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Sweets & Snacks

Chocolate is a universal favorite and Japan is not exempt from this fabulous sweet treat. All over Tokyo, you can find several stores and chocolatiers that specialize in creating new and innovative chocolate creations for you to enjoy. Stores like 100% Chocolate Cafe Tokyo and the Mariebelle New York location in Shibuya have brought artistically beautiful and delicious chocolate to the Tokyo area.  There is another shop from France that has two location in Tokyo with a new one in Ginza that makes delicious chocolate that is almost too pretty to eat. At the new Decaence du Chocolat location in Ginza has beautiful and delicious chocolate that you can enjoy in store or bring home to enjoy later!

One of Decadence du Chocolat’s best selling items is their boxed bon bons. With over 20 different combinations of flavors and cacao levels, their bon bon boxes are an endless flavor adventure. Choose from flavors like yuzu tea, white chocolate ganache, or Remy martini. You might feel the urge to buy two boxes just to try as many flavors as possible, and unlike the mystery chocolates you are used to at Valentine’s Day none of Decadence du Chocolat’s flavors are displeasing! Each and every one is a perfect balance of flavor, filling, and chocolate.

Besides their bon bons, another item that Decadence du Chocolat is known for is their citron chocolates. Labeled as “Valencia,” these candied orange rounds half dipped in dark chocolate are essentially irresistible and come in sets of either five or ten. If you want to take the Valencia to the next level, you can buy a dark chocolate bar topped with this delicious orange treat.

Even though Decadence du Chocolat is known for their chocolate products, this store does not just limit themselves to chocolate alone. In fact, this chocolate shop sells a wide range of special and decadent treats. As a homage to their French roots, they have a delicious variety of French macarons in flavors like strawberry and vanilla. Also, their cheese cake is a delicious mix of a New York style cheese cake with a crumble cake. If you arrive at a gathering with this beautiful dessert, there is no doubt that you will be the hero of the party.

If you need a little decadence in your life, head to the new Decadence du Chocolat location in Ginza. Not only will you be able to indulge in some world class chocolate, you will be able to sit and treat yourself for just a few delicious moments.

Address:東京都中央区銀座1-2-3 G-ZONE内
GPS:35.6751471, 139.7684448
Telephone:03 – 5579 – 9181
Web: http://decadence.jp/

October 20, 2014 0 comment
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If you’ve reached the point where Tokyo’s delightful collection of sweet, ooey gooey goodness (cupcakes, pancakes, and cheese cakes – I’m talking about you!) has made you crave something – dare I say it – healthy, head to the Emporio Express Daikanyama where you can enjoy a healthy snack without sacrificing taste.

Emporio Express Daikanyama is nestled in Daikanyama, which is a short walk from Ebisu Station and home to a large collection of chic restaurants and boutiques. Emporio Express Daikanyama’s signature treat is the Acai Bowl. Using the Acai Bowl as a base, you then pile on toppings ranging from yogurt and granola to fresh blueberries and strawberries.

Another popular option is a smoothie packed with guavas, passion fruits, or acerola cherries. If you were only moderately serious about that healthy food stuff, you could also have a milk shake with regular or soy milk. If you’re sticking around Daikanyama to shop and need a caffeine boost, then the Emporio Express Daikanyama also has a selection of organic coffees.

When you need a short rest from the delicious and sumptuous food that lines the streets of Tokyo, then head over to Daikanyama and visit the Emporio Express Daikanyama!

 Address:16-2 Daikanyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
GPS:35.6497371, 139.70265110000003
Telephone:050 – 1046 – 5076
Web: http://acai-bowl.jp/

October 20, 2014 0 comment
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You will be amazed by the artistic work and taste brought to every pastry here. Pablo now has more than 30 stores located in Japan and six stores overseas.

Japanese-style cheesecake is known as “rare cheesecake.” This is slightly different to the New York-style. The rare cheesecake is composed of melted cheese on top of the regular cheesecake, maintaining the sweet taste. The smoothness of this coating forms a golden brown top layer of the cake, which is placed on top of a tart.

Besides the Japanese-style cheesecake, you can find New York-style cheesecakes with caramel topping at Pablo. They usually offer limited time menus to keep customers coming back for something new. There’s mini cheese tart with chocolate and baked marshmallow in February, and then there’s the cheesecake with a mixture of fruits on top in the summer. Kiwis, raspberries, and blueberries over a layer of orange marmalade and custard cream do make a good combination, don’t you think? In autumn, you can try their seasonal cinnamon apple cheesecake, which is half-apple pie and half-New York-style cheesecake.

