Top 10 Most Popular Souvenirs to Pick Up at Tokyo Station’s HANAGATAYA Store | 2019 Edition

30.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

HANAGATAYA is a souvenir variety shop that opened in Tokyo Station’s central passage back in July. After over 5 months of sales, the store has revealed its Top 10 most popular products based on sales.

 

The line-up features a selection of HANAGATAYA exclusives, as well as products from elsewhere which have received pre-sales at HANAGATAYA. You will be spoilt for choice with this selection, all of which are perfect for ringing in the New Year when travelling back home. Let’s take a look.

 

1st Place

Banana Custard Cream – Tokyo 2020 Olympic Emblem Design (Tokyo 2020 Official Licensed Product) – Contains 8 – ¥1,134 (Tax Included)

Officially licensed by the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, these chewy cakes are made from domestic Japanese rice, and are filled with deliciously creamy banana custard.

 

2nd Place

Tokyo Banana Butter Madeleine (Tokyo Banana World) – Contains 4 – ¥560 Tax Included)

Exclusive to HANAGATAYA come these all-new butter madeleine’s created by famous confectionery company Tokyo Banana. These baked treats feature a buttery fragrance and taste, and are made with a banana confiture and finished with fresh lemon.

*Exclusive to HANAGATAYA GRANSTA Tokyo Central Street

 

3rd Place

Toro One Press Chocolate Chick (Tokyo Hiyoko) – Contains 3 – ¥648 (Tax Included)

This year marks 107 since the company Hiyoko was established. The “Toro One Press Chocolate Chick” is a new confection from them: an adorable skyward-looking chick made up of three chocolate layersーeach with their own distinct flavour. At the heart of the chick is a moist chocolate paste.

*Exclusive to Tokyo Station

 

4th Place

Cheese Wich – Contains 5 – ¥594 (Tax Included)

These light and refreshing cheese cookies, called Cheese Wiches, are filled with a chocolate-coated melted cheese sauce. Three layers means an enjoyable amalgamation of flavours and textures.

*Exclusive to Tokyo Station

 

5th Place

Chocolate Chestnut Eggs (Ginza Tamaya) – Contains 4 – ¥800 (Tax Included)

“Goma Tamago” is a popular bite-sized egg-shaped confection. This chestnut flavour was created for HANAGATAYA, a mix of dark chocolate and vanilla flavoured chestnut paste.

*Exclusive to Tokyo Station

 

6th Place

Strawberry Cookie Sandwich (Berry UP!) – Contains 8 – ¥1,296 (Tax Included)

Berry UP! is a cute confectionery brand which creates baked strawberry sweets. Keeping with that theme, they have created a crunchy quintuple-layered cookie sandwich filled with sweet and sour strawberry chocolate.

 

7th Place

Shinjuku Curry Ebi (Shinjuku Nakamuraya) – Contains 6 – ¥600 (Tax Included)

If you’re looking for something more savoury, then this one’s for you: Shinjuku Nakamuraya’s light, fluffy and melt-in-the-mouth ebi, coated in curry spices. One nibble is enough to get you instantly hooked.

 

8th Place

Strawberry Polvorón (Berry UP!) – Contains 6 – ¥1,296 (Tax Included)

Another entry from Berry UP!, these polvorón shortbreads are made from lots of fresh strawberries mixed with condensed milk and mascarpone, creating a subtle sweetness that’s enough to have your mouth watering.

 

9th Place

BLUE MELTIN SAND (Tokyo Campanella) – Contains 8 – ¥1,200 (Tax Included)

What if herbal tea and cookies became its own snack? That’s what Tokyo Campanella asked too, and so make it a reality. Their BLUE MELTIN SANDs are cat’s tongue cookies stuffed with a herbal tea sauce that has a natural blue colour.

 

10th Place

Premium Cacao Full Sablé (Mary Chocolate) – Contains 18 – ¥1,350 (Tax Included)

Finally, we have a premium edition of chocolate company Mary Chocolate’s Cacao Full Sablés. This one’s for the adults, a sophisticated combination of bittersweet chocolate and berries.

*Exclusive to HANAGATAYA GRANSTA Tokyo Central Street

 

Did you enjoy this list? Which one takes your fancy the most? Whether as a souvenir for the folks back home, or as a treat to yourself to celebrate 2020, if you’re in Tokyo this year then be sure to give HANAGATAYA a visit.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Tokyo Station’s Top 10 Edible Winter Souvenirs as Chosen by Station Staff

    22.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    There is just a month and a half left of 2019, with Christmas, the winter holidays and New Year celebrations right around the corner.

     

    Tokyo Station City has compiled a list of must-grab food-related souvenirs and gifts at Tokyo Station. If you’ve ever visited Tokyo Station, you’ll know that you can be spoilt for choice from the amount of goodies you can get your hands on. The list is based on the votes of 305 station staff members working at Tokyo Station who have voted on their Top 10 most recommend souvenirs to pick up this winter.

