizon Bay Restaurant), Tokyo Disneyland (Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall)

    There’s lots going on at Tokyo Disney Resort this year, at both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Don’t miss out on this cute Mickey and Minnie Mouse Christmas cake!

     

    More Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/266495

     

     

    Which is your favourite from the list? Christmas cakes are a must-have on Christmas Day, so make sure you pick one up before the big day!

  • Witness the Breathtaking Illuminations and Tokyo City Night Lights at Shinagawa Season Terrace Illumination 2019

    10.November.2019 | SPOT

    Shinagawa Season Terrace Illumination 2019 is set to run from December 1 to 25.

    The event will take place at Shinagawa Season Terrace, a towering office building in Tokyo, where the rolling grass lawn will be lit up beautifully with enchanting blue lights. They offer a breathtaking view against the city nightscape of Tokyo’s skyscrapers. Last year’s event saw nearly 17,000 people in attendance.

    2019 marks the 4th run of the event, and this year, the long staircase leading up to the lawn will also be lit up, welcoming visitors to see the illuminations from their first step upon arrival. The lights will flicker in 10 different patterns from the first floor (ground floor) up to the second.

     

    Entry is free, and visitors will be able enjoy an unbroken view of the structural spectacle that is Tokyo Tower too. If you’re in Tokyo this December, be sure to mark Shinagawa Season Terrace Illumination 2019 in your calendar for the holiday season.

     

    *Pictured photos are for illustrative purposes only

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #12 – ‘J-COOK’ in Gaiemmae

    08.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited J-COOK in Gaiemmae, a place I visited one time while off work which ended up in me wanting to absolutely feature it in the series!

    It’s just a 5-minute stroll from Gaiemmae Station.

    The cafe enjoys lots of sunlight, which is brightened further by all the plants scattered through the shop. The cafes I have visited to date are often a little darker with only a little light seeping through the windows to create a certain atmosphere, and they are wonderful, but this was the first I have ever visited with so might light and so many plants. The air felt clear, adding to the level of comfort in the cafe, perhaps because there are so many plants adorning the interior.

    The cafe also has a space with a slightly more darker light and atmosphere on the left side. I haven’t sat in that area yet, so I think I’ll try it out on my next visit.

    When I come to J-COOK, my eyes always wander over to the marzipan creations (¥450).

    These ones here were actually all individually handmade by the owner’s husband from the early morning.

    If you look really closely, you’ll notice all the dog designs are different. When ordering, get to pick out which one you want, so try finding your perfect pup!

    I had mine together with an iced coffee (¥450). The sweet marzipan is a delicious combination with the bitterness of the coffee.

    I also got some potted cream (¥450). It’s kind of like a Japanese custard pudding with just a moderate amount of sweetness.

    I had mine with a bit of brandy which had fragrant vanilla notes. They’ve had this brandy for 33 years since the store first opened.

    The cream was sensational, and the gentle notes linger afterwards.

    They have a lot of different homemade soups too which are perfect for the coming cold weather. I got the New Orleans-style gumbo soup. It’s spicy with clam and okra in it.

    Relaxing jazz music plays in the cafe while you sit and enjoy your drink and meal.

    J-COOK is a wonderful little cafe run by a husband and wife. When I first came, the wife came and talked to me. She’s super friendly, and although it was our first meeting, she made me feel really comfortable and welcome. She must be full of happiness, which in turn naturally gives people who visit the strength to be positive and work hard.

     

    I reckon their smiles have saved a lot of people.

     

    I can’t wait to visit again!

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Experiencing Japan: Dining at Denkiya Hall in Asakusa Wearing a Retro and Antique Kimono

    25.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Hi, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON readers! Banako here again from the MOSHI MOSHI Friends group.

     

    I have a question to ask you all. If you’ve been to Japan, did you ever dress up in a kimono or yukata to go sightseeing? It’s become common to see not only Japanese people, but foreign travellers and tourists clad in traditional Japanese ware snapping photos in the country’s historical locations. Dressing up in a kimono and walking the streets really immerses you in that Japanese spirit and transforms your experience entirely.

