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Floresta Tokyo Donut Shops

It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Tokyo, but there are a surprising amount of excellent donuts shops throughout Tokyo. Below is a list of some of the best Tokyo donut shops that are worth checking out!

Tokyo Donut Shops: Camden’s Blue Star Donuts

Camden's Tokyo Donut Shops

This Tokyo donut shop is my personal favorite on the list! Camden’s Blue Star Donuts started in Portland, USA and then expanded to Tokyo and other parts of Japan. These brioche-style donuts are baked from scratch, in-house, to ensure freshness and quality of each treat.

The Daikanyama shop is located in The Mart at Fred Segal, which is surrounded by other cool shops and cafes that are definitely worth checking out.

Flavors include: Blueberry Bourbon Basil, Cointreau Crème Brulee, Matcha Latte (exclusive to Japan locations), Raspberry Pistachio, and Plain Glaze.

Average Price: Although a little pricey, around 500 yen, these donuts are definitely worth it.

Website ||| Facebook ||| Twitter ||| Instagram |||

ADDRESS: Link to Locations

Doughnut Plant

Doughnut Plant Tokyo Donut Shops

Like many other places on this list, Doughnut Plant originated in New York City and expanded to Tokyo. These donuts are not only beautiful and delicious, but are also all natural, seasonal and made with fresh high quality ingredients. There are also no eggs, preservatives, or artificial flavorings or colors. Doughnut Plant even has some vegan options, which are just as delicious as the rest!

Flavors include: Cake Donuts – Vanilla Bean, Soymilk Triple Berry, Blueberry Cream Cheese & Jam

Bakery Donuts – Vanola Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Soymilk Triple Berry & Jam

Average Price: These donuts range from 200-400 yen, depending on flavor and size

Website (Google Translate) ||| Facebook ||| Twitter (NYC) ||| Instagram |||

ADDRESS: Link to Locations (Google Translate)

Dumbo Doughnuts and Coffee

Dumbo Tokyo Donut Shops

You know you’re at Dumbo Doughnuts and Coffee when you see the pink signs and the line out the door. Tucked in a back street of Azabujuban, this coffee and donut shop is extremely popular for its oversized donuts and beautiful lattes.

In my opinion, they are not the best donuts on this list in terms of taste (a little greasy for my liking), but they sure do make for great pictures! And the coffee is excellent.

Flavors include: Lemon Poppy Seed, Raspberry, Matcha Cream Cheese, and Plain Glaze

Average Price: Most donuts are between 300-400 yen.

Website ||| Instagram |||

Nearest Station: 1-minute walk from Azabu Juban Station (exit 1) (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

ADDRESS: 1F, 2-17-6, Azabujuban, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0045

Hours of Operation: 9:00 – 7:00PM

Floresta Nature Doughnuts

Floresta Tokyo Donut Shops

I first stumbled upon Floresta Nature Doughnuts in Kamakura and was immediately drawn to how cute the treats were. Luckily for me (and you!), there are a few closer Floresta locations throughout Tokyo. Each Floresta donut is organic, baked daily, and hand-decorated to look like different animals. Not all designs and flavors are available at all times or at every location, so it’s best to go earlier in the day before they sell out.

Flavors include: Strawberry (pig) and Chocolate (cat)

Average Price: These donuts are around 200 yen, but vary depending on flavor and animal.

Website (Google Translate)  ||| Facebook (Google Translate)  |||

ADDRESS: Link to Locations (Google Translate)

Good Town Doughnuts

Good Town Tokyo Donut Shops

Good Town Doughnuts and Coffee was my first Tokyo donut shop experience and it did not disappoint. Freshly made every day, these donuts are chewy, soft and very filling!

The shop’s aesthetic screams hyper-Americana, making it the perfect backdrop to take pictures of your sweets. Although known for their donuts, Good Town also sells specialty coffee, ice cream, cookies, and a variety of lunch and breakfast dishes!

Even if it may not be their prettiest donut, I highly recommend the Nutella donut, and ask for it warmed up. The gooey Nutella filling running down your hand makes it more fun and delicious!

Flavors Include: Kyoto Uji Matcha, Maple Bacon, Hibiscus, and Smile Mango

Average Price: These donuts are on the pricier side, at about 400-500 yen (but totally worth it)

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Nearest Station: 5-minute walk from Meijijingu-Mae Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

ADDRESS: 6-12-6 Jingumae Shibuya-ku, Tokyo J-cube B 1F

Hours of Operation: 10:00 – 8:00PM

Macanon

Macanon Tokyo Donut Shops

If you are gluten-free, this is the Tokyo donut shop for you! Macanon donuts are made with rice flour from Kumamoto, making the texture very soft and rich. Unlike traditional fried and sugary donuts, these are baked and are not glazed. If you’re lucky, you can get a piping hot donut right out of the oven!

Flavors Include: Plain, Orange, Rum Raisin, and Brandy

Average Price: A plain donut is 180 yen and other prices vary depending on flavor

Website (Google Translate) ||| Facebook ||| Twitter ||| Instagram |||

Nearest Station: 6-minute walk from Meijijingu-Mae Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

ADDRESS: 4 Chome-24-5 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001

Hours of Operation: 11:00 – 7:00PM

nico donuts

Nico Tokyo Donut Shops

This tiny Tokyo donut shop is located in the heart of Azabujuban. These donuts are unique because they are made with soybean paste, which absorbs less oil, so they are slightly healthier than the average donut (but just as delicious). They are a little small, so I recommend getting more than one.

Flavors Include: Vanilla Bean Sugar, Triple Berry, Matcha, and Sesame Seed

Average Price: These donuts start at 170 yen

Website (Google Translate) ||| Twitter (Google Translate) |||

Nearest Station: 4-minute walk from Azabujuban Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

ADDRESS: 1-7-9 Azabu Juban Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0045

Hours of Operation: 10:00 – 8:00PM (or until sold out)

SOAKS (OK Doughnuts)

SOAKS Tokyo Donut Shops

OK Doughnuts are definitely more than just OK. These may be the most unique and interesting donuts on the list. All of the donuts in this café are organic and are made from 100% vegetable powder, which is packed with tons of vitamins and minerals. SOAKS also swaps out white flour and refined sugar for whole-wheat flour and beet sugar. These donuts are not only delicious, but they are guilt-free too!

Flavors Include: Ginger, Tomato, and Original (lotus root)

Average Price: Between 150-200 yen – surprisingly inexpensive for the quality!