     

    The staff members went around the shopping area and taste-tested different edible souvenirs across an 8-day period. Their early thoughts as they went down the list were how delicious or unique things were, but they soon began to take it more seriously to consider things like price, how easy an item was to carry and transport, and what certain people might like in particular.

     

    If you’re travelling to or from Tokyo Station during the holiday season, be sure to bookmark this list so you know what to buy for on the flight back home!

     

    1st Place

    Rakumadoka @ Terra Saison (GRANSTA) – 5 Set ¥1,080 (Tax Included) / 8 Set ¥1,728 (Tax Included)

    This cheesecake is like a cream cheese-stuffed souffle-like sandwich. Branded with the words “Gin no Suzu” (a place in Tokyo Station) and “Tokyo,” this seasonal product is exclusive to Tokyo Station. In December last year, they sold over 1,500 in a day.

     

    2nd Place

    Mount Baum Kuchen @ Nenrinya (Meihinkan) – ¥1,080 (Tax Included)

    With its French bread texture, this delightful treat has a fragrant scent, is moist, and is simply delicious. It has a rich buttery taste and is baked slowly to perfection.

     

    3rd Place

    Shinjuku Curry Arare Ebi @ HANAGATAYA (GRANSTA) – 6 Set ¥600 (Tax Included)

    This rich curry snack is made by Shinjuku Nakamuraya, and has a light melt-in-the-mouth texture with spicy curry seasoning and shrimp flavour. The shrimp flavour comes from a mix of shrimp powder and shrimp oil. The mix of curry powder and spices gives it a really authentic curry taste.

     

    4th Place

    Tokyo Vegetable Rice Crackers @ nomono (GRANSTA Marunouchi) – 12 Set ¥950 (Tax Included) / 18 Set ¥1,598 (Tax Included)

    An assortment of rice crackers with three different flavours: great burdock, onion, and pumpkin. They have a set of 18 too which is perfect for handing out to lots of people.

     

    5th Place

    Maple Pie Sandwich @ The Maple Mania (GRANSTA) – 8 Set ¥1,944 (Tax Included)

    Coated in caramel, this crunchy pie is made with a cream laced with maple sugar. Exclusive to Tokyo Station, the packaging design for this dessert is made with souvenirs in mind as it’s made so it’s easy to carry and take around with you.

     

    6th Place

    Kuzumochi @ Funabashiya Koyomi (ecute Tokyo) – 24 Cut (Serves 1-1.5) ¥790 (tax Included) / 36 Cut (Serves 2-3) ¥895 (Tax Included) / 48 Cut (Serves 4-5) ¥1,200 (Tax Included)

    Funabashiya’s kuzumochi is made with wheat starch that is fermented over a 450 day period before being cooked. It claims to be “the only fermented Japanese wagashi confection.” Since it is fermented over such a long period of time, it takes on a unique flavour and elasticity.

     

    7th Place

    Cheddar Cheese Pie Sandwich @ Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory (ecute Keiyo Street) – 6 Pack ¥1,620 (Tax Included)

    A crunchy pie filled with an addictive cheddar cheese cream. Exclusive to ecute Keiyo Street.

     

    8th Place (Joint)

    Premium Cacao Full Shortbread @ HANAGATAYA (GRANSTA) 8 Set ¥648 (Tax Included) / 18 Set ¥1,350 (Tax Included) / 27 Set ¥2,052 (Tax Included)

    This is a premium edition of the store’s Cacao Full Shortbread, made using the methods used to make the chocolate brand Merry Chocolate. The crunchy texture and full-bodied flavour of the cacao has been left as it is, while a few things have been added to make it a little more luxurious: French sour cream butter, strawberries, and raspberries.

     

    8th Place (Joint)

    Yaoki Senbei @ Mankaso (Meihinkan) – 16 Set ¥1,080 (Tax Included)

    These plump senbei rice crackers are made with 100% domestic rice and come in six different delicious flavours: agodashi soy sauce, salted, shrimp, seaweed, plum and coarse sugar, and chirimen pepper.

     

    10th Place

    Tartlette Neuf @ le billet (ecute Tokyo) – 6 Pack ¥1,728 (Tax Included) / 9 Pack ¥2,592 (Tax Included)

    la billet make their own tarts, and this assortment comes in a variety of flavours. Exclusive to Tokyo Station. A great option as a gift for meeting a business in Japan.

     

    Which of these looks most tempting to you? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

  • Disney Store: Find the Perfect New Year’s Souvenirs From Japan

    27.November.2019 | FASHION

    Walt Disney Japan is celebrating the New Year by rolling out a new batch of celebratory character merchandise at Disney Stores across Japan as well as the online website on December 3.

     

    From the quintessential Japanese daruma to pine decorations and more, take home some of Japan with you for friends and family in the form of classic Japanese New Year items made into Disney souvenirs.

