Kumamon Promotes Strawberry and Whipped Cream Pastry For Pasco Kumamoto Project
The Pasco Kumamoto Prefecture Project is a collaboration between the Japanese pastry company Pasco and Kumamoto Prefecture which has appointed Kumamon, the mascot of Kumamoto, as its head to promote local foods.
The project was started as a reconstruction and restoration effort to help support Kumamoto after the devastating earthquake that struck in 2016 and the 2018 Japan floods. For every select product sold, 0.5 yen is donated to the relief effort to aid victims of the disasters.
The Pasco Kumamoto Prefecture Project is set to run until end end of September this year. It released two items on April 1 as part of the project. It is now releasing two new products: the “Strawberry Jam & Milk Whipped Cream” pastry and “Pancake Omelette Custard & Milk Whipped Cream.” The milk, strawberries, and eggs used for these confections are all sourced from Kumamoto
The pastry recipe creates whipped cream from milk and layers it with a strawberry jam made from yuubeni, a popular brand of strawberry grown in Kumamoto, before baking. The pancake omelette is a combination of Jersey milk, eggs, and custard cream to create a fluffy dessert.
Pasco carefully selects ingredients as part of Kumamon’s promotional products
The ingredients used in the recipes for these food products are all carefully selected to go deliciously well with Pasco’s bread. This includes milk, eggs, and yuubeni strawberries. Pasco plans to used Kumamoto-grown rice for a new product in August.
Scan the code on the packaging and meet Kumamon!
A special Kumamon AR service has also been created as part of the project. If you scan the code on the packaging of these products using a smart device, you can take a photo together with Kumamon as pictured above. He has the same design as on the packets.
Pasco Kumamoto Prefecture Project – 2nd Release
Running: June 1, 2021 – July 31, 2021
Available: Supermarkets and shops in Japan
Pasco Official Website: https://www.pasconet.co.jp/
Tokyo’s New Strawberry Dessert Shop ICHIBIKO Opens at Shibuya’s Tokyu Food Show
ICHIBIKO is a new strawberry dessert-themed cafe that opened at Tokyu Food Show in Shibuya, Tokyo, on June 1. The shop’s concept is centred on letting people enjoy strawberries all year round served in a variety of sweet and succulent ways.
Migaki-Ichigo Pudding | 3 Flavours
The Migaki-Ichigo Pudding is a Japanese-style custard pudding made with a layer of custard and strawberry jam. The jam, which contains fresh juicy pieces of strawberry left over, is made from a type of high quality strawberry called Migaki-Ichigo. These puddings are available in three flavours.
Migaki-Ichigo Pudding – Strawberry Custard | ¥432 (Tax Included)
Made with fresh cream and vanilla custard and combined with strawberry jam. Rich and full of fruity flavour.
Migaki-Ichigo Pudding – Condensed Strawberry Milk | ¥486 (Tax Included)
Layered with condensed milk instead of custard, lending a refreshing milky flavour to the sweet strawberry and giving a velvety texture.
Migaki-Ichigo Pudding – Strawberry Milk Yogurt | ¥432 (Tax Included)
Made with strawberry sauce-infused yogurt and Migaki-Ichigo jam giving a cool, refreshing flavour.
The new ICHIBIKO store also sells the brand’s most popular beverage, ICHIBIKO Milk, as well as baked confections, and fresh Migaki-Ichigo strawberries sourced directly from farmers.
ICHIBIKO Shibuya Tokyu Food Show
Grand Opening: June 1, 2021
Address: SHIBUYA MARK CITY East Mall Floor 1F, 1-12-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00
Access: Connected directly to the Keio-Inokashira Line at Shibuya Station
ICHIBIKO Official Website: https://ichibiko.jp/
Kirin Announces Restoration Project With Gogo no Kocha Milk Tea
01.June.2021 | FOOD
Kirin Beverage launched the Gogo Tea Happiness Project on June 1, 2021. The project will donate the proceeds made from select products to locations in Japan that require support in restoration efforts. The first product to launch is the ‘Gogo no Kocha for HAPPINESS Kumamoto Strawberry Tea’ which released in limited quantities in Japan on Tuesday.