     

    I visited kesatokyo in Asakusa which rents out kimono that are somewhat different from the norm, got myself a kimono, and took a trip to Denkiya Hall, a long-standing cafe in Asakusa.

    Denkiya Hall is located along Senzoku-dori Shopping Street which is a 10-minute walk from the Tsukuba Express side of Asakusa Station. The street is quiet and peaceful since it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the station front.

    The kimono at kesatokyo are renowned through the town as they give off cute retro-antique vibes with their combination of things like lace necks, head dresses and berets.

     

    You can get some romantic co-ords which you won’t find with other kimono by matching with your friend in terms of design and accessories. I headed into the cafe excited with my kimono choice which matches the old-fashioned design of the cafe exterior.

    A standout feature of this cafe is that some of the tables have arcade games attached to them. If there’s a free seat at one of them, pick your favourite-looking, slot in a coin and start playing! Be sure to ask the staff to switch it on for you beforehand.

    While gazing through the nostalgic games, I ordered the cafe’s popular omumaki (¥700) and cream soda (¥650) while my friend got hot cakes.

    Stuffed and wrapped inside the omelette is a hearty serving of fried noodles. The noodles themselves are on the thicker side and have a rich seasoning like that from the Showa period. You can also pick between different noodles.

    The cream soda had deliciously sweet syrup and vanilla ice cream inside it.

    Your kimono will match the atmosphere of the cafe really well, so you can take some really great pictures at any time.

    Denkiya Hall opened over 100 years ago and incorporates styles from three different historical periods: Meiji, Taisho and Showa, giving it a nostalgic feeling.

    Another one of Denkiya Hall’s specialities is their boiled adzuki, the perfect treat to warm yourself up as the weather gets colder.

     

    It was fun strolling around Asakusa after our cafe visit, as well as searching for more modern towns like Ginza and Omotesando.

     

    We returned our kimono to kesatokyo at 18:40, right before the final return time. The basic rental plan for one person is ¥6,050 and it even includes hair styling! You can make reservations either via DMs on the store’s official Instagram or by telephone. You’re certain to get a reply on Instagram so it’s recommended going that route. The shop has more details on their plans on their website.

     

    Wearing a beautiful kimono and warming up inside a cafe during wintertime. How does that sound?

  • Japanese Sweets Brand Minamoto Kitchoan to Open Cafe Restaurant K. MINAMOTO in Ginza

    16.October.2019 | FOOD

    Japanese confectionery brand Minamoto Kitchoan will open a new cafe and restaurant called “K. MINAMOTO” on October 19.

    K. MINAMOTO will be located on floors 2-5 at THE HOUSE, Minamoto Kitchoan’s new company building which it just moved to on October 3. The cafe-restaurant’s menu concept is dubbed “Ginza Sunny Fruits.” It takes into consideration how daily fruit consumption has greatly decreased today by serving up a luxurious fresh fruit-packed line-up.

     

    Minamoto Kitchoan is a company that has made full use of fruits since its establishment, including the suikanshuku, a Japanese wagashi confection made of whole dried domestic persimmons. We can trust then that K. MINAMOTO will provide us with our 5-a-day.

    Roast Beef Sandwich w/ Fruit Soup – ¥2,420 (Tax Included)

    Seafood Lemon Cream Fedelini w/ Fruit Soup – ¥1,650 (Tax Included)

    Each and every dish on the menu has fruit, all grown in Japan to ensure the a high level of quality. Since the dishes have fruity flavours, prepping them is simple, and they enjoy the colours and textures of each fruit.

     

    Drinks haven’t been left out either. They are made with fruit purees and syrup, or are tossed in as they are, allowing for maximum fruity goodness.

