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

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  • 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.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #10 – ‘Donguriya’ in Nishi-Ogikubo

    10.May.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Donguriya.

     

    To get there I plodded along from the North Exit of JR Nishi-Ogikubo Station, and after about 3-minutes I saw it!

     

    Various shops lined the street, but nature had almost reclaimed this single building which was wrapped in foliage. There’s no doubt that the people who pass by this way stop to take a look. Its inviting appearance elicits a peek as you’re left wondering what kind of place it is. I feel like a wonderful story is about to unfold!

    A sign sits at the front of the cafe with its mascot character waiting to greet you.


    He’s cute in a way that I can’t describe♬

    Time to head inside.

     

    Most of the interior is made of wood, a perfect accompaniment to the cafe’s name Donguriya (“Acorn Hut”).


    All of the signs as well as the menu on the wall are handwritten by the owner himself. It’s heartwarming just to look at♬

     

    Sipping coffee while enjoying the jazz music coming from the record player is nothing short of a luxury!

    I ordered pizza toast (drink + pizza toast set is ¥800), a Donguri cookie and coffee (drink + Donguri cookie set is ¥650).

    The toast is sliced thickly; the crusts are crunchy and the middle is soft. It was really tasty and had an old-fashioned taste to it.
    Donguri’s cookies are made by someone who has been a fan of the cafe  since long ago. They have a simple sweetness and go perfectly with the coffee!

     

    Since the cookies are made by a regular who has always loved Donguri they are the perfect cookies for Donguriya! If you pay a visit then you should definitely order one.

    The blend coffee is full-bodied and has a rich aroma. There is a slightly bitter aftertaste too. The coffee beans are also roasted in-house! It was really tasty and easy to drink even for someone like me who doesn’t know a lot about coffee.

     

    The owner and his older brother went to numerous cafes with their friends to try various different coffees before coming up with their own blend. It’s the real deal.

     

    It really felt as if I had been sucked into the world of a story with the warm light filtering through the windows and illuminating the tableware and furniture.

    Finally, a photo with the owner himself!

     

    He told me wonderful stories about the coffee and food at Donguriya which made me fall in love with the cafe even more.

     

    I want to bring my friends here next time♬

     

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

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    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.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #9 – ‘Cafe Ace’ in Kanda

    27.February.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Cafe Ace in Kanda.

     

    Being a cafe specialising in coffee it’s no surprise they have 40 different varieties of coffee! They even have 15 kinds of tea. Being able to pick out your favourite coffee before the morning rush every morning is really wonderful.

    Cafe Ace is one of the places I’ve wanted to cover for a long time in this series. I was excited to get inside!

     

    Its striped roof gives it quite a retro atmosphere. The warm colour scheme of the decor inside is that from old times – it’s very relaxed. It hasn’t changed since it opened way back when. It has continued to maintain its ways in spite of times changing. I think that’s wonderful.

     

    The cafe carries all kinds of magazines that have been published over the years. They range from 3 to 40 years old. The owner showed me his collection as we spoke about the cafe and conveyed his sentiment for Ace. I feel I have learnt much about its history!

    The menu plaques attached to the wall are all handwritten by the owner (he even wrote on the camel artwork above!)

     

    Simply amazing. His handwritten work spreads across the entire wall of Ace.

    I have come here on my before but I had no idea he had written all of this out so in learning more about it I have come to love Cafe Ace even more.


    His love and warmth can be felt throughout the whole room.

    And this―this is Cafe Ace’s famous seaweed toast! It’s made with seaweed, butter and soy sauce.


    The ingredients are simple but the flavour of the seaweed complements the butter perfectly. It’s super delicious, I want to eat it everyday! And it only costs ¥170.

     

    In the morning you can have it with blend coffee for ¥500 (+¥20 for iced coffee). You even get free refills on the blend coffee up until noon!

    American doughnuts, too. You can enjoy these at the small price of ¥230. They are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and serve with a knob of butter in the ring. The heat of the doughnuts helps the butter to melt so you can lather it all over.

    Finally, a photo of the owner himself. Even in the photo I feel like his smile gives his customers strength. Seeing his lively energy gave me energy too.

     

    He holds his valuable feelings close, doing what he loves in the place he loves. I want to keep on seeing his radiating smile.

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    18.July.2022 | FOOD / MOVIE

    The Toy Story Aliens Cafe will be opening for a limited time in Tokyo starting July 23, in Osaka on July 27, and in Nagoya on August 4. Fans of the film series will remember the adorable Alien characters, originally shown as prizes in a crane game. This pop-up cafe will feature themed dishes and merchandise, and Pixar fans should be sure to attend!