    Plush Toys: Mickey/Minnie Mouse ¥2,000 Each, Winnie the Pooh ¥2,800, Piglet/Roo ¥1,500, Eeyore ¥1,600, Chip/Dale ¥1,200 Each Mascots: All ¥1,000 Each Memo Pad: ¥650 Pine Decoration: ¥1,500

    The line-up includes a selection of daruma-dressed Disney character plush toys, plush toys of Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Roo in rat costumes for the 2020 Year of the Rat, and more. Perfect as gifts, souvenirs, and for decorating your room and desk.

     

    Celebrate the New Year with your favourite Disney characters.

     

    ©Disney ©Disney. Based on the “Winnie the Pooh” works by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. ©Disney/Pixar 

  • Japanese Souvenir Diary: Tokyo Strawberry Whipped Langue-de-chat

    21.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    You’re going on holiday to another country, but there’s someone special back at home that can’t go with you. What’s the best way to make them feel like they haven’t been left out completely? Souvenirs, of course! Picking out the perfect souvenir for the right person or people, whether friends or family, is a lot of fun as you consider what each person might like and appreciate.

     

    We’ve condensed that thrill of souvenir searching into an article series. We will showcase products that the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON editorial team have actually tried and recommend as souvenirs.

    Tokyo Ichigo Whipped Langue-de-chat (Includes 6) – ¥650 (Tax Included)

    Today, we will take a look at Tokyo Strawberry Whipped Langue-de-chat. This whipped chocolate cat tongue biscuit is nothing short of delicious. It’s a fact.

    And the cute packaging makes it even better, both the box and individual packs when you open it up.

    And since they are individually packaged, you can share them amongst multiple people.

    Whipped chocolate is sandwiched between the cat tongue biscuits.

     

    Time to try one.

    The biscuit itself has a buttery, exquisite flavour. Though they’re stuffed with whipped chocolate, the chocolate itself is light on the belly. You get those sweet and sour notes from the strawberry too.

     

    The combination of the lightly baked and delicate biscuits with the soft texture and subtle taste of the whipped chocolate is to die for. Your taste buds are tantalised by a flurry of strawberry.

     

    I showed the 6 pack of biscuits, but they also sell a 12 pack (¥1,080) and 18 pack (¥1,620) too, so cater it to how many you need to share out (or enjoy to yourself!) They have a best before date of 30 days too, so don’t have to worry if there’s still some time left before you return home.

     

    If you love strawberries, you won’t be able to rest the Tokyo Strawberry Whipped Langue-de-chat. Be sure to check them out if you’re looking for a Japanese souvenir from Tokyo.

     

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Editorial Team)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

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  • TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUS Releases Snoopy Merchandise as Part of SCRAP x SNOOPY Puzzle Game Project

    24.February.2020 | SPOT

    As part of the second SCRAP x SNOOPY Puzzle Game Project taking place at TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUSーthe world’s first puzzle-themed theme parkーthe Shinjuku-based theme indoor theme park has released ten pieces of original and exclusive merchandise.

    What is the SCRAP x SNOOPY Puzzle Game Project?

    Visitors are joining Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang for a whole bunch of puzzle-solving fun. The project begin in November 2019, and will run through three periods. The first edition has seen over 10,000 people play this first puzzle game, which is titled “Snoopy and the Clue Solving Circus” and has players helping Snoopy to retrieve his Circus Leader badge back. The second game, “Snoopy and the Secret Recipe,” will begin on February 26. In the meantime, a selection of 10 pieces of merchandise have dropped.

    Mugs (2 Designs) – ¥1,400 Each

    Paper Napkins (Set of 10) – ¥600

    Art Card Set w/ Puzzle (Set of 5) – ¥1,000

    The two mugs see Snoopy wearing his chef’s hat and ready to cook up some delicious pastries for the new game. There’s also a paper napkin set, items that come with their own unique puzzles, and more. Available at the TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUS shop, these items can all be purchased by non-participants of the game too.

  • GODIVA’s Irresistible Chocolixir Sakura Drink Available This Spring

    23.February.2020 | FOOD

    GODIVA Japan Inc. is releasing a new chocolate drink as part of their Chocolixir series. The new drink flavour “Chocolixir Sakura” will be sold from February 16 to April 9, 2020 at GODIVA shops only. 

    Chocolixir Sakura: ¥630 (Before Tax)

    Cherry blossom jelly and pink chocolate curls rest on top of a white cloud of whipped cream to create the appearance of cherry blossom petals. The drink creates the image of beautiful sakura petals as they reflect off the water’s surface, creating the warm image of the rays of the spring sun. The sweet aroma and creamy melt-in-the-mouth white chocolate is divine. This chilled drink also contains small pieces of smashed white chocolate, creating a fun texture in your mouth. 

     

    It looks just as wonderful as it tastes. One sip will fill your heart with the refreshing vibes of spring. GODIVA’s velvety smooth chocolate drinks are always to die for. You just have to try it. 

  • NAKED SAKURA AQUARIUM: Cherry Blossoms and the Sea Come Together at Tokyo’s Maxell Aqua Park

    23.February.2020 | SPOT

    Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa has announced the holding of a new exhibition entitled “NAKED SAKURA AQUARIUM” which will run at the Tokyo-based aquarium from March 1, 2020 to April 19, 2020.

