Chocolate-Piled Shaved Ice & Other Summer Season Delights at BEL AMER Kyoto Villa
04.July.2020 | FOOD
Kyoto-based chocolate bar BEL AMER Kyoto Villa is serving up the perfect line of new chocolatey bites for summer 2020.
The entire line-up is a delight to look at, from a mountain of chocolate piled on top of shaved ice, a summertime mango and melon dessert, and more.
Chocolate Noir Shaved Ice x Matcha: ¥1,540 (Tax Included)
Shaved ice is the quintessential summertime dessert in Japan, and since this one is being served at a shop specialising in chocolate, what better way to serve it than drizzled in a mountain of the stuff? The shaved ice is covered in rich chocolate cream and chocolate sauce and is topped with chocolate nibs. It’s also served with a side of matcha sauce which you can pour over yourself, creating a delicious harmony of flavours.
Mille-Feuille au Chocolat Exotic With 196℃ Chocolate Ice Cream: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
This summertime dessert is made with lots of mango and melon. In the centre of it all is even more mango, as well as pineapple and coconuts, for a flavourful layered experience. Served on the side is ice cream made from BEL AMER Kyoto Villa’s own original couverture chocolate.
Summer Pavlova: ¥1,320 (Tax Included)
This piece of art of a dessert is a must for lovers of matcha and melon. It’s made from fluffy meringue topped with white chocolate, matcha mousse, and chocolate cream, which itself is then topped with refreshing melon and grapes for a refreshing kick.
Chocolate Croquette Sandwich: ¥990 (Tax Included)
BEL AMER Kyoto Villa is also serving up a very unique dish indeed which mixes together chocolate and croquette—a flavour that actually works, combining sweetness and bitterness. The croquette is made from potatoes. The brioche sandwich also contains cheese and bacon.
These are just some of the delights on show at BEL AMER Kyoto Villa this summer. If ever you’re in Kyoto, be sure to stop by, especially in the summer.
BEL AMER Kyoto Villa Bettei Sanjo
Address: 66 Sanjodori Sakaimachi Higashi Iru Kitagawa Masuyacho, Nakagyo-Ku, Kyoto
Official Website: https://www.belamer-kyoto.jp
Red Bean Paste Shaved Ice & Seasonal Products at Ginza Sony Park This Summer
Ginza Sony Park has announced a range of seasonal items and food for Summer 2020.
Toraya Cafe・An Stand
Red Bean Paste Shaved Ice with Matcha & Rice Flour Dumplings | Small ¥841, Regular ¥901 (Tax Included) | Ginza Park Floor B3F | Available: Until September 29, 2020
Loaded with red bean paste and in-house made honey, this limited edition shaved ice is served with matcha sweet bean jelly made with Uji matcha.
Red Bean Paste Shaved Ice with Cointreau & Coffee | ¥540 (Tax Included) | Ginza Park Floor B3F | Available: Until September 17, 2020
This one’s for the grown-ups, served with Cointreau and Hawaiian coffee.
An (Red Bean) Paste – Raspberry | ¥864 (Tax Included) | Ginza Park Floor B3F | Available: Until Late August 2020
Enjoy a raspberry version of the bean paste for yourself which has been mixed with brown cane sugar.
CHECKER SHOPPER BAG | ¥7,700 (Tac Included) | Ginza Park Floor B1F
THE CONVENI is selling a checked shopper bag made from thin PVC so that it does not get dirty easily and also makes it waterproof. The bag, which bears the name of the store, also has pockets inside the bag.
Ginza Sony Park Art Walk
SHUN SUDO – “ART IN THE PARK”
Left: NAIJEL GRAPH | Right: SP. by yuko mohri (Available until August 26)
Ginza Sony Park will also display a range of large-scale art including SHUN SUDO’s wall art ART IN THE PARK, work from NAIJEL GRAPHIC, and more.
BOTTEGA VENETA ‘THE CHAIN’ Exhibition Image | August 16, 2020 – August 30, 2020
A huge installation art piece called THE CHAIN by BOTTEGA VENETA will be displayed on the rooftop for a limited time. This installation piece has been taken around the world, and serves as a message of strength and connection to people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ginza Sony Park 2nd Anniversary
Free stickers will be handed out until August 16, 2020 to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Ginza Sony Park, which has delivered unique forms of entertainment to Tokyo’s district of Ginza.