     

    Menu

     

    Food

    Space Curry

    Green Pasta

    Alien Burger A (Teriyaki Soy Meat) / Burger B (Tomato Soy Meat) / Burger C (Chicken & Potato)

    Moon Landing?! Potato & Bread

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    Fruit Bread

     

    Drinks

    Alien Smoothie

    Space Soda

    Melon Milk

    Space Crane Game Cider / Grape Juice

    Hot Tea / Hot Milk

     

     

    Goods

    The food menu includes a tasty black curry, a green pasta featuring broccoli, edamame, spinach, and snap peas, and three types of alien burgers featuring either teriyaki soy meat, tomato soy meat, or chicken and potato. Even the drinks stick to the Alien theme, and the menu includes an Alien Smoothie with a tasty banana yogurt flavor. 

     

    Guests will also be able to purchase event-exclusive merchandise from keychains and stickers to tote bags and letter sets. 

     

    ©Disney/Pixar

  • Retro Cafe Inspired Items Available from Thank You Mart

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    THANK YOU MART will begin selling a total of 18 unique items starting in late June. These items were inspired by Japanese cafes during the Showa era, and give off the perfect amount of retro vibes. Most items at THANK YOU MART costs ¥390 (¥429 with tax). 

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    Located along the Meguro River, Haute Couture Cafe is known for serving up some of the best afternoon tea in Tokyo. The location is incredibly photogenic and often pops up on social media, covered in flowers welcoming guests to what feels like a fairy tale land. From July 1 until September 4, visitors to the cafe can enjoy a Peach and Shine Muscat Afternoon Tea set, perfect for summer and incorporating seasonal fruits. 

    The fresh peaches and shine muscat (a type of luxurious grape found in Japan) are delivered from a nearby market daily. By using peaches without heating them, such as in the compote, guests can enjoy the juiciness of the raw fruit in a new way.

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    Why not enjoy this summer treat as you look out over the river? 

  • Cafe ‘Junkissa Bread & Espresso’ to Start Chocolate Fair

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    Popular on LINE and other texting apps and illustrated by Jyuuno, mofusand is a curious collection of cute and slightly surreal cats. As with most things that go viral in Japan, these adorable characters will be featured in a themed cafe for a limited time! The Tokyo location will open on May 19 and the Osaka location will welcome visitors starting May 26, 2022.

     

    Cafe Visitor Bonus: Sticker (6 varieties)

    Drink Order Bonus: Coaster (6 varieties)

     

    Menu

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    Nyan Lime Nata de Coco

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    Nyanko Cafe Latte / Nyanko Milk Tea

     

    Merchandise

    Sticker

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    All menu items draw inspiration from the many mofusand characters and are perfect for posting on social media! Special bonuses will be given to those visiting the cafe and making select purchases, and a merchandise corner will be selling limited-edition goods featuring new artwork!

     

    ©mofusand

  • Idol Group Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku to Open One-Day ‘Ebisen Cafe’ in Omotesando

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    The popular idol group Shuritsu Ebisu Chugaku will open a one-day-only cafe in Omotesando on May 1, 2022! The location will open in conjunction with CookpadTV, which hosts the popular show ‘Shiritsu Ebisu Culinary Institute.’

     

    The members of Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku are passionate about cooking, making this the perfect project. Since October 2021, the girls have streamed their cooking stories and ideas on CookpadLive, and now, they’re ready to put their hearts and souls into each and every item on this cafe menu. Visitors will also be able to purchase original merchandise on-site and see some of the member’s costumes! 


    Reservations for the cookpadLive Ebisen cafe are required, and the lottery for reservations is open now. Some of the menu items and original goods offered at the cafe are also available for purchase on cookpadLive’s official E-commerce site, so don’t worry if you aren’t able to attend in person on May 1!

     

    The cookpadLive Ebisen Cafe will feature a special lunch time, dinner time, and cafe time. The nine members of Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku will appear in three teams for each session.

     

  • BTS Characters ‘TinyTAN’ to Appear at Cafes in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, and Miyagi

    25.April.2022 | FOOD / MUSIC / SPOT

    The popular BTS chibi characters TinyTAN will be featured at TinyTAN Cafe locations in five cities for a limited time! Nine locations will be open across Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, and Miyagi starting April 21, 2022.

     

    The TinyTAN characters were designed by the seven members of BTS to embody their “second selves.”

    Select Cakes: ¥990

    Fruits Deco Style: Strawberry, Fruits Deco Style: Mango, Fruits Deco Style: White Grape: ¥1,760

     

    The menu is packed with desserts, including seven different types of cakes each inspired by a member of TinyTAN.