     

    Offering “cutting-edge Tokyo entertainment,” the exhibition is combined music, lighting, and visuals with living beings. Using the latest in leading edge tech, visitors will be treated to a visual treat of animals living harmoniously with the season. The exhibition promises you will notice something new with each visit. Enter a world of spring like never before as cherry blossoms and the ocean come together through digital art.

    Cherry Blossom Tayori

    The entrance to the aquarium will be in full bloom with cherry blossoms. The water tanks in the centre will be perfectly pink and house madai snapper, a type of fish also nicknamed “sakura-dai” around this season.

     

    Spilling Cherry Blossoms

    This area will be like an atrium, with water tanks and showcases lined up beautifully next to each other and decorated with cherry blossom art flowers. The water tanks, which bring to mind the image of a “banquet,” will house sakura-dai, sea goldie, and other fishes.

     

    Dancing Cherry Blossom Garden

    In the immersive Patterns area, you can see the “possibilities” of the four seasons as digital art works to combine a seasonal landscape with the sea creatures on display.

     

    Also in the Dancing Cherry Blossom Garden will be Cape penguins who will put on a performance using their physical abilities. The performance, which is split into two parts, will make use of projection mapping. The first part will see the bloom of yaezakura cherry trees, while the second part will have jacaranda, also called the “purple cherry blossom,” a flower that blooms in South Africa where Cape penguins originate.

    Dolphin Performance Day Version – Cherry Blossom Dance

    The daytime dolphin performance sees visitors gathering in the amphitheatre. This interactive performance is inspired by springtime banquets and Hanami flower-viewing. Enjoy seeing the dolphins dance high-speed to the rhythm of Japanese rock music.

     

    Dolphin Performance Night Version – Cherry Blossom Story

    The nighttime dolphin performance uses the water, lighting, visuals, and music to celebrate cherry blossoms in the evening. Enjoy a more delicate, but powerful performance from the dolphins, and see the flowers in all their beauty.

     

    Jewellery Fish Rumble

    The ceiling and walls of the spacious Jewellery Fish Rumble area all have reflective mirror surfaces. Countless pink and blue illuminations light up this evening cherry blossom-themed area, where you can enjoy a digital Hanami experience together with the jellyfish.

     

    Katou Flower Lantern

    The NAKED SAKURA AQUARIUM cafe and bar is adorned with a cylindrical water tank with illuminated coral. The cafe/bar is inspired by Katou, which is when the evening light feels like it is being lit up by fully bloomed cherry blossom flowers. The menu includes a selection of cherry blossom and matcha drinks, as well as a selection of sweet treats perfect for the Hanami season.

    3 Dango & Mini Taiyaki – ¥500 (Red Bean Paste/Cream)

    Sakura Mizu-warabi Rice Cake – ¥500

    Enjoy a completely different kind of Hanami experience at Maxwell Aqua Park.

     

    *Photos are for illustrative purposes only

  • Van Gogh & Monet Inspired Tarts to be Released by Qu’il Fait Bon in Japan

    23.February.2020 | FOOD

    Japanese fruit tart masters Qu’il Fait Bon is promoting the upcoming London National Gallery Exhibition, which is set to arrive at Tokyo’s National Museum of Western Art on March 3, 2020, with the release of two new art-inspired tarts, which will be available at Qu’il Fait Bon from the same day.

    The National Gallery in London is a world famous art museum that houses countless artworks from across the generations. The museum is well-known for its collection of high quality European paintings, and the first time ever, it’s taking 61 these works for large scale exhibitions in Tokyo and Osaka this year.

     

    Orange & Mango Tart – “Sunflowers”

    One Piece – ¥736

    Whole Tart (25cm) – ¥7,365

    This first tart is inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers series. The beautifully layered floral dessert contains matcha and honey flavoured almond cream, mango pudding, fresh orange and mango pieces, and meringue. The honey used is Bulgarian sunflower honey. Together with the beautiful, swirling meringue and the cross-section of the sliced cake, the tart strongly depicts Gogh’s gorgeous Sunflowers work.

     

    Available:

    Qu’il Fait Bon (Grand Maison Ginza) / Serving: March 3, 2020 – Mid April 2020

    Qu’il Fait Bon (Grand Front Osaka) / August 11, 2020 – Mid September 2020

     

    Green Fruit & Peach Mousse Tart – “The Water Lily Pond”

    One Piece – ¥732

    Whole Tart (25cm) – ¥7,322

    The second tart is themed on Claude Monet’s The Water Lily Pond. A lily bed of fresh fruits sip atop a peach mousse, which has a gentle fragrance.

     

    Available:

    Qu’il Fait Bon (Grand Maison Ginza) / Serving: April 8, 2020 – Mid May 2020

    Qu’il Fait Bon (Grand Front Osaka) / July 7, 2020 – Mid August 2020

     

    Make a day of art by heading to the London National Gallery Exhibition and finishing it off with a delicious artistic tart at Qu’il Fait Bon.