Kirin Group launched a similar project in 2011 called the ‘Kirin Bond Project.’ in 2016, they began efforts to support the people of Kumamoto after the earthquake that struck there that year – to ‘bind’ them to the future. From then until 2018, they also shot commercials for their Gogo no Kocha milk tea brand at Miharashidai Station, Shirakawa River, and other places around Kumamoto, as well as promoted the village of Minamiaso to showcase its beautiful natural environment.
The Gogo Tea Happiness Project takes Kirin back to Kumamoto to continue helping to support restoration efforts, something the company has been doing since July 2011 after the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. For every bottle of Gogo no Kocha for HAPPINESS Kumamoto Strawberry Tea sold, not only does 3.9 yen of the proceeds go towards supporting Kumamoto, it also gives people around Japan the chance to try a type of strawberry grown in Kumamoto called yuubeni. The project also ties in with the 35th anniversary of Kirin’s Gogo no Kocha tea.
Gogo no Kocha for HAPPINESS Kumamoto Strawberry Tea
Japanese Product Name: キリン 午後の紅茶 for HAPPINESS 熊本県産いちごティー
Released: June 1, 2021
Price: ¥140 (Before Tax)
Official Website: https://www.kirin.co.jp/
Neko Neko Shokupan x Samansa Mos2 Clothing Collaboration Released
Fashion brand Samansa Mos2 joined paws with the cat-themed bread and pastry store Neko Neko Shokupan to release their first collection together at Samansa Mos2 stores and the online store CAN ONLINE SHOP on May 14.
Half-Sleeve Photo Print T-Shirts
Price: ¥3,190 (Tax Included)
Half-Sleeve Monogram Print T-Shirts
Price: ¥3,190 (Tax Included)
Half-Sleeve Back Print T-Shirts
Price: ¥3,190 (Tax Included)
Back print tee design
Shokupan Print Hoodie
Price: ¥4,290 (Tax Included)
Photo Print T-Shirt
Price: ¥2,530 (Tax Included)
French Flare T-Shirts
Price: ¥2,530 (Tax Included)
Embroidered Canvas Tote Bag
Price: ¥3,850 (Tax Included)
Price: ¥660 (Tax Included)
Reversible Shoulder Pouch
Price: ¥3,190 (Tax Included)
Price: ¥2,750 (Tax Included)
Mobile Ring Holder
Price: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
Neko Neko Shokupan are known for their rich and milky cat-shaped bread which uses milk and zero water. They’re a hugely popular bakery brand who often find themselves across social media pages including Instagram. This marks their first collaboration with Samansa Mos2 who celebrate their 35th anniversary this year.
The collection features key visuals taken from the Neko Neko Shokupan brand. Items include a variety of tees and hoodies as well as other miscellaneous must-grabs like tote bags, handkerchiefs, bottle holders, and more. There’s even a children’s line-up as part of Samansa Mos2’s kid brand Samansa Mos2 Lagom so parents and their children can coordinate cute matching outfits.
Look felinely-fashionable this summer with the Samana Mos2 x Neko Neko Shokupan collection.
niko and … Collaborates With Kumamoto Painter to Promote New Store Opening
28.April.2021 | FASHION
Style editorial brand “niko and …” opened pre-orders for a new collection with Kumamoto resident oil painter Takeshi Matsunaga at its new AMU PLAZA KUMAMOTO branch on April 23. The line-up is set to be subsequently released via the online webstore “st.” as well as five branches of niko and … on April 29, including their Tokyo store.
