New Food Truck Taiyaki Tainoya to Open in Shinjuku Serving Fish-Shaped Cakes
21.September.2019 | FOOD
Starbucks Japan’s Autumn Beverage Line-Up Includes Golden Sweet Potato Frappuccino & Macchiato
17.September.2019 | FOOD
Starbucks Japan has unveiled the second batch of drinks in its ongoing Artful Autumn @ Starbucks® promotion: the “Sweet Potato Gold Frappuccino®” and the “Sweet Potato Gold Macchiato.” Both will go on sale on September 10.
The concept for this year’s Artful Autumn is “Be Colourful,” and that shines true with this golden, autumnal coffee line-up.
The Sweet Potato Gold Frappuccino® contains a rich syrup made from cured sweet potato. It retains the rich, full-bodied aroma, sweetness and deep flavour of the Japanese sweet potato (satsumaimo). The drink’s main characteristic is the crunchy texture left behind from the potatoes. Its golden appearance comes from the honey and sweet potato blend sauce. This sauce swirls around the beverage which can be seen through the cup, giving it that artistic flavour required to be considered for the Artful Autumn selection. The cold coffee beverage is drizzled in this same sauce, rich in flavour and fragrance.
Each cup of the Sweet Potato Gold Macchiato is made delicately in a mix of foamed milk, sweet potato honey, and a shot of freshly extracted espresso. The combination of the sweet and rich sweet potato and full-bodied espresso roast coupled with the caramel-y flavour is a coffee match made in heaven. The hot beverage is topped with more of that incredible sauce drizzled in the classic way of a macchiato.
Warm yourself up this season with the latest in the Artful Autumn collection.
Sweet Potato Gold Frappuccino®
Price: Tall ¥580 (*Only Tall size available)
Sweet Potato Gold Macchiato
Price: Short ¥440 / Tall ¥480 / Grande ¥520 / Venti® ¥560
Running: September 20, 2019 – October 10, 2019
Available: At most Starbucks branches in Japan
*Listed prices do not include tax
Starbucks Japan Official Website: https://www.starbucks.co.jp/
Tokyo Station’s Christmas Cakes Are a Must-Buy Present This Holiday Season
Two of Tokyo Station’s shopping areas, GRANSTA and GRANSTA MARUNOUCHI―which are accessible inside the ticket gates and outside the ticket gates respectively―are set to hold the GRANSTA Christmas Fair from November 5 to December 25.
GRANSTA x Tokyo Staion Hotel
The main GRANSTA shopping area is joining hands with Tokyo Station Hotel for the very first time to release a line of hotel-original Christmas cakes.
Noel – ¥6,200 (Tax Included) @ Tokyo Station Hotel (*10 servings per day)
This pine tree stump chestnut cake was originally sold to support the reconstruction work of the Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building which was held until 2012. Topping the chestnut sweet potato base is a mix of chestnut mousse and coffee cream. This is topped with two types of chestnut pastes in a spiral shape to create the tree rings.
Bûche Chocolat Vanille – ¥5,500 (Tax Included) @ Tokyo Station Hotel (*10 servings per day)
The Bûche Chocolat Vanille is an exquisite yule log made with melt-in-the-mouth chocolate mousse and vanilla cream inside which hides sweet and sour, kirsch-soaked cherries and sauteed pears. The top of the log is temptingly lined with even more cherries to give it both that rich look and even richer taste.
Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building Cake Designs
GRANSTA will also sell cakes inspired by Tokyo Station. As well as the ones shown here, there are ones based on the bullet trains and more.
Station Building Fruit Cake – ¥4,320 (Tax Included) @ Colombin (*only 100 available)
Exclusive to GRANSTA comes this special Christmas fruit cake based on the station building. It would make great gift to bring to the Christmas party.
Cupola de Tokyo – ¥3,780 (Tax Included) @ Caffarel (*only 50 available / *design still a WIP so may differ from the photo)
This colourful Christmas cake draws inspiration from the gorgeous interior designs of the north and south domes of the Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building.
Suica Penguin Cakes
The adorable Suica Penguin is the mascot of Suica contactless smart cards used at train stations.
Suica Penguin Cake – ¥5,400 (Tax Included) @ Dalloyau (*only 100 available)
The main Suica Penguin cake is a combination of chocolate mousse and a cream made from tonka beans. This cute cake is sure to bring joy to any child this Christmas♡
Suica Penguin Chocolate Raspberry – ¥490 (Tax Included) @ Fairycake Fair (*30 servings per day)
Fairycake Fair has whipped up a chocolate cream-topped cupcake filled with raspberry jam. This one is for those who want something a bit smaller than a ginormous cake!
There are lots more cakes to look forward to, including ones in very limited quantities. If you’re in Japan this Christmas season, be sure to pay a visit to GRANSTA and GRANSTA MARUNOUCHI in Tokyo Station.