  • URBAN SENTO: The New Brand Making Japanese Bath House Clothing Stylish

    22.February.2020 | FASHION

    “JAPAN MADE PROJECT” is a project launched by Japanese apparel shop URBAN RESEARCH which aims to revitalise regions around Japan by building local communities with businesses and creators around the country while also looking to take a step back to reconsider what is appealing about each of those regions.

    As part of this new project, URBAN RESEARCH has announced its plans to establish “JAPAN MADE PROJECT TOKYO” on March 20, 2020. Focusing on Tokyo, this branch of the project will see the launch of “URBAN SENTO.” This will focus on the potential of sento, or “bath houses,” in the city, which will also include a new line of bath house clothing made in collaboration with Kosugi-yu a sento located in the Tokyo district of Koenji.

     

    Public bath houses play an important part in Japanese culture by contributing to people’s mental health and creating communities. This is especially so in a city as busy as Tokyo. That’s where URBAN SENTO comes in, which will encourage the rediscovery of the city’s appealing culture through sento.

     

    Pre-sales for the new clothing line opened on the URBAN RESEARCH online store on February 14, 2020. It features a collection of must-have items for the bath house, whose message is to spread the bath house lifestyle.

     

    Apparel

    To ensure the clothing is comfortable as bath-wear, the collection is made from high quality cotton provided in collaboration with HAAG, a brand managed by Smile Cotton. This cotton is nice and soft and does not rub against the skin. Smile Cotton’s materials are even endorsed by the Japan Atopic Dermatitis Patients Association.

    Crew Neck T-Shirt – ¥7,700 (Tax Included) | Sizes: Small/Medium/Large | Colours: White/Light Grey/Black

    One Piece – ¥13,200 (Tax Included) | Sizes: Small/Medium | Colours: White/Light Grey/Black

    Short Pants – ¥12,100 (Tax Included) | Sizes: Small/Medium/Large | Colours: White/Light Grey/Black

    ZIP Parker Hoodie – ¥16,500 (Tax Included) | Sizes: Small/Medium/Large | Colours: White/Light Grey/Black

    Pouch (Medium Size) – ¥3,080 (Tax Included) | Colours: White/Navy/Orange

    The mesh pouch can be taken into the bath with you. Put your shampoo or other bath products in with you and take a dip.

     

    Miscellaneous Items: IKEUCHI ORGANIC x URBAN SENTO
    The bath towels you can use at Kosugi-yu are made by IKEUCHI ORGANIC. They come in two sizes and are incredibly soft on the skin.

    Oragnic 120 Bath Towel – ¥5,060 (Tax Included) | Colours: White/Grey

    Oragnic 120 Face Towel – ¥1,980 (Tax Included) | Colours: White/Grey

     

    Kimura Soap x URBAN SENTO
    The products used for cleaning yourself at Kosugi-yu, as well as what’s used for washing the towels, is soap provided by Kimura Soap. This pure soap, crafted by artisans by cooking in kettles, is friendly to the environment and the skin. It can be used at the bath house, in the bath at home, or even for your laundry.

    Body Soap (Hinoki Cypress/Lavender) – ¥1,980 (Tax Included)

    This body soap gently lathers your skin in bubbles and leaves your skin filling refreshed. Both the hand soap and body soap feel good to use.

    The a video and main visual were released for URBAN SENTO, which feature Japanese music artists Yusuke Emoto and Aoi Nogi as the models.

  • Disney Princess Inspired Cupcakes Released at Ginza Cozy Corner in Japan

    22.February.2020 | FOOD

    Disney princesses around the world won’t be able to resist the nine new cupcakes released at Ginza Cozy Corner last week in Japan.

     

    The cupcake collection is being released to celebrate Hinamatsuri, a festival held annually in Japan on March 3, which prays for the well-being and healthy maturity of girls. The line-up can be enjoyed by child and adult Disney fans alike, and includes not only Disney princesses, but other female characters in the Disney cast. This includes Minnie Mouse, Belle, Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Jasmine, and more.

    Disney Girl’s Collection (Contains 9) – ¥2,700 (Tax Included)

    These cute cupcakes look like they have come straight out of a Disney character toy box. They not only look pretty, but sound delicious too, like the raspberry Minnie cupcake, lemon-flavoured Belle cake, cheesecake Cinderella, and more.

     

    Celebrate Hinamatsuri in Disney-style by picking up a box of these cupcakes at Ginza Cozy Corner.

  • ‘SAKURA Romantic Tea Party’ is Q-pot CAFE. Omotesando’s Newest Afternoon Tea Experience

    20.February.2020 | FOOD

    Q-pot. has revealed its new “SAKURA Romantic Tea Party” line-up which is set to be served at Q-pot CAFE. in Omotesando, Tokyo from March 1, 2020 for a limited time.

    The cherry blossom pink coloured and flavoured line-up includes a glamorous afternoon tea set, limited-edition parfaits, plated goodies, drinks, and more. “Romantic” is the key word for this beautiful Japanese springtime assortment.

