【Tokyo Stroll】Experiencing the Finest Quality Gateau au Chocolat at “Ken’s Cafe Tokyo”—Reservations Required

14.February.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

Shinjuku—Situated in the heart of Tokyo, the most populated metropolitan area in the world, and absolutely packed with travelers and tourists. It’s a pivotal ward in Tokyo connected via many transportation services including the JR Line, subway, private railways, rapid bus lines and more. Shinjuku is an absolute must-visit when sightseeing in Tokyo.

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In today’s entry to “Tokyo Stroll,” Rinko Murata stopped by Ken’s Cafe Tokyo in Shinjuku, a shop specializing in Gateau au Chocolat that’s made with the best quality ingredients.

Ken’s Cafe Tokyo is very easy to get to, located just 3-minutes on foot from Exit 2 of Shinjuku-Gyoemmae Station via the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line.

0Q0A4142The Special Gateau au Chocolat is one of the desserts served by the shop’s owner, Kenji Ujiie. Full sales of this dessert began due to strong demand from customers for it being so delicious. The word got out and immediately led to high praise that spread far and wide, and this year, the shop is celebrating its 20th anniversary!

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The Special Gateau au Chocolat comes in at ¥3,000 (tax included), with reservations in abundance up to a month. When it’s freshly cooked, the outside is crispy, and the outside is creamy like fondue chocolate, making a perfect melt-in-the-mouth combined texture!

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The secret to its deliciousness is in the thoroughness to use only the best ingredients. The chocolate used in the photo is from an Italian brand called “Domori.” The founder of Domori, Gianluca Franzoni, was deeply impressed with the quality taste of the Special Gateau au Chocolat, and so personally created his first and only chocolate mix called “KEN’S” to be used at the shop.

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To draw out the good flavour of the chocolate, it’s made with gluten-free chocolate. Although the flavour is rich and full-bodied, the result of the taste is that makes it simple to eat.

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300 gateau chocolates are made in a single day! And because each and every one of them are handmade with the utmost care and detail, it’s difficult to make any more than this, so there’s always an abundance of reservations. But if you can’t wait and need to try one straight away, limited quantities are being specially sold at Matsuya Ginza and Tobu Department Store in Ikebukuro, so be sure to check those places out.

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Rinko couldn’t control her excitement at the sweet smell of the chocolate. She took no time at all to begin tasting the Special Gateau au Chocolat.

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When eaten at room temperature, it tastes like terrine chocolate. Depending on what temperature you eat it at, the taste and texture will change, so with one gateau chocolate you can enjoy trying three completely different flavours. Also, the balance between the sweetness and bitterness is fine-tuned every time. If you buy one now, the bitterness of the cocoa has increased every so slightly compared to 10 years ago.

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Rinko gave it her seal of approval. “The moment I took a bite, the aroma of the cocoa hit me, and the soft texture just melted inside my mouth! The balance between the bitterness and sweetness is exquisite. This delicious chocolate hit me in the head right away. Happiness is running around inside my brain. I can’t get enough of how it feels!”

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You can go back via Shinjuku-Gyoemmae Station, but you should take a stroll towards Shinjuku Station instead – it’s just a 17-minute walk. Plus, Shinjuku Gyoen – Shinjuku’s imperial garden – is close by Ken’s Cafe Tokyo, so you might enjoy getting lost in your own thoughts while taking a walk through nature.

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The Special Gateau au Chocolat is a perfect present for yourself or someone special. They are always waiting on orders, so if you’re interest, check out the shop’s website below and make a reservation.

 

■Information

Ken’s Cafe Tokyo

Address: 1-23-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Access: 3-minutes on foot from Exit 2 of “Shinjuku-Gyoemmae Station” via the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line

Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00

Closed: Weekends & Holidays

Website: http://www.kenscafe.jp

 

 

Model: Rinko Murata @rink0_

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Rinko Murata appears in fashion magazines and is active on radio and TV. Sales of her first style book were so successful that it required extra printing during its first week. She also has a rapidly growing following across her social media profiles. As well as modelling at big fashion events, she also has her own column online at “She magazine,” and receives much attention for her work in the areas of culture and lifestyle.

Photo & Writer: Haruka Yamamoto

Editor: Sayuri Mizuno(ASOBI SYSTEM)

Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

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    <Gojūban>

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    I’m glad I came to this café today and met such a special person.