©Chiharu Sakazaki / JR East / DENTSU Suica by JR East Suica
Address: JR East Tokyo Station Building Floors B1F & 1F (Inside Ticket Gates), 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:00-22:00 (Until 21:00 on Sundays)
*Opening hours differ for select shops in GRANSTA
*The GRANSTA New Area opening hours are from 9:00-22:00(Until 21:00 on Sundays)
Address: JR East Tokyo Station Building Floors B1F (Inside Ticket Gates), 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 (Until 21:00 on Sundays)
*Opening hours differ for select shops in GRANSTA MARUNOUCHI
GRANSTA Official Website (Japanese): https://www.tokyoinfo.com/shop/mall/gransta/
This Irresistible Tart is Made From Rare and Delicious Heart-Shaped Grapes
11.September.2019 | FOOD
Fruit tart specialist shop Qu’il fait bon will be selling a brand new kind of lovable tart which is made using a rare species of grape sourced from Yamanashi prefecture. The tart is currently selling at Grand Maison, Ginza and Hamamatsu. These will be available for a limited period only.
The tart is covered with incredibly rare “My Heart” grapes, which were developed by the grape research institute Shimura Budou Kenkyusho. Growing and cultivating these grapes was no easy task and took an incredible amount of time. There was only a short window of time available to harvest the produce and even then the harvest was small, so stocking up was very difficult. Despite the challenges, these tongue-tantalizing tarts are being sold this year, however, they are in limited supply.
Shine muscat grapes and loubell muscat grapes were crossbred to create this new kind of grape. The marvellous flavour of both parent grapes can be tasted. The new grapes have a high sugar content, a wonderful scent and the skin is wonderfully crunchy.
Take a bite into the special Yamanashi Grape My Heart Tart and you will be filled with a sophisticated fruity flavour. The adorable heart-shaped grapes are layered perfectly on top of a bed of white wine custard. You just have to try this delicious and beautiful tart!
My Heart Tart (Made using grapes from Yamanashi Prefecture)
Prices*: ¥936 a slice /￥9,363 per whole tart (25cm)
*Prices after tax
Release Period: September 7 ー End of September, 2019
Available at: Qu’il fait bon Grand Maison, Ginza/ Hamamatsu
More Information: http://www.quil-fait-bon.com/mtr/2019-MyHeart.php
Official Website: http://www.quil-fait-bon.com/
Häagen-Dazs Release New Soybean Flour Brown Sugar Syrup and Zunda Mochi Ice Creams
14.September.2019 | FOOD
Häagen-Dazs Japan has announced that it will release two new flavours from its popular hanamochi ice cream series on September 17: “Soybean Flour Brown Sugar Syrup” and “Zunda.”
Soybean Flour Brown Sugar Syrup Hanamochi
The soybean flour brown sugar syrup hanamochi was released back in 2015 and returned again in 2017. This year, Häagen-Dazs is bringing is back even more delicious than before. They have blended together a variety of soybean flours to elevate the ingredient’s original flavour.
The top of the mochi is sprinkled with a blend of lightly roasted black and yellow soybeans. By roasting them, the original taste and fragrance of the soybean comes through tenfold. Dark roasted soybean has also been combined with milk for a velvety texture, and the entire thing is drizzled in a rich original brown sugar syrup sauce which further enrichens the soybean flavour.
Zunda is sweet soybean paste made from mashed edamame beans and a flavour that has been gaining popularity in Japan in recent years. Häagen-Dazs is incorporating the flavour for the first time in their hanamochi series.
The lumpy texture of the crushed edamame goes deliciously well with the chewy mochi, taking the original authentic taste and texture of edamame to a whole new level. Mixing it with soybeans and rich milk turns it into a smooth ice cream in your mouth. The sauce also contains a sprinkle of salt to bring out the flavour of the zunda.
The packaging has also been updated, inspired by their flavours and topped with a golden lid, giving it a modern-Japanese appeal. Don’t miss out on these two new flavours.
Soybean Flour Brown Sugar Syrup Hanamochi (Limited Edition)
Price: ¥319 (Tax Included)
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Available: At supermarkets, convenience stores, and department stores across Japa
Product Page: https://www.haagen-dazs.co.jp/hanamochi_1909/
Zunda Hanamochi (Limited Edition)
Price: ¥319 (Tax Included)
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Available: At supermarkets, convenience stores, and department stores across Japa
Product Page: https://www.haagen-dazs.co.jp/hanamochi_1909/
This Week’s Dessert: Savouring Autumntime Matcha Sweets at ATELIER de GODIVA in Ikebukuro
One thing I do at least once a week without fail is treat myself out to some delicious food or dessert. It’s very important time well spent to ensure happiness.
I’ve been working relatively hard as of late. I had some spare time before a business meeting, so I took advantage of the occasion to treat myself to some desserts. My destination: ATELIER de GODIVA located inside Seibu Ikebukuro.
GODIVA has numerous stores throughout Tokyo, but Ikebukuro’s concept store branch has an eat-in space that’s perfect for that tea or coffee break.