    Romantic SAKURA Parfait w/ Drink – ¥1,850 (Tax Included)

    The tall Romantic SAKURA Parfait is layered with a mix of both Japanese and Wesrern flavours, built up delicious with cherry blossom cream cherry blossom petal-laced jelly, houjicha tea sauce and more, all of which is topped off with cherry blossom cookies and meringue.

    Romantic SAKURA Mont Blanc Plate w/ Drink – ¥2,060 (Tax Included)

    This plate of delight features a soft mont blanc made with cherry blossom bean paste cream, rich matcha chocolate, Japanese waguri chestnut, and chestnut cream. Q-pot. CAFE offers a selection of original macarons too which you can pick from including strawberry, chocolate, lemon, and melon. Feel the call of Japanese spring with this romantic cherry blossom mont blanc.

    Romantic SAKURA Afternoon Tea Set w/ Drink – ¥2,400 (Serves 1) (Tax Included) *Photo shows tea set for two

    Simply put: a colourful pink and romantic afternoon tea set.

    The top tier is decorated with cherry blossom St. Honoré cakes made with gorgeous cherry blossom cream, peach bavarois, strawberry cookies, and rich cream ganache-filled biscuits.

    The bottom tier includes fat croissants filled with duck pastrami and cucumber that has been dressed with white wine vinegar. They’re served together with a white asparagus cream potage soup and skewered olives, mini tomatoes and pickles, creating a truly gourmet addition to your afternoon tea experience.

    Romantic SAKURA Berry Blossom Tea (Hot/Iced) – ¥750 Each (Tax Included)

    There’s also a cute pink cherry blossom tea that can be served hot or iced. It’s made using Q-pot CAFE.’s popular “Flower Garden” flavour which has a refreshing after taste as well as a floral and fruity sweet scent. Added to it is cherry blossom and raspberry flavouring which mixes deliciously with the milk.

    Hanami Party Plan – ¥3,000 Per Person (Tax Included) *Reservation-only

    You can also book a special hanami party plan which adds a sparkling beverage to the afternoon tea set together with a a cherry blossom card and a crunchy meringue. You must reserve for 2+ people, making it perfect for enjoying together with a friend or special someone.

     

    It’s not long until March now, meaning springtime, cherry blossoms, and Hanami flower-viewing is just around the corner in Japan. Why not celebrate romantically at Q-pot CAFE.?

  • This Week’s Dessert: Indulging in a Seasonal Parfait at Kinoshita Chaen in Ise

    18.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    One thing I do at least once a week without fail is treat myself out to some delicious food or dessert. I find it very important time well spent in order to live a happy, fulfilling life.

     

    This week, a business trip took me out of Tokyo to the city of Ise in Mie Prefecture. When the trip was over, I had some spare time to kill before my train arrived, so I went inside a cafe called Kinoshita Chaen which is close to Ise Grand Shrine.

    You can arrive at Kinoshita Chaen in just three minutes on foot is walking from Ise Grand Shrine, or five mintues from Ise Station. The exterior design of the building takes on a Western style, which I found to be both cute and retro. You can feel the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the cafe as soon as you step inside. The decor is decked out with all things wooden.

    The cafe has been around since the Meiji Period. It serves drinks and desserts all made using tea, and offers both eat-in and takeout services.

     

    I ordered their seasonal-exclusive parfait. 90% of the people in there were ordering it, so I thought it must be popular!

    Strawberry & Parfait Puree Parfait w/ Japanese Black Tea – ¥1,300 (Tax Included)

    This super cute parfait is completely stuffed to the top with strawberries♡

    You can snap cute photos of it no matter the angle♡

    When I spooned the caramel puree, soft custard reveal itself. You get a delicious pairing of the bitter flavour and crunchy texture of the caramel with the subtly sweet custard.

     

    The next ingredient to show itself was the mascarpone cream, which combines with the rest of the flavours perfectly. Once your mouth is satisfied with the sweetness of the flavour combinations, you’re next met with Ise matcha gelato.

    The matcha gelato is a great palate cleanser for the sweet ingredients when eaten on its own. When eaten together with the sweet puree, you get a completely different kind of delicious flavour. I recommend trying it together with the puree, mascarpone cream, and the crunchy pie which is the next layer.

     

    Moving on from the sweetness and bitterness, the next layer is fresh strawberry sherbet, which is a combination of sweet and sour. To finish, you’re brought back to the subtle sweetness once more with white chocolate mousse, strawberries, and mixed berry jelly.

     

    The final bites of a parfait can generally be hard to get down because you grow tired of the flavour, but the ones sold at Kinoshita Chaen are on another level. The various flavours and textures mean you won’t grow tired as you spoon through the many layersーyou’ll find yourself savouring every last bite.

    The Japanese black tea that came with it was luxurious. The cafe actually caters the type of tea they serve to each seasonal parfait. Enjoy a cup together with your parfait.