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    ■Information

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    Address:1st floor, 5-10-8, Shinjuku, Tokyo

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    A garden where you can feel nature against your skin

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    Painting by chalk artist Misuzu Wakai

     

    Architectural designs recreated at the new museum cafe

    Villa Savoye (Le Corbusier)
    Fallingwater (Frank Lloyd Wright)
    Casa Ligornetto (Mario Botta)
    Sky House (Kiyonori Kikutake)
    Maison a Bordeaux (Rem Koolhaas)
    Malin Residence “chemosphere” (John Lautner)
    Eames House (Charles and Ray Eames)
    Silver Hat (Toyo Ito)
    Fisher House (Louis Kahn)
    Mailam House (Paul Rudolph)
    The Glass House (Lina Bo Bardi)
    Steel House (Kengo Kuma)

     

    A little look at the menu

    <Miho Chef Chocolatier> Premium Gateau Chocolate: ¥1,200 / Raw Marble Chocolate: ¥1,000 / Raw Dami Chocolate ¥450

     

    <Ten no Ya> Egg Sandwich: ¥750

    Architecture Cafe Sumika aim sto be a cosy space for architecture lovers who can enjoy thinking about their ideal home, talking about their favourite architect, and thinking about how architecture changes with the times. The cafe has recreated 12 architectural marvels from 12 different renowned architects, each at which sits at a different table.

     

    The cafe, which is located in Shinjuku Sanchome, employs a spacious cafe area with high ceilings that can be enjoyed by both lovers of architects and cafe enthusiasts where they can relax with a cup of tea, coffee, a soft drink, or even alcohol, the latter of which is served at bar hours from 18:00, completely changing the atmosphere into a night museum. There’s also a tasty food menu to tuck into.

     

    If you’re looking to speak to someone about architecture and real estate, Architecture Cafe Sumika also houses its own resident experts. Customers can also enjoy a range of other works by architects and interior designers.

     

    In celebration of the cafe’s opening, a competition is being held to create a jungle gym for children where entrees can win cash prizes, the top being ¥300,000. More details below.

  • BEAMS JAPAN Shinjuku Launches Event to Promote Japan’s Sento Bath Houses

    03.May.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    The Sento no Susume 2021 event being held by BEAMS JAPAN and Cow Brand Soap has now headed to BEAMS JAPAN Shinjuku. As part of the event, Mizuno has held designed a ‘running course’ is collaboration with sento bath house owners who have listed their recommended spots for running.

     

    From Left: Hiroshi Fukui (Managing Director at Cow Brand Soap), Aya Terakawa (Sports Caster), Mari Yamazaki (Manga Author), Ryozo Naganuma (Kotobukiyu’s 3rd Generation Owner), Hikaru Ikeuchi (Chairman of Board of Directors)

    BEAMS JAPAN Shinjuku Floor 1F – Sento no Susume 2021 Pop-Up

    BEAMS JAPAN Shinjuku Floor 1F – Sento no Susume 2021 Pop-Up

    BEAMS JAPAN Sento no Susume 2021 Virtual Venue

    For many years, sento public bath houses have been big part of Japanese culture and are located up and down the country. They are places people go to unwind, relax, and destress. However, with times changing, they are because less part of people’s lives, and the facilities themselves are seeing significant wear and tear as well as not having successors to take over the businesses. Sento no Susume aims to revitalise sento and raise their cultural value once again by showing how they can be enjoyed. The first event was held in January and February in 2019.

     

    The event arrived at BEAMS JAPAN Shinjuku on April 26 and  invites manga artist Mari Yamazaki on board who has given the store a makeover with her iconic artwork themed on exercise and bathing. This event combines sento bath houses with sports, and so as well as discovering bath houses to visit, you can learn find out about great running courses at the Sento Run no Susume corner. There’s also a virtual venue accessible on the official website that creates the store in 4K 3D so everyone around the world can get involved regardless of their location.

  • Laforet Harajuku Welcomes New Stores For Spring 2021

    22.April.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    Starting this month, Laforet Harajuku is readying itself for Spring 2021 with the rollout of items by high-end brands and shops, all with an audience in mind who simply love culture regardless of their age or gender.

     

    4.23 | New Store Opening
    《Floor 3.5F》circle in circle

    circle in circle welcomes a diverse selection of brands such as l’atelier du savon, CHILD WOMAN, and more. The new store’s concept is to act as the perfect place for an appointment with your wardrobe. Every month, the store will collaborate with various different people, and line the shop floor with outfits that will have customers feeling like a kind in a candy store. For its initial opening, circle in circle is collaborating with photographer Kensuke Hosoya.