Website ||| Facebook (Google Translate) ||| Twitter ||| Facebook ||| Online Store 

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Naka-Meguro Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

ADDRESS: 1-5-10 Kamimeguro Meguro-Ku Tokyo

Hours of Operation: 10:30 – 11:00PM

Streamer Coffee Company

Streamer Tokyo Donut Shops

Streamer Coffee Company is famous around Tokyo and on Instagram for its Military donut, excellent coffee, and beautiful latte art.

Flavors Include: Blueberry Glaze, Military (coffee, matcha and chocolate), and Vanilla Bean

Average Price: Around 400-500 yen.

Website ||| Facebook ||| Instagram |||

ADDRESS: Link to Locations

March 24, 2017 0 comment
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Harajuku street fashion is a culmination of all things weird, trendy, and uniquely Japanese. And the best place to go in Tokyo to get that Harajuku Girl look is Takeshita Street. Not only is this pedestrian street a hub for the culture of youth street fashion, it’s also great fun! During your trip to Tokyo, be sure to check out these spots!

(If you’re worried about the differences in sizing, check out our great article on size conversions here!)

Harajuku Street Fashion: 6% DOKIDOKI

6%dokidoki

You can’t miss the pink and pastel exterior of 6% DokiDoki. With ribbons and glitter practically spill right out onto the street, 6% DOKIDOKI is the perfect place to start assembling your Harajuku Girl outfit.

Check out our article on 6% DOKIDOKI here!

 

ACDC Rag

ACDC Rag Harajuku Street Fashion

A fashion mainstay on a street where shops are quick to go out of style. ACDC Rag sells a variety of youth-oriented styles, from Gothic Lolita to punk to hipster. Collaborations with other designers and constant additions to their apparel keeps this brand fresh and exciting.

Check out our ACDC Rag article here!

 

Bubbles

Bubbles Harajuku Street Fashion

Bubbles makes you feel like you’re walking into dollhouse. Everything inside is just so girly! This is the perfect place to go to revamp your wardrobe with pastel sweaters, fuzzy bunny phone cases, and velvet chokers. Make sure to strike a fashionable pose in front of the rose wall!

You can check out this very cute Harajuku Street fashion on the Bubbles Website and Online Store (Google Translate) or check them out on Twitter (via Google Translate) and Instagram.

 

Calbee Plus

Calbee Plus Harajuku Street Fashion

Check out the Calbee Plus shop on Takeshita Street! The menu includes potato chips exclusive to this store, such as freshly-fried potato chips topped with maple syrup, cream cheese, or chocolate. And they have soft ice cream for those hot summer days! Packaged snacks make for delicious souvenirs for friends and family!

Check out our Calbee Plus article here!

Etude House

Etude House Harajuku Street Fashion

Etude House is the perfect place to visit for your makeup needs. This Korean cosmetics brand has a large line of cosmetics for every age and skin type.  Before buying, feel free to test out the products and ask for personalized help from a makeup specialist. You can also go to their in-store studio for a makeup lesson and a custom makeover!

You can see what Etude House has to offer on their Website (via Google Translate). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese only), on Twitter (via Google Translate) , or their Instagram.

Harajuku Alta

Harajuku Alta Harajuku Street Fashion

Harajuku Alta is a multi-level mall containing a large selection of stores that will have you screaming “kawaii!” Favorites include Choco Choco by SWIMMER and the Harajuku Lagrace Mart, where you can find great accessories and shoes. Check out Harajuku Alta’s Website (via Google Translate) to see what’s happening now.

Hysteric Glamour

Like printed tees and denim vests? Hysteric Glamour is the place to go! With a laid-back California aesthetic and a rock ‘n’ roll mindset, this place can help you with a layered grunge look that mixes in that little bit of Japanese something.

Check out our article on Hysteric Glamour here!

Kawaii Monster Cafe

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo JapanIt’s not a clothing store, but no trip to Harajuku is complete without a stop at the Kawaii Monster Cafe. When people think of the crazy fashions, pastel-neon colors, and outrageous nuttiness of that aspect of Japanese culture, this is the place they’re thinking of! The bizarre decor, hyperactive floor shows, and high-speed pop beat is the perfect background for your Facebook and Instagram photos.

Check out our Kawaii Monster Cafe article here!

Lazy Hazy Planet

Lazy Hazy Planet Harajuku Street Fashion

Lazy Hazy Planet runs the gamut of Harajuku Street fashion. Glitter to goth, Levi’s to leather, L.H.P. has seen and done it all. And when you go inside, you realize they have it all! Lazy Hazy Planet is a perfect mix-and-match place to experiment with new looks.

Check out our article on L.H.P. here!

LINE Friends Store

LINE Friends Store Harajuku Street Fashion

Fashion isn’t limited to your clothing! If you use the LINE application, the LINE Friends Store at the end of Takeshita Street is a must-go. You can get your picture taken with Brown, pick up exclusive wear and accessories, and even get the exclusive virtual stickers to show your LINE friends that you were fashionably there.

Check out our LINE Friends Harajuku article here!

Milk

Lolita fashion - Milk Storefront in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan

Lolita fashion is still alive and well in the Harajuku street fashion scene. For 45 years, Milk has been catering to the Lolita community with a constant stream of frilly and Victorian fashions. Whether you are new to the Lolita idea or a longtime fan, visiting this fashion landmark is always special.

Check out our article on Milk here!

Paris Kid’s

Paris Kids Harajuku Street Fashion

Need some cheap, trendy, and fashionable accessories? Paris Kid’s is the only place to go. the walls are lined with thousands of earrings, rings, necklaces, and bracelets that will put the finishing touches on your new look. Frequented by young girls and women alike, what keeps people coming back are the prices. None of the accessories or jewelry at this store cost more than 500 yen!

Check out our Paris Kid’s article here and get the discount!

Q-pot CAFE.

Q-Pot Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

The Q-pot CAFE makes fabulous accessories to round our your wardrobe. And not only that, you can have a taste of the “accessory sweets” they have at the cafe! And the SE”Q”RET room? Well, you’ll just have to go and find out for yourself! Check out our Q-pot CAFE. article here!

Totti Candy Factory

Totti Candy Factory Harajuku Street fashion

You know you’re near the Totti Candy Factory when you start smelling sugar and sweets. Inside this pink polka-dotted shop, you’ll find decorated cake pops and a wall lined with all kinds of candy for your scooping pleasure. Their signature item is made-to-order cotton candy that is make right in front of you! Delicious fun for every age.