There are 6 Pablo shops in Tokyo, with the largest being in Omotesando. They sell not only cheesecakes, but also the delightful “Pablo mini.” These are cheese tarts that fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. They come in many different flavors, including “rich and creamy chocolate,” “matcha green tea,” and other seasonal flavors.

If these tasty cheesecakes aren’t enough, don’t worry. There are other menu items for you to choose from. There are cheese pudding, cream cheese and chocolate fondue, soft-serve ice cream, sandwiches, and Pablo’s original drinks. After ordering, you can enjoy your dessert at the premium café space located on the second floor of the shop.

Want more than just the memory of how your cheesecake tasted? You can find Pablo t-shirts and tote bags at the larger Pablo shops.

You can also find other Pablo shops at Shinjuku, Tachikawa, two shops at Akihabara and Kita-Senju (the mini-cheese tarts are only available here). But honestly? Any Pablo’s location is fantastic! Why not grab a cup of hot milk chocolate or a whole cake to share with friends?

At most shops,  you can find cheese shortcake cookies, or sable le cheese” and cheesecake mille-feuille.   You may find limited flavors sold at each particular city. In some shops at Tokyo, you can buy cheese-honey sable cookie. You can find the cheese-sweet potato sable at Okinawa stores. These sure make excellent souvenirs for your family and friends!

If you don’t want to line up during peak hours, you can have Pablo cheesecakes and delivered to your hotel! You can order their products from Amazon Japan and Rakuten.

If you’re lucky, you might find Pablo’s ice cream and cheese tarts at irregular intervals in various convenience stores. All in all, be sure to try these limited products if you find them at convenience stores during your stay in Japan!


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October 20, 2014 0 comment
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Hara Donuts, Meguro, Tokyo Japan

The Japanese loves their sweets. Whether it be innovative classics like wagashi at Shiroikuro or a decadent crepe at Marion Crepes in Harajuku, you’ll never want for any kind of sugary desert if you have an insatiable sweet tooth. The latest craze to hit Japan and join the ranks Mister Donut and Krispy Kreme is Hara Donuts.

If you have ever been to an orchard in fall in the New England area, you will be well acquainted with this style of doughnuts. Instead of tasting like spun sugar and air, Hara Donuts’ creations are cakey and full bodied. The all natural ingredients gives their moist texture an added boost in taste. In other words, you don’t inhale a Hara Donut, you eat a Hara Donut.

Each season, Hara Donuts offers limited time selections. Summer options lean towards fruity varieties like banana, mango coconut, kiwi, and pineapple. In the winter and fall, you tend to get more chocolate and cream varieties. Hara Donuts also has flavors that are truly unique and oddly healthy sounding like サツマイモ (Japanese sweet potato) and carrot as well as flavors that are truly Japanese such as matcha chocolate glazed and black soybean flour. While you will be able to get classic flavors such as plain and chocolate glazed, Hara Donuts shines is in their innovative use of flavors like poppy seed, lemon tea, and white cacao.

If you want something that is a little off the beaten path when it comes to flavor, the balance of creativity and taste is perfected at Hara Donuts. To reach the Meguro branch of Hara Donuts, exit Meguro Station and walk towards the river. After you’ve enjoyed the tranquil scenery for a little bit, you will find yourself at Hara Donuts. But be warned! They only make one tray of each flavor a day and once they sell out of donuts, that’s it!

Address:153-0064 東京都目黒区下目黒5-2-16
GPS:35.630856, 139.70285720000004
Telephone:03 – 3714 – 8853
Web: http://www.haradonuts.jp

October 20, 2014 0 comment
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Chun Shui Tang Bubble Tea, Omotesando, Tokyo

Tea, without a doubt, is a ubiquitous and constant presence in Japanese culture. Even in your local convenience store, you can find more flavors, varieties, and brands of bottled tea than one could ever find in America. Tea is enjoyed throughout the day and evening, and is an integral part of welcoming someone to your home. It is used in so many foods that there is even such a thing as adding green tea to your rice for a well balanced breakfast!

Any casual fan of tea, or anyone who has ever visited any Chinatown in America, is aware of the booming trend of bubble tea. While it may not be as popular and widespread as it is in America, bubble tea still has a large fan base in Japan. And in some cafes, bubble tea has been elevated above fan status to that of an art form. If you want a taste of the next level of bubble tea, then travel to Omotesando. In this super hip area of Tokyo, in the back streets behind Omotesando Hills, you will find the new cafe Chun Shui Tang where you can get bubble tea like you have never had before.

