Seven recommended Japanese-style Valentine’s Day chocolates
I assume that a lot of you want to enjoy special chocolates and desserts on Valentine’s Day. In this article, I will introduce to you some recommended desserts using Japanese ingredients such as “matcha” and “azuki” beans.
Chocolate Jukusei Hoshiimo
This is a collaborative product of “Zetaiku Chocolate” which uses rare cacao beans and “Jukusei Hoshiimo,” a sweet potato brand called “Beniyuka” which has been aged. The sweet potatoes used in this product are aged inside a special storage room maintained at a moderate temperature and humidity. The product has a soft and chewy texture and has a rich sweetness.
Uji Matcha Gateau Chocolate Uji no Komichi
This item sold more than 45,000 pieces within 3 months at the main store of Ito Kyuemon Uji, and it is now on sale at their official online shop. You can enjoy this layered matcha chocolate. This Valentine gift which has the superb color, taste and scent of quality tea ground using grindstone, is suitable to be given to your precious person.
Heart Gata (heart-shaped) Monaka Nagomi
“Nagomi” is a product that comes with “anbin” made with Noto Dainagon Azuki Beans and it is a heart-shaped monaka (bean-jam filled wafer). Noto Dainagon Azuki Beans produced in Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture is larger than other normal Dainagon Azuki Beans. Since a special technique is necessary when the beans are boiled, so that their shape is maintained, only a handful of artisans of Nakataya can create this product. The product is made by using a bronze kiln which has been used since the maker started their business and they are putting their effort into maintaining the freshness of the ingredients.
Dassai Matcha Truffle
Junmai Daiginjo uses the world-famous nihonsyu, (Japanese sake) “Dassai” which is made of Yamadanishiki rice and therefore it has a fabulous scent, sweetness and rich aftertaste. The product is a gorgeous truffle which is combined with “Dassai” Junmai Daiginjo, sake lees and ujimatcha.
Valentine Soft which is sold at Gion Tsujiri’s Tokyo Sky Tree Town Soramachi Store for a limited time offer has an adult-like atmosphere using rich-tasting “Hojicha Soft” as its main ingredient and cocoa waffle corn and chocolate brownies. It is a gift recommended as a gift for adults because of its sweet/sour raspberry mousse and raspberry gummi candy.
Ocha wo Tsukatta Chocolate
Fukujuen started selling Valentine chocolates using quality tea leaves. Their new products include “Carre de cha (tea ) colate” where you can enjoy the cruchy texture of tea leaves, “Matcha Truffle” using matcha truffle and Uji Matcha and “Matcha Mitsu” where matcha mitsu (syrup) is wrapped with rich-smelling matcha chocolate.
Ishiya Co. Ltd. which produces the famous confection, “Shiroi Koibito” started up the new chocolate brand “ISHIYA CHOCOLATE” and will begin sales of “Koisuru Chocolate.” “Koisuru Chocolate” is a chocolate bar which uses the same chocolate as “Shiroi Koibito” and they will use strictly selected ingredients produced in Hokkaido such as salt of Saloma Lake and corn. The recipe of the product is simple and natural but it is a very Hokkaido-like chocolate which has excellent aroma and texture.
How did you like our introduction to Japanese-style Valentine’s Day chocolates? Why not enjoy a Japanese-style Valentine’s Day.
Cafe ‘Junkissa Bread & Espresso’ to Start Chocolate Fair
Specialty cafe chain ‘Bread, Espresso &’ will begin selling special items as a part of its chocolate fair at the Harajuku location, ‘Junkissa Bread, Espresso &’ starting June 1!
Many of the existing items on the shop’s menu will be available in chocolate versions. The Chocolate Mint French Toast is chilled and perfect for summer, drizzled with chocolate cream and mint sauce. Additional mint can be added to your heart’s content!
The mint cocoa (pictured top right) features blended mint cream on top with cocoa on the bottom. The two halves blend effortlessly as the top warms and the bottom cools.
Come enjoy these chocolate treats during the warm summer months!
Bread, Espresso &
Address: 6-25-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 8:00-18:00 (Last order at 7:30)
Open Every Day
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Collaborates with Famous Poeme Sweets in Ehime Prefecture
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu made waves with music lovers around the world last month when she performed at Coachella, one of the largest and most famous music festivals on Earth. On May 28, Kyary will perform in Ehime, and the artist has released details about another collaboration as part of the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project, launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities.