ATELIER de GODIVA boasts that same level of quality when it comes to their desserts, some of which are exclusive to this branch. There are only three branches: this one in Seibu Ikebukuro (Tokyo), another in Daimaru Kyoto (Kyoto), and the last in Hakata Hankyu (Fukuoka). The cake I am showing you today is a special dessert sold only in these three branches (and is takeout only at Hakata Hankyu).
The first delight I ordered was the Mousse Matcha Cherry.
Mousse Matcha Cherry: Eat in ¥980 / Takeout ¥780 (*Matcha Ice Cream is eat-in only)
Available: Until November 26, 2019 while supplies last
The shiny cake is served on a round white plate with a dollop of matcha ice cream. The pink berry sauce is drizzled around the plate to make the plating even cuter.
Time to tuck in. This extravagant cake is supported by a fluffy matcha mousse topped with a crunchy chocolate sable. On top of that still are juicy cherries, adding a hint of freshness to the cake. The matcha glaze on the mousse has just the right amount of bitterness, which when coupled with the subtly sweet matcha mousse makes for a heavenly balance of flavours. Lined around the base of the mousse are sweet and sour dried raspberries which elevated the matcha-ness of the matcha mousse.
The matcha ice cream which it comes with when you order to eat in is rich and creamy.
I was full up after my dessert, but since I’d taken the time to come here I wanted to order a drink too… so I got a takeout Chocolixir Uji Matcha Kiwami from a shop adjoining ATELIER de GODIVA.
Chocolixir Uji Matcha Kiwami – ¥602 (*Takeout only at the GODIVA Seibu Ikebukuro branch)
This new drink is part of GODIVA’s chocolate and tea pairing series. The chefs at GODIVA have carefully selected the best varieties of tea to combine with chocolate. This one is an iced drink made with white chocolate and matcha.
It’s a mix of GODIVA’s popular smooth and sweet white chocolate and rich Uji matcha. It’s crowned with a sprinkling of bitter Uji matcha powder. All of the flavours are highlighted in this sweet drink. The crunchy white chocolate pieces you sip up as you drink are delicious. It’s the kind of drink where you’re sure to find something new each time you take a drink.
My 30-minute tea break is my little self-indulgence for the day. Spare minutes in my daily schedule affords me the chance to go and enjoy some delicious desserts. You should treat yourself to some special autumntime sweets too.
Matcha Adzuki ATELIER Tablet – ¥800
I’s important to share the happiness between family and colleagues on when you get the chance to enjoy something tasty. The present I bought today was a tablet chocolate handmade in the shop. The matcha white chocolate has almonds in it as well as Japanese-style chocolate mixed with adzuki. It has a strong matcha flavour and isn’t overly-sweet. You can also request for a ribbon to be tied around it for gift-giving. It’s a chocolate that’s sure to bring anyone joy.
Writer：Sayuri Mizuno（MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON）
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
ATELIER de GODIVA Seibu Ikebukuro
Address: Seibu Ikebukuro B1F, 1-28-1 Minami-Ikebukuro, Toshima Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: [Mon-Sat] 10:00-21:00 / [Sun & Holidays] 10:00-20:00
ATELIER de GODIVA Daimaru Kyoto
Address: Daimaru Kyoto B1F, 79 Tachiuri Nishimachi, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: [Mon-Sun] 10:00-20:00
ATELIER de GODIVA Hakata Hankyu
Address: Hakata Hankyu B1F, 1-1 Hakataekichūōgai, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
Opening Hours: [Sun-Thurs] 10:00-20:00 / [Fri-Sat] 10:00-21:00
Chocolixir Uji Matcha Kiwami
Running: October 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019
GODIVA Official Website: https://www.godiva.co.jp/
Full Moon Salted Caramel & Paradigm Shift Pudding Cooked Up By firando
15.October.2019 | FOOD
Mirai Image and firand have teamed up to create a new dessert brand named “firando.” Their website launched just recently, and their first products, “MANGETSU” and “PURIORI,” were shown for the first time at the 9th Tsuhan Expo which took place on September 26-27. Sales of these two confections went live on their official website on Tuesday (October 15).
During the Edo portion of Sakoku, when Japan closed its doors to most foreign trade and foreign nationals, Hirado was called “firando” and thrived as a port for international trade. During this time, caramel, then a western-style confection, found its way to Hirado, and has since resurfaced in Hirado, Nagasaki.
“MANGETSU” is the Japanese term for full moon. This salted caramel treat is made with a very special salt: it’s taken from the sea of the beautiful Hirado Island only when the tide is high during an evening full moon. It’s also made with freshly-squeezed raw milk shipped directly from the only dairy farmer in Hirado that has been passed down the generations. The dessert is completely additive-free, using no preservatives or artificial colouring. It uses the highest quality unrefined sugar from Kagoshima Prefecture that is easy on the body, with each and every grain being accounted for in the 10-second cooking progress. The milk has a rich flavour, and the full moon salt adds a pleasant accent, resulting in a refreshing aftertaste.
The “PURIORI” is a Japanese-style pudding whose concept is “going back in time.” The concept asks, “What if you went back in time to the end of the Edo period and presented nanbangashi* to the Matsuura feudal lord?” The pudding piles together the layers of Japan’s confection culture. It’s made with rare eggs from Nagasaki Prefecture that you can’t get on the marketplace.