Ginza Sony Park
Address: 5-3-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-19:00
*Reduce hours. Usual hours are 10:00-20:00.
Official Website: https://www.ginzasonypark.jp/
Kaori’s Easy Recipe: Learn to Transform a Standard Roll Cake into a Kawaii Hello Kitty Cake
With just a small bit of ingenuity, turn everyday food into something cute using Kaori’s easy recipe! With a few simple ideas, an ordinary recipe magically transforms into a cute dish.
In this recipe, you’ll learn how to transform a store-bought roll cake into a kawaii Hello Kitty cake which contains gyūhi – a form of traditional Japanese sweet which is a variety of mochi.
50g refined rice flour
strawberries and whipped cream to your liking
sliced chocolate (for Hello Kitty’s face)
First, make the gyūhi by mixing 50g of refined rice flour with 100ml of water. Mix well to avoid lumps.
Once this has been mixed, add 70g of sugar and mix again.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave at 600W for 2 minutes.
Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula and microwave again for one more minute at 600W.
Use a rubber spatula to stir the mixture until it clumps together in one piece. Put a large portion of potato starch onto a tray and place your gyūhi on top.
Once the gyūhi has cooled, cut it to the size of the palm of your hand and use a rolling pin to stretch it out into a flat shape.
Leave your gyūhi to cool. In the meantime, bring out your store-bought roll cake piece and fill the inside with strawberries. When done, top your roll cake piece with whipped cream.
*If your forget to add the whipped cream, the strawberries underneath will be visible through the gyūhi layer!
Place the gyūhi layer on top of the roll cake and press the dough together at the bottom of the cake to seal it.
Shape two pieces of remaining gyūhi dough into triangles and affix them to the top of the cake to create Hello Kitty’s ears. Use the sliced chocolate to create whiskers, eyes and a nose for Hello Kitty’s face and cut up a strawberry to make her bow.
Once you have finished putting all the decorations in place, you’re done!
Kaori invites you into her world of character-themed food dishes in her recipe series. Be sure to check out her Instagram where she has uploaded many pictures of her character dishes!
Super Cute Pompompurin Doughnuts Baked Up at Floresta Nature Doughnuts This Summer
11.August.2020 | FOOD
Healthy doughnut chain Floresta Nature Doughnuts is cooking up two adorable Pompompurin summer doughnuts this month which will be available to buy at select Floresta shops in Japan and their official website between August 8 and 23.
Pompompurin Summer Doughnuts | ¥450 Each (Before Tax)
Floresta Nature Doughnuts is a doughnut cafe chain that hand-makes doughnuts using organic ingredients, such as wheat flour and soybeans from Hokkaido. This time they are whipping up two doughnuts of Sanrio’s popular character Pompompurin and his friend Macaroon. Both of these cute Golden Retrievers are made from organic chocolate, so you can indulge while being on the healthier side.
The doughnuts will first release at Floresta cafes in Japan on August 8 before heading to their online store on August 10 where you can buy a box that comes with two of each doughnut.
YouTuber RinRin Doll Collaborates With Harajuku’s KAWAII MONSTER CAFE On New Drink
09.August.2020 | FOOD
Harajuku’s KAWAII MONSTER CAFE has announced that it is collaborating with YouTuber, model, and MC RinRin Doll to release a new beverage called “Honey Doll” which will be served at the cafe for a limited time only.
Who is RinRin Doll?
RinRin Doll is a Harajuku-style model based in Tokyo. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she is a lover of Japanese fashion and culture and posts videos related to Harajuku-style lolita fashion and makeup on her YouTube channel.
RinRin’s birthday falls on August 2, which in Japanese can be pronounced as hanii or “honey,” and so this day is known colloquially as Honey Day. The “Honey Doll” drink will be served at the KAWAII MONSTER CAFE from August 2 to 31. It has a ginger ale base and is filled with honey flavoured jelly and fruits and is topped with purple cotton candy for a deliciously sweet combination.
The first 15 people to order the drink will receive a special badge featuring the cute character “Honey Bunny Bee” who was created for the RinRin Doll & Ribbonita collaboration.
KAWAII MONSTER CAFE is serving fashion and entertainment while practicing and promoting all the necessary measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Be sure to check out RinRin’s YouTube channel, including her video on the new Honey Doll drink.
KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU
Address: YM Square Bldg. 4F, 4-31-10 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:30-19:00
No Fixed Holidays
Access: 5-minutes on foot Harajuku Station via JR / 1-minutes on foot from Meiji-Jigumae Station via Chiyoda Line and Fukutoshin Line
Official Website: https://kawaiimonster.jp/day/pc/
Make Your Own Mister Donut Treats at Home With These Simple Recipes
09.August.2020 | FOOD
Mister Donut Japan is releasing recipes over on its official website on August 7 which will show you how to make three of their popular doughnuts. The simple recipes are twists on the “Honey Dip,” “Old Fashioned,” and “Pon de Ring” doughnuts.
The doughnuts can be whipped up for breakfast, as a daytime snack or an evening treat, so customers can enjoy the taste of Mister Donut from the comfort of their own home.
The “Morning Ring Toast” recipe is the perfect wake-up treat made with honey dip, eggs, and ham, all of which complement each other deliciously.
“Old Fashioned Parfait” combines the irresistible crunchiness of the Old Fashioned doughnut with ice cream to create a real summertime dessert.
Finally, “Pon de Agedashi” is an indulgence for after dinner, bringing together Pon de Ring doughnuts with grated daikon radish. It’s a great snack to have with an evening drink.
Mister Donut Japan will release the recipe as well as a how-to-make video over on their official website this Friday, so be sure to try making your own at home.
Official Website: https://www.misterdonut.jp/enjoy/recipe/
*Photos are for illustrative purposes only
*Please store the doughnuts in a cool environment. Eat quickly after you have made them.
*Adjust the cooking time while keeping an eye on the microwave or toaster oven
artKYOTO 2020: The Art Fair at Kyoto’s World Heritage Site Nijō Castle
artKYOTO 2020 will take place at the World Heritage Site and former imperial villa Nijō Castle from November 6-8.
This marks the second-ever run of the event, following the success of the first last year. Once again, the grand and breathtaking Nijō Castle serves as the venue for the event where around 30 of Japan’s best galleries, both old and contemporary, come together to exhibit various artworks to the people of Kyoto.
With the COVID-19 pandemic having affected Japan’s economy as well as impacting society overall due to the many restrictions on movement, artKYOTO 2020 aims to bring back art and culture, as well as help circulate the economy, and contribute towards artists while promoting the value that art has on society.
Photo from artKYOTO 2019
Photo from artKYOTO 2019 | Photo by office TKD
The first artKYOTO event saw 31 galleries come together to promote Japan’s art industry through Kyoto’s history and culture. This year will see a diverse exhibit from old works to contemporary pieces.
artKYOTO 2020 will adopt all of the necessary precautions against COVID-19 while still delivering a a fully-fledged experience for people to enjoy art.
Running: November 6, 2020 – November 8, 2020
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00 (Until 17:00 on November 8)
Location: Nijo Castle, 541 Nijojocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
Official Website: https://artkyoto.jp/
Sink Your Teeth Into These Beauty Inspired Parfaits at Shiseido Parlour in Harajuku
A colourful line-up of angelic parfaits will be served up at Shiseido Parlour The Harajuku, which is located on the 8th floor of the WITH HARAJUKU shopping centre, from August 18 to October 11.
Made in collaboration with Shiseido Beauty Square, also located in the building, these parfaits are inspired by different popular cosmetic brands.
The parfaits will be switched out every two weeks. The first parfait will be based around the brand bareMinerals. After that it will be NARS, then Laura Mercier, and finally Dolce & Gabbana Beauty. Each sweet treat also comes with samples of cosmetics and fragrances from each respective beauty company.
Lychee Green Beauty Parfait with bareMinerals | ¥1,980 (Tax Included) | Serving: August 18, 2020 – August 30, 2020
The bareMinerals parfait is made with mineral-rich lychee sherbet, healthy ice cream made with tofu, marine blue jelly, ruby grapefruit, orange, mango, and more.
Fig & Berry Chocolate Mode Parfait with NARS | ¥1,980 (Tax Included) | Serving: September 1, 2020 – September 13, 2020
If you’re looking for true dark luxury, then tuck into this devilish layering of Belgian chocolate ice cream, strawberry milk sauce, figs, pione grapes, raspberries and a topping of macaron and chocolate.