In Ehime Prefecture, Kyary is teaming up with Poeme, a famous sweets shop in Setouchi close to the Seto Inland Sea. The shop itself opened in 1950 with a different name and quickly became popular for its Butter Manju. The buns, baked in a buttery biscuit dough with red bean paste, were an extravagant confectionary at the time. In the late 1950s, a friend of the founder Okada Kazutarou tasted the Butter Manju and said “This is a poem,” hence the current name of the location. After 76 years, the name of the shop still reflects Poeme’s mission that has been present since the company’s founding just after WWII.
The collaboration logo for the project was inspired by Kyary’s 2018 album Japamyu, which was released after four successful overseas tours. The album cemented the artist as one of Japan’s top talents, and the logo combines Poeme with Japamyu to make Poemyu.
A collaborative T-shirt is also on sale featuring the new logo and the singer’s 10th-anniversary logo. The shirt is only available until June 8 on the official LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project website.
Ehime’s Poeme x LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project
Price: ¥3,300 (Tax Included)
Where to Buy:
LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project Online Shop
Available until June 8 at 23:59
Official Site: https://localpowerjapan.com
*Please allow two weeks to one month from order completion to product shipment.
*A portion of T-shirt sales will be donated to local projects and social programs.
Anime Series Chibi Maruko-chan Inspires New Sake from Hatsukame Brewery in Shizuoka
Last year, Hatsukame Sake Brewery, a staple in Shizuoka Prefecture, released a collaborative special edition sake featuring Papa Hiroshi from the anime series Chibi Maruko-chan. The collab makes sense, as the anime series takes place in Shizuoka Prefecture. Bottles sold out incredibly fast, so it’s no wonder that the brewery has now opened orders for the 2022 batch! The special products will be available on June 4, just in time for Father’s Day. Customers can choose from the Junmai Ginjo or Junmai Daiginjo varieties.
Junmai Ginjo Papa Hiroshi Vintage 2022
Junmai Daiginjo Papa Hiroshi Vintage 2022
The Junmai Ginjo Papa Hiroshi Vintage 2022 was made with water, rice, and yeast from Shizuoka, where the series takes place. With a refreshing aroma and a gentle sweetness derived from the Homarefuji rice, the flavor is sure to arouse your palate!
The original label featured on the bottle shows Papa Hiroshi enjoying local sake with tuna sashimi from Shizuoka with Mt. Fuji in the background. All bottles will come with a paper box featuring a similar design. The turtle on the label is the symbol of Hatsukame Brewing! It’s recommended that customers drink their sake with local tuna–it’s the perfect combination.
The Daiginjo variety is made from rare Aiyama rice, known as the ‘Diamond of Sake Rice.’ Polished and carefully prepared by hand, the aroma of the sake is reminiscent of tropical fruits. The final product has a rich sweetness.
Last year’s label showed Papa Hiroshi in a Kimono watching the first sunrise over Mt. Fuji. Be sure to grab a bottle to experience the taste of Shizuoka! Only 223 bottles will be available, so be quick!
©さくらプロダクション/日本アニメーション ©Hatsukame Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. ©Nexus Co., Ltd.
Junmai Daiginjo Papa Hiroshi Vintage 2022
Now available to order
Release Date: June 4, 2022 *After the release date, orders will be shipped within 3 weeks from the order date.
Where to Buy: Saketsunagi Online Shop https://saketsunagi.base.shop
Kyoto Sweets Shop Otabe Rereleases Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Snacks with New Designs
Otabe, one of the most popular sweets souvenir shops in Kyoto, Otabe, is known for its delicious matcha and mini-desserts. Starting May 12, the company has released nine uniquely packaged sweets inspired by Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. The limited-edition packaging will feature popular characters from the series. Previously, the company released matcha cakes for the crossover–this time, fans can enjoy choco-an flavor!
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Choco-an
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Matcha
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Otabe (with Original Sticker)
Original Sticker: 15 varieties, 1 given at random
Focusing on the hashira from the series, fans will want to be on the lookout for their favorite character. These sweets can be bought at select stations in the Kyoto and Osaka area, major Kyoto tourist attractions, and online. In addition, matcha flavored treats will also be on sale featuring Tanjiro Kamado, Nezuko Kamado, Zenitsu Agatsuma, Hashibira Inosuke, Kagaya Ubuyashiki, and Muzan Kibutsuji.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Choco-an
Release Date: May 12, 2022
Price: ¥432 (Tax Included)
Where to Buy: Train station in Kyoto & Osaka area, Major Kyoto tourist attractions, online.