*Nanbangashi are a variety of Japanese sweets derived from Portugal and Spain
firanodo has whipped up some seriously special and luxurious desserts here. If you find yourself in Nagano, be sure to visit their store, and don’t forget to check out their website below.
Address: 310-2 Tsuyoshichō, Hirado, Nagasaki
Products: MANGETSU / PURIORI」
Official Website: https://firando-caramel.com/
Royal Park Hotel Tokyo Transforms For Halloween 2019
11.October.2019 | FOOD
Royal Park Hotel Tokyo in Nihonbashi has begun its Halloween festivities for 2019, including a bone-chilling black and orange food and dessert menu, spooky decorations, a photo spot in the first floor main lobby, and more.
Check out their mouth-watering sweets assortment! Their Halloween Afternoon Tea set is packed full of autumntime flavours, from the glass desserts, to the apple chiboust, chocolate pocket watches with bats on them, adorable monster burgers, and more.
The hotel is also offering a Halloween Dinner Buffet on weekends and holidays decorated in Halloween colours. Pile your tray with figs and blackcurrants, chestnut mousse, pumpkin tarts, and plenty of other tasty treats, all prepared fresh in the kitchen.
This is just a peek into the hair-raising fun happening right now at Royal Park Hotel Tokyo. There’s also the Halloween Cocktail Fair, Halloween Sweets & Bread event, and much more.
Spend your Halloween here, or even use it as an opportunity to try wearing your Halloween costume out so you’re ready for October 31!
Halloween Afternoon Tea
Running: October 1, 2019 – October 31, 2019
Location: Fontaine (Floor 1F Lobby Lounge)
Price: ¥4,840 Per Person (Tax Included)
Halloween Dinner Buffet (Weekends & Holidays Only)
Running: October 5, 2019 – October 27, 2019
Location: Symphony (Floor 1F Lobby Lounge)
Price: ¥7,260 Per Person (Tax Included) / Seniors ¥6,050 Per Person (Tax Included)
*¥4,235 Per Person (Tax Included) for those aged 4-12 years and 65+
Halloween Cocktail Fair
Running: October 1, 2019 – October 31, 2019
Location: Fontaine (Floor 1F Lobby Lounge) / Royal Scots (Floor B1F Main Bar)
Price: ¥1,936 Per Person (Tax Included)
Halloween Sweets & Bread
Running: October 1, 2019 – October 31, 2019
Location IKI (Floor 1F Sweets & Bakery)
Royal Park Hotel Tokyo
Address: 2-1-1 Nihonbashikakigarachō, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Official Website: https://www.rph.co.jp/
Top 6 Desserts Made With Luxurious Pink Ruby Chocolate
Ruby chocolate is a variety of chocolate that was introduced in 2017 as the 4th main type of chocolate alongside milk, white and dark. It didn’t hit Japan until October 2018, but since then, the luxury pink delight has been getting much love with the release of many new products. The ruby colour of the cocoa beans is completely natural.
I attended a product conference held by Barry Callebaut, the Belgian-Swiss chocolate company which introduced ruby chocolate to the world. I got to try out various confections made using this chocolate.
When talking about ruby chocolate, you’re inclined to highlight its striking pink colour. But the looks are just part of the story. Compared to dark, white and milk chocolate, ruby chocolate is said to have the strongest cacao fruit flavour. Though it’s chocolate, it has a sour, fruity kind of taste.
Until last year, I was more about the eye-catching pink colour of the chocolate, so I ended up overlooking that ruby chocolate is often paired with berry-type fruits when it comes to confections. I get it nowーso it has a sour taste? Well then, this year I really want to go all out and appreciate the unique flavour of this ruby chocolate.
Today, I’m going to showcase six new products made with Callebaut® Ruby Chocolate. I’ve tried them all, so I can properly break down the flavours and how delicious they are for you!
Ruby Chocolate Otabe – ¥660 (Before Tax)
This Japanese confection is a combination of ruby chocolate and “Otabe,” which is a confection known as “yatsuhashi,” a popular souvenir sweet from Kyoto. Much time is put into making the ganache to ensure the fruitiness of the ruby chocolate remains intact. The ganache is wrapped in chewy yatsuhashi which is made with domestic koshihikari, which is a type of rice, and carefully selected water. There’s no way this could be anything short of delicious!
At the taste-testing session, I got to see the ruby chocolate Otabe being made right in front of me. It was done by a kimono-clad Nara who normally makes confections in the factory.
The rich and sour ganache combined with the chewy yatsuhashi is a match made in heaven! The pink colour really is cute after all, isn’t it? By wrapping the fruity chocolate in mochi, it creates even deeper flavours in your mouth.
This product will be sold at Kyoto Station and various tourist sites around Kyoto, so if you ever visit the city, make sure you’re on the lookout.