    Smoked Salmon, Fruit Salad & Potato Galette w/ Fruit Soup – ¥1,980 (Tax Included)

    Autumn Fruit Almond Pudding – ¥1,760 (Tax Included)

    All the staff at K. MINAMOTO have a wealth of knowledge about the menu and the fruits used in each dish. Their service creates a comfortable atmosphere, and though they are polite they are incredibly friendly, so you can call out to them without worry.

     

    Get your fill of fruit from the all-new K. MINAMOTO, opening October 19.

  • Visiting the Weathering With You Cafe Now Open in Tokyo and Osaka

    10.October.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD / MOVIE

    LEGS COMPANY opened two cafes themed on the hit anime film Weathering with You in Tokyo and Osaka on October 8 and October 10 respectively. The cafes will run for a limited time only.

    We paid a visit to the Tokyo branch which opened inside OMOTESANDO BOX CAFE & SPACE which is only a 7-minute walk from Omotesando Station.

     

    The new blockbuster hit from internationally-acclaimed animator and film director Makoto Shinkai Weathering with You dropped back on July 19 and has since amassed over 13 billion yen (approximately US$131 million) in the box office. It was seen by 7.5 million people in the first 34 days of its release, and over 10 million after 75 days. Its huge success has cemented itself in the Japanese animated film industry as another monumental masterpieces from Shinkai. The film has also been nominated for Best International Feature Film for the upcoming 92nd Academy Awards set to take place on February 9, 2020.

    While sat in the cafe you can watch scenes from the film on the giant screens while the main songs performed by RADWIMPS play.

     

    The cafe menu features a line-up of drinks, dishes and desserts inspired by the characters and moments in the series, including the chahan set prepared by Hina for Hodaka, the Hodaka Welcome Party Set, and more.

    Teru Teru Omurice – ¥1,490

    This is the dish I ordered to eat. I couldn’t resist how cute it was. It’s inspired by the teru teru bōzu that Nagi makes, a traditional Japanese doll used to prevent rain and bring good weather. The doll’s head is made of mashed potato. He’s sat on a bed of ketchup rice filled with vegetables and bathed in a delicious sauce. This one’s too cute it almost seems a waste to eat♡

    Nagi’s Teru Teru Bōzu À La Mode – ¥1,490

    For dessert I ordered another teru teru bōzu treat. This one is made from gyūhi, a type of Japanese confection made from rice flour. Its head is filled with vanilla ice cream, and if you turn it over, you’ll find Japanese pudding underneath, and under that granola. It’s finished with a lining of bright blue lychee jelly around the outside for a hint of freshness.

     

    The cafe offers plenty of other dishes that will leave any Weathering with You fans spoiled for choice.

    Hina’s Handmade Sesame Oil Infused Pea Sprout Potato Chahan Set – ¥1,490

    A chahan set lovingly prepared by Hina for Hodaka. Chop up the spring onions that come on the side and add them to the soup just like Hina does in the film! This is a hearty set sure to fill you up.

    Hodaka’s Welcome Party Set – ¥1,590

    This one-person set was made lovingly by Natsume when Hodaka comes to work at the same company as her, K&A. If you’re looking for a healthy green meal packed with veggies then you’ll love this one.

    Clearing Up Weather Tiramisu – ¥1,490

    This refreshing matcha tiramisu is inspired by the scene when Hina and Hodaka reunite, with the sauce representing the sunlight and the cotton candy the rainy clouds. Pour the sauce over the cotton candy and watch the clouds clear up.

    Acai Bowl of the World’s Secrets – ¥1,390

    Enjoy the main key visual of the film right on top of your plate. The mild flavour of the yogurt coupled with the refreshing kiwi is a mouth-watering combination. The colours are really beautiful, too.

    Swirling Snow Whipped Latte – ¥990

    Inspired by the immense snow that spirals around Tokyo in the film, a cup of this whipped cream latte is perfect as a post-meal wind-down.

    Left: The Fine Weather That Day (Grapefruit) – ¥1,690 / Right: The Sunset That Day (Cranberry) – ¥1,690

    These two drinks are for takeout, and are based on iconic scenes in the film, specifically when the turns fine and the sunset. They are served in exclusive cafe-original bottles. Both flavours are sweet, sour and refreshing. Plus, you can reuse the bottles.