     

    4.9 | New Store Opening

    《Floor 1.5F》LIBERTY TOKYO

    “Freedom” is the keyword at LIBERTY TOKYO, where customers are encouraged that it’s great to get your hands on the things you want, and great to wear the things you want to wear. The shop stocks a range of apparel and items that combine accessories and fashion. They even sell stickers, merchandise, and more. This custom select shop offers made-to-order products, making each and every one unique and the only one in the world. It also collaborates with artists and other brands.

     

    3.12 | New Store Opening

    《Floor 5F》OSEWAYA TOKYO

    OSEWAYA TOKYO is an accessory shop offering everything from basics to trends. Their motto is “bring your happiness” which is melded into their range, spanning the latest trends to must-have dailies. They have everything you hope a store specialising in accessories would have.

     

    4.9~6.6 | New Store Opening

    《Floor B0.5F》GLAZE KOHL x NUTTY VINTAGE

    GLAZE KOHL x NUTTY VINTAGE is a limited-time collaboration shop between chic apparel brand GLAZE KOHL and NUTTY, a vintage shop that first opened in 1995. They line-up features new Spring 2021 items as well as the “GLAZE KOHL add VINTAGE” corner which features a selection of vintage items picked out by designers who themselves are vintage buyers. NUTTY VINTAGE is also offering a huge selection of the best authentic vintage items. Customers can enjoy some little limited-edition gifts when shopping there which are being given out to commemorate the shop’s opening.

     

    5.22~6.4 | New Store Opening

    《Floor 4F》Mansion Mikura

    Mansion Mikura’s main store is located at Harajuku Cat Street. This limited-time rendition is a ‘mansion’ with four tenants – a collection of four second-hand shops including SAUCE which stocks miscellaneous items and second-hand clothes, top ranking vintage name STEP A HEAD, side car charlie which specialises in ‘maniac items,’ and the long-selling brand vintagesheets.

     

    6.5~7.25 | New Store Opening

    《Floor 4F》SAUCE

    SAUCE is another vintage store located behind Cat Street. For its limited-time opening, it’s selling hats in collaboration with Antage which previously sold out, as well as its own upcycled vintage clothing, as well as vintage clothes, rugs, and more from overseas.

     

    5.22~5.30 | New Store Opening

    《Floor 0.5F》vanilla(B0.5F)

    vanilla will provide a diverse line-up of unique fashion as well as brands such as att production, room boy pony, phemesaccessories, and more.

     

    5.31~6.6 | New Store Opening

    《Floor 0.5F》Ochame Department

    At Ochame Department, they believe simply being cute is being, and being the same as others is boring. Their fashion stock and handmade bits and bobs are imbued with the magic to make customers smile.

     

    CLEAN KEEPERS Regular Member Uniforms

    CLEAN KEEPERS is a cleaning project that takes place every Saturday at Laforet Harajuku in the hopes of creating a clean town and in turn clean hearts for all. Their uniform worn by regular members has changed into a blouson and one piece produced by ehka sopo on Floor B1F of Laforet. The blouson has a retro feel to it while the one piece has long sleeves and is inspired by 19th century British maids.

     

    CLEAN KEEPERS

    Running: Saturdays @ 10:30-12:30 (Booking Required/Cancellation if it rains)毎

    Book Here

  • KitKat Japan Releases New Mini Maple Chocolate Bars For Earth Day

    21.April.2021 | FOOD

    In accordance with Earth Day, which is set for April 22, Nestlé released its limited-time KitKat Mini Maple on Monday to raise awareness of environmental issues and the future of the planet.

    KitKat Mini Maple (3 Included)

    KitKat Mini Maple (12 Included)

    9 packaging designs with different messages related to the environment

    ‘KitKat Always For Earth Day’ online talk event to take place on April 30

    In September 2019, Nestlé began packaging five of its major large-sized KitKat bags in paper bags rather than plastic, and since autumn 2020, most of their large sized bags are now made from paper. This has helped reduce 450 tonnes of plastic per year.

     

    Now, Nestlé is releasing a new collection of packages for Earth Day featuring original designs by up-an-coming young artist SUGI. Each features messages from members of MIMO, a group managed by Japanese model Mila Aina, stating messages about helping to protect the environment and the future of planet earth.