Ruby Chocolate Otabe
Running: October 11, 2019 – Early May 2020
Available: At Kyoto Station and tourist spots around Kyoto
Official Website: http://www.otabe.kyoto.jp/
Ruby Mille-feuille – ¥600 (Before Tax)
From Juchheim comes these ruby chocolate-coated mille-feuille fingers, laced with butter from Hokkaido and strawberry and raspberry mixed cream layered into a crunchy sandwich.
The puff pastry is of course tasty, and the sour flavour of the ruby chocolate mixed with the sourness of the berry cream packs a seriously fruity punch. It’s an overall crunchy and rich dessert, but it also has a refreshing taste to it, so one person is sure to be tempted by more than one.
Released: October 1, 2019 (Online orders from October 8, 2019 )
Available: At all 272 branches of Juchheim in Japan / Juchheim Premium Online Shop
Online Shop: https://e-shop.juchheim.co.jp/
Pretzel Cookie – ¥480 Each (Before Tax)
Food company Rosenheim have taken their crunchy butter pretzel cookies and coated them in various chocolate flavours, including ruby, sweet, milk, and white.
The ruby pretzels have that distinct vivid pink colour and of course taste fruity. There’s six in a pack, so you can share them with friends.
Released: September 20, 2019
Available: At mass retailers across Japan
Christmas Wreath Ruby Framboise – ¥5,000 (Before Tax)
Callebaut’s new ruby chocolate iced cake will be released from Maison Givrée. It’s topped with a ruby chocolate and raspberry ice cream and is adorned with cool and refreshing lychee sorbet.
The best way to eat this cake is when the ice cream has melted a little bit. You can enjoy the sweet fragrance of the ruby chocolate and the marriage between its sour flavour and the raspberry. Try savouring the melted sorbet and ruby chocolate ice cream by leaving it in your mouth.
Christmas Wreath Ruby Framboise
Running: October 11, 2019 – December 13, 2019
Delivery Window: December 20, 2019 – December 25, 2019 (subject to change)
Available: At Maison Givrée and its online store
Official Website: https://givreetokyo.shop-pro.jp/
Ruby Chocolate Corn Puffs – One Box ¥1,450 (Tax Included)
You can pick up a box of these ruby chocolate corn puffs at Pierre Gagnaire Pains et Gateaux on the 2nd floor of InterContinental ANA Hotel Tokyo. They have a shiny pink pearl-like appearance. The crunchy corn puffs are thick-cut which goes well with that fruity ruby chocolate taste.
Ruby Chocolate Pear Tart – ¥650 (Tax Included)
These cocoa-laced and ruby chocolate powdered baked tarts are also sold at Pierre Gagnaire Pains et Gateaux. They’re topped with almond cream and a pear compote. They’re also topped with a ganache made from ruby chocolate and a redcurrant puree. Their design is made so that it looks like a flower, crowned with extra redcurrants.
Ruby Chocolate Corn Puffs
Running: All year round
Ruby Chocolate Pear Tart
Running: October 1, 2019 – January 14, 2020
Available: Pierre Gagnaire Pains et Gateaux (InterContinental ANA Hotel Tokyo – Floor 2F)
Hotel Official Website: https://anaintercontinental-tokyo.jp/en/
I’m all about ruby chocolate’s deep flavour now. If you’ve yet to try it then you’ve got to get your hands on some, to enjoy both its striking pink appearance and that sour cacao fruit flavour.
Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
BEAMS fennica to Release Gorgeous Collection in Collaboration With Ainu Crafts
06.October.2019 | FASHION
fennica is a fashion label associated with BEAMS that combines traditional Japanese handicraft with new and old designs collected from Northern Europe. The label has announced that it will collaborate with the Akan Tourism Association (法人阿寒観光協会まちづくり推進機構) non-profit organisation to release an all-new collection that incorporates traditional Ainu crafts.
Terry Ellisーthe London-based director of fennicaーand Keiko Kitamura observed Ainu culture in the Lake Akan area in Kushiro, Hokkaido, and have used the creative beauty of young craftsmen and craftswomen who are in charge of next-generation Ainu culture. Overtime they have worked together with the artisans to create an original collection entitled “Ainu Crafts from Lake Akan: Tradition and Innovation” which will be sold on the fifth floor of the Shinjuku branch of BEAMS Japan in the fennica studio and B Gallery from October 12.
The collection incorporates silver jewellery with Ainu patterns, wood-carved cutlery, hamper bags made with traditional materials, and many other lifestyle items familiar to Ainu culture. During the showcasing, there will be other exhibitions related to Ainu in the gallery, as well as talks, live performances, and more.
A special webpage went live on October 1 talking about this collaboration.
The collection’s director Terry Ellis commented: “When I was walking around Takiguchi’s store Ichigen No Mise, my attention focused on this cutlery. I felt the folklore in its simplicity. Though it’s an item to be used, the craftsmanship is incredible. You can’t just stop at one, you want to collect more and decorate with them.” *Translated from Japanese
Keiko Kitamura, also a director for the collection, commented: “Akan is a rare kind of place, with mountains, rivers, lakes and forests. It has its own shapes and colours because of the light, colours and sounds which change intensely with time and soak into your body. And Ainu art is distinct from the traditional craftsmanship of other countries and regions because in almost all categories you can still produce it even today. There are [Ainu] people who are still continuing to make art for their family to this day. Their still being here is something valuable.”
