Spring’s Arrived Early in Chiba as the Strawberry Picking Season Begins

18.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

Chiba Prefecture is one of the leading places in Japan for growing strawberries. Thanks to its warm climate, the prefecture enjoys hearty a strawberry harvest, which it celebrates with strawberry-picking events and markets across the prefecture. The true fun in strawberry picking in Chiba is that you get to taste a variety of different types, all ripe, there and then, so you can compare flavours.

 

To further promote the wonderful world of its succulent strawberries, Chiba Prefecture has set up a special website, and is also hosting a photo campaign entitled “Chiba Strawberry Fair 2020.” This is also the season to try an original type of strawberry grown in Chiba Prefecture called the “Chi-Ba Berry.”

 

Check out Strawberry Fields Chiba’s special website

The Strawberry Fields Chiba website has a wealth of information on strawberry varietiesーincluding the “Chi-Ba Berry”ーas well as places to pick strawberries in the prefecture, places selling strawberries, and more. If you’re interested in finding out more about strawberries in Chiba, then check out their website below.

 

Strawberry Fields Chiba Official Website: https://chiba-ichigo.jp

 

Chiba Strawberry Fair 2020

People who post a photo on Instagram of their time in Chiba enjoying the strawberries with the hashtag #ちばいちごフェア2020 (“Chiba Strawberry Fair 2020”) have the chance to win the above-pictured Chi-Ba Berry-kun plush toy. The campaign is running until February 29, 2020.

 

Strawberry picking season in Chiba runs until May, so if you’re planning a trip there this year, make sure you don’t leave without trying the prefecture’s famous strawberries.

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  • Doremo LeTAO: Strawberry Pancakes Whipped Up For Spring at Popular Cafe Near New Chitose Airport

    02.April.2020 | FOOD

    Doremo LeTAO has released a new pancake flavour called “Very Berry” for the spring season which tops the cafe’s popular pancakes with strawberries and raspberries.

     

    What is Doremo LeTAO?

    Doremo LeTAO is about 7-minutes by car from New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido. This desserts cafe makes use of its almost 5,300m² space to pack in all the charm of the brand. Its concept is “Sweets Resort” with which it whips up everything from authentic homemade pastries made using Japanese white birch yeast, cakes and cheesecakes to eat in or take away, soft-serve ice cream which is served all year round and is made with milk from Jersey cattle and cheese, and more.

     

    It also serves melt-in-the-mouth pancakes and seasonal parfaits, as well as meals too like their original Beef Stroganoff which is made with beef fillet and local Hokkaido ingredients. They even serve pasta which is made from 100% “yumechikara” Hokkaido wheat.

    Very Berry Pancakes – ¥1,600 (Before Tax) / With Drink – ¥1,930 (Before Tax)

    Doremo LeTAO’s pancakes have been a hit with customers ever since they entered the menu line-up and never fail to boast the true cookery craftsmanship of their chefs. Each pancake takes about 20 minutes to make, and flavours range from classics to exclusive ones each month. At Doremo LeTAO, it feels like they drop a tasty new strawberry pancake on us every year, and this year it’s the rich berry-topped “Very Berry” which combines strawberries with raspberries, and it’s thanks to the cheese flavour in their pancakes that it all comes together so well.

    Topped with sliced strawberries, sorbet, and a drizzle of sauce, these really are the pancakes of the gods, and they’re available this spring only.

  • Succulent Strawberry Drinks & Desserts Served Up at GELATO PIQUE CAFE

    21.March.2020 | FOOD

    GELATO PIQUE CAFE branches in Japan began their “Strawberry Fair” on Wednesday serving up drinks and desserts made using seasonal strawberries.

    What is GELATO PIQUE CAFE all about?
    “Desserts for adults” is the concept at GELATO PIQUE CAFE, a cafe brand developed by GELATO PIQUE which specialises is comfy loungewear. The cafe, which has branches in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and elsewhere in Japan, serves comfort food and is interested in the health and happiness of its guests. Their menu is overflowing with ideas, with all options made using only the best selected ingredients.

     

    The enticing line-up is nothing short of kawaii, and screams springtimeーfitting for the season as Japan celebrated Vernal Equinox Day yesterday, the first day of springーwith sweet and sour strawberries adorning their crepes, smoothies, gelatos, soft serve ice creams, and more.

    Strawberry Mille Feuille Crepe – ¥830 (Before Tax)

    Topped with a whole strawberry, this mille feuille-inspired seasonal crepe is made with an in-house crafted strawberry cream, mille feuille puff pastry, and vanilla gelato. The strawberries used are a mix, all grown in Kumamoto Prefecture, including yuubenikoinozomikoiminori, and others. Much love and care is put into growing strawberries in Kumamoto, making them sweet and delicious.