MATSUNAGA TAKESHI MEETS niko and … KUMAMOTO
The line-up is a collection of everyday items from tote bags and mugs to key rings, pencil cases, iPhone cases, t-shirts, caps, and more. Each item features a design inspired by Rakunou Gyunyu, a brand of milk that’s hugely popular in Kumamoto. Matsunaga adds his delicate touch to the oil-painted series. Part of the proceeds generated from the sales of these items will be donated to the city of Kumamoto in support of restoration efforts from the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes.
niko and’s new Kumamoto store also has a cafe attached to it, “niko and … COFFEE,” where a milk smoothie will be sold for a limited time until September 30. Each will come with a milk-flavoured wafer featuring Matsunaga Takeshi’s art on it.
niko and … x Matsunaga Takeshi
Pre-Sales: April 23, 2021
Where: niko and … AMU PLAZA KUMAMOTO
General Sales: April 29, 2021
Where: .st / niko and … TOKYO/ Five branches of AMU PLAZA in Kyushu (Oita, Kokura, Hakata, Kagoshima, Nagasaki)
Appreciate Kumamoto’s Culture at New Tokyu Hands Store in Amu Plaza Kumamoto
Tokyu Hands is opened a new lifestyle shop called Hands Be inside Amu Plaza Kumamoto in front of JR Kumamoto Station April 23. The shop will sell a range of everyday products from beauty to stationery, seasonal, and more, that showcase Kumamoto’s culture and craftsmanship. Whether it be for yourself or a gift for someone else, there’s something for everybody.
Kurikawa Uchiwa Shoten
Kurikawa Shoten is a specialist in Japanese uchiwa fans that first opened in 1889. Kumamoto is the third biggest producer of uchiwa fans together with Kyoto and Marugame and is the only place passing down the traditional kutani craft of fans. Their fans are durable and long-lasting, enjoyed as gifts at children’s birthday parties, weddings, as well as at company commemorations and elsewhere. To celebrate Hands Be’s opening, the Kurikawa Shoten is providing fans with original colours exclusive to the new store.
Coffee Arrow is a coffee shop that opened in Hanabatacho in the central ward of Kumamoto back in 1964. Customers can get their hands on a range of original coffee beans, merchandise, and more.
Coming together during these times
BLUE SEED BAG
“HOLD hands be Happy” is the message written on the recyclable, eco-friendly BLUE SEED BAG which is made using washed blue sheets that were actually used as part of the restoration efforts after the Kumamoto Earthquake struck in 2016. The bags are a reminder that even though many of us can’t hold hands with us during the pandemic, we are still connected by our hearts.
Javasparrow is a manufacturer and service focused on creating products around “familiarity” and “connection.” The Wesign is a set of two lights that connect to Wi-Fi. These unique lights can be used by lovers or family members who live apart or long-distance, so that you know when the other is on or offline, helping everyone feel connected.
Original bandana available for the grand opening
Hands Be is also offering a free bandana for the opening to anyone who spend over ¥3,000 (tax included).
Hands Be Amu Plaza Kumamoto
Opening Date: April 23, 2021
Where: Amu Plaza Kumamoto Floor 3F, Kasuga, Nishi-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto
Official Website: https://hands.net/
Shinjuku’s Takano Fruit Parlour Serves Up Strawberry Desserts For the Spring Season
02.April.2021 | FOOD
This spring, Takano Fruits Parlour is serving up a special strawberry-themed course menu at its Shinjuku branch starting on April 5. It comes as part of the restaurant’s monthly fruit theme where they shine a spotlight on a single fruit each month. This month is strawberries which are adorning everything from appetisers to the main and dessert with a collection of succulent delights.
Spring Strawberry Course | ¥4,400 (Tax Included)
The course includes an apéritif, strawberry soup, beef cooked in a strawberry and demi-glance sauce, fruit salad, a hot dessert, strawberry chiboust, strawberry art palette assortment, a chilled strawberry dessert, and a choice of coffee, tea, or cafe au lait.