This relatively new branch opened back in March but the name Chun Shui Tang has been bringing Japan and Taiwan supremely delicious and quality tea since 1983 and has swelled to 38 stores across the two nations. What sets Chun Shui Tang apart from other tea chain shops is their dedication to quality tea and service. Each employee is a certified tea maker and has gone through a rigorous tea education process to know exactly how to brew tea to bring out all of its flavors. If you think that you will be drinking the overly sweet and creamy bubble tea that is in America, then get ready to have your mind blown. Chun Shui Tang only has 6 varieties of bubble tea so as to hone the perfect balance of tea and tapioca pearls. You can get three kinds of milk bubble tea (plain, jasmine, and oolong) as well as three varieties without milk (lychee, jasmine, and oolong). Each bubble tea is served in a tall glass that is almost reminiscent of ice cream float glasses from the 1950s soda jerk days. You can even order your milk tea hot! Chun Shui Tang makes all of their tea and tapioca in store so you know that all of your drinks are fresh.

To go with your beverage, you can also order a small sweet to nosh on. Try their pumpkin seed cookies, warabi mochi, or black bean cake with whipped cream! Also, Chun Shui Tang has a seasonal menu that is hard to beat. Order yourself a peanut milk tea, a passion fruit jasmine tea with aloe jelly, (and for the courageous) or some fresh tomato tea!

When you sit down at Chun Shui Tang, you know that their quality and service can’t be beat! The free wifi and air conditioning doesn’t hurt either! If you need a nice refreshment while shopping in Omotesando, be sure to stop by Chun Shui Tang and try some of their famous bubble tea!

Address:150-0001  東京都渋谷区神宮前4-28-11
GPS:35.6687155, 139.70692239999994
Telephone:03 – 6804 – 6656
Web: http://www.chunshuitang.jp/

October 20, 2014 0 comment
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Shirokuro, Roppongi Tokyo

Japanese sweet shops can be found on every corner and the variety is astounding. Certain areas of Tokyo are known for their particular brand of sweet and delicious treats. On Harajuku’s Takeshita-dori, you would be hard pressed not to leave without a sugar rush because it feels like every other store is a crepe stand. Also, any casual surfer of the Internet has probably seen the too cute to eat cat shaped donuts that can be found around Japan. However, it is not just specialty pastry stores have a great selection of sweets! Stop by any convenience store and you can have as much dango, sweet breads, and pastries as you can eat! All of this is fabulous for those travelers with a persistent sweet tooth, but sometimes the level of class and refinement needs to be elevated when it comes to your next dessert option and of course there are several places in Japan that fill that need. One of these specialty stores is Shiroikuro (literally translated to “white black”) tucked away among the streets of Roppongi. Just beyond the Tokyo Metro’s Azabujuban Station, Shiroikuro has the niche market monopolized when it comes to traditional and innovative Japanese sweets.

Shiroikuro is serious about their sweets and it is advised that you get there early in the day! Shiroikuro only makes a certain number of each product a day, therefore, when something is gone it is gone until tomorrow!

This small pastry shop prides itself in the quality of the black beans that it sources for use in their sweets. They take their time in soaking and roasting the beans in order to attain a perfect level of sweetness. You will see these black beans used in every item they offer on their menu, which is labeled as either “white” or “black” based on the dominant color. Take their roll cake for example. The White Roll Cake has accents of lemon and chestnut in the creme and a white cake with the black beans only used as an accent. The Black Roll Cake has a cocoa, charcoal, and cream cheese whipped filling with a black cake surrounding the fluffy center. Instead of using black beans as an accent, there is a single red currant in the center to pull out the contrasting black and white colors. The thought process that is put into these sweets in terms of color balance and appearance almost makes it a shame to eat them! The most popular option is a simple black bean daifuku (sweet mochi cake with some sort of filling) which consists of a pure white exterior with a blacker than the night bean filling.

If you have grown tired of the run of the mill sweets that are available at the local convenience store, then head out to Roppongi. There you will find that Shiroikuro prides itself in its ingredients and its color scheme.