    White Strawberry & Red Strawberry Gelato – ¥460 (Before Tax)

    This two-coloured serving of gelato ice cream is made with sweet-smelling white strawberries and a brand of red strawberry from Fukuoka called amaou. No strawberry lover will be able to resist this pick.

    Strawberry Smoothie – ¥590 (Before Tax)

    Enjoy a cold strawberry smoothie made from seasonal strawbs, milk, and honey. Indulge in the refreshing sweetness of the strawberries, and enjoy the cute pink flavour of the beverage.

    Strawberry Milk Soft Serve Ice Cream – ¥450 (Before Tax)

    Or grab yourself a cone of soft serve ice cream to enjoy the combination of flavours: sweet and sour strawbs and sweet, creamy milk.You can also get a mix together with the light blue vanilla flavour.

  • McDonald’s Japan Reveals White Chocolate Strawberry Latte and Frappe

    18.February.2020 | FOOD

    McCafé by Barista branches of McDonald’s in Japan are set to release three new drinks on February 26, 2020, for a limited time: the “White Chocolate Strawberry Frappe,” “White Chocolate Strawberry Latte,” and “Iced White Chocolate Strawberry Latte.”

    White Chocolate Strawberry Frappe – ¥490

    The White Chocolate Strawberry Frappe is built up of a sauce made using fresh slices on strawberry and whipped cream, on top of which rests a refreshing milk base also mixed with strawberry sauce. Topping it all off is a squirt of fluffy whipped cream, a drizzle of strawberry sauce, and a sprinkling of white chocolate nibs. The aftertaste of this tasty dessert beverage leaves you feeling refreshed while satisfying your taste buds with its sweet flavour.

    Iced White Chocolate Strawberry Latte – ¥390

    White Chocolate Strawberry Latte – ¥390

    The strawberry sauce and strawberry syrup used in the hot and iced versions of the White Chocolate Strawberry Latte are mixed together with fluffy foamed milk and cold milk to create a succulent strawberry milk. This is finished with whipped cream, more strawberry sauce, and plenty of white chocolate bits. Containing no coffee, these drinks enjoy the subtle sweetness of the white chocolate and the tangy-ness of the strawberry milk.

     

    Refresh yourself this spring in Japan with a cup of McDonald’s new White Chocolate Strawberry drinks.

  • Garrett Popcorn Reveals Cherry Blossom Pink Strawberry & White Chocolate Popcorn Flavour

    14.February.2020 | FOOD

    American gourmet popcorn brand Garrett Popcorn Shops® has revealed its new cherry blossom pink coloured, strawberry and white chocolate flavoured popcorn “Very Berry White Chocolate,” along with the new “Garrett Sakura Tin”ーboth of which will be released tomorrow on February 15 in limited quantities.

    Very Berry White Chocolate: Small ¥580/Medium ¥1,030/Large ¥1,670/Jumbo ¥3,300/Quarter Tin ¥1,700/1 Gallon Tin ¥4,300/2 Gallon Tin ¥8,250

    Also released for spring last year to overwhelming popularity, the “Very Berry White Chocolate” popcorn takes Garrett Popcorn’s fruity, sweet and sour “Strawberry Caramel Crisp™” flavour, coats it in sweet white chocolate, and sprinkles it with strawberry flakes to create a truly succulent strawberry treat, which is made even more delicious with the milk white chocolate. Its pink colour also brings to mind images of Japan’s cherry blossoms.

    Garrett Sakura Tin/Quarter Tin: From ¥1,130

    The Garrett Sakura Tin has been sold every spring since 2014, and makes a return once again for 2020, covered in beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom.

     

    The pink-on-pink combination is a great Valentine’s Day present, for a springtime movie nightーwhatever takes your fancy!

  • 5 Must Try Strawberry Desserts in Fukuoka – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    07.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    If you thought we hadn’t covered enough desserts and food from Fukuoka already here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON, never fearーwe’ve got you covered with another tasty line-up for you. This time we’re looking at a list of 5 must-try strawberry desserts from Kyushu’s northern island, and we’re joined by Instagrammer moe who has provided us with some mouth-watering photos of each pick.