    Matcha Soy Flour Dumpling Cream – ¥830

    I didn’t get to order them this time, but I’m really taken by the matcha soy flour shiratama dumplings… The dumplings are made in-house and are topped with brown sugar syrup from Okinawa and Ise matcha. The bitterness of the matcha together with the rich sugar syrup is sure to be delicious with some chewy dumplings. I’ll definitely be trying them when I next visit.

     

    I cannot recommend a trip to Kinoshita Chaen enough. Offering an exemplary menu of Ise flavours, their drinks and sweets maintain the culture and tradition of Japanese tea while keeping up to date with current trends in the world of sweets.

     

     

    Today’s Souvenir

    Houjicha Teabags – ¥400 (1 Pack) 

    On the days you get to eat delicious sweets, you’ve got to share the happiness with friends and family. I bought some houjicha tea bags made with tea leaves grown in Mie Prefecture. They have various other teas too, and the packaging is really cute, so they’re perfect as gifts for friends and family.

  • Tokyo Cherry Blossoms 2020: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo Reveals Cherry Blossom Food Menu

    17.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Hotel Gajoen Tokyoーwhich is both a museum and hotelーhas announced its plans to serve up cherry blossom themed food at its numerous restaurants this spring beginning in March.

     

    Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is situated along Meguro River, which is one of the most famous cherry blossom spots in Tokyo during springtime and Hanami season. To chime in this year’s sakura season, the hotel’s restaurants are preparing a selection of gourmet cherry blossom food and desserts.

    Sakura Dining – From ¥7,000 (Before Tax/Service Charge) @ RISTORANTE “CANOVIANO” / Serving: March 20, 2020 – April 5, 2020

    Dine in style at RISTORANTE “CANOVIANO” where they’re serving up their ‘Sakura Dining’ course. Based on the idea of a cherry blossom bento meal, the heapfuls of veggies conjure up the image of the budding flowers of springtime.

    Sakura Lunch – ¥5,000 (Before Tax/Service Charge) @ RISTORANTE “CANOVIANO” / Serving: March 16, 2020 – April 10, 2020

    An assortment of hors d’oeuvres such as the “Cherry Blossom Carpaccio,” “Sakura Ebi Pasta,” and other spring-inspired delights.

    Sakura Afternoon Tea – ¥4,000 (Before Tax/Service Charge) @ New American Grill “KANADE TERRACE” / Serving: March 14, 2020 – April 12, 2020

    Treat yourself to a luxurious afternoon tea with cherry blossom bon bon chocolates, panna cotta, and moreーand wash it all down with a cup of floral cherry blossom tea. Available this spring only.

    SAKURA LADY – ¥1,200/ Shizuku Sakura drops – ¥1,000

    KANADE TERRACE also has two cherry blossom cocktails: the “SAKURA LADY” (¥1,200) and “Sakura Drops” (¥1,000). These drinks are inspired by blooming cherry blossoms and dancing cherry blossom petals. The “SAKURA LADY” is a gin-based White Lady cocktail.

    Sakura – ¥600 (Tax Included) @ PATISSERIE Lien 1928 / Serving: From March 1, 2020

    This luxurious dessert is surrounded by white chocolate and is made up of strawberry biscuit topped with strawberry jam and cherry blossom cream, creating a tempting and extravagant fragrance of strawberries and cherry blossom flowers. It also contains a bit of jelly with Japanese sake in it which adds a full-bodied flavour to the overall dessert.

     

    Experience Japanese spring in luxury this year at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo.

  • Hanami in Japan 2020: Bite-Size Sushi Hanami Bento Lunch Box Releasing in Ginza

    17.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    SHARI and SHARI THE TOKYO SUSHI BAR in Ginza, as well as CRAFT in Ariake, are releasing the perfect accompaniment to your hanami flower-viewing experience in Japan this spring: the “Hanami Roll Sushi Bento” lunch box, which consists of 36 bite-size sushi pieces made up of 12 different kinds of sushi. It will be available February 18 to April 30.

    Hanami Roll Sushi Bento (36 Pieces/Serves 3-4): ¥4,500 (Tax Included)

    As soon as your take the lid off this colourful assortment of rolled sushi, you’ll find yourself reaching for your camera to snap a photo for Instagram. Each piece is 3cm in diameter and so is deliciously bite-sized. The line-up includes four new kinds of sushi rolls conceived for this release which use seasonal spring ingredients, like sakuradai cherry blossom sea bream, sakura ebi, rape blossoms, fuki giant butterbur, green beans, and moreーas well as eight other types of sushi that are popular classics at each of the three restaurants.

    Shrimp Roll

    From the four new rolls, we have the sakura ebi shrimp roll, which is served with a gorgeous cherry blossom colour. It’s made with shibazuke pickles and vinegared rice, which gives it its colour, and contains, rape blossoms, okra, Chinese yam, and egg. The rape blossoms add a springtime bitterness to the sweetness of the sakura ebi, creating a wonderful combination of flavours.