  • Stay in Harajuku’s New Hotel Produced by Rolling Roster of Artists

    20.April.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    India-ink painter CHiNPAN is collaborating with Rokuyon, who is known for helping to create a range of unique accommodations such as MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS, to launch a new kind of hotel experience in Harajuku beginning on April 23, 2021.

     

    The project’s name is Harajuku Yofukashi Art Exhibition, with yofukashi being Japanese for ‘staying up late.’ It will invite a new artist or creator on board every one or two months as an opportunity for them to showcase their works.

    One of the art pieces

    Wall art

    Works displayed in the living space

    The bedroom with art pieces against the walls and on the ceiling

    Private area

     

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Series

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is our own hotel site located in the heart of Harajuku’s tourism: it is within walking distance of Takeshita-dori (Takeshita Street), Meiji-dori, the Ura-Harajuku area, and Omotesando. This makes it the ideal place to stay for travellers visiting Harajuku.

    SAKURA | More details here

    ORIGAMI | More details here

    DOSUKOI | More details here

    With art events and exhibitions cancelled or severely restricted due to the pandemic, this project serves as a get promotional opportunity for artists to display their works and for art lovers to appreciate them. It aims to grow and become a new way to enjoy art.

  • Stylish Bags and Sneakers Arrive at Camper’s Pop-Up Shop in Isetan Shinjuku

    17.April.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    Shoe, boots, and sneaker brand Camper opened a pop-up shop at Isetan Shinjuku on Wednesday which is set to run until April 27. The shop is a collaboration with Japanese textile designer Masaru Suzuki who has provided his iconic designs to a collection of bags and sneakers that you can get your hands on. The shop also has a display designed by Suzuki.

     

    Pop-Up Store Line-Up

    HOP STEP LIFE | ¥19,800 (Tax Included)

    ANIMAL BISCUIT | ¥22,000 (Tax Included)

    CHARM POINT | ¥5,500 (Tax Included)

    TWINS by MASARU SUZUKI (Women’s) | ¥25,300 (Tax Included)

    TWINS by MASARU SUZUKI (Men’s) | ¥25,300 (Tax Included)

    TWINS by MASARU SUZUKI (Kid’s) | From ¥12,100 (Tax Included)

     

    Men’s Building – “CAMALEON 1975” Pop-Up Store

    Men’s Building Pop-Up Store Original Novelty

    This marks Camper’s third long-awaited collaboration with Masaru Suzuki and the first in four years, and this time the series adds shoes to the mix in addition to the popular bags. Suzuki visited Camper’s main office in Majorca, Spain, for detailed discussions on the designs.

     

    Suzuki is set to attend the pop-up event on April 17. Customers who spend over ¥5,500 (tax included) on this day will receive a fabric swatch signed by Suzuki. Additionally, the men’s building of Isetan Shinjuku is also opening its CAMALEON 1975 pop-up shop once again selling shoes made from recycled materials from Camper. Those who spend over ¥14,300 (tax included) at this shop will receive a free eco-friendly bag made from 100% recycled nylon.

  • Japanese Organic Cosmetic Brand SABON to Open Green Pop-Up Shop in Shinjuku

    09.April.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    Japanese natural and ethical cosmetic brand SABON is set to promote its line-up with the opening of its Blissful Green Limited Collection Pop-Up Shop at Isetan Shinjuku on April 14.

    The pop-up shop serves as a promotional space and pre-sale opportunity for the brand’s upcoming Blissful Green Limited Collection which incudes body scrub, body lotion, shower oil, and more. The collection invites people to a luxurious, natural self-care and shower-time experience. The brand will also hold a four-day calligraphy service for the spring season where customers can buy the items as gifts and include a special message.

     

    Calligraphy Service

    Customers who spend over ¥12,000 (tax included) can have a special sticker or gift card penned by a professional calligrapher who will write a name and gift message. Full details here in Japanese.

     

    Dates/Times

    April 16, 2021 @ 13:00-18:00

    April 17, 2021 @ 16:00-20:00

    April 24, 2021 @ 13:00-18:00

    April 25, 2021 @ 13:00-18:00

     

    Blissful Green Limited Collection

    The Blissful Green Limited Collection is the embodiment of the SABON brand and offers thanks to the joy we feel being surrounded by nature. It captures the clean air inhaled in the forest, the gentle light filtering through the trees, and the coming-together of the mind, body, and nature. It includes body, face, and home items all packaged inside gorgeous bottles and tubs.

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