    COFFEE COUNTY | Kurume

    Amaou Strawberry Pie
    COFFEE COUNTY is a famous coffee shop in the city of Kurume. It has a chill and relaxing atmosphere which is wrapped with the delicious smell of freshly-brewed coffee and desserts. Their strawberry pie, which is made with amaou strawberries from Fukuoka, blends together harmoniously the sourness of the strawberries with the sweetness of the cake.
    Also, if you love coffee and happen to buy some coffee beans from the cafe, you’ll receive a free cup of coffeeーwhich goes great with the pie.
    ▼COFFEE COUNTY
    Address: 1-21-21 Takasago, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 11:00-19:00
    Closed: Wednesdays
    Official Website: http://coffeecounty.cc

    Kurasukoto | Hirao

    Strawberry Parfait
    Kurasukoto is another relaxing cafe, decked out with wooden tables and shelves. They also sell a range of miscellaneous items in addition to the food menu too, like clothes and accessories. Their strawberry parfait was incredibly popular last year, and is back again this year. It’s loaded with handmade fresh cream and custard which sits on a pile juicy jam made from fresh strawberries. The top layer is subtly sweet while the bottom is sweet and sour. Combined, they make the ultimate balance of flavours.
    ▼Kurasukoto
    Address: 1-11-21 Hirao, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 11:30-18:00
    Closed: Mondays & Sundays
    Official Website: https://www.kurasukoto.com/

    DAIMYO SOFT CREAM | Hakata

    Strawberry x Strawberry Ice Cream
    DAIMYO SOFT CREAM is an incredibly popular ice cream shop which sells around 10,000 ice creams a day. During the daytime, there are lines of people waiting outside for a scoop. It’s close to Hakata Station so is easy to get to.
    Their ice cream is really soft and rich, and the flavours change with each passing season. They have an eat-in space too if you want to sit and relax to enjoy your cone.
    ▼DAIMYO SOFT CREAM
    Address: 1-11-4 Daimyo, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 11:00-22:00
    Official Website: http://daimyosoftcream.com

    Pinsirio | Kuromon

    Strawberry Forest
    Pinsirio’s parfaits get you excited by just looking at them. Their parfaits are made with fresh in-season fruits. The cafe has an open kitchen, so you can enjoy watching your parfait being made.
    The “Strawberry Forest” is served in a glass and absolutely overflows with strawberries. Every mouthful down to the last bite is strawberry flavoured. The rich taste of the salted butter sable cookies and the light sourness of the cheesecake are to die for too.
    ▼Pinsirio
    Address: 8-15 Kuromon, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:00
    Closed: Tuesdays

     

     

    yorimichi | Kasuya

    Shrimp & Egg / Strawberry Chocolate Chip
    yorimichi is famous for being a bakery with a unique custom where customers must take their shoes off to enter. It’s customary in Japan to take your shoes off when entering someone’s home, as well as in certain restaurants and izakaya, but it’s pretty much unheard of for a bakery.
    The bakery makes a limited batch of 600 breads a day, meaning that most of the time they sell out their stock by evening time. The strawberry chocolate chip bread is filled with a homemade chocolate chip cream which is a match made in heaven when paired with the sweet strawberries. Try eating it together with one of the savoury sandwiches for a real treat.
    ▼yorimichi
    Address: 1-10-43 Chōjabaruhigashi, Kasuya District, Fukuoka Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 7:30-15:00
    Closed: Tuesdays

    Did you enjoy this list? If you’re in need of more cafe recommendations in Fukuoka, then be sure to follow moe on Instagram.

     

    Original Text & Photos: moe

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    *Information written in this article is correct at the time of publishing. For more details on each shop, please visit their official websites and social media pages.

  • 9 Must Try Desserts and Sweets in Hokkaido & at New Chitose Airport – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    06.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    We at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON know our readers love desserts and sweets as much as we do, and that’s why we make sure to never go too long without writing about the latest must-try treats in Japan, like our recent article on matcha desserts in Sapporo.
    We return to you once more with the 9 must-try delectable delights at New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido, and at various locations across Hokkaido. If you’re heading to Japan’s northernmost prefecture, and are using this airport, or are travelling throughout Hokkaido, then you can’t miss out on these irresistible picks.
    Today, we are joined by Kei, a Japanese Instagrammer who posts enticing pictures of the delicious desserts and drinks he has tried at cafes around Hokkaido. He has kindly provided us with his incredible pictures along with a descriptions, which we have translated into English. Enjoy!

    GINRYU・BonBon BERRY | New Chitose Airport

    GINRYU・BonBon BERRY is a revamp of the original shop, GINRYU. Located on the second floor of New Chitose Airport Terminal, the new shop has teamed up with BonBonBERRY, another store right next to Atami Station in Shizuoka Prefecture.

     

    The shop specialises in Tokachi Ginryu strawberries, a variety of strawberry produced in the town of Otofuke. They have a distinct appearance and taste, with their beautiful white inside, low acidity, and high sugar content.