She continues: “Japan’s handiwork is in danger of vanishing across all areas of the country. Even if there are no successors, there are people who have been beside them watching, and people who were once involved in the past. So we may barely just make it. Because if this handiwork comes to a stop, it will be no more. We feel a sense of duty to protect this wonderful work.”
Ainu Crafts from Lake Akan: Tradition and Innovation
Location: BEAMS Japan – Floor 5F (3-32-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo)
<fennica Studio> Product Sales: October 12, 2019 – October 20, 2019 (*AINU CRAFTS products, specially-made fennica select Lake Akan items, and more)
<B Gallery> Lake Akan Exhibitions: October 12, 2019 – October 27, 2019
①Live Event: October 13, 2019 @ 18:00-18:30
Guests: Sister music unit “kapiw & apappo” (Fukuko Gōukon/Emi Shimokura)
②Talk Show: October 20, 2019 @ 18:00-19:30
Guests: Kengo Takiguchi, Hiroyuki Shimokura, Erika Katsuya, Keiko Kitamura, Terry Ellis
*The live event and talk shows are booking-only. Please check the B Gallery website for more details and how to book.
Visit the following website for more details on the participating artisans: https://www.akanainu.jp/karpekuru
Munch On These Crispy Freshly-Baked Custard Apple Pies Made With Sweet Potato at RINGO
05.October.2019 | FOOD
RINGO, a shop which specialised in freshly-baked custard apple pies, has announced that it will release its new Yakitate Custard Oimo Apple Pie on October 17.
RINGO opened its first branch in Ikebukuro, Tokyo back in 2016. Since then, it has expanded and opened 12 branches across Japan, including Osaka and Fukuoka, and 3 stores overseas. They sell over 6 million custard apple pies every year. Since their products are baked fresh in-house, you can watch and see how they are made.
The new Yakitate Custard Oimo Apple Pie is a crunchy 144-layer pie packed full of custard cream and an autumntime sweet potato paste for an added subtle sweetness.
The sweet and sour apple filling is made with a range of domestic apples, including the hatorazu ringo apple from Aomori Prefecture. The pastry is also laced with cocoa powder and topped with roasted white sesame seeds. A deliciously fitting dessert for the autumn season!
Yakitate Custard Oimo Apple Pie
Running: October 17, 2019 – November 10, 2019
Price: ¥465 (Tax Included)
Available: At RINGO branches across Japan (except ekie Hiroshima and Sendai Station)
*There are is a limited number served per day
Official Website: http://ringo-applepie.com
New York-Style Cafe & Restaurant Sarabeth’s Celebrates 7 Years in Japan With Special Event in Shinjuku
It has been seven years since Sarabeth Levine took her New York-based cafe and restaurant Sarabeth’s to Japan back in 2012. To celebrate, the establishment will hold a special one-night event with a commemorative menu.
“Fermented Foods” is the theme of the event, which will see an incredible line-up of premium dishes. There will also be a talk by Sarabeth Levine herself who will be in attendance.
The menu line-up features a range of healthy fermented foods, like pancakes and Eggs Benedict, while drinks options include lemonade with fermented syrup, goishicha tea from Aichi Prefecture, and more. There will also be Sarabeth cookies which you can take home with you.
Sarabeth’s Japan 7th Anniversary Special Event
Date: November 5, 2019
Time: Reception 18:30 / Open 19:30-20:45 (subject to change)
Price: ¥3,800 (Tax Included)
Capacity: 50 (Reservation-Only)
Location: Sarabeth’s Lumine Shinjuku (Lumine 2 Floor 2F, 3-38-2 Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo)
Top 5 Halloween Treats to Pick Up at Japanese Convenience Stores This Year
October is here, meaning Halloween is right around the corner. If you’re not up for dressing up in a costume or going out this year, then you can still get in the Halloween spirit by picking up one of the many Halloween exclusive goodies now being sold at Japanese convenience stores. We’ve picked out our top 5 favourite for you.
Starbucks® Sweet Caramel Pudding Latte
Starbucks Japan is now stocking its sweet caramel pudding latte across most convenience stores in Japan. The golden-capped cup features a spooky Halloween design, decorated with ghosts, pumpkins and bats. Enjoy Halloween in a cup with the beverage’s rich and sweet caramel pudding flavour.
▼Starbucks® Sweet Caramel Pudding Latte
Available: Most convenience stores across Japan. Select branches not stocking.
Calbee Jagabee Black Consomme
These crunchy potato sticks are a popular savour snack in Japan. This Halloween, Calbee has coloured their sumptuous sticks black, and made them taste like delicious consomme. This is a 7-Eleven and Ai Group-exclusive. Its cute pot design will have you grabbing one off the shelf without even thinking.
