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

24.January.2020 | FOOD

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

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

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

▶︎Tawashi (Male)

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

▶︎Dan (Male)

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

▶︎Emma (Female)

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

▶︎Cream (Male)

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

 

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

 

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

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Tokyo Station’s White Day Fair Loaded With Loving Gifts and Souvenirs

    28.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Tokyo Station’s two shopping centresーGRANSTA, which is inside the ticket gates, and GRANSTA Marunouchi, which is outside themーare holding a White Day Fair which started the day after Valentine’s Day and will run until March 14, 2020.

     

    In Japan, Valentine’s Day usually sees girls and women giving chocolate to guys and men, which can be for both friendship or love. On White Day, the opposite happens, where guys and men are expected to repay the favour. GRANSTA and GRANSTA Marunouchi have the perfect assortment of gifts and accessories that are sure to please any girls this White Day.

     

    Tasty treats to return the favour

    These visually-appealing picks are perfect for expressing your thanks to friends and coworkers.

    Tokyo Station Exclusive: Mini Pigeon & Heart Biscuits – ¥880 @ Fairycake Fair (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: From February 15, 2020

    These cute tiny tins from Fairycake Fair are packed with crunchy and milky pigeon and heart biscuits and mini lemon yoghurt-flavoured meringues. They’re a brand new product from the confectionery shop.

    Tokyo Station Exclusive: Strawberry Pie Burger – ¥864 @ Kyobashi Senbikiya (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: February 20, 2020 – March 14, 2020 (*30 served per day)

    Adorably cut into love hearts, these pies are lovingly filled with cream, which has a subtle eggy flavour, and cream cheese

    White Day Selection – ¥3,672 (Contains 9) @ Pierre Marcolini (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: From March 1, 2020 while supplies last

    An assortment of chocolates from popular chocolate brand Pierre Marcolini, named after the famous Belgian chocolatier, which is sure to make anyone happy. It includes a new chocolate called the “Gradation Cool.”

     

    Impress with these little gems

    Here’s a selection of gifts other than sweets that are great for those seeking something unique that no one else will buy.

    Truffle Salt – ¥1,296 – @ DEAN & DELUCA (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: Now on sale

    This blended salt is a mix of summer truffle and natural sea salt. The absolute perfect gift for someone who loves cooking.

    Dashi Stock – ¥1,080 @ Kayanoya (GRANSTA Marunouchi Floor B1F) / Available: Now on sale

    An assortment of Kayanoya’s popular “Kayanoya Dashi” and their flavour-packed “Kiwami Dashi.” A great pick for those who want to return the favour with something out of the ordinary.

    uka nail oil 13:00 – ¥3,300 @ FruitGATHERING (GRANSTA Floor B1F) / Available: Now on sale

    Scented with refreshing mint and lemon and keeps your nails and skin nice and moist.

    ecoffee cup-WILLIAM MORRIS – ¥2,310 Each @ Neue (GRANSTA Marunouchi Floor B1F) / Available: Now on sale

    These beautifully stylish, textile-design cups are reusable, so you can take your coffee with you wherever and whenever.

  • Japan Coronavirus: Studio Ghibli Museum, Sanrio Puroland & Other Facilities Close Temporarily

    27.February.2020 | SPOT

    A number of facilities in Japan have announced temporary closures to help stop any possible spreading of the coronavirus. Please check the following closures if you’re planning a trip to Japan in February or March. New information is rolling out all the time, so for the latest updates, please check the official websites for each establishment listed below.

     

    Last Updated: February 28, 2020 at 00:51 (JST)

    Tokyo Disneyland® and Tokyo DisneySea® 

    Closed: February 29 – March 15, 2020

    The parks plan to reopen on March 16, 2020, however this will be decided following consultation with concerned administrative agencies and will be announced on their official website. If you have purchased tickets valid during the parks’ closing dates, please refer to the links below.

     

    Tokyo Disney Resort Official Website: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/index.html

    Tokyo Disney Resort Online Tickets and Reservations: https://reserve.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/top/?language=en

     

     

    Snoopy Museum

    Closed: February 29 – March 13, 2020

    Information on ticket refunds is provided on the museum’s official website.

     

    Snoopy Museum Official Website:https://snoopymuseum.tokyo/s/smt/page/english?ima=0000

     

     

    Sony Music Roppongi Museum

    Closed: February 29 – March 13, 2020

    Information on ticket refunds will soon be provided on the museum’s official website. The TYPE-MOON Fate / stay night-15 years of history Exhibition will be extended until April 19, 2020.

     

    TYPE-MOON Fate / stay night-15 years of history Exhibition Official Website: https://type-moon-museum.com/

    Sony Music Roppongi Museum Official Website: https://smrm.jp/

     

     


     

    Sanrio Puroland

    Closed: February 22, 2020 – March 12, 2020

    The park is scheduled to reopen on March 13, 2020, but this is subject to change depending on the circumstances of the coronavirus and news published by the government.