Japanese Chestnut Tea Gradation Parfait with Laura Mercier | ¥1,980 (Tax Included) | Serving: September 15, 2020 – September 27, 2020
A delightful gourmet marriage of Earl Grey jelly, houjicha ice cream, and chai sauce which creates a nude lip brown colour. This one’s topped with Japanese chestnuts, blackcurrants, pomegranate, a macaron, and a swirling chocolate stick.
Blood Orange Exotic Parfait with Dolce & Gabbana Beauty | ¥1,980 (Tax Included) | Serving: September 29, 2020 – October 11, 2020
The final parfait is a vivid combination of sumptuously sweet blood orange sherbet, rose jelly, an ‘exotic’ sauce, ruby grapefruit, raspberries, mango, a macaron, and to decorate, a red rose.
*Depending on ingredient stock, the parfaits and serving periods are subject to change
*Photos are for illustrative purposes only
Shiseido Parlour The Harajuku
Address: WITH HARAJUKU (Floor 8F), 1-14-30 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Dining/Lunch: 11:30-15:30 (Last Orders 14:00)
Dinner: 18:00-22:00 (Last Orders 20:30)
Lounge: 11:30-22:30 (Last Orders 21:30)
Closed: Mondays (Except on public holidays)
Official Website: https://parlour.shiseido.co.jp/en/index.html
Fall Into Autumn With an Enchanting Boat Ride Through Arashiyama in Kyoto
08.August.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Kyoto has announced a special new serving for one group a day that lets them bask in the autumn colours of Arashiyama. The service, entitled “Asa no Momiji Bune” (Morning Autumn Colours Boat), will run from November 20 to December 6 this year.
A cosy autumn morning boat ride all to yourself
Sail down the tranquil Oi River, which runs right beside HOSHINOYA Kyoto, and bask in the surrounding sights of Arashiyama and Ogurayama as they burn aflame with autumnal colours. Wrapped in reds and yellows in every direction, this morning experience is a rare opportunity witness Japan’s fall season like never before as you gaze at the crisp leaves of the trees and their reflection from the water’s surface.
Sweet wagashi treats just for you
While on the boat, guests are treated to a cup of matcha and some seasonal Japanese wagashi confections, like hard candies shaped like HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s logo and other colourful sweets made to look like maple leaves, ginkgo leaves, and more. These confections are made exclusively for the boat ride by Kameya Yoshinaga, a Japanese sweets shop that has been around since 1803, while the matcha is provided by Rishouen Chasho, a tea shop in Uji, Kyoto who have picked out specially selected leaves just for HOSHINOYA Kyoto.
The roofed Kingfisher boat
The boat guests will ride is owned by HOSHINOYA Kyoto and is called “Hisui” (Kingfisher). A switch can change the rooftop colour from white to transparent so you can look up and see the gorgeous blue sky.
If you’re in Japan this autumn, and still need to find a hotel, why not treat yourself to a luxurious morning boat ride at HOSHINOYA Kyoto?
Asa no Momiji Bune / 朝のもみじ舟 (Morning Autumn Colours Boat)
Running: November 20, 2020 – December 5, 2020
Boarding/Return: HOSHINOYA Kyoto
Price: ¥31,000 per group (tax, service charge, and hotel fee not included in price)
Includes: Boat ride, Japanese confections, matcha
Participation: Exclusive to HOSHINOYA Kyoto guests
Capacity: 1 group of 1-4 people per day
Reservations Required: Book at https://hoshinoya.com/kyoto/
Note: The boat ride will be cancelled during stormy weather
Chewy, Cheesy and Cute Moomin Obanyaki Desserts Now Being Sold at FamilyMart in Japan
07.August.2020 | FOOD
Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart released cream cheese-filled obanyaki branded with Moomin characters on August 4 in celebration of “Moomin’s Day” which falls on August 9.
Moomin Mochitto Cheese | ¥138 (Tax Included)
The Moomins are the main characters of Tove Jansson’s series of books and comic strips. August 9 is the birthday of the author, and so this date has become known as “Moomin’s Day” amongst fans of the series.
Obanyaki are a type of imagawayaki which are like waffles and are filled with various ingredients, the most popular being red bean paste which can often be found at festivals in Japan. These chewy Moomin obanyaku however are filled with cream cheese and are stamped with the familiar faces of Moominvalley including the titular characters, Snufkin, Little My, and the Hattifatteners.
What better way to celebrate Moomin’s Day than with a delicious treat? If you’re in Japan this summer, head to your closest FamilyMart.