▼Calbee Jagabee Black Consomme
Price: ¥138 (Before Tax)
Available: 7-Eleven and Ai Group
KOIKE-YA Karamucho Hot Chili Flavour
The classic thick-cut Karamucho potato chips have been sprinkled with extra spiciness for that heated kick. The packet features all the familiar faces of Halloween, from a witch to a pumpkin, bats, a graveyard and more. If you’re a spice-seeker then this one’s for you. Also a 7-Eleven and Ai Group exclusive product.
▼KOIKE-YA Karamucho Hot Chili Flavour
Price: ¥128 (Before Tax)
Available: 7-Eleven and Ai Group
7-Eleven Marshmallow Chocolate Ganache Daifuku
7-Eleven is also releasing a range of its own original Halloween treats, including this sweet white daifuku which looks like a marshmallow and is filled with rich chocolate ganache. A Japanese and Western-combined confection you can enjoy with one hand.
▼7-Eleven Marshmallow Raw Chocolate Daifuku
Price: ¥118 (Before Tax)
Available: 7-Eleven (Except in Okinawa)
7-Eleven Black Cat Sachertorte
Black cats are a popular symbol of Halloween, particularly in Japan. This cake is made with chocolate cream and vanilla cream and is coated in a crunchy chocolate coating for even more tasty texture. This is a seriously cute choice you’re sure to love!
▼7-Eleven Black Cat Sachertorte
Price: ¥308 (Before Tax)
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Did you enjoy our picks? There are plenty of Halloween-themed foods, confections and sweets to look forward to this year at convenience stores in Japan. Head to your closest one and see what they have in stock.
The Luxurious KitKat Chocolatory is Revamping Its Chocolate Line-Up
03.October.2019 | FOOD
Nestlé has announced that it is revamping its 16 products* at the KitKat Chocolatory which will be released on October 11, 2019.
*One of these products will be released in late November
The KitKat Chocolatory is a direct-to-consumer chain, serving premium, handcrafted KitKats made with top quality ingredients and production methods under full direction by Takagi Yasumasa―the owner and chef of LE PATISSIER TAKAGI. Its luxurious line is endless, with products ranging from the elusive ruby chocolate, whose cocoa beans give the finish product its pink colour, to volcanic chocolate made from rare cocoa beans sourced from volcanic islands, and beyond.
The Chocolatory takes regular KitKats and the brand to a whole new level while still having that sense of familiarity, making their products great gifts and personal treats.
The new line-up of 16 products is considered by four categories: 1) the chocolate type, 2) where the cocoa beans are produced, 3) the production process from bean to bar, and 4) the combination between chocolate and other ingredients. Each and every bar has been given equal attention to create chocolates with different flavours, enabling consumers to discover not only which tickle their taste buds, but the story behind each unique bar.
There is a rapidly growing interest amongst consumers who want to know where their food comes from and how it’s made. When it comes to specialist chocolate products, a lot of information isn’t widely known. That’s the reason behind KitKat Chocolatory’s revamp, as well as to create chocolate that nobody has experience before.
Let’s take a look at four of the new KitKats you can get your fingers on.
Enjoy the Chocolate Varieties
KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Bitter – ¥300 Each (Before Tax)
A hallmark product since KitKat Chocolatory opened, the Sublime Bitter is couverture chocolate made with 66% cocoa. The bar is a blend of three different cocoa beans from Ghana, Madagascar, and the Dominican Republic. This addictive delight reserves the original bitterness of the cocoa while having a fruity tinge to it.
Enjoy the Difference Between Cocoa Production Areas
KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Volcanic Malakula Island – ¥400 Each (Before Tax)
This mysterious ‘volcanic chocolate’ is made from extremely rare cocoa beans sourced from the volcanic Malakula Island which was voted one of the happiest places on earth. It has a distinct bitterness and very fragrant scent reminiscent of the ground.
Enjoy the Chocolate Making Process
KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Raw – ¥300 Each (Before Tax)
The cocoa beans of this “raw” chocolate are cooked at a lower temperature than usual to draw out a more natural flavour of the original bean, like it’s been plucked right out of a cocoa bean farm and placed into your hands.
Enjoy the Combination Of Ingredients
KitKat Chocolatory Moleson – ¥500 Each (Before Tax)
Finally, here is the world’s first ingredient-topped KitKat. It uses the smooth, melt-in-the-mouth KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Milk bar as the base, and is topped with sweet and sour dried cranberries and fragrant crushed almonds, creating a flavourful and textural ensemble.
Discover a whole new world of KitKat and chocolate when the new products drop at KitKat Chocolatory on October 11.
Official Website: https://nestle.jp/brand/kit/chocolatory/
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.
GODIVA Tea Magic Series: Chocolixir Uji Matcha Kiwami (Final Drink)
Available: October 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019
Only available at GODIVA shops
Branch search: https://www.godiva.co.jp/boutique/?view=map&store_list_id=50
Hokkaido Confectionery Makers Ishiya Open New Cafe in COREDO Muromachi Terrace
30.September.2019 | FOOD
COREDO Muromachi Terrace is a new shopping complex in Nihonbashi, Tokyo that opened its doors on September 27, 2019. Confectionery company Ishiya, which is known for its Shiroi Koibito cookers that are considered a souvenir and speciality of Hokkaido, opened its first ever cafe outside Hokkaido entitled ISHIYA NIHONBASHI at the shopping centre.
