Food · Travel

Japan Sweets

I ate a lot of sweets and desserts during my trip to Japan back in May 2018. Here’s a list of what I ate in each city and if it’s worth trying.

 

Tokyo

French Toast from Cafe Aaliya
French Toast from Cafe Aaliya. Probably one of the best French Toasts I’ve had. Soft, jiggly, light, thick, creamy, moist, fluffy, squishy, doughy, delicious with a slight crispy outer layer and no crust. Shinjuku-Sanchome, Tokyo. 👍

 

Andaz Tokyo eclairs
Black Sesame, Earl Grey, Tropical, Strawberry & Mascarpone, Shiso & Sudachi, Mint & Lime mini eclairs from the bakery inside Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills. Expensive, but tasty. Worth a try if you are staying at the hotel. Otherwise it is too out of the way. 👍

 

A closer shot of the eclairs.
A closer shot of the eclairs.

 

Tokyo Banana
Tokyo Banana. These can be purchased at any gift shop or even at the airport. They are airy, cream-filled banana-flavored sponge cakes. Good for souvenirs. 👍

 

Another Tokyo Banana view
Another Tokyo Banana view from our room at the Andaz.

 

Cremia Soft Serve
Cremia. This can be found at convenience shops/bakeries/etc across Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, etc. Just look for the Cremia sign in the store window. Probably the best soft serve I’ve had in my life. The cone is made out of cookie WHUT. 👍👍

 

Chocolate + Vanilla Cremia
Chocolate + Vanilla Cremia 👍

 

Dominique Ansel Bakery Japan
Dominique Ansel Bakery Japan in Omotesandō, Tokyo. Home of the original Cronut®, but they have so much more than just Cronuts. Definitely try the Frozen S’more, Cookie Shot, DKA (avail at his other locations around the world), and the Japan-specific pastries that are only available in Tokyo. 👍

 

Cronut®
Cross section of the Cronut®. This month’s flavor was Amanatsu Pistachio. Each month is a different flavor that never repeats. 👍

 

Curry bun from Dominique Ansel Bakery Japan
Curry bun from Dominique Ansel Bakery Japan. This was a mother’s day special that month.

 

Blossoming Hot Chocolate.
Blossoming Hot Chocolate. This originated from the Japan shop and is now available at the other locations around the world. However, I think the Japan shop has more unique marshmallow flavors.

 

It was the Cronut's 5th birthday back in May
It was the Cronut’s 5th birthday back in May, so I was able to try different flavors from months past that are no longer available. They came in the form of Cronut® holes.

 

Cronut® hole flavors
Cronut® hole flavors

 

Cronut® hole stack
Cronut® hole stack

 

Last Cronut® hole pic. Can you tell how much I love Cronuts?
Last Cronut® hole pic. Can you tell how much I love Cronuts?

 

Dominique Ansel Bakery Japan exclusive Paris-Tokyo, a twist on the traditional Paris Brest with matcha ganache and soft passion fruit curd.
Dominique Ansel Bakery Japan exclusive Paris-Tokyo, a twist on the traditional Paris Brest with matcha ganache and soft passion fruit curd.

 

Pistachio Raspberry Marble Cake. Exclusive to DAB Japan.
Pistachio Raspberry Marble Cake. Exclusive to DAB Japan.

 

DKA. Also available at other DAB locations, but always a must when visiting the bakery. This is one of my fav things there.
DKA. Also available at other DAB locations, but always a must when visiting the bakery. This is one of my fav things there.

 

The beautiful display case at DAB Japan
The beautiful display case at DAB Japan

 

The window display outside of DAB Japan. They decorate it seasonally.
The window display outside of DAB Japan. They decorate it seasonally. (It was just cherry blossom season)

 

Me and the cute former sous chef, Ayako, from the Bakery. She's the best!!
Me and the cute former DAB Japan sous chef, Ayako. She’s the best!!