    Omocchiizu Strawberry Skewer – ¥432
    This skewered dessert is made up of strawberries, cheese-filled sticky rice cake, and strawberry baumkuchen. This is the ultimate strawberry indulgence!
    Strawberry Bavarois – ¥740
    Bon Bon Soft – ¥500
    The Strawberry Bavarois and soft serve ice cream look super cute too. The high sugar content of the Ginryu strawberry makes them perfect for any kind of dessert.
    The shop is stocked full of other great sweet treats too, so be sure to check out their strawberry range.
    ▼GINRYU・BonBon BERRY
    Address: New Chitose Airport Terminal – Floor 2F
    Opening Hours: 8:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-29-4480

    Chocolatier Masale | New Chitose Airport

    Chocolatier Masale is a standout name in Hokkaido. This leading chocolate company have multiple branches – in addition to the Sapporo shops, they have sites in both the lobby and gate lounge of New Chitose Airport.

    Mousse Glacee White Chocolate & Hokkaido Milk – ¥410
    Exclusive to the departure lobby branch of Chocolatier Malase, this chocolatey dessert is an ensemble of ice cream made from mousse-packed Hokkaido milk and covered in chocolate. It’s finished with cracked freeze-dried strawberries which give a fruity kick to the smooth taste of the ice cream and delightful chocolate.
    ▼Chocolatier Masale – New Chitose Airport Departure Lobby (ショコラティエマサール 新千歳空港出発ロビー店)
    Address: New Chitose Airport Terminal – Floor 2F
    Opening Hours: 8:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-29-4115
    Official Website: https://www.masale.jp/

    siretoco sky sweets | New Chitose Airport

    siretoco doughnuts were created in the town of Nakashibetsu in Hokkaido. The New Chitose Airport Terminal branch is immensely popular for its cute mini animal doughnuts which are steamed instead of being dropped into hot oil, making them a healthier doughnut option.
    Happy New Year Lucky Rat – ¥420 / Rich★Cream Cheese – ¥390
    The doughnut on the left celebrates 2020 and the Year of the Rat in the Chinese Zodiac. It’s white chocolate and strawberry chocolate flavoured. It’s also not too sweet and has a soft and fluffy texture. The cheese doughnut has a very cheesy flavour indeed. All the animal faces are also made by hand, so each and every one is unique. Both are really cute looking.
    ▼siretoco sky sweets (シレトコ スカイ スイーツ)
    Address: New Chitose Airport Terminal – Floor 2F
    Opening Hours: 8:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-46-2109

    Cafe Owl | Lake Shikotsu

    Handmade Baked Purin – ¥500
    Cafe Owl is situated in Shikotsuko Onsen, a popular tourist spot about a 55-minute transit bus ride from New Chitose Airport. It has a warm atmosphere to it with its log house-like appearance. Their food menu has just two things on it: pizza and purin (Japanese custard pudding). I ordered a purin and cup of coffee as a set.
    The photo doesn’t show how big the purin actually is – it’s like a cake slice. It has a refreshing taste and isn’t overly-sweet so can be chowed down easily.
    ▼Cafe Owl (カフェアウル)
    Address: Shikotsuko Onsen, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
    Closed: Wednesdays
    Enquiries: 0123-25-2590

    Pennennolde | Lake Shikotsu

    Atsuma Honeysuckle Rare Cheese & Cocoa – ¥380 / Walnut Chocolate Ganache – ¥380
    This cafe is also located in Shikotsuko Onsen. Their main meal is muffins, which are served warm inside their very relaxed space. The honeysuckle cheese muffin is thick and sticky, and doesn’t have an unpleasant smell from the cheese. It’s simply delicious. The chocolate ganache too is melted which only adds to the nice texture of the walnuts.
    The muffins can be ordered for takeout too, so you can take them with you to enjoy the local sights.
    ▼Pennennolde (ペンネンノルデ)
    Address: Bangaichi, Shikotsuko Onsen, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-25-4115

    Kita no Umaimonten Hekisui | Lake Shikotsu

    Raspberry Chocolate Soft Cream – ¥500
    This cafe is close to Lake Shikotsu. They sell soft serve ice cream from the famous Iwase Farm located in the city of Sunagawa. This flavour is made with rich chocolate ice cream and is topped with freeze-dried raspberries, creating a great balance between the two.
    This small place has its own eat-in area too, so you can kick back and relax while you enjoy the taste of some Hokkaido soft serve ice cream.
    ▼Kita no Umaimonten Hekisui (北のうまいもん店碧水)
    Address: Shikotsuko Onsen, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: Not known
    Closed Days: Not known
    Enquiries: 0123-25-4115
    Official Website: Not known

    Doremo LeTAO | Chitose

    Chocolate Noisette Berry – ¥1,540
    Doremo LeTAO is just a 15-minute walk from Chitose Station. Their “Chocolate Noisette Berry” is packed fully of rich chocolate, nuts, and berries.
    Berry Mascarpone – ¥1,650
    The “Berry Mascarpone” comes with four pancakes drizzled in berry sauce, mascarpone, custard, strawberries, and vanilla ice cream. The pancakes have soft meringue inside them, but are still light to eat, so you can rest assured you won’t have a heavy stomach afterwards.
    ▼Doremo LeTAO (ドレモルタオ)
    Address: 6-1-1 Asahinochi, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 050-5570-2975

    Mirtillo | Osatsu

    Mirtillo is a gelato shop on the outskirts of Osatsu in Chitose. It’s a tricky place to reach without a car, but it still stands as an incredibly popular gelato store. They have 16 flavours of gelato including several limited-time options.