Check out the Totti Candy Factory’s Website (Google Translate) or follow them on social media at Twitter (via Google Translate) or on Instagram.

Tutuanna

Tutuanna-FI-585x390

It’s so pink and girly and sweet that you’ll have to brush your teeth afterwards. Tutuanna is the place to go for leg wear and socks. Because as we all know, no Harajuku Girl look is complete without pink cat hosiery!

Check out our article on Tutuanna here

WC

WC Harajuku Street Fashion

Bring out your girly and sweet side by visiting WC! This shop is filled with clothes and accessories to match the pastel and neon decor to get you dressing like a true Harajuku Girl. Update your wardrobe with the bunny-eared sweatshirts, cheetah-print backpacks, and velvet jackets that you can only find here!

Check out this Harajuku Street fashion at their Website or check their social media at Twitter (via Google Translate) or Instagram.

Wego

Wego Harajuku Street Fashion

With locations all over Tokyo and Japan, Wego is a testament of how often Harajuku Street fashion shifts from trend to trend. If you want fashion and accessories that will turn you into a street fashionista for a reasonable price, head to Wego!

Check out our article on Wego here!

Wonder Rocket

Wonder Rocket Harajuku Street Fashion

With two locations on Takeshita Street, Wonder Rocket sells Mori-style clothing and accessories ranging from sweet dresses and tops to fuzzy heels and bags. Although they are already reasonably priced, it pays to be on the lookout for Wonder Rocket’s 50% off sales!

Check out what’s going on at Wonder Rocket at their Website (via Google Translate) or on their Facebook (Japanese only), Twitter (via Google Translate), or Instagram.

World Wide Love

World Wide Love Harajuku Tokyo JapanWhere’s the love? It’s at World Wide Love! The brand of the spray-painted smiley face covers your street style fashion needs while never straying too far from whimsy. Check out their great collaborations!

Check out our article on World Wide Love here!

June 20, 2016 0 comment
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Gundam Cafe, Odaiba, Tokyo

Listen man, I know your secret.

How? Because it’s not really a secret. I have a kid too. And I love the little guy, just like you love your little guy or girl. But we all know that some kid activities are excruciating. Yes, it’s for their development, bless their dear little hearts. So we go to dance recitals and school plays and soccer games that look like a greased pig chase.

Which is ok, when you’re home. You can sit on the sidelines and wave in between emails, or chitchat with the other parents. And when someone finally catches that greased pig, you can escape back to the homestead and relax in familiar surroundings.

Well, that’s not what’s going to happen here. Maybe the Big Meeting is over early; maybe you’re on vacation or an extended layover. Whatever the reason, you are in one of the most exciting cities in the world with your spouse and your 2.3 children. You’re in Tokyo, darn it, and you’re going to do something fun. Together, as a family! And you are going to do something that you cannot readily do back home. No, Mom and Dad (or however you organize yourselves), there’s not going to be any waving from the sidelines on this trip. Put on your walking shoes, we’re gonna do Tokyo!

 

WHO WANTS BREAKFAST?

Who wants breakfast? You want what? A Japanese breakfast?

No. No you don’t. Trust me on this one. Your kids are thinking “Anime-Os” with a Giant Robot Prize inside the box, but that’s not what they are going to get. A Japanese-style breakfast comes with things like baked fish, rice, pickles, soup, and other assorted unidentifiables. I’m pretty open-minded about what I eat, but fish and pickles is too much culture for that early in the morning.

For a Western-style breakfast, your hotel will be the most convenient spot. But if you must go somewhere, you can try Anna Miller’s in Shinagawa (visible across the street from the Takanawa exit; open daily 0730-0300) or the Terrace at the Westin Hotel in Mita (closest train station is Ebisu on the Yamanote line, and you’ll have to take a taxi from there; breakfast 0630-1030 daily).

But we’re traveling with kids here, and we all know how this goes. You pay a wad of cash for the buffet, and all the kid will eat is a single forkful of eggs and a half-bowl of cereal. Past experience tells you that he or she will be hungry in half an hour, but the little ankle biter adamantly refuses to eat anything else. Until, of course, you encounter the first McDonald’s after you leave the restaurant, at which point they begin howling about how hungry they are. Thus, the big fight begins.

If you suspect this is about to happen to you, avoid the stress and go to a bakery. They are everywhere in Japan—in department stores, in front of train stations, and in their own little shops on the street. Japanese bakeries have breads, donuts, croissants, pastries, and all kinds of other baked breakfast goods. Some of them even have coffee, mom and dad! And even if the kids don’t want all of whatever they get, you can put it in the bag and save it for later. Or eat it yourself, which is my recommended solution.

 

AKIHABARA

Akihabara Stores, Akihabara, Tokyo

This is where your nerd children want to go. If they’re older, coming here is probably the only reason they will risk being seen together with their parents in the first place. Akihabara is on the Yamanote line, is very easy to get to, and is foreigner-friendly.

If you are into anime and video games, you will be in heaven. Akihabara is the place where good nerds go when they die. Shops selling toys, figurines, video game paraphenalia, t-shirts, and related items are located here. There is no one best place to shop, so browse everywhere! Half the fun is souvenir-hunting through the bins and the little shops. The back streets are also a treasure trove of oddities, full of ¥100 bottle holders for your backpack, keychain bubble-wrap popping simulators, and possibly your very own camera drone. It’s worth a look.

Akihabara duty free shopping, Akihabara, Tokyo

Thanks to the huge duty-free shops, souvenirs of other kinds are also available. Everything from ninja t-shirts to fridge magnets all the way up to cameras and household appliances, the duty-free shops have them here. English-speaking staff are available at all locations to answer your questions. If you must have an appliance, buy it here. Items from the duty-free stores are adapted to work in your country of origin, which likely has different voltage/amperage requirements than Japan. This may not be the case if you make a last-minute stop at a department store before getting on the plane to go home. And many of the duty-free shops deliver to hotels!

Then there’s Don Quioxte. I have no idea what this store’s connection is to the literary figure, but it is a must-see. The best way to describe this place is as a cross between Wal-Mart and Spencer’s Gifts. It has the mundane (snacks, drinks), the strange (poo-shaped hats, Engrish-printed clothing), to the outright bizarre (boob pillows, maid outfits). The top floor is the AKB48 theater, where you can watch members of the famous all-girl pop band perform (for tickets, go to http://www.akb48.co.jp/english/overseas/index.html).