Limited Edition Sake Released Alongside NFT Art to Share the Value of Japanese Spirits with the World
Two incredible new Junmai Daiginjo bottles, the highest-quality sake, have been released in limited quantities. Hitou ASCENDING and Touka ILLUMINATING were made by sustainable means and incorporate NFT art to share the process of sake creation with the world.
While sake companies keep traditional Japanese production methods alive, some are seeking to solve problems in the sake industry by turning to current technology, like the blockchain and NFTs. In this age of convenience and automation, this particular sake maker is aiming to show the true value and authenticity of Japanese craftsmanship to the rest of the world.
Certain types of sake can only be made and enjoyed at certain times of the year, as they are not suitable for storage at room temperature and can only be consumed for a brief period to get the best taste. Many sake fans around the world might not be aware of this, so the new NFT collaboration aims to educate!
The bottles contain unique ukiyo-e NFT art prints of a dragon and phoenix on the bottle, respectively. Those who purchase a bottle will also find the year of production and bottle number etched onto the glass with lacquer. Be sure to keep the bottle even after the delicious sake is gone!
Rice / Tobe Rice
In Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture, farmers have been cultivating this unique brand of Koshihikari rice without the help of pesticides or fertilizers for over two decades. The rice is called the best in all of Japan, and one-third of its yield is used to make sake.
Water / Pure Groundwater
The Japan Median Tectonic Line, also known as the ‘Dragon’s Vein,’ is a massive fault line that is home to numerous sacred sites, including Suwa Grand Shrine, Toyokawa Inari Shrine, Tenkawa Benzaiten Shrine, Ise Grand Shrine, and the Koyasan Mountain. The groundwater found here is some of the purest found in Japan and flows from the Bungui Pass in Ina, Nagano Prefecture. The pass has been featured in many publications as one of the most famous power spots in Japan.
Brewing / Ono Brewery
While dealing with some of the harshest winter weather in Japan, the brewery has continued to create sake the old-fashioned way–with human hands. For the creation of these two bottles, the brewers took on the challenge of making a very small amount of sake, something they had never done before. Based on the concept of “making the most of the environment,” the rice was prepared in a special room with no air conditioning under the watchful eye of the master brewer.
Bottle Art/ Ukiyo-e Artist, Shun
The art displayed on the bottle is printed in a unique way, allowing it to be put on display separately. The Japanese-style art is perfect for the collaboration and was inspired by one specific hope: that a new path will open to those who work hard after the many difficulties and troubles caused by the pandemic.
Bottle Making / Maruyoshi Kosaka Wood & Urushi Works
The circular label symbolizes the moon (water) and the sun (fire), each representing a world where different values are not only accepted but welcomed. Hand-painted and made with pure platinum and gold leaf by the talented craftsman at Maruyoshi Kosaka Wood & Urushi Works in Shiojiri, Nagano, these advanced painting techniques are sure to impress.
Each Bottle Features the Brewing Year, Number Printed in Lacquer
Marked with a unique serial number, all proceeds from the sales of these special sakes will be used to maintain and promote sustainable agriculture, support sake brewers, and bring traditional Japanese craftsmanship to the world.
Junmai Daiginjo – ‘Hitou ASCENDING,’ ‘Touka ILLUMINATING’
Official Site: https://hitoutouka.com/
Hydrangea Parfait Featuring Local Matcha Available at Itohkyuemon in Kyoto
Located in Uji, Kyoto, matcha shop Itohkyuemon was founded in the late Edo period. Three cozy locations have just launched a Hydrangea Parfait, perfect for spring.
The shop’s main location is headquartered in Uji, which is also home to Mimuroto Temple, known for its hydrangeas. The flowery location attracts thousands of tourists during the rainy season.
The Hydrangea Parfait has been offered since 2013, now celebrating its 10th year. The popular seasonal treat features matcha hydrangea mashed sweet potatoes, hydrangea-colored jelly, leaf-shaped matcha cookies, and blueberries. Those ordering a parfait will also receive a hydrangea coaster as a gift, so why not enjoy the rainy season with something sweet to lift your spirits?