Spring Strawberry Course
Running: April 5, 2021 – April 28, 2021 (Weekdays Only)
Where: Takano Fruit Palrour
Address: 3-26-11 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Time: [Morning Slot] 11:00-13:30 / [Afternoon Slot] 16:30-18:30
Official Website: https://takano.jp/parlour/
Fuji-Q Highland’s Gaspard and Lisa Town Begins Spring Season Strawberry Festival
Strawberry lovers, listen up. If you’re looking to indulge in strawberry-flavoured desserts all day long, then this fruity festival will have your mouth watering. The Gaspard and Lisa themed town at Fuji-Q Highland in Yamanashi is now holding its annual Strawberry Festa event which is running until May 5.
There are so many tasty treats to enjoy at this year’s event, from cakes and pastries, desserts and drinks—all made with plump and fresh strawberries—that you can enjoy eating while walking around the themed town. One must-try is the Strawberry Pavlova which is made with a meringue that’s crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle and is adorned with fresh cream and, of course, strawberries. It’s a hearty serving but is actually a light and refreshing eat.
Strawberry Afternoon Tea Set at Les Rêves Salon de thé
Strawberry Festa exclusive face masks
Guests at the park who spend over ¥3,000 in a single transaction at any shop in the town will receive a free original face mask.
Hotel guest rooms
Meet Gaspard and Lisa in-person
Les Rêves Salon de thé
Strawberry Crepe recipe showcase
For those unable to travel due to restrictions, the town has also posted an online video showing how you can makes a strawberry crepe at home.
Chocolate bananas at LA BANANE
A variety of new shops have also opened at Fuji-Q Highland, including Strawberry Fetish which is Japan’s first shop specialising in strawberry hard candy, as well as LA BANANE where you can enjoy chocolate bananas and other treats.
Colourful bagels at BONBON BAGLE
Gaspard and Lisa Town original merchandise
Fuji-Q Highland Gaspard & Lisa Town Strawberry Festa
Running: March 23, 2021 – May 5, 2021
Where: Fuji-Q Highland
Event Details: https://www.fujiq.jp/special/lisagasevent/
Scrumptious Strawberry Mont Blanc Served Up This Spring in Japan
11.March.2021 | FOOD
Japanese mont blanc specialists Seishibori Mont Blanc Senmonten released a brand new strawberry flavoured mont blanc on Thursday (March 11).
Seishibori Mont Blanc Senmonten runs two separate locations: a takeout stand and a dessert cafe. It first launched in October 2020 to huge success and is looking to expand by setting up branches in Fuji, Hamamatsu, Chiba, Nagoya, and eventually the rest of Japan in the future.
A seasonal treat made with fresh strawberries
Since it first opened its doors to the public, Seishibori Mont Blanc Senmonten continues to see long lines of customers awaiting their indulgent mont blancs. Their new strawberry version uses a specially-made chestnut cream that’s made with two types of chestnuts: one from Italy with a strong aroma and another from Kumamoto Prefecture which is known for its subtle sweetness and has also been called the “King of Chestnuts.” Added to this is fresh strawberry for a refreshing kick in the mix. Spooning into the mont blanc, one will find a crunchy homemade meringue which provides texture to the silky fresh cream as well as the strawberry and chestnut creams. The fresh Japanese strawberry added on top finishes it all off for a harmony of flavours.
Strawberry Mont Blanc: Eat & Walk ¥980 / Takeout ¥900 / Eat-In ¥1,800
The dessert is available from March 11 until the seasonal strawberry stock runs out.
Seishibori Mont Blanc: Eat & Walk ¥900 / Takeout ¥700 / Eat-In Regular ¥1,650 / Eat-In Small ¥1,210
The shop’s mont blancs are a delicate formation of chestnut cream measuring just 1mm in diameter. This delicate process, which is conducted in front of customers, has been recorded and put on Japanese social media many times. The process involves using an antique press as pictured above.