Don Quijote, Akihabara, Tokyo

Arcades are also a big part of Akihabara. They may be as common as dinosaur stampedes where you’re from, but Japan’s arcades know what they are up against–few games here are something you could get on a console at home. UFO Crane games, a taiko drumming game, Puzzles and Dragons Battle Tactics (which is apparently a thing), multitudes of fighting games, and head-to-head Gundam battle arenas were the highlights of my visit. Go inside and check out the card game/video game hybrids so you can see what your grandkids will be wanting for Christmas in 2040. Drop a few coins in the newest gee-whiz game or play a few of the classics. What kid doesn’t want to tell his friends at school that he played video games in an actual Japanese arcade?

Here’s another fun thing to do at the Sega arcades. The bathrooms have “peeing games” at the urinals (sorry ladies, I have no idea what’s in your powder room–couches and “Gone With the Wind” on continuous loop?). The screen is over the urinal, and to play you just step right up, no coins needed. Walk around, load up on liquids, then go into the arcade and do your business. I played one with a full bladder and ended up filling four and a half cans of pee. I don’t even know what that means or why you should be impressed, but there it is.

There are places to eat once you get hungry, but Akihabara is a grab-and-go kind of place. For fine dining, look elsewhere. If you are not planning to go to Odaiba (see below), there is a Gundam Cafe here (outside the Akihabara JR Station Atre1 Gate), where you can get lunch and some souvenirs. The Gundam Cafe is right next to the AKB48 Cafe, if you are more into the girl band than you are into giant robots. There are several coffee cafes in the area that offer sandwiches, and of course, two area McDonald’s for your picky eaters.

CAUTION NOTE #1: If you want to purchase anime, video games, or other electronic material, make sure that they will be compatible with the media systems you have back home. The small store owners will tell you, but it might be safer to buy that sort of material at one of the many duty-free shops in the area.

CAUTION NOTE #2: Ok, I know you’ve heard of it, so here it is: anime porn. Keep the kids away from anyplace that is bright pink, has the “No Under 18” sign, or has artwork of improbably-proportioned anime models over or around the door. The shops that sell these kinds of items aren’t ubiquitous and are usually subtle in their sidewalk advertising, but you could encounter them. Forewarned is forearmed.

CAUTION NOTE #3: “Not smoking indoors” is not a thing that has caught on in Japan yet, and arcades are particularly heinous. Check the floor signs to see if smoking is allowed on that floor. If your kids are particularly sensitive to smoke, going into an arcade that allows smoking may not be a good idea. If they can take it, have fun, but it’s always a good idea to limit your exposure to secondhand smoke.

 

ODAIBA

I am a married man. Women want to shop. Therefore, it is inevitable that I (or maybe you) will get dragged on a shopping trip. It’s a cliche for a reason. Are you done not laughing? Good. Let’s continue.

It will do no good to explain to your significant other that (beyond the obvious regional variations) they have the same stuff at Japanese malls that they do in the malls where you come from. The same stores, even. That just makes her mad and even more determined to get her retail therapy on. But I am here to help! With a little mental judo, convince your one-and-only that Odaiba is the place to go for all of her shopping needs. That way, you and the kids can do something besides drag yourselves through the same jeans store you have back at your local mall.

GETTING THERE

At Osaki station (on the Yamanote line), change to the Rinkai line (dark blue; get on the train going towards Shin-kiba). Eleven minutes and ¥330 later, you will be at the Tokyo Teleport Station, in the middle of the Odaiba shopping area (what, you don’t have teleport stations in whatever backwater you’re squatting in? You poor dears). From here, you can walk or taxi to any number of malls. Here are the highlights–

AQUA CITY

Ramen restaurants, Odaiba, Tokyo

What? You’re going to Japan, and you are going to eat at McDonald’s?!?!? I think not. The Me-Matsuri Food Court on the fifth floor of the Aqua City Mall specializes in ramen and is easily accessible to English speakers. There are actually several different styles of ramen, all reasonably priced (¥600-¥1100, depending on what you get). All menus are in English–just choose, point, and pay. If the weather is nice, you can even sit outside and get a view of the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower. I remarked that I saw a blue shell fly across the bridge to knock out the leader; my son rolled his eyes. No one likes the blue shell. (open 1100-2300).

For the picky eaters, there are a couple of American fast-food places in the food court on the first floor. But maybe you can convince them to try Kua’aina Hawaiian Burger place (same food court) or the Longboard Cafe on the third floor. It’s worth a shot.

Sony Explora, Odaia Tokyo

After lunch, you can occupy the time of younger children at the Sony ExploraScience Museum. Obviously, the “science” focuses on Sony products, but the interactive exhibits are a lot of fun and it’s a neat thing to do for an hour or two. My son and I enjoyed the voice pitch-switcher and the motion-capture puppet screen (I got a robot to dance the Robot!). Be sure to compete in the electronic Smile rankings and try to get the best smile of the day! (5th floor, open 1100-1900; Adults ¥500, Children ages 3-15 ¥300, under 3 years old free).

Sony Explora, Odaiba, Tokyo

DECKS TOKYO BEACH SHOPPING MALL

Alright, Lego fans, here’s your spot. Decks Tokyo Beach Shopping Mall is right next to Aqua City. And inside on the third floor is Tokyo’s Legoland Discovery Center! Even if you’ve been to one of the other Legoland theme parks, you can come here to see Japan-specific brick sculptures, like a Lego sumo match, or a room-sized model of Tokyo. Stop in the shop; even though the Lego is waaaay more expensive where you are from, you can snag a ¥350 minifigure from the current collector’s edition set, or a ¥700 keychain of your favorite Lego character. Singing an awesome song is optional, but if you forgot the words, don’t worry–it’s playing constantly while you’re in the store. I’m sure the clerks love that. (open 1000-2000 on weekdays , 1000-2100 on weekends; admission for all ages is ¥2200 walk-up)

Legoland, Odaiba, Tokyo

Decks also has a Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, so older children who may not Lego-inclined can go inside and have their picture taken with their favorite celebrity. (Open daily 1000-1900; Adults ¥2000, Children ages 3-15 ¥1500, discounts available online.

If you want to see both a Lego Tokyo Tower and a wax Angelina Jolie, you can get a discount on a combo ticket pack.