Itohkyuemon Hydrangea Parfait
Release Date: May 13, 2022
Participating Locations: Uji store, JR Uji Stationfront store, Shijo-dori store
Fruit Cakes from Patisserie Giraud Available at Gotanda Station for a Limited Time
Those passing through Gotanda Station in Tokyo might want to keep an eye out for some tasty treats on sale for a limited time. Patisserie Giraud has opened a limited-time pop-up location inside the aptly-named shop Have You Eaten This Before? The pop-up will be open until May 31, 2022.
Have You Eaten This Before? features a rotating selection of products perfect as gifts, souvenirs, or as a treat for yourself. Along with six cakes made to look just like fruits, a selection of other baked goods will also be available.
While it might be difficult to eat these beautiful cakes, you’ll never forget the way the juice-filled mousse and crispy pastry fill your mouth. Which one would you like to bring home?
Patisserie Giraud Limited-Time Shop
Open: May 16 – May 31, 2022
Hours: Weekdays 10:00-22:00 / Weekends & Holidays 10:00-21:00
Location: JR East Gotanda Station
Official Site: https://www.giraud.co.jp
Hilton Osaka to Hold Cinnamoroll and Sanrio Character Sweets Buffet
Folk Kitchen, a restaurant on the second floor of Hilton Osaka, will hold the Sanrio Characters Sweets Buffet ~Joyful Summer Festival~ from May 20 until September 11, 2022. The event is being held to celebrate Cinnamoroll, Pompompurin, and Pochakko coming in first, second, and third in the Sanrio Character Awards. A lineup of 25 different sweets will be available, including those filled with summer fruits like mango, peach, and watermelon! In addition, a “Zero Leftovers Campaign” will be implemented–so be sure to clear your plate!
Happy Festival Heart Mousse
Joyful Pink Cake / Lime & Raspberry
Fluffy and Crunchy Mango Pavlova
Decorated with chocolate and adorable character designs, the Happy Festival Heart Mousse is a scrumptious dish blending the flavor of banana, caramel, and rum. The Joyful Pink Cake will be a smash-hit with Sanrio lovers, featuring the soft taste of white mousse and raspberry compote with a fresh lime flavor. Tons of other original sweets will be available, including everything from gingerbread to orange tarts.
Visitors can also find plenty of vegan sweets. Summer Blue Sky Jello features contrasting colors of pineapple pulp and soymilk cream that look like clouds floating against a summer sky. Be sure to try the Almond & Watermelon Jello and Grapefruit and Lychee Jello too!
Sanrio Characters Sweets Buffet ~Joyful Summer Festival~
Venue: Hilton Osaka 2F / Folk Kitchen
Running: Every Day from May 20 – September 11
Official Site: http://www.hiltonosaka.com
Tea Ceremony Brand Saron Launches Customizable Matcha Shaved Ice for a Limited Time
Nara-based tea ceremony brand Saron is serving up a tasty treat perfect for the warm weather! White shaved ice with dark matcha topping is now available until mid-September, and guests are invited to adjust the taste by altering the amount of tea added.
Lately, Nara has been experiencing a major shaved ice boom. Inspired by Himuro Shrine, known for housing a guardian deity of ice, the city introduces plenty of created recipes for the summer treats each year. The tea ceremony brand Saron was founded by Nakagawa Masashichi Shouten, in business since the Edo period–so it’s safe to say that the company knows what they’re talking about!
Guests can enjoy shaved ice made from pure Yamato ice, which is frozen for 72 hours, gently shaved, and topped with Nara’s Kasiya sweet bean paste, shiratama, agar, and condensed milk that has been boiled for four hours.
To finish off this luxurious dish, guests can add koicha, a thick matcha tea with concentrated flavor and incredible sweetness and depth. Polished twice as much as typical matcha, this is a taste you’ll never forget.
Why not come enjoy this traditional Japanese sweet this summer?
Saron – White Shaved Ice with Dark Matcha Topping
Available: May 11 – mid-September
Where to Buy: Saron Nara (31-1 Ganriincho, Nara)
Official Site: https://salon-tea.jp/
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Kyoto to Offer Immersive Meditation Rooms
13.April.2022 | SPOT
The pandemic has caused problems for people all over the world. Mental health has taken a beating over the last few years, and in order to help people take back control of their mental wellness, The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Kyoto will begin offering immersive meditation rooms for guests only! These rooms will allow guests to enjoy a soothing private space and will be available starting April 1, 2022.