    Waffle Parfait – ¥1,000
    I tried their “Waffle Parfait,” which lets you pick from two gelato of your choice along with toppings. The combination of the crunchy waffles with the gelato is delicious. Added together with the blueberry sauce and fruits, you get a variety of tastes and textures.
    The blueberries are actually all grown on site.
    ▼Mirtillo (ミルティーロ)
    Address: 2 Osatsu, Chitose, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-23-5323
    Official Website: http://mirtillo.tank.jp/

    Donut Chaya Honwaka | Eniwa

    Honwaka Cocoa – ¥140 / Autumn Chestnut – ¥220
    Honwaka is a doughnut shop about 1.5km from Eniwa Station. I got to try some of their seasonal autumn flavours: the fluffy and flavourful “Honwaka Cocoa,” and the chestnut and chestnut cream-loaded “Autumn Chestnut.” The chestnut cream is just the right amount of sweetness and has a really delightful chestnut flavour.
    The store offers limited-time seasonal flavours with each passing season, so be sure to check out my Instagram to see more.
    ▼Donut Chaya Honwaka (ドーナツ茶屋 ほんわか)
    Address: 7-18-4 Koganeminami, Eniwa, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Enquiries: 0123-25-5346
    Did you enjoy these dessert picks? We hope you get to try some of them, and if you want even more dessert recommendations from Hokkaido, be sure to follow Kei on Instagram.

     

    Photos & Original Text: Kei / 敬 (@607keih)

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    *Information written in this article is correct at the time of publishing. For more details on each shop, please visit their official websites and social media pages.

    *Food names are translated from Japanese into English where appropriate.

  • Creamy Bread Filled With Sweet Amaou Strawberries Appear at Hattendo Cafe in Japan

    05.February.2020 | FOOD

    Hattendo is released a new flavour in its popular “Cream Bread” series last week that is served with Japanese Amaou strawberries. You’ll find them at the following Hattendo branches: ekimo Umeda, ekimo Tennoji, JR Sannomiya Station, Aeon Mall Okayama, and Sun Station Okayama.

     

    The breads are made from a combination of custard cream which is cooked up everyday in-store, and a simple fresh cream, creating a smooth texture that just melts in your mouth. They come in five flavours: Custard, Fresh Cream & Custard, Chocolate, Matcha, and Adzuki.

     

    Unlike regular Japanese cream bread, where the bread is baked after inserting the cream, the cream of this cream bread is injected inside after the bread is cooked like a cream puff dessert. It’s also left to set in the refrigerator to make the cream even more melt-in-the-mouth and to firm up the bread. The best way to describe it is to say that it’s like you’re eating cream, rather than eating bread. From the first bite, the cream fills your mouth with its refreshing taste and velvety texture.

    The bread is also filled with sweet and sour a jam made from sweet Amaou strawberries, a brand from Fukuoka Prefecture, which mixes deliciously with the soft cream. The jam is made by Hattendo and has a very juicy and refreshing strawberry flavour.

  • 5 Must-Visit Beautiful and Romantic Lantern Festivals in Japan | 2020 Edition

    02.February.2020 | SPOT

    The season for Japan’s enchanting and romantic lantern events has finally arrived, and the line-up this year is diverse, from events where lanterns are the main attraction to lantern-lined festivals and Japanese matsuri festivals.

     

    Hankyu Travel International compiled a list of these events , and we’ve pulled out some of the best ones for you.

     

    Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru | Iwate Prefecture

    This year marks the third run of “Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru,” an event held during winter for guests staying at Hanamaki Onsen. The event is comprised of many elements, including fireworks, folk entertainment, and more. People will also write wishes and messages or draw pictures on their lanterns before sending them up into the winter night sky. Afterwards, they can enjoy a dip in the hot springs at Hanamaki Onsen to warm themselves up and unwind from the day.