A blend of Italian and Japanese chestnuts for a rich, high-quality cream
The cream that’s a blend of Japanese and Italian chestnuts was developed after much trial and error. The result was the same delicately crafted 1mm melt-in-the-mouth experience which combines perfectly with the crunchy meringue, fresh cream, and ice cream. If you order it for takeout, the meringue is also coated in white chocolate.
Strawberry Mont Blanc
Released: March 11, 2021
IMM FOOD SERVICE Official Website: https://immfoodservice.com/
Kubota Sake and Strawberry Infused Dessert and Drink Released by DEAN & DELUCA
10.March.2021 | FOOD
The Marunouchi branch of DEAN & DELICA is collaborating with lifestyle company Welcome and Asahi Shuzo Brewing to release a drink and dessert made with Kubota Junmai Daiginjo sake and strawberries.
Junmai Daiginjo White Chocolate | ¥572 (Tax Included)
A rich, sweet beverage made with 45% cacao white chocolate, milk, strawberry compote, yuzu citrus, Kubota Junmai Daiginjo, and a topping of sprinkled chocolate.
Junmai Daiginjo Gelato Affogato
A luxurious dessert that combines a perfect balance of sweet, acidic, and bitter flavours with a yuzu-scented gelato made with Junmai Daiginjo and milk, a drizzle of strawberry sauce, and a shot of espresso.
Kubota Junmai Daiginjo is a crisp and dry Japanese sake known for its vivid collection of fruity notes. It can be enjoyed chilled to bring out the fragrances as well as at low temperatures.
SAKE & DOLCE
Available: From March 8, 2021 while supplies last
Where: DEAN & DELUCA Cafe Marunouchi
Official Website: https://www.deandeluca.co.jp
Dean & DeLuca Releases Strawberry Desserts and Drinks For Spring 2021
05.March.2021 | FOOD
The fresh juice season is back for spring at Dean & DeLuca cafes in Japan this year where they have a very special selection of drinks and desserts lined up for customers as well as an exclusive tumbler.
Creamy Italian maritozzi
Indulge in a tempting maritozzi this spring season which has a fluffy brioche bun stuffed loaded with fresh cream stuffed with sweet strawberries. This famous Italian delicacy is usually enjoyed in the morning but the addition of milky cream and tangy strawberries makes it a perfect dessert.
Every bite treats the taste buds to a combination of buttery brioche, melt-in-the-mouth cream, and a choice of either fresh cream and strawberries or fromage blanc and sweet and sour apricot jam.
Left: Maritozzi Strawberry ¥410 / Right: Maritozzi Apricot Jam & Fromage Blanc Cream ¥367
Serving: From March 1, 2021 while supplies last
Participating Market Branches: Shinagawa/Yurakucho/Shinjuku/Ebisu/Hiroo/Yaesu/atré Kawasaki/CIAL Tsurumi/Yokohama/Nagoya/Osaka
Participating Cafe Branches: All
A taste of spring with fresh strawberry juice
This year, Dean & DeLuca are serving up the “Strawberry & Fruit Tomato” smoothie which is made with freshly-picked whole strawberries and tomatoes. Tomatoes are generally seen as a summer vegetable, but the most delicious time to enjoy tomatoes grown in Japan is the spring season just like strawberries. The strawberries and tomatoes take on plenty of sugar content during the winter season which brings a rich sweetness best enjoyed right now.
The juice is prepared fresh for every order, with whole fruits put into a mixer and then served.
Left: Strawberry Juice ¥583 / Right: Strawberry & Fruit Tomato ¥605
Serving: From March 1, 2021 while supplies last
Participating Market Branches: Roppongi/Shinagawa/Yurakucho/Shinjuku/Ebisu/Hiroo/Yaesu/atré Kawasaki/CIAL Tsurumi/Yokohama/Nagoya/Osaka/AMU Plaza Hakata
Participating Cafe Branches: All
Spring-exclusive Strawberry Apple Pie
Japanese apple pie chain GRANNY SMITH APPLE PIE & COFFEE is also providing a seasonal strawberry and apple pie filled with in-house custard.