     

    ▶Refunds

    ・Pre-booked Tickets

    Tickets valid between the dates February 22, 2020 – March 12, 2020 will have their validity period extended to September 30, 2020.

     

    ・Original Passports

    Passport tickets valid between the dates February 22, 2020 – September 29, 2020 will have their validity period extended to September 30, 2020.

     

    ・Pre-booked PUROPASS

    Payments for PUROPASSES bought between the dates February 22, 2020 – March 10, 2020 will be cancelled.

     

    ・Anniversary Time

    Payments for Anniversary Time tickets for the dates February 22, 2020 – March 10, 2020 will be cancelled. Those who paid with cash will be refunded via registered mail.

     

    Official Website (English): https://en.puroland.jp/

    Official Website (Japanese): https://www.puroland.jp/

     

     

    Ghibli Museum

    Closed: February 25, 2020 – March 17, 2020

     

    ▶Refunds

    Refunds are applicable for tickets dated between January 22, 2020 – March 30, 2020.

    Refunds will be paid in full between February 15, 2020 – March 31, 2020.

     

    Official Website (English): http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/en/

    Official Website (Japanese): http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/

     

    Toei Animation Museum

    Closed: February 26, 2020 – March 18, 2020

    The museum’s reopening is subject to consideration depending on the circumstances of the coronavirus. It will be announced via the museum’s official Twitter page and website.

     

    Official Website: https://museum.toei-anim.co.jp/

     

     

    Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum

    Closed: February 22, 2020 until further notice

     

    Official Website (English): https://www.asahibeer-oyamazaki.com/english/

    Official Website (Japanese): https://www.asahibeer-oyamazaki.com/

     

     

    Kyoto National Museum

    Closed: February 22, 2020 until further notice

    All events, the museum shop Benrido, and the museum cafe Maeda Coffee, have also closed temporarily.

     

    Official Website (English): https://www.kyohaku.go.jp/eng/index.html

    Official Website (Japanese): https://www.kyohaku.go.jp/jp/index.html

     

     

    ARASHI EXHIBITION “JOURNEY”

    Closed: February 22, 2020 – March 9, 2020

    Location: Osaka Culturarium at Tempozan

     

    Official Website: https://arashiexhibition.jp/

     

    Sanrio Harmony Land

    Closed: February 22, 2020 – March 12, 2020

     

    Official Website (English): https://www.harmonyland.jp/english/harmony/harmony.html

    Official Website (Japanese): https://www.harmonyland.jp/welcome.html

     

    Universal Studios Japan

    Closed: February 29, 2020 – March 15, 2020
    The park’s reopening will be determined after serious consideration of the current condition of the coronavirus situation. The announcement of the park’s reopening will be made on the USJ’s official website and social media. Information on handling of tickets during the break period will be posted on the official website on February 28, 2020 at 21:00 (JST).

     

    Official Website (English): https://www.usj.co.jp/e/

    Official Website (Japanese): https://www.usj.co.jp/

     

    Hirakata Park

    Closed: February 29, 2020 – March 18, 2020
    All planned events during the park’s closure have been cancelled and/or postponed until further notice. The park plans to reopen on March 19, 2020 subject to the current condition of the coronavirus situation. Updates will be posted on the official website. Refunds for winter season tickets will be announced at a later date.

     

    Official Website (English): http://www.hirakatapark.co.jp/en/

    Official Website (Japanese): http://www.hirakatapark.co.jp/

     

    Numerous other sports and cultural events will also close for two weeks commencing February 26, 2020. If you’re travelling to Japan in February and March, please check the websites of any places you plan to visit during your trip to see if they are open.

  • BT21 Cafe to Open in Tokyo and Osaka With a Spring Theme

    27.February.2020 | FOOD / MUSIC / SPOT

    The 6th run of the popular BT21 Cafe is here. The cafes will open at TOKYO BOX cafe&space Tokyo Solamachi on February 28, 2020, and at TOKYO BOX cafe&space Omotesando and UMEDA BOX cafe&space on March 5, 2020.

    BT21 are the LINE messenger app characters created by K-pop group BTS. The cafe has seen five runs in Japan, and has proven immensely popular amongst fans for the selection of original dishes and drinks as well as exclusive merchandise.

     

    TOKYO BOX cafe&space Omotesando & UMEDA BOX cafe&space

    Kobu Salad & Baguettes – ¥1,690

    Chef’s Crepe – ¥1,690

    Drinks – ¥990 Each

    “Springtime” is the theme this time around. TOKYO BOX cafe&space Omotesando and UMEDA BOX cafe&space will be based around a spring party, and customers will be able to order a set menu with food or dessert.

     

    TOKYO BOX cafe&space Tokyo Solamachi

    SHOOKY’s Brown Burger — ¥1,690

    TATA’s Very! Berry! Sandwich – ¥1,690

    Drinks – ¥990 Each

    TOKYO BOX cafe&space Solamachi’s menu will be centred on the BT21 Baby Series, where all the characters have been turned into babies.