GPS:35.6557845, 139.73403699999994
Telephone:03 – 3454 – 7225
Web: http://www.shiroikuro.com/

October 20, 2014 0 comment
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Forbidden Fruit, Tokyo Japan

If you are going out and about in Harajuku and Omotesando for your latest shopping adventure, you are going to want a bite to eat eventually! On Harajuku’s Takeshita-dori, you can get all the cute food you could want. On every corner you can find crepe shops, salty crunchy goodness at Calbee Plus, and if you want to get into the latest snack food trend then go to Kukuruza Popcorn and dig into some wacky and classic flavors! But all this snack food and heaps of sugar can weigh you down after a while, even if you are around shopping and exploring for days on end! Where is one to go for something that has a little for variety in the nutrition section? Look no further than right outside of the fabulous shopping mall, Omotesando Hills, for your noshing solution. You will find the whole grain and super healthy cafe, Forbidden Fruit.

The interior of Forbidden Fruit is comparable to being in the ring of a Cirque de Soleil performance. Everything decorated in a muted bronzed or silver plating bathed in orange and red lighting. Above you is a giant crystal and steel leaf chandelier that creates an atmosphere of being in the staging of a steampunk version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The furniture, made up of incredibly modern but comfortable steel stools, seems to mold into the undulating curved bar where you will place your order from a extremely varied and creative menu. While the menu may be limited, there is no want for exotic flavors on this Indian, Middle Eastern, and Hawaiian inspired menu. If you are looking for something light, you can dig into a fresh fruit salad with proscuitto or a four season vegetable soup. For something heartier, you can enjoy a plate of their red keema curry, Tagin (a Northern African stewed dish), or mini burgers. For something really out of the park, try their Hawaiian peanut sandwich which is a combination of peanut butter, pineapple, whipped cream, and sour cream. Their dessert menu is equally impressive with options like honey gorgonzola vanilla ice cake. If you are going to be going to a cafe called Forbidden Fruit, why not give your taste buds a small journey?

Their drink menu will also not disappoint the adventurous restaurant goer. Forbidden Fruit’s specialty is in healthy drinks and smoothies to refresh you as well as provide an energy boost. Their Green Shot consists of ingredients such as kale, parsley, apple vinegar, and acai berry while their Banana Energy Booster is made up of bananas, oranges, spirulina, milk, and honey. They also host a wide selection of teas, coffees, and sparkling juice drinks to quench your thirst. One beverage that is highly recommended is The Forbidden Mojito, which is closer to being a frozen fruit salad than an alcoholic beverage for it is served with a spoon to eat up all that delicious fruit once the liquid is gone.

If you are looking to take a break from all the fried foods and sugary treat that Omotesando and Harajuku has to offer, take a trip towards Omotesando Hills and give Forbidden Fruit a try!

Address:〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前4丁目12番10号
GPS:35.6680014, 139.7077713
Telephone:03 – 5785 – 6909
Web: http://www.maniac-co.jp/boutique/forbidden_fruit/main.html

October 20, 2014 0 comment
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L'Olioli 365 SInkjuku Isetan

It is a well known fact that dessert has been elevated into a highly artistic art form in Japan. At your local supermarket, you can find a intricately decorated slice of strawberry cake for 300 yen that looks like Martha Stewart crafted it herself. And it is not just cake. Tarts, brownies, and doughnuts have been delivered into the world of “too cute to eat” and sometimes it really is a shame to bite into that bunny shaped chocolate. If you have yet to experience one of these super adorable cakes or pastries and you find yourself in the Shinjuku area, look no further than the shopping mall Isetan. On the first basement floor you will find L’Olioli 365 Shinjuku, which crafts cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, and cookies like you have never seen. And the best part is, that they taste just as good as they look!

When you step off the elevator of Shinjuku Isetan and up to L’Olioli 365′s counter and take a look into the case full of baked goods, you will not be able to believe your eyes. Each individual cupcake is intricately decorated with the face of a petit rabbit or bear, with their beady little fondant eyes staring up at you, pink cheeks rosy and sweet. Along with animals, L’Olioli 365 also specializes in delicate rose and flower shapes as well as seasonal decorations to be in line with an upcoming holiday.

Cupcakes are not the only specialty that L’Olioli 365 has. Their cakes, which come in a variety of sizes, are perfect for any occasion, reasonably priced, and baked to perfection. If you are looking for something smaller to satisfy your sweet tooth, L’Olioli 365 has a variety of cake pops or maybe a small animal shaped bag of cookies to munch on. Whatever you choose, the light and airy pastries and cakes at L’Olioli 365 are sure to satisfy without weighing you down in a frosting funk.

If you need a snack break while you are out and about shopping in in the Shinjuku area, be sure to give L’Olioli 365 a try. What they have to offer is both cute and delicious (even if you do feel a little guilty biting into that adorable bunny face)!