DIVER CITY TOKYO

This mall is a little farther away than the other two, but don’t worry; you can see it from Aqua City or Decks. It also gives you time to spin a tale. This one requires a little bit of prep.

Seed this dad joke with a few episodes of the Gundam anime series in the months before you come to Japan. You can find it on your Netflix. Before you get to Diver City, make sure the kids know that you flew a Gundam and had all sorts of interstellar adventures before settling down and becoming their dad. “Yep, all that’s over now,” you might say. “I parked the old girl around here somewhere before I walked away. I wonder if it’s still here…”

Gundam Statue, Odaiba, Tokyo

Then you take them behind Diver’s City, and look! Dad’s old Gundam is still here! The 18-meter tall attraction is constantly surrounded by people taking pictures, and surely no one would mind helping out the former pilot by taking a picture of him with his kids in front of his old rig. Afterwards you can stop by the nearby Gundam Cafe and pick up a souvenir or two (I recommend a coffee cup). There is a Gundam Front trailer outside near the Gundam, where you can pick up a model if you feel inclined.

Gundam Cafe, Odaiba, Tokyo

On the seventh floor is the gold mine–there is a Round1 Stadium and the Gundam Front Tokyo, right next to each other!

The Gundam Front Tokyo contains a museum of Gundam figures (free to enter), a shop, and a clothing store. You can also visit the inner areas and see the art museum and some awesome dioramas (open daily 1000-2000, Adults ¥1200, Children ages 3-15 ¥1000, you can buy in advance for ¥200 off)

Round1 Stadium is an indoor amusement park/recreational facility. You and your kids can play some indoor basketball, try a batting cage, go roller skating, and even ride a mechanical bull. There are video games all over the place, including a four-player Pac-Man machine and a strange game in which the objective is to do as much damage as possible by rage-flipping a table. There is a rest area with massage chairs (great for worn-out adults) and a classic video game arcade with hits from the 80s and 90s. The pricing scheme for all of this entertainment is rather bizarre (if you can make heads or tails of it, you are a better man than I), but the mall has an interpreter phone service you can use to figure it all out. As you can see from the price list, it can get expensive, but I never had a bad time there. Also, the odd hours mean that if you are suffering from jet lag at a nearby hotel, you can sneak out and get in a few rounds on the mechanical bull. (Open 7 days a week. Monday – Thursday 1000-0600 the next day; Fridays and public holidays 1000-all day; Saturday 24 hours; Sundays and holidays open until 0600 the next morning. The facility will not allow children aged 15 and under in after 1800 or 16-18 year olds after 2200).

Have a little extra time to spend in Odaiba? Check out our photo tour of Odaiba for some more ideas on things to do. 

For  more tips on traveling in Tokyo with kids, visit our article Getting Around Tokyo with the Family.

36 Hours in Tokyo: Touristy/Off the Beaten Path Mix has even more ideas for you!

June 13, 2016 0 comment
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Robot Restaurant Shinjuku

Part of the thrill of visiting Tokyo is experiencing all of the delightfully strange things that make the city unique. And the biggest thrill is to check out some of the awesome theme restaurants in Tokyo. Here are the top picks from Enablejapan.com for theme restaurants and cafes in Tokyo.

Tokyo Theme Restaurants : Cat Cafes

Although not strictly in the “theme restaurants” genre, cat-lovers from around the world always ask us about cat cafes. There are several cat cafes in Tokyo where you pay to enjoy the company of cats. Most have an entrance fee or require you to buy food and drinks, but this doesn’t bother you, right? After all, you’re there to meet the kitties! There are lots of cats around who want to play or be stroked. For more information, visit our top 15 recommendations for Tokyo cat cafes or watch Part II of our Tokyo Animal Cafe video series featuring Cafe Neko JaLaLa.

Cure Maid Café

Cure Maid Cafe Theme Restaurants

Maid cafes are a uniquely-Japanese thing, and can be off-putting for visitors with conventional tastes. Given their propensity for the cutsey-poo dress-up and antics (particularly in Akihabara), you might walk away feeling kind of like you have just accidentally committed some sort of perverted act. However, Cure Maid Cafe is more Victorian and less cutesy, allowing you to enjoy the experience without having a crisis of conscience. Check out our review of the Cure Maid Cafe in Akihabara here!

Fukuro no Mise Tsukishima

Fukuro no Mise Theme Restaurants

Owls! Really, owl cafes are like cat cafes in that both animals seem to regard humans with thinly-disguised contempt. But you can visit this Tsukishima cafe and meet big owls, small owls, and many owls in between! Check out our review of Fukuro no Mise here!

If Fukuro no Mise is too far out of your away, you could always go to the Lovely Owl Cafe in Harajuku. Even better, you can make a reservation through Voyagin!

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

You don’t know Tokyo Weird until you know the Kawaii Monster Cafe. From the Monster Girl floor shows to the bizarre decor, it’s every stereotype of Japan kawaii culture all in one location. Go there, and have your camera ready for your future Facebook shots! Check out our review of the Kawaii Monster Cafe here!

You absolutely MUST go to the Kawaii Monster Cafe during your trip to Tokyo. Let Voyagin help you with your reservation!

The Lock-Up Shibuya

The_Lock_Up_Shibuya_Tokyo Theme Restaurants

This chain of izakaya horror-prison theme restaurants that has a presence in most of Tokyo’s busy areas. The Lock-Up experience starts immediately when one of the waitresses handcuffs you and leads you to your table. Once seated, you can choose from their menu of unusual food and unorthodox drinks. A cocktail served in a smoking science beaker, anyone? Sporadically throughout the evening, alarms will sound and the lighting will go dark as escaped criminals come to scare you at your table. Check out our review of the Lock-Up here!

Ninja Akasaka Restaurant

Ninja_Asakusa_Tokyo_07 Theme Restaurants

A little more expensive than the café options, but this theme restaurant is all about ninjas! At Ninja Restaurant, you can watch as they’ll break out into tricks and performances suddenly throughout your meal, set within an atmospherically designed dining room. The menu varies from Japanese to European, and the quality of the food is generally excellent. Check out our review of Ninja Akasaka Restaurant here!

Q-pot CAFE.

Q-Pot Cafe Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Life is sweet at the Q-pot CAFE. in Harajuku! Come by for the cakes and tarts, and then visit their store across the street for fashion accessories based on the sweets you just had! See our review of the Q-pot CAFE. here!