The Medicha meditation rooms consist of two spaces: ‘blank,’ where guests are surrounded by mist, and ‘tea,’ where guests will immerse themselves in beautiful water patterns. An original program shown on in-room televisions at the hotel will also instruct guests in the art of meditation.
In ‘Blank Meditation,’ guests will stand in a cool mist and immerse themselves in layers of diverse sounds and shifting colors of light. This will help quiet the mind and create a ‘blank slate’ mentally.
The ‘Tea Meditation’ room invites visitors to spend time with themselves while getting lost in shimmering water patterns in a dimly lit space as they carefully brew their own tea. Two types of tea are on offer, each with distinct aromas and flavors.
Meditation Room by Medicha
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Kyoto
Address: 420 Funayacho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
Official Site: https://www.the-royalpark.jp/ic/kyoto/
Tapioca and Crepe Store ‘Pearl Lady’ Collaborates with Sanrio Character Cogimyun
13.April.2022 | FOOD
Pearl Lady, a tapioca and crepe specialty shop, will begin selling a special crepe inspired by the Sanrio character Cogimyun starting April 8, 2022! These gorgeous treats will be available at participating Pearl Lady locations while supplies last.
Cogimyun’s Sparkling Strawberry Crepe
Cogimyun’s Sparkling Strawberry Crepe, topped with a Cogimyun cookie, includes sweet and sour strawberry cream.
The dough, made with tapioca flour, offers a slightly chewy texture with a rich milk and butter flavor. Customers will also receive a special sticker as a purchase bonus. Be sure to enjoy the new Cinnamoroll drink available at Pearl Lady’s sister shop CHABAR!
CHABAR x Cinnamoroll Collaboration Drink
Pearl Lady x Cogimyun Crepe
Available: April 8 ~ While Supplies Last
Where to Buy: Pearl Lady Locations Nationwide (Sales period may differ depending on the store.)
CHABAR x Cinnamoroll Collaboration Drink
Official Site: http://www.pearllady.jp/
Kyo Hayashiya and Hayashiya Shinbei Offering Special Parfaits Perfect for Spring
Hibiya Hayashiya Shinbei in Tokyo Midtown Hibiya is now offering a scrumptious Strawberry Matcha Parfait until April 24, 2022! If that’s not up your alley, four Kyo Hayashiya locations in Shinjuku, Omiya, Yokohama, and Ikebukuro will begin offering a Matcha and Berry Mascarpone Parfait from April 1 until May 8, 2022.
Strawberry Matcha Parfait
The Strawberry Matcha Parfait is an eye-catching mix of green and pink, reminiscent of cherry blossoms and bright green grass. Green tea blends with rose jelly and lychee sorbet, offering a refreshing taste with a hint of bitterness. The sweet accent of crunchy chocolate feuillantine gives each bite a little kick.
Matcha and Berry Mascarpone Parfait
The Matcha and Berry Mascarpone Parfait mixes the deep, bitter taste of Uji matcha, the sweet and sour taste of berries, and the gentle sweetness of mascarpone cream. The berry sauce is blended with crunchy chocolate feuillantine, a layer of whipped cream, green tea jelly, green tea ice cream, and milk panna cotta. To finish, it’s garnished with refreshing raspberry sorbet, bittersweet matcha ice cream, and fresh strawberries.
Strawberry Matcha Parfait
Price: ¥1,650 (Tax Included) / with Tea: ¥2,090 (Tax Included)
Available: March 18 – April 24, 2022
Available at Hibiya Hayashiya Shinbei (Tokyo Midtown Hibiya 2F)
Matcha and Berry Mascarpone Parfait
Price: ¥1,430 (Tax Included) / with Tea: ¥1,870 (Tax Included)
Available: April 1 – May 8, 2022
*Available until April 30 at the SOGO Yokohama location.
Available at the following 4 Kyo Hayashiya locations.
・Takashimaya Times Square (Shinjuku Takashimaya Times Square Main Building 2F)
・Seibu Ikebukuro (Seibu Ikebukuro Main Building 8F)
・SOGO Omiya (SOGO Omiya Main Building 9F)
・SOGO Yokohama (SOGO Yokohama 10F)