GRANNY SMITH APPLE PIE & COFFEE’s Strawberry Apple | ¥648
Serving: March 2, 2021 – April 30, 2021
Participating Cafe Branches: All (Except Yurakucho LUMINE STREET)
Enjoy spring with a spring-coloured tumbler
Dean & DeLuca’s popular tumblers return in seasonal colours and fitted with an airtight screw cap. They’re available in “Tokyo Pink” and “Charcoal Grey” colours.
Tumblers: ¥3,080 Each
Released: From March 1, 2021
Participating Cafe Branches: All
*Cafe-exclusive, not available for purchase online
Dean & DeLuca Official Website: https://www.deandeluca.co.jp
Japan’s Cafe Chain Bread, Espresso & to Open New Branch in Kamata
25.February.2021 | FOOD
Hitobito, the company behind Japan’s popular bakery cafe chain Bread, Espresso &, is set to open a new branch inside Makita General Hospital in Kamata on March 1. The cafe opened its doors for pre-openings earlier this month with shortened business hours.
Bread, Espresso & has 20 branches across Japan including the popular one located in Omotesando, Tokyo. Its frequented by people of all ages for its deliciously soft bread made from 100% Japanese wheat.
The cafe’s picture book-like interior design caters to children featuring bread-shaped tables and cute illustrations.
Customers are welcome to try out the free samples on display. Each sample has a little card detailing various information which customers can take to the register if they want to buy that item. Often in Japanese bakeries there are tongs and trays which customers are free to use, but this new style of service lessens contact with others for a safer trip during the pandemic.
The bakery serves Bread, Espresso & classics like French toast and their mu pastries, as well as alternatives like gluten-free breads, no-sugar treats, and more.
Pan, Espresso & Kamata
Address: 8-19-1 Nishi-Kamata, Ota-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00 (Until 18:00 during pre-opening)
Holidays: None (Except Sundays during pre-opening, after it will be open 7 days a week)
Pan, Espresso & Official Website: http://www.bread-espresso.jp/
Milky Strawberry Sandwich Biscuits by Sugar Butter Tree Arrive Ahead of Spring
24.February.2021 | FOOD
Sugar Butter Tree, a shop by Grapestone that specialises in cereal sweets, released its new Strawberry Chocolate Sandwich at all branches of Sugar Butter Tree on February 15.
A Limited-Time Treat Made With Seasonal Japanese Strawberries
This strawberry-loaded biscuit is sold by Sugar Butter Tree every year. It’s made with only the best picked springtime strawberries to create a delicious chocolatey snack. If you love strawberries, then this is a treat for you.
Sugar Butter Tree Strawberry Chocolate Sandwich: Pack of 5 – ¥648 / Pack of 8 – ¥1,080 / Pack of 12 – ¥1,620 (Tax Included)
Milky, melt-in-the-mouth strawberry goodness
The chocolate ‘sandwich’ contains crunchy milk cream with a delicious sugar butter scent. This is wrapped in a strawberry chocolate coating, making for a mix of sweet and tangy.
Looks cute on the table served with tea
The design theme for the biscuit is “strawberry teatime.” Its pastel colour makes for a cute serving snack served with a cup of tea.
Sugar Butter Tree’s Strawberry Chocolate Sandwich
Available: February 15, 2021 – Mid May 2021 (While supplies last)
Where: Sugar Butter Tree (Tokyo/JR Nagoya Takashimaya/Hankyu Umeda/Hakata Hankyu) + Gin no Budou (Daimaru Tokyo/Seibu Ikebukuro/Lazona Kawasaki)
Also Available Online: https://www.paqtomog.com
Sugar Butter Tree Official Website: https://www.sugarbuttertree.jp/