Robot Restaurant Shinjuku

Robot Restaurant Shinjuku Theme Restaurants

The Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku is a fairly recent addition to Tokyo’s lineup of theme restaurants. Here, you can enjoy a dinner show where the main feature is giant robots being controlled by pretty girls.  It’s an extremely flashy show, with lots of lights, noise and excitement that’s a fun one-off experience. See our review of the Robot Restaurant here!

If you plan on adding the Robot Restaurant to your “must-do” list, you can get a discount on Instant E-Tickets from Voyagin!

Tori no Iru Asakusa

Making New Friends at Tori no Iru Bird Cafe Asakusa Tokyo Japan

Once you’re done at the Sensoji Shrine, this little cafe is a must-see. They have several owls and a walk-in bird room where you can interact with dozens of parakeets and other birds. Re-enact Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” by buying a small box of birdseed! See our review of Tori no Iru Asakusa here!

For more dining and entertainment options in Tokyo, check out the links below–

June 2, 2016 0 comment
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In modern Western culture, owls have a reputation for wisdom. Athena, the patron goddess of Athens, took the owl as her personal symbol. In the original Clash of the Titans, when Perseus needed a companion, her owl Bubo (or at least the steampunk robot version of him) was sent to be his advisor. Out of the many downfalls of the remake (and there were many), the most egregious was that they dissed the original Bubo.

But it doesn’t stop there. Mensa, the international high I.Q. society, uses the owl as their unofficial symbol; it is sometimes used to mark the location of their meetings to newcomers. Owl, the blowhard counterpart to Winnie the Pooh, provides the services of a straight-man in E.E. Milne’s classic stories. In the comics, Batman himself battled the fiendish Court of Owls at the beginning of the New 52, and they nearly brought down the Caped Crusader. And there was (the second) Owlman, who stole the girlfriend of a god in the Watchmen comics (we do not speak of the movie around here).

But what of the actual animal itself? Have you ever held one? Have you ever seen one up close? Ever had one steal a lollipop from you under the guise of some scientific experiment to find out how many licks it takes to get to the center? Well here’s your chance!

Getting In

Fukuro no Mise is one of the best-known animal cafés in Tokyo. It is also difficult to get into. You cannot call ahead or make an appointment online. You can only show up early and hope that you can get in one of the waiting list slots. Only ten people are admitted into the café each hour.

 

I arrived one hour and fifteen minutes before the opening, and line was already long. Forty-five minutes prior to opening, the staff began accepting reservations. I was able to get in the second group, so I only had an hour to wait. I had to pay immediately (2000 yen per person) and the lady put my name down on the wait list. She asked me if I was sure–if I didn’t come at least fifteen minutes after the appointed time, I would lose my spot, and there are no refunds. I confirmed that I would return, so she told me to come back five minutes prior to my scheduled appointment.

 

But Once Inside…

The first thing I saw when I went inside was the semi-circle of larger owls. Owls, like cats, seem to regard humans with poorly-disguised contempt. I understood why visiting was limited once I was inside. The entire café is very small, and is dimly lit for the comfort of its feathered residents. As expected, it is decorated in owl motifs–pillows, lamps, and the pictures adorning the wall were all things Strigiforme. Even the TV was playing Harry Potter.

The drink counter is in the back, where I was invited to sit. Perpendicular to the counter was another row of owls, all much smaller than the ones at the door. A small Spectacled Owl named Dave started mean-mugging me as soon as I got close. I was the last person to come inside for this group, and the only available seating was next to him. His head bobbed and swiveled as I passed. His chest puffed out, and his little white mustache bristled. He was adorable!

Besides Dave, the owls were disinterested in my arrival. The hand-sized burrowing owl right next to my seat woke up long enough to watch me sit down before nodding off again.

Drinks are included with the cover charge, unless you want something a little stronger (beer and wine are available for another 200 yen). But why would you? That’s not what you’re here for.

An Owl-Handling Tutorial

The first ten minutes of the visit consists of a handling tutorial. The spoken instructions are in Japanese, and there is a sheet written in English for tourists. The rules are easy; allow the staff to help you pick up and put down owls, touch them on the head and back only, and make sure the flash is off on your camera (and no videos, please). Also, there are a few residents who should not be touched.

The day I went, one owl was taking the day off and another was cranky because he was on a diet (“eats like a bird” apparently didn’t apply to that guy). Another no-toucher is Amachan, a blind spectacled owl who lives by the door and becomes frightened if people touch her. Please respect the birds and do not touch them if they have been placed off-limits.

After the tutorial, it’s owl-time! Three staff members circulated through our small group, putting owls on people’s outstretched arms. As birds, none are particularly heavy, not even the larger ones. I held several owls, and their talon grip on my hand was not strong, as one might expect. Even the large horned owl I held was like holding any other bird on your finger. The one possible exception might be the barn owl. I did not hold him, but the people I saw who did wore a thick glove.

Making Owl Friends

At the front of the café, staff members helped patrons hold the larger owls in a falconer’s pose, or you can opt to have one put on your shoulder or head. I passed on the chance to have an owl crap in my hair (“owls cannot be toilet-trained,” said the note card). The staff was also better able to attract an owl’s attention for pictures, given their propensity for turning their head the other way as soon as a camera came out.

About ten minutes prior to the end of the hour, we were invited to sit back down. The staff passed out gifts (also included in the price of admission), after which they thanked us and sent us on our way. There were other items for sale (jewelry and such), so ask a staff member if something catches your eye.

Animal Welfare

Given Japan’s “casual” attitude towards animal welfare (people here still buy dogs and cats from pet stores and “puppy mills”), questions as to the owls’ welfare dominate online discussion.

As far as I could tell (given an hour to observe), none of the owls were being mistreated. Yes, they are lashed into place with a little bit of room to move, but it was no different from the way you would tie up a dog or put a bird in a cage. Mention was given to flight training (the reason the one owl was on a diet, according to its card), but that occurred elsewhere–the café was definitely too small for an owl to get very far. I love animals too, and I would certainly object if I saw evidence of one being mistreated, but I also understand the realities of domesticated animals. In my opinion, the owls looked clean and well-cared for.

Other Helpful Tips

My group consisted entirely of adults. Fukuro No Mise does not allow children under the age of two, but it would probably be better not to take children under age ten here. Some children are obviously more sensitive than others, but I know more than a few kids who consider WHACK-WHACK-WHACK as an ok way to “pet” a dog. We don’t want to hurt our feathered friends, do we?