Moomin Mochitto Cheese
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Available: Approx. 16,600 FamilyMart branches in Japan
FamilyMart Official Website: https://www.family.co.jp/
Minions Confections Sneak Their Way Into Lawson Convenience Stores in Japan
Bandai Candy’s character-inspired Japanese confectionery series Tabemas released a new batch of Minion-themed Japanese wagashi confections at Lawson convenience stores in Japan (excluding Lawson Store 100 branches) on August 4, 2020.
‘Tabemas’ is an abbreviation of the Japanese words taberareru masukotto, meaning ‘mascots that you can eat.’ It is a Japanese confectionery series that combines well-known characters and Japanese sweets made from ingredients like red bean paste, sugar and rice flour.
Tabemas Minions | ¥264 (Before Tax)
The line-up includes familiar faces from the Despicable Me and Minions films, namely the childish Bob, Stuart—who loves a prank—and Kevin who has a leader presence about him. The confections feature all the little details for each character, from the goggles and hair to the colouring.
Each character has its own delicious bean paste flavouring too: Bob is banana flavoured (his favourote), Stuart is strawberry, and Kevin is chocolate. Which do you want to try the most?
© Universal City Studios LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Available: At the chilled desserts section of Lawson convenience stores in Japan
*Not available at Lawson Store 100
*Available while supplies last
*Stock date may differ from branch to branch
*Select stores not participating
Premium Hotel MGallery to Open New Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle This November
03.August.2020 | SPOT
MGallery, a collection of over 5,000 luxury boutique hotels in 110 countries worldwide, landed in Japan for the first time last year with the opening of the 5-star KYOTO YURA HOTEL MGallery in Kyoto. Now, the brand has announced the opening of the new “Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery” (Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo-jo Bettei) which will open on November 28, 2020.
Situated just a short 1-minute stroll from Njio Castle Station, this small, 25 room hotel, aims to offer luxury at the highest level.
Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery was designed by Yukio Hashimoto, who has worked on countless hotels and facilities around the world. The hotel lobby and all guest rooms face a gorgeous Japanese-style garden where guests can enjoy its beautiful sights through all four seasons.
The hotel takes inspiration from Nijo Castle, a structure which has seen both the end of the shogun as well as the start of modern Japan. As you enter the hotel, from the front door through and through the main entrance, guests will find themselves in their own private domain before they reach the breathtaking Japanese garden in front of them. All 25 of the guest rooms are crafted with high quality, sophisticated interiors.
On the first floor of the hotel, guests will find a restaurant and bar. The restaurant cooks up creative French dishes made delicately with seasonal ingredients while the bar serves up MGallery’s iconic “mixology” cocktails.
Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery also offers a range of activities which can’t be experienced anywhere else, including private trips to local shrines and temples that the hotel has connections with.
Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery (Japanese: 京都悠洛ホテル⼆条城別邸)
Grand Opening: November 28, 2020
Address: 180 Ichinochō, Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto
Kyoto Aquarium Begins Special Opening Service For After 3 o’clock
02.August.2020 | SPOT
Kyoto Aquarium is now holding a special “off-peak” opening service after 3:00pm where visitors can receive free novelties amongst other things. The service began on July 23 and will run until September 30 this year.
The service comes as a measure against the spread of COVID-19. Normally, the aquarium can become crowded during the day, and to spread the number of visitors out, they are offering a special service for those visiting after 3:00pm. This means that visitors can enjoy the aquarium at a more relaxed pace and take their time.
But that’s not all. On days when the aquarium closes at 6:00pm, visitors will receive a free original Kyoto Aquarium seal made to promote the new jellyfish exhibition area which opened on July 16, 2020. And on days when it closes at 8:00pm, visitors will not only receive a free folder, but can get a serving of the aquarium’s mini soft serve ice cream at three times the amount as usual, or a free mini drink.
Kyoto Aquarium After 3 o’clock Special Service
Running: July 23, 2020 – September 30, 2020
[Closing Hours: 18:00] ①Jellyfish Seal
[Closing Hours: 20:00] Arriving between 15:00-17:00 = ①Jellyfish Seal / ①Jellyfish Folder, ②Mini Ice Cream or Mini Drink
*One novelty per person
*Aimed at visitors aged 3-years old and above who hold a valid ticket
*Harvest Cafe is open until 19:15
Official Website: https://www.kyoto-aquarium.com/