    American Sundae Style Chocolate Cookie, American Sundae Style Caramel Nuts, American Sundae Style Pistachio Honey: ¥1,870

    Afternoon Style Tea: ¥3,190

     

    The Afternoon Style Tea includes a base plate that can be customized with guest’s favorite fruits and chocolates. Two types of TinyTAN Select Cakes will also be included to share!

    Ham (2 types) & Scrambled Egg Peanut Butter Sandwich: ¥1,760

    Cafe Style Drink & Cake Set *Prices vary based on drink selection.

     

    Guests can choose from colorful bagel sandwiches, pancakes, and open sandwiches, along with a selection of sweet drinks to match each meal.

     

    Bonuses

    Acrylic Stand (7 varieties, random): ¥1,320

    Sticky Note Roll: ¥880, Acrylic Nameplate (7 varieties): ¥990 each

     

    Original cafe merchandise and special offers will make visiting the TinyTAN Cafe even more exciting!

     

     

    © BIGHIT MUSIC. All Rights Reserved

  • Kirby Cafe Introduces Karby Cake from Kirby and the Forgotten Land to Menu

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    The newest Kirby game sees everyone’s favorite pink puffball with a brand-new ability, allowing him to transform into various objects by sucking them up. The trailer for the game shocked Kirby fans around the world after Kirby transformed into an entire car!

    Transform! Karby Cake

     

    The Karby Cake replicates a special dish that appears in Kirby and the Forgotten Land‘s Waddle Dee Café. It’s a strawberry-flavored blancmange (a French gelatin-based dessert) laid over a sponge cake with fruit layers.

     

    Kirby Burger and Meat & Veggie Pasta (Standard Version)

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    Happy Birthday☆Kirby
    Available: April 1 – May 31, 2022

     

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    The Kirby Cafe is also selling a Happy Birthday☆Kirby cake, a simple dome-shaped sponge cake filled with fruit covered in icing and cherries.

     

    Come celebrate Kirby’s 30th anniversary while you can!

     

    ©Nintendo / HAL Laboratory, Inc.

  • Upcoming ‘Crayon Shin-chan: Mononoke Ninja Chinpuden’ Film Inspires Collab Cafe in Osaka

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    To commemorate the upcoming release of the film ‘Crayon Shin-chan: Mononoke Ninja Chinpuden,’ a special collaboration cafe is scheduled to open at Seasons & Co Fruits Parlor & Bakery at Osaka LINKS UMEDA! The cafe will be open from April 4 until May 15, and will feature a number of film-inspired dishes and bonus goods for fans to enjoy!

     

    Collaboration Cafe Menu

     

    Shin-chan’s Roll Cake 

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    Ninjas love it too?! Matcha Parfait

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    Bonus: Sticker and Coaster



    The upcoming film is a gag-filled ninja action blockbuster featuring everyone’s favorite boisterous youth. Shinnosuke will be transformed into a ninja this time around to defeat a mysterious ninja army! Along with the collab menu, fans can also grab some new merchandise and bonuses at the cafe, so don’t miss out!

     

    ©臼井儀人/双葉社・シンエイ・テレビ朝日・ADK 2022 ※短縮:©U/F・S・A・A 2022

  • Limited Edition Easter Bunny Sweets Available at gelato pique café

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    Easter Bunny Crepe

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    Last year, gelato pique café released an Easter Bunny soft-serve ice cream dish which was incredibly popular. In 2022, the brand has decided to release three unique treats under the theme of ‘Happy Bunny Hunt.’ Those with a sweet tooth can snag a crepe, gelato, or float during the event period, all decorated with white and pink shades perfect for spring. 

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    Sakura & Strawberry Pancakes

     

    Sakura Afternoon Tea

     

    Special Latte with Cherry Blossoms

     

    The seasonal menu includes Sakura & Strawberry Pancakes with pale pink and strawberry red accents, and savory items such as a croissant with cherry cheese cream. Guests can also enjoy Sakura Afternoon Tea, a colorful 12-item menu featuring cherry and strawberry delights. Come enjoy the coming of spring at this gorgeous Tokyo cafe!

     

  • The Ryokan Tokyo Yugawara Opens in Kanagawa Prefecture, Features Hot Spring Bath Cafe

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    The Ryokan Tokyo Yugawara, a traditional-style Japanese inn and hot spring located in Kanagawa Prefecture, will open on March 18, 2022. The hot springs in the area have a storied history, appearing in the oldest collection of Japanese poems from the year 759 AD and loved by great writers such as Natsume Souseki and Ryunosuke Akutagawa. There is also a cafe inviting visitors to enjoy delicious meals as they relax in the springs.

     

    Onsen Dojo operates and plans hot spring facilities, including the ‘Ofuro Cafe’ brand, resort facilities, and more. The company also provides support for local business investments. 

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