Fukuro No Mise has an English speaker on Fridays (a Hawaiian, given the number of times I saw “Mahalo” on the written materials), but the staff that was on duty while I was there were able to understand and speak English. There are also many signs in both Japanese and English, which was very helpful.

Fukuro no Mise is a great place, but it might be a bit difficult to get to for visitors. Luckily, Harajuku also has an owl cafe. Let Voyagin help you book your reservation at the Lovely Owl Cafe!

 

Owl Cafe Fukuro no Mise Tsukishima

Check out the Owl Cafe Fukuro no Mise Ameba Blog (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 6-minute walk from Tsukishima Station exit 10 (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

Hours of Operation: Wednesday and Thursday 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Fridays 2 p.m. – 9 p.m., Saturdays 12 p.m. – 9 p.m., Sundays 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.. Arrive early to get a slot!

Price: 2000 yen per person

August 8, 2015 0 comment
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Bar Zingaro, Tokyo Japan Featured Image

The Dario Hernandez blend from Guatemala is strong. Delightful, with a hint of…tomato?

Nope. The package says tangerine, orangina, and melons. Odd, for coffee.

This doesn’t appear to be unusual for Bar Zingaro’s coffee selections. The Fulgen Expresso nearby lists ingredients like dark chocolate, red apple, citrus, and almond along with the coffee beans. I sampled the Karatu blend next. It’s from Kenya, from the Gitwe Co-operative. Blackberry, gooseberry, currants, and watermelon are mixed with the coffee. It is still strong, but smoother. Good coffee, and it had better be for ¥530 a cup.

Bar Zingaro is located on the second floor of the Nakano Broadway building. It’s only been open a year, according to the barista/bartender, Eo. “Like ‘Captain Eo,'” he says. He is young and skinny and has a number 3 tattooed on his left hand in the web between his thumb and forefinger. Not a hiragana “ro”, as I originally thought. He doesn’t explain what it means, and I don’t ask.

Bar Zingaro's bartender, Nakano, Tokyo

Instead, we converse in that odd Japlish mishmash language that evolves in Japanese establishments frequented by foreigners. The bar/coffee shop/art gallery is a collaboration between artist Takashi Murakami and Fuglen, a small chain of coffee shops and cocktail bars in Oslo, Norway. Bar Zingaro features a laid-back aesthetic of comfy couches, wooden tables, and intimate spaces with which to enjoy a cup of java (or something stronger) with friends. Art is also a strong presence in the space, a comfortable addition that does not overwhelm the viewer nor disturb the cozy atmosphere.

Seating and artwork at Bar Zingaro, Nakano, Tokyo

Comfy seating and Takashi Murakami’s artwork at Bar Zingarod

Despite our relative language difficulties, Eo makes good conversation. We talk a bit about the coffee and other drinks on the menu. The coffee is from all over the world, by way of the roasteries of Oslo. The tea likewise has exotic origins, primarily from China, but also India and elsewhere. I’m not sure what makes cola “organic,” but they have it. And if the coffee is any way to judge the quality of Bar Zingaro’s offerings, it has to be good.

There is also a decent selection of beer, sake, and wine. Not everything above the bar appeared to be on the menu, so you’ll have to ask if you want a snootful. I amused Eo with a tale of my first encounter with the Denki Bran brandy, which went down smooth but returned with a mighty technicolor yawn one foggy New Year’s Eve. Similar tales might have been spun, but business began to pick up–Bar Zingaro appears to be a popular place. And with coffee that good, I’d say that popularity is well-earned.

Bar Zingaro menu, Nakano, Tokyo

Bar Zingaro drink menu

Coffee and drinks at Bar Zingaro, Nakano, Tokyo

Coffee and drinks at Bar Zingaro

Interior of Bar Zingaro, Nakano, Tokyo

Seating options in Bar Zingaro

Dario Hernandez Blend, Bar Zingaro, Nakano, Tokyo

Dario Hernandez blend

LOCATION: Nakano Broadway 2nd floor, access through the Sunmall at Nakano train station.
Open Sunday-Thursday 1100-2100, Friday-Saturday and holidays 1100-2300.
For more information, visit either the translated website or their Facebook page.

February 13, 2015 0 comment
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When I first started looking around for used bookstores in Tokyo, a number of people told me about Caravan Books in Ikebukuro. But alas, by the time I got around to visiting, it had closed. The owner had moved his business online.

When I received this assignment, I went looking for Caravan’s online store, now known as Infinity Books. A Google search turned up–a bookstore in Tokyo? One I hadn’t been to or even knew about? What madness is this?

At Shinagawa station I transferred from the JR lines to the Keikyu Main Line Rapid Limited Express, heading towards Nishi-Magome. At the next stop (Sengakuji), I switched to the Toei Asakusa line (light red circle) going towards Oshiage (Skytree). I got off at Honjo-Azumbashi station and departed from the A1 exit.

At the A1 exit, a person can turn around and look directly at the Skytree itself. I am not that person. Putting the Skytree to my back, I walked along the sidewalk, passing under a light blue walking bridge that spanned the road. Looking right as I walked, I spotted the gigantic golden turd with which someone decided to mar Asakusa’s skyline. I continued walking until I found the small black sign announcing the presence of Infinity Books and Cafè.

Infinity Books is roomy and cozy, if a little on the dark side. The books are only split between fiction and non-fiction–you’ll find sci-fi novels right next to historical romances and murder mysteries. It sounds like a strange way to organize, but I liked it. You may not find the exact book you want, but you’ll find something. And when you find that something, take it to the back of the shop. There are a few tables that are better lit, as well as…a bar?

Yes indeed. Nick Ward, the owner and proprietor, ran a bar (The Fiddler, in Takadanobaba) prior to opening Infinity Books. He keeps Yebisu on tap, the perfect complement for the thinking drinker’s new book. He also ran Caravan Books back in the days before he moved his operation online. “The costs were enormous. The problem was that I was doing the same thing I’m doing now–six days a week, watching a computer screen, waiting for an order to come in. Only there was no one to talk to, no new people coming around. My wife finally told me to get all of the books out of the house, so I opened this place.” As of this writing, Infinity Books has been open for nine months.