ISHIYA NIHONBASHI is the first cafe managed by Ishiya outside of Sapporo, Hokkaido. The cafe’s concept is to treat the people of Tokyo to the wonderful flavours of Hokkaido. This includes a selection of popular sweets and desserts, including the Shime Parfait―a common accompaniment to the end of any drinking party in Sapporo.
During the day, the establishment offers a sumptuous cafe menu whipped up by the chefs, such as pancakes and parfaits. Let’s take a look.
Strawberry Ishiya Pancake (Fluffy) – ¥1,400 (Tax Included)
The Ishiya Pancakes are fluffier than clouds, made lavishly with cream cheese and fresh cream. They’re topped with even more fresh cream and strawberries and are finished sweetly with condensed milk and a sweet and sour raspberry sauce. The pure white cream and raspberry sauce make these pancakes look cute and tempting♡
Shiroi Koibito Blend Coffee – ¥400 (Tax Included)
This original blend of coffee was crafted so it goes perfectly with a Shiroi Koibito biscuit. When you order a cup of this coffee you get one biscuit to enjoy with it.
During the evening and late night, the cafe serves snacks made to pair with alcohol as well as exclusive parfaits drizzled in Japanese sake. They also sell the “Shime Parfait,” a classic post-drinking dessert in Sapporo.
Parfait Nihonbashi – ¥1,600 (Tax Included)
This Nihonbashi-exclusive parfait is topped with alcohol which you drizzle sake over. The parfait includes rich jelly. You can create even more delicious flavours with the accompanying matcha pudding or brown sugar syrup.
The cafe also sells Saqu, colourful high-class biscuits normally only sold in Hokkaido. They make for a perfect souvenir.
Taste the flavours of Hokkaido in Tokyo at Nihonbashi’s newest hot spot.
Address: COREDO Muromachi Terrace 1F, 3-2-1 Nihonbashimuromachi, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-23:00
No fixed holidays except when COREDO Muromachi Terrace is closed.
This Week’s Lunch: Peach & Yoghurt at dotcom space Tokyo in Harajuku
One thing I do at least once a week without fail is treat myself out to some delicious food or dessert. It’s very important time well spent in order to live a happy life.
Today, I went and got my lunch early ahead of my morning work. I visited dotcom space Tokyo, a café in Harajuku where you can indulge in a laid-back experience.
©️photo Takumi Ota
The café is just a 4-minute walk from the Takeshita Street exit of Harajuku Station. Its atmosphere is so peaceful and related that you wouldn’t believe it’s right next to noisy and busy Takeshita Street. It’s a spacious place with simple and stylish furniture and furnishings. I fancied something sweet this time, so I went and ordered the Peach & Yoghurt bread.
©️photo Takumi Ota
©️photo Takumi Ota
The interior decorating scheme is based on wood; you can feel how particular they were about the furniture. It’s easy to wind down at this café due to its spacious interior. It’s common to see workers scattered throughout too. It’s a nice place to leave your desk for a little bit for lunch for a change of pace.
Peach & Yoghurt ¥680 / Iced Café Latte ¥550
The bread is piled with a generous serving of yoghurt cream and shiny peach which the light shines on.
I feel happy just looking at this delicious treat. Just spellbinding!
I sliced my first piece and popped it into my mouth. The bread is deliciously chewy, and the refreshing yogurt cream and sweet peach filled my mouth. The bread itself is a thick-cut slice and made by Pelican, a bakery in Asakusa. It has a chewy and moist texture you can’t find anywhere else.
The yogurt cream isn’t overly sweet, instead having a more refreshing flavour to it. When eaten together with the sweet ripened peach, the gorgeous mix blends together around your taste buds and melts in your mouth. Depending on the season, you can pick fruits other than peach too. They always have seasonal choices. I’m looking forward to their autumn and winter line-up.
The iced latte has a slight acidity to it, my favourite kind of flavour. It went really well with the Peach & Yogurt bread. The café is also particular about its coffee bean selection; one of its baristas is noted to be a past “Japan champion” when it comes to coffee. I’ve got to try the hot coffee the next time I visit.
A set meal, burger or the likes would have been good too, but I had my eyes set on a sweet dessert lunch. Getting a moment to chill out and enjoy something sweet made me happy today. I recommend enjoying some autumn fruit-topped bread too as the seasons change.
Apple Juice ¥450
I’s important to share the happiness between family and colleagues on when you get the chance to enjoy something tasty. I bought them some apple juice, which is poured into a cup with a smiling face on the side. It’s made from 100% apples from Nagano. The straw is made from environmentally-friendly sugarcane.
Writer:Sayuri Mizuno（MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON）
dotcom space Tokyo
Address: 1-19-19 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: https://www.instagram.com/dotcomspacetokyo/