     

    Running: January 26, 2020/February 22, 2020/February 11, 2020/February 16, 2020/February 24, 2020

    Location: Namari Ski Center
    Address: Nakadaira-36-1 Namari, Hanamaki, Iwate

     

    ▼Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru Tour
    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/keyword/%E3%81%AF%E3%81%AA%E3%81%BE%E3%81%8D%E6%98%9F%E3%82%81%E3%81%90%E3%82%8A%E3%81%AE%E5%A4%9C/?p_baitai=9599

     

     

    China Lantern Festival | Chiba Prefecture

    Tokyo German Village is hosting its second China Lantern Festival, inspired by the typical traditional festivals held in China during spring. A selection of 30 lantern installations of varying sizes made by the world’s biggest lantern maker Lantern Group have been set up in the 50,000 square meter area. Pieces include lanterns over 10 meters long and high, lanterns floating on the water, moving lanterns, and more.

     

    Running: November 23, 2019 – April 5, 2020

    Location: Tokyo German Village

    Address: 419 Nagayoshi, Sodegaura, Chiba

     

    ▼Tokyo German Village Tour
    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/keyword/%E6%9D%B1%E4%BA%AC%E3%83%89%E3%82%A4%E3%83%84%E6%9D%91/?p_baitai=9599

     

     

    Tsunan Yuki Matsuri | Niigata Prefecture

    Since 2012, the people of Tsunan in Niigata have raised sky lanterns into the sky to pray for the revival from the disaster that the Tohoku earthquake brought in 2011. It is a two-day festival, with the first day of the event taking place at night, and the second being the main day of the festival. The festival is so popular that tickets never fail to sell out quickly every year. It brings with it a host of events, from the lanterns to the snowboard straight jumping tournament, the hanging of snow lanterns, snowmobile rides, and more.

     

    Running: March 14, 2020 (There will also be a lantern event the night before on March 13, 2020)

    Location: New Greenpia Tsunan

    Address: 12300 Akinari, Tsunan, Nakauonuma-gun, Niigata

     

    ▼Niigata Tsunan Sky Lantern Festival Tour
    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/chubu-hokuriku/niigata/lantern/?p_baitai=9599

     

     

    Nagasaki Lantern Festival | Nagasaki Prefecture

    This festival was originally held during the Chinese New year by the people of Nagasaki Chinatown, but in 1994 it was given the name “Nagasaki Lantern Festival.” To date, it has been attended by over 1 million people. This year, around 15,000 lanterns of varying sizes are set to light the streets. Taking place across several areas, some standout pieces include the peach-coloured lanterns at Nagasaki Chinatown, the ceiling lanterns at Hamanomachi Arcade, the water lanterns at Nagashimagawa Park, and more. On weekends, there are also parades, traditional Chinese performance, and other exciting events. And if you head to Nagasaki Confucian Shrine (also known as Koshi-byo), you can offer a love lantern to pray for happiness in your relationship.

     

    Running: January 24, 2020 – February 9, 2020
    Locations: Nagasaki Chinatown/Central Park/Tojin Yashiki/and elsewhere
    Address: Various places throughout the city of Nagasaki

     

    ▼Nagasaki Lantern Festival

    Hankyu Travel International Tour: Hankyu Travel International

    Nagasaki Tourism Page: https://travel.at-nagasaki.jp/en/what-to-see/62/

     

    Ryukyu Lantern Festival 2019-2020 | Okinawa Prefecture

    Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park is known for having originally been used as the set for several historical drama series, and was subsequently turned into a theme park after filming was finished. The Ryukyu Lantern Festival welcomes a variety of different lanterns, including Chinese lanterns, paper lanterns, various Asian lanterns, and more, each of which bring a completely different atmosphere depending on the area you are in. This year sees the welcome return of the annual lantern contest where 45 individual lantern pieces are exhibited. There are also different street performances every day on the Night Lantern Stage, as well as projection mapping displays, the Night Lantern Cafe, and more.

     

    Running: December 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020

    Location: Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park

    Address: 1020-1 Takashiho, Yomitan, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa

    Murasaki Mura Official Website: https://murasakimura.com/

     

     

    Be part of one of Japan’s many beautiful lantern festivals this year and witness some seriously breathtaking night scenes.

  • 5 Must-Eat Succulent Strawberry Desserts in Kyoto That Are Simply Kawaii

    31.December.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Winter is here, which means that the season of strawberries has finally fallen upon Japan. Today we are joined by Instagrammer Tiara, who enjoys posting their adventures around Japan’s Kansai region to try out all of the sweets and desserts. We are taking a look at must-visit locations in Kyoto for a taste of their tempting strawberry delights.

     

    LITT UP.KYOTO in Gion-Shijō

    At LITT UP.KYOTO, their “ichigoame” lets you enjoy strawberries in their original cute form.

    They are coated in sweet strawberry candy and served on sticks in cups reminiscent of something from a Japanese festival. Part of their allure is how perfect they are as a tasty treat for walking around with. There’s even popping candy attached to the strawberries for an even sweeter textural treat.