Address:東京都新宿区新宿3丁目14ー1 伊勢丹新宿本館地下1階
GPS:35.6916376, 139.704616
Telephone:03 – 3352 – 1111
Web: http://www.anniversary-web.co.jp/lolioli/text/top.html

October 20, 2014 0 comment
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Takano Fruit Parlor

All of the sweets and absolutely delicious looking delicacies available throughout Japan are definitely tantalizing. Each block offers their own brand of sweet and utterly kawaii treats and goodies to tempt you. But with so many options, where is the sweet toothed traveler to go? If you find yourself in the shopping streets and alleys of Shinjuku craving that perfect mixture of fruit, cute, and cream, then set your sights for the Takano Fruit Parlour Pafério just north of the Tokyo Metro’s Shinjuku Sanchome station.

The interior of the Takano Fruit Parlour Pafério is very Pinkberry-like with all of their counter tops and furniture bathed in a lovely iridescent white. The adorable pink accents get you ready for a snack experience that is sure to tickle your cute senses. The Takano Fruit Parlour Pafério has a few mainstays on their menu that are available year round. If you want an assortment of fruits to munch on try their Berry Parfait or their Fruits Parfait which is stacked high with kiwis, watermelon, pineapple, and lots of other juicy items. If just melon is your thing try their Musk Melon Parfait. And if chocolate is your thing, then dig into their Banana Chocolate Parfait topped off with crunchy granola and caramelized bananas to boot.

What keeps customers coming back for more is their ever rotating limited menu which is tailored to fit that season’s holidays and seasonal fruits available at that time. Father’s Day just passed and the Takano Fruit Parlour Pafério could not pass up the opportunity to celebrate Dad with layers of whipped cream accented with full wedges of cantaloupe and honeydew melon. To celebrate the fruits in season, try either White Peach Parfait or bring yourself into the world of the cherry blossom festival with their Cherry Parfait.

The Takano Fruit Parlour Pafério is sure to please so if you are walking through the streets of Shinjuku looking for a fruity and sweet refresher make sure to stop by! With so many options to choose from, be sure to bring a friend so that you can sneak a little bite of theirs!

Address:Takano Shinjuku Honten B2F, 3-26-11 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
GPS:35.6911017, 139.70676300000002
Telephone:03 – 3356 – 7155
Web: http://takano.jp/parlour/shinjuku-paferio/index.html

October 20, 2014 0 comment
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KuKuRuZa Popcorn, Tokyo, Japan

Once a trend takes off over social media, there is no stopping it and this is true all over the world whether you are in America or Japan. The latest trend on the streets of Harajuku and Omotesando comes straight from the shores of America’s West coast, and more specifically Seattle. KukuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn is the latest food trend to hit the Japanese streets, and it is a bigger deal than the cupcake was in America to be sure. Owner Grant Jones probably could never have guessed that his first small popcorn shop in Seattle would eventually land in Japan’s Omotesando and lead to lines stretching for blocks with people standing in the rain just to get to a taste of crunchy goodness. If you want to get in on the latest Japanese food trend, then get yourself on line for some KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn!

Once you have faced not only the line but the possibly trying elements to get inside of KuKuRuZa Popcorn (customers braving both the summer heat as well as driving rain have been observed on various occasions), you will be greeted with a delightful whirring of popcorn makers along with the warm scent of fresh popcorn. However, do not be disappointed with the only 8 or 10 varieties of popcorn available for purchase. This is on purpose (or because of their current popularity at times). KuKuRuZa Popcorn keeps you coming back by rotating their 36 different flavors on a daily basis to make each visit something new and exciting as well as to set themselves apart from other sweet and snack shops in the area that sell the same fare day in and day out. The flavors at KuKuRuZa Popcorn range from the familiar to the innovative. You can get classic favorites like salt and butter or caramel corn (maybe reach out there and try their specialty Hawaiian Sea Salt caramel corn). But if you are feeling a little more adventurous when you embark to KuKuRuZa Popcorn you will not be want for choices. Maybe try something a little more savory with their Buffalo & Bleu Cheese or maybe their Truffle Fromage Porcini flavors. If you still wanna try something new but stick to the sweet stuff you can dive into a bag of varieties like their Black Raspberry with Vanilla Cream or, their best seller this month, Cashew Caramel Corn.

No matter what flavor you decide to try, the experience of being a part of a food flash fad will never get any better than making a stop at KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn. If you are in the Omotesando area why don’t you stop by?

Address:Omotesando Hills Annex 1F, 4-12-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
GPS:35.6691904, 139.707612328
Web: http://www.kukuruza.jp/

October 20, 2014 0 comment
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