    If you order one of the many drinks from the menu you’ll receive one of six possible coasters chosen randomly.

    The cafe has plenty of exclusive merchandise on their shelves too.

    Sparkly Rain Smartphone Case (7/8 Ver. & X Ver.) – ¥3,900 Each

    When you shake these iPhone cases, it looks like the rain is falling.

    Raindrop Stickers (10 Designs) – ¥400

    Don’t you just want to collect all of these cute raindrop stickers?

    If you book a seat in advance (¥650 before tax per person) you will receive one of six possible bromide pictures chosen randomly, so don’t forget to reserve in advance.

     

    Plunge yourself into the world of Weathering with You at either one of these cafes, now running until November 17.

     

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

    ©️2019 “Weathering with You” Production Committee

  • Hiroo’s Cafe CANVAS TOKYO Turns Into a Pure White Canvas in New Monochrome Theme

    09.October.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    CANVAS TOKYO is a cafe and open concept store based in Hiroo, Tokyo produced and managed by BLANCA ASSOCIATION. The cafe has announced that it is taking on a new monochrome theme on October 10 where the entire cafe will be decked out in white like a blank canvas. They will also sell new products as part of the transformation.

    The idea behind this concept is to make the overall look simple while putting great care and attention into the little details. Everything from the cafe exterior to its interior, cups, cutlery and so on have been dyed black and white to give a plain yet sophisticated appearance.

     

    The cafe will also stock a new range of merchandise under the same concept, like coats and bags, allowing the cafe’s stylish look to extend into the outside world too. As well as this, the cafe is introducing some new menu items, including a tea latte, bao, and more.

    Black & White Sweaters – ¥12,000 (Before Tax)  *One size

    Made into a loosely tailored size with wide ribbed sleeves, these sweaters have a design that makes them easy to coordinate, meaning you can pair them with countless outfits.

    London Fog – ¥500 (Before Tax)

    CANVAS TOKYO’s original London Fog beverage is an Earl grey tea mixed with natural maple syrup from Canada, warm milk and fluffy foamed milk, effectively creating a tea latte.

    Left: Fresh Salsa & BBQ Pork – ¥430 (Before Tax) / Right: Coriander & TERIYAKI Pork – ¥430 (Before Tax)

    These Chinese-style steamed meat buns, known as “bao,” are a popular snack item with people around the world. New York and London are known for having several stores specialising in bao.

     

    This is just a small peek into the monochrome heaven of CANVAS TOKYO. To see it in all it’s black and white glory, head to the trendy district of Hiroo in Tokyo.

  • Pink Ribbon Raises Breast Cancer Awareness with Pink Drinks and Pink Ribbon Smile Walk

    04.October.2019 | FOOD

    Pink Ribbon aims to spread knowledge about breast cancer and conveys the importance of breast cancer screening. In order to reach out to more people, Pink Ribbon has released special drinks for the month of October that are dyed completely pink. This limited edition series debuted at Cafe & Dining Zelkova which is located on the first floor of THE STRINGS in Omotesando.

    The White Chocolate Strawberry Cappuccino consists of hot milk blended with white chocolate and strawberry syrup. The beautiful blend creates a pure pink-coloured cappuccino. The Pink Lemonade is a cocktail which consists mainly of refreshing grapefruit juice. Both these beautiful drinks are Instagram-worthy.

     

    Those who order a drink will receive a free book which is full of essential information about breast cancer. There are also donation boxes for the Japanese Foundation For Cancer Research which provides customers with the opportunity to contribute towards research that saves lives.

     

    On October 5, there will be the Pink Ribbon Smile Walk Tokyo event where part of the terrace area will be lit up with pink illumination in order to raise awareness for Pink Ribbon’s breast cancer campaigns. Make sure to get involved.

  • 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. 

  • 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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