Like Good Day, Infinity can’t survive by on-site bookselling alone. Nick gives English lessons and frequently holds events (such as the acoustic jams every second Saturday of the month). He also maintains Infinity’s online presence through Amazon and the store’s web page. Infinity Books takes trades, depending on whether or not Nick wants them; shelf space is limited. If he likes what you bring, Nick offers store credit (around 35% of the resale value) or cash (around 15%).

Inifinity has a rotating cast of characters, most of whom have followed the Yorkshireman from Caravan Books and The Fiddler. In my short time there, I met a pair of Canadian acoustic musicians, a Korean woman who sings classical Japanese songs, and an Irishman who teaches at a nearby university. However, I didn’t meet the ghost. Nick swears that she (it’s a woman, according to the people who have seen her) stomps around the store at night and throws things. Occasionally, she goes upstairs to the apartment building above the shop. “People there have seen her,” he says. He keeps a glass of beer over the bar for her, in case she gets thirsty. So far, she hasn’t drunk it. Maybe she doesn’t like Yebisu.

Nick and I chatted for a few hours about everything under the sun. Don’t be afraid to visit; he likes meeting and talking to new people. Even weirdos, which was a good thing for me.

“So Nick,” I started in on him. “Do you think Hitler had to fight a lot of time travelers?”

“What?”

“You know. You read books about people inventing time travel, and the first thing they think about doing is going back and killing Hitler. Deadpool just did a whole thing on it. It was in Stephen King’s The Dead Zone. It even has a TV Tropes page dedicated to the idea. What do you think?”

“I think that Harry Turtledove’s stuff is over in the fiction area.” He nodded at my pint glass. “How many of those have you had?”

WHAT I BOUGHT: Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner; I’m constantly giving this book away. I also bought W.E.B. Griffin’s The Hunters, which looked to be something along the lines of Clancy’s Rainbow Six, which I enjoyed. Also, a few beers (800 yen/pint).

WEBSITE: http://www.infinitybooksjapan.com, or keep up with them at their Facebook page.
Open Tuesday-Saturday 1100-2300, Sundays 1100-1800. Closed Mondays.

February 11, 2015 0 comment
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Akasaka is home to a variety of adorable little cafes and lunch places. Every street corner is home to a different little cafe filled with delicious coffee and the warm scent of fresh pastries. There is one cafe, with locations all over Asia and the United States, that has recently opened up a new branch in Akasaka that offers delicious coffee as well as Korean takes on classic Japanese treats. Caffe Bene is a delicious place to sit and enjoy some delicious goodies while exploring the Akasaka area.

The menu at Caffe Bene is varied as well as delicious. For drinks, you can order something classic and familiar or something more innovative with a variety of new and surprising flavors. Of course you can get favorites like iced vanilla lattes or iced chai tea lattes, but if you are feeling a little more adventurous, Caffe Bene does not hold back when it comes to their coffee beverages. Why not sip on a caramel latte ice cream float as a remedy for a hot summer day or a matcha green tea caffe latte? Either way, you will be refreshed and energized!

Aside from their drink menu, the food and sweets at Caffe Bene are well known for having a unique Korean spin on Japanese cafe treats! For something savory, bite into one of Caffe Bene’s delicious sandwiches like their roast beef sandwich on a croissant or their caprese salad sandwich on toasted bread with fresh basil. If you are more inclined and craving something sweet, Caffe Bene has you covered! They are known for their special variety of kakigoori (Japanese shaved ice) that has borrowed a thing or two from their Korean neighbors. Starting with shaved ice on bottom, this delicious treat is then built up with fresh fruit, crunchy corn flakes, milky fruit sauce, and then topped with vanilla gelato. If that is not decadence then what is? For something a little more simple, try their in house mini waffles that come in a variety of flavors, or their hand made french macarons?

If you are looking for a great cafe experience while in Akasaka, head to the new Caffe Bene location for some great coffee and treats!

Address:4-3-6 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
GPS:35.6743907, 139.73611110000002
Telephone:03 – 6426 – 5511
Web: http://caffebene.co.jp

October 22, 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!

Pablo

Website ||| Facebook ||| Twitter||| Instagram ||| Online Stores- AmazonRakuten ||| Locations

October 20, 2014 0 comment
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Little TGV

Akihabara is known for its quirks and individual atmosphere. From the game centers that are on every street corner to the otaku that flood from the stations to collect merchandise from their favorite anime or game series, Akihabara is certainly one of a kind. The anime and gaming culture that purveys Akihabara is not the only thing that is infamous about this particular area of town for their eateries and cafes are also what make Akihabara special. Maid cafes and other kinds of specialty restaurants are famous worldwide for their attention to detail and pure Akihabara-ness. However, being served super sugary waffles by a waitress wearing cat ears may not be everyone’s cup of tea because, it is true, the maid cafe experience could get a bit overwhelming at some times. For those who are still looking for an Akihabara kind of dining experience, but are not looking for a maid cafe. you are in luck! Just past the JR Akihabara station and only one block off of the main road, Chuo-dori, is the restaurant Little TGV. This hybrid of maid cafe meets train dining car is just right to have that special Akihabara meal that you are looking for!

You are in for a real fun time when you go to Little TGV! The waitresses are all dressed as super cute train conductors in a tasteful but still adorable way. Also, these waitresses at Little TGV are extremely attentive and hard working, so you won’t have to worry about being left hanging while waiting to order for hours on end. For those familiar with the language of the train platforms of Japan, you will recognize some of the same phrases used by the waitresses which is a nice little touch for those who are enthusiastic about the Japanese language.

While the waitresses at Little TGV are spectacular, it is the food and drinks that are really special. Every dish and ingredient that can be morphed or molded into some train-themed object has been. Your tamago maki (cooked egg roll) will be placed on train tracks of nori in miniature train car shapes. If you order an onigiri (rice ball) appetizer, it will arrive in the shape of a Shinkansen conductor car instead of the classic triangle shape. Drinks are named after specific railways and you can get the “Shinkansen Special” drink if you would like something a little stronger. The menu you order from will also be familiar. If you have ever looked at a map in a train station, you will be able to recognize it on your menu. Each stop is a different dish, appetizer, dessert, or drink which could be fun to see what your home train station has to offer!

If you have been looking for a wholly Akihabara style meal but are nervous to go and try the infamous maid cafes around town, then give Little TGV a try for some fun train items!

Address:101-0021 東京都千代田区外神田3-10-5
GPS:35.7013635, 139.77063829999997
Telephone:03 – 3255 – 5223
Web: http://www.littletgv.com/

October 20, 2014 0 comment
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