     

    ▼LITT UP.KYOTO Gion

    Address: 533 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/litt_up_kyoto/

     

    Kissa Zou in Imadegawa

    The “Kisetsu no Babaroa” (Seasonal Baravois) at Kissa Zou has an springy texture and sits in a sweet and sour strawberry sauce.

    I recommend ordering one of the separate elephant cookies to place on top too to make this an even cuter dessert.

     

    ▼Kissa Zou

    Address: 440-3 Santeicho, Kamigyo, Kyoto

    Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kissa_zou/

     

    Chounohane in Fushimi

    At Chounohane they are serving strawberry barquettes as well as mini versions of them. The dessert itself is of course beautiful, but is made even more so by the antique plate♡

     

    ▼Chounohane

    Address: 791 Nishishujakucho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: [Tues/Sat/Sun] Shop & Cafe 11:00-17:00 / [Fri] Shop Only 11:00-17:00

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chounohane/

     

    Utanekodo in Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae

    Utanekodo was renovated from a 100+ year old building and has its own cat cafe. The cafe space is located on the first floor.

    Their “Nyanko Strawberry Milk” speaks for itself, topped with adorable kitty ice cream and delicious with its subtly sweet taste.

     

    ▼Utanekodo

    Address: 155-4 Tachibanayanagicho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 13:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:00)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: http://utanekodo.com/

     

    MASHOLA in Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae

    Finally we have the “Strawberry Tiramisu Cube Cake” served at MASHOLA, a Korean-style cafe. This cake is made with refreshing homemade tiramisu cream, delightful sponge, and is packed full of sweet and sour strawberries which complement the entire thing.

     

    ▼MASHOLA

    Address: 1-A MOVIX, 406 Sakuranocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00

    Official Website: https://mashola.business.site/

     

    All of these cafes are wonderful, so if you’re in Kyoto for the strawberry season, be sure to visit as many as you can.

     

    Tiara has plenty of other recommendations over on their Instagram page, so if you’re a sweet tooth looking for something sweet to indulge in around the Kansai area, be sure to give them a follow.

     

    Text & Photos: @happy_pinkrose_tiara

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Beautiful and Scrumptious Strawberry Desserts You Have to Try in Sapporo This Winter

    28.December.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In Japan, strawberries are the perfect winter treat. In this feature, we’re going to look at the most mouthwatering strawberry desserts in Sapporo with the help of Hokkaido dessert expert Kei,(@607keih) whose Instagram is full of the most delicious dessert pictures you have ever seen.

     

    MIRAI.ST, Sapporo Station

    Strawberry and Pistachio Shortcake Parfait: ¥1650

    Dig through the rich pistachio ice cream to discover layers of whipped cream, sponge cake and strawberries. You will also come across pistachio panna cotta and crispy biscuit which contributes a wonderful texture. The fusion of strawberry shortcake and pistachio is divine. Finally, the strawberry jam leaves you with a sweet and tangy aftertaste for a refreshing finish. 

     

    MIRAI.ST

    Address: Shikishima Bldg. B1, 3 Chome−3, Kita 1 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo

    Opening Hours

     Mondays-Thursdays: 11:30-23:00

    Fridays and Saturdays: 11:00-24:00

    Sundays:11:30-21:00
    No Regular Holidays
    Official Website: https://miraist.com/

     

    INITIAL SAPPORO, Susukino Station

    Natsumizuki Strawberry Parfait: ¥1800 *Only 10 sold per day.

     This parfait is made using Natsumizuki strawberriesーa type of strawberry that is not available to buy at the market. With a sugar content between 18 and 18 degrees Brix, these strawberries are especially sweet and juicy. Below the mountain of strawberries is pistachio soft-serve ice cream followed by chocolate soft-serve ice cream and crispy feuilletine. Sweet and tangy fruits such as blueberries and blackcurrants garnish the parfait and will leave you feeling refreshed. The balsamic flavour on the strawberries accents the flavour perfectly. 

     

    ▼INITIAL SAPPORO

    Address: DRESS Floor 2, 5−36-1F, Minami 3 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo

    Opening Hours:17:00-24:00
    No Regular Holidays

    Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/initial_sapporo?lang=ja

     

    Matcha cafe RIQ, Susukino Station

    Strawberry Forest:¥1980

     This parfait is also made using Natsumizuki strawberries. A Christmas biscuit, chocolate ice cream and berry ice cream hide the sponge cake core. It tastes just as marvellous as it looks. This is a great way to get your strawberry fill. 

     

    ▼Matcha cafe RIQ

    Address: T5 Building Floor 2, 5 Chome, Minami 2 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo

    Opening Hours: 11:00-23:30
    No Regular Holidays

    Official Website: https://www.riq-jp.com/

     

     

    Umiere, Bus Center Mae

    Strawberry Open Sandwich: ¥400

    Umiere’s delicious open sandwich has returned. A slice of bread is smothered in whipped cream and layered with strawberries – simple yet beautiful. The whipped cream perfectly balances out the sweetness of the strawberries. The bread is very fluffy and delicious.