    Beef Butterbur Miso Roll

    Then there’s the sakuradai roll is wrapped with vinegared tobiko flying fish roe, okra, and cucumber, which is topped with sashimi-style sakuradacherry blossom seam bream and salty cherry blossom leaves. The spring vegetable and tempura roll has shrimp and green bean tempura mixed with yuzu kosho paste; and finally, the beef butterbur miso roll, which contains beef rib seasoned in a sukiyaki style, finished with sesame seeds, and seasoned with butterbur miso.

     

    The eight popular classics include the wagyu roll sushi seasoned with luxurious truffle oil, Italian roll, duck roll, salmon roll, spider roll (soft shell crab), and more. All of these varied picks go great with wine or champagne.

    Hanami Roll Sushi Bento (9 Pieces): ¥1,200 (Tax Included)

    The “Hanami Roll Sushi Bento” comes in various sizes. As well as the 36 pieces of 12 sushi types, there’s also 18 pieces of 9 types (serves 1-2), and the 9 pieces of 9 types (serves 1).

     

    Reservations are available until 15:00 the previous day. Order yours for your Hanami cherry blossom flower-viewing this year in Japan.

  • Yellow Coloured Minnie Mouse Cafes to Open in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya & Fukuoka

    17.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    A new line of Minnie Mouse cafes are set to open in Tokyo and Osaka from February 28, 2020 and Nagoya and Fukuoka from February 29, 2020 for a limited time. Named “OH MY! MINNIE MOUSE,” the cafes are an official collaboration between Disney and the Japanese cafe chain OH MY CAFÉ.

    The cafe takes on the theme of Minnie Mouse being a living, breathing icon of today with a positive lifestyle. This is represented through the yellow colouring of the cafe, which features her iconic polka dots as well as ribbon taking on a yellow colour. Tuck into a cute menu line-up and get your hands on some cafe-exclusive Minnie Mouse merchandise.

     

    Original Menu

    Cheerful Burger – ¥1,990

    This healthy burger is packed full of vegetables with a black bun made in the image of Minnie’s silhouette. Feel as energised as Minnie with one bite of this tasty burger.

    Beef Hash Ribbon Rice – ¥1,390

    Inspired by Minnie Mouse’s iconic ribbon, this hearty dish is a beef stroganoff plated with rice and veg. The ribbon is so cute it almost seems a waste to eat!

    Fruit Sandwich – Single ¥990/ With Plate ¥2,790

    An absolute must-order if you’re wanting a dessert. This sandwich is piled with fresh fruits creamy yoghurt, sprinkled with poppy seeds, and doused in lemon juice.

    Fizzy Lemon Squash – Single ¥690 / With Coaster ¥1,390

    Charge yourself up with this fizzy lemonade and its refreshing aftertaste.

    Relaxing Chamomile Tea – Single ¥490 / With Mug ¥2,090

    Kick back and relax after your meal with a cup of chamomile tea♡

     

    Original Merchandise

    Heart Badge (8 Designs/Chosen Randomly) – ¥500

    Folder – ¥350

    Lunch Mat (6 Designs/Chosen Randomly) – ¥650 (*Table reservation required)

    Those who book a table in advance will be given one of six possible lunch mats chosen randomly.

     

    If you’re in Japan for the spring, then why not stop by the OH MY! MINNIE MOUSE cafe for a Disney treat?

     

    ©Disney

  • J-Pop Group Perfume to Open Fashion Pop-Up Shop ‘Perfume Closet’ at Laforet Harajuku

    16.February.2020 | FASHION / MUSIC

    Worldwide famous Japanese pop group Perfume are taking their fashion project “Perfume Closet” to Laforet Harajuku where it will run in a pop-up shop from February 20-26 this year.

     

    Perfume Closet is a fashion project helmed by Perfume which aims to connect with fans through Perfume’s music by making outfits. This is the fourth time Perfume Closet has opened, and will feature a line-up entitled “Perfume Closet 2020SS” which is part of what Perfume are calling “Phase 2,” which started in January this year and centres on clothing. It follows on from “Phase 1” which featured a line-up of miscellaneous items.

    SATIN COMBI TRENCH COAT – ¥49,500 (Tax Included) / FLOWER PLEATS DRESS – ¥44,000 (Tax Included)

    SHEER COMBI KNIT ¥17,600 (Tax Included) / 2 WAY PLEATS SKIRT ¥35,200 (Tax Included)

    RELAX WEAR (LADIES) – ¥16,500 (Tax Included) / PLEATS SLEEVE TEE (WHITE) – ¥9,900 (Tax Included) / SHEER COMBI RELAX PANTS – ¥22,000 (Tax Included)

    The pop-up shop will stock a plethora of items made by the Perfume members, who worked on the designs, chose the materials, and crafted the silhouettes. It includes everything from coats to one pieces, blouses, bottoms, as well as unisex items men can wear too like pants, shirts, and more.

     

    Fans of Perfume and fans of Japanese fashion aren’t going to want to miss out on the new Perfume Closet, open for one week only starting next Thursday!

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