    TOKYO BOX cafe&space Omotesando & UMEDA BOX cafe&space – “Let’s Party With You” Original Stickers and Coasters

    TOKYO BOX cafe&space Tokyo Solamachi – “BABY” Original Stickers and Coasters

    Customers can also get their hands on some original merchandise and bonus items too. Book a table and receive one of seven stickers, and order a drink to receive one of seven coasters.

  • Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop Opens in Haneda Airport

    27.February.2020 | SPOT

    Tokyo Toyko, a website that provides information on things to do in Japan’s capital, opened its own souvenir shop, called Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop, in EDO KOJI on February 22, 2020, which is located on the fourth floor of Haneda Airport International Passenger Terminal.

    As part of an effort to promote the appeals of Tokyo to the world, Tokyo Metropolis is carrying our PR work and branding with the catchphrase “Tokyo Tokyo Old meets New.”

    Happy Daruma / Mamehapi

    Edo Kimekomi Waving Cat

    The “Tokyo Omiyage Seisaku Project” aims to develop products in collaboration with Tokyo Metropolis and local businesses with the “Tokyo Tokyo” brand. To date, 50 products (excluding colour variations) have been produced, from traditional crafts to stationery, food, and moreーall embodying the spirit of Tokyo.

    The shop design features illustrations of Asakusa and Shibuya, two a symbols of Tokyo that have been around since the Edo Period and are and hub of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture respectively. The shop is also planning to hold workshops, where you can learn to make your own daruma and origami.

     

    If you’re travelling to or from Haneda Airport, then be sure to pay a visit to Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop where you can pick up souvenirs that combine traditional and contemporary culture.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • ‘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.?

  • Fermented Food Cafe ‘Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi’ to Open in Kyoto’s Sanjo Area

    19.February.2020 | FOOD

    Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi is a new cafe opening in the Sanjo area of Kyoto on February 22, 2020, that is centred entirely on fermented foods.

    The name “Haccomachi” derives from the Japanese word Hakko (Hacco), meaning fermented, and Komachi (Comachi), meaning a beautiful woman. The cafe hopes for people to incorporate fermented foods into their livesーsomething which is rooted in Japanese food cultureーand live comfortably.

    The cafe’s logo showcases the making of kōjiーa type of mould used in the fermentation process of certain food products in Japan, like soybeans. The logo hope to pass down this long upheld tradition.

     

    Hakko fermentation is a major part of Japan’s food culture. Since ancient times, the sweetness and umami brought about by the enzymes in the fermentation process have served to accompany many foods in the country, such as miso, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, and so onーall traditional condiments used in the Japanese kitchen that are still fundamental today.

     

    The menu at Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi features a line-up of fermented foods made in Kyoto, including those from Kyoto-based soybean makers Fujiwara Shokuhin, Sawai Shoyu Honten which has produced the same high quality soy sauce for decades, sake brewery Kitagawa Honke which has been around since the Edo Period, and more.

     

    A Small Look at the Menu

    Lunch Menu

    Haccomachi Special – Fermented Lunch Plate: ¥1,690

    This lunch plate is an assortment of hors d’oeuvre made with fermented condiments, tandoori chicken that has been pickled to elevate the umami, marlin fish, soup, and more.

     

    Dinner Menu

    Spare Ribs On The Bone in Miso Yuan Yaki: ¥1,490

    This hearty portion of spare ribs are marinated in a miso, mirin, and soy sauce mix. Taste the full umami flavour of the juicy meat.

    Namerō Miso Salmon in Yoghurt Sauce: ¥770

    The salmon is served namerō style, a type of tataki or pounding method, in miso. The yoghurt has both a refreshing and rich flavour.

    Homemade Komekoji Rice Malt Sweet Sake Yoghurt: ¥470

    The splitting of the sour yoghurt serves to elevate the sweetness of the sake. This is a drink that even those who don’t like sweet sake are sure to enjoy.

     

    Cafe Menu

    Miso Pound Cake w/ Vanilla Ice Cream: ¥550

    The miso pound cake is a collaboration with Japanese confectionery company Sarasa, which has 6 branches of cafes and shops in Kyoto. It’s made using komekoji rice malt powder provided by an old-fashioned Japanese shop (菱六もやし). The umami of the miso is intensified, and the cake stays moist thanks to the powder. It’s served with a dollop of refreshing vanilla ice cream.

    Blackcurrant & Vanilla Sweet Sake Affogato: ¥550

    A unique spin on the affogato dessert which has you pouring hot sweet sake over tangy and refreshing blackcurrant sherbet and rich vanilla ice cream. Enjoy the mix of the hot sake and the cool ice cream.

     

    Discover the Japanese tradition of fermentation at Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi, opening February 22, 2020.

  • 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.

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