     

    Umiere

    Address:  5 Chome, Kita 3 Johigashi,  Chuo Ward, Sapporo
    Opening Hours:11:00-19:00
    No Regular Holidays

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/umiere6/?hl=ja

     

    Berry Berry Crazy, Susukino Station

    Strawberry Parfait: ¥ 1570

     All throughout the year, strawberries sourced from Urakawa in Hokkaido are on the menu at Berry Berry Crazy. Fresh strawberries fill the centre of the parfait along with sponge cake, cream, milk gelato, strawberry jelly and crispy dough. The parfait comes with strawberry sauce and condensed milk on the side to add as you please.

     

    Berry Berry Crazy

    Address: Floor 2, 5 Chome−20, Minami 3 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-17:00

    Daytime-Only Menu: 18:00-24:00 (Last Orders: 23:30)

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/berryberrycrazy/?hl=ja

     

    Nagayama Rest, Bus Center Mae

    Basque Cheesecake and Strawberry Winter Parfait: ¥1580

    Basque cheesecake is trending in Japan and now you enjoy it in a parfait. Basque cheesecake makes up the centre of the parfait and is surrounded by fresh strawberries, soft-serve ice cream, mascarpone cream, meringue, strawberry sauce, caramel sauce, chocolate chip cookies and much more. It is moderately sweet and goes great with a cup of coffee.

     

    Nagayama Rest

    Address:   Nagayama Memorial Park, 6 Chome-2, Kita 2 Johigashi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo

    Opening Hours: 11:00-22:00
    Closed: Every second Wednesday of the month.

    Tabelog: https://tabelog.com/hokkaido/A0101/A010202/1058864/

     

    These desserts are perfect to satisfy any strawberry-lover exploring Sapporo so if you’re ever in the area you should definitely try one. 

     

    Kei’s Instagram page is a wealth of recommendations for meals and desserts in Hokkaido, so be sure to check it out if you’re planning to travel there.

     

    Original Article Contents and Photos by Kei (@607keih)

     

    *The information on the desserts mentioned in this article are subject to change at any time. For the latest updates, please refer to the links provided in this article.

  • Furoshiki-Wrapped Matcha and Strawberry Sandwich Biscuits Released at PRESS BUTTER SAND

    15.December.2019 | FOOD

    PRESS BUTTER SAND released two new sandwich biscuit products on December 13. PRESS BUTTER SAND Kyoto Station will release the Tsutsumi Uji Matcha and PRESS BUTTER SAND Hakata Station the Tsutsumi Amaou Strawberry. Both are limited in stock.

    Both boxes of these delicious treats contain five of the store’s famous “PRESS BUTTER SAND” sandwich biscuits, and they come gift-wrapped in an original furoshikiーa type of Japanese wrapping cloth. The appearance of both products in their packaging maintain an artisanal aesthetic and capture the vibe of their respective cities.

    The furoshiki were designed by Yumiko Kakizaki (BAKE Inc.), the creative director at PRESS BUTTER SAND, and several creators active around Kyoto and Fukuoka. Each design was made to represent the characteristics of Kyoto and Hakata.

     

    Also available is the Tsutsumi Black, a set each of 5 original and black flavoured butter biscuit sandwiches.

    PRESS BUTTER SAND boasts over 2.5 million sales a year on average. If you’ve get to try their scrumptious biscuit sandwiches then don’t pass up the opportunity to try these new flavours.

  • Starbucks Japan Releases Merry Strawberry Cake Frappuccino

    12.November.2019 | FOOD

    The holiday season has finally hit Starbucks in Japan, and for the first drink in their series of Christmas beverages, they are serving the new Merry Strawberry Cake Frappuccino which is made to look and taste like a strawberry cake. Customers can even customise their drinks with as much free strawberry sauce as they like.

    Merry Strawberry Cake Frappuccino – Tall ¥590 w/ Free Strawberry Sauce (*Sauce not available with other drinks)

    The drink is built on sponge cake flavoured base, on top of which sits ascending layers of bright-red strawberry sauce, whipped cream, and a sprinkling of freeze-dried strawberries, effectively creating a dessert that you can drink. One sip of this pink delight fills your mouth with the sweet and refreshing taste of fresh fruity strawberries.

     

    We recommend customising yours with non-fat milk or soy milk. If you want to hold back on some of the sweetness, go for the non-fat milk option, and if you want something smoother, get the soy milk. Drizzle over additional strawberry sauce to your liking, and you’ve got yourself a festive treat for the season!

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