 


 

Daily Chico
Daily Chico. Home of the 8 layer soft serve, but I got 4 because my husband talked me out of 8, and I instantly regretted it. My fav flavor is the Soda. Flavors here: strawberry, Hokkaido melon, cherry blossom, ramune soda. The soft serve was just ok. If you get this, do the 8 layer just for the ‘gram. 👍👎

 

Daily Chico. Here are the flavors. The shop is located in a dark basement of a warm supermarket. Think of an exit plan before you get the ice cream so you can haul ass out of the store and make it outside to sunlight for a decent pic.
Daily Chico. Here are the flavors. The shop is located in a dark basement of a warm supermarket. Think of an exit plan before you get the ice cream so you can haul ass out of the store and make it outside to sunlight for a decent pic.

 

Mister Donut. Home of the most delicious mochi donut ever. And super cheap too. Get one if you pass by a shop. You won't regret it.
Mister Donut. Home of the most delicious mochi donut ever. And super cheap too. Get one if you pass by a shop. You won’t regret it. This one is strawberry. 👍

 

Mister Donut mochi donut. Original glazed.
Mister Donut mochi donut. Original glazed. Got this one from a train station; eating it while on a bullet train to Kyoto.

 

Gram pancakes. The fluffiest bounciest pancakes ever. They say it gives you texture sensations you’ve never experienced before. They are right. Totally worth the wait and inexpensive price of ¥950
Gram pancakes. The fluffiest bounciest pancakes ever. They say it gives you texture sensations you’ve never experienced before. They are right. Totally worth the wait and inexpensive price of ¥950 👍👍

 

Starbucks donut. Earl Grey frosting with milk cream inside. So good. Visit a Starbucks to see what treats they have that we can't get in the US.
Starbucks donut. Earl Grey frosting with milk cream inside. So good. Visit a Starbucks to see what treats they have that we can’t get in the US. 👍

 

Toraya Cafe An Stand - Shinjuku. Kakigōri with strawberry jam and Azuki bean paste
Toraya Cafe An Stand – Shinjuku. Kakigōri with strawberry jam and Azuki bean paste. This was ok 👍👎

 

Totoro! Shirohige's Cream Puffs, Tokyo - Custard filled Totoro cream puff.
Totoro! Shirohige’s Cream Puffs, Tokyo – Custard filled Totoro cream puff. Worth getting just for the cuteness 👍

 

Worth the detour outside of Tokyo to this quaint suburb.
Worth the detour outside of Tokyo to this quaint suburb.

 

Totti Candy Company Rainbow Cotton Candy
Totti Candy Company Rainbow Cotton Candy. Definitely NOT WORTH it. There is a copy-cat shop next door. You’ll be able to tell it’s not the “real” Totti by how barren the shop is (Totti is bright and colorful and full of candy and tourists). However, Totti won’t let you stop and take a photo with your cotton candy in the store or even outside the store in front. You must move away from the entrance to avoid creating a cluster of traffic. The cotton candy was around 10USD and really disappointing. Don’t get it. 👎

 

I tried to take a lot of photos to get my 10USD worth, but it was too crowded on the street, and it was raining, so my cotton candy was melting faster than usual.
I tried to take a lot of photos to get my 10USD worth, but it was too crowded on the street, and it was raining, so my cotton candy was melting faster than usual.

 

Ichigo Daifuku (strawberry mochi). This is available among a lot of street vendors, so you can probably find this easily in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, etc. These are from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo.
Ichigo Daifuku (strawberry mochi). This is available among a lot of street vendors, so you can probably find this easily in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, etc. These are from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo. 👍

 

Almost white strawberries. These are pretty expensive, and I'm not sure they are worth the cost. Imagine the sweetest, best strawberry you've ever had. These come very close.
Almost white strawberries. These are pretty expensive, and I’m not sure they are worth the cost. Imagine the sweetest, best strawberry you’ve ever had in the US (or any other country). These come very close. Found these outside of Tsukiji Market. Expensive and not as special as everyone says 👍👎

 

I love Kit Kat, especially flavors you can only get in Japan. These are a little fancier than the ones you can find in convenient stores, but this shop has more unique flavors.
I love Kit Kat, especially flavors you can only get in Japan. These are a little fancier than the ones you can find in convenient stores, but this shop has more unique flavors (more than at the airport, too). Located in: Seibu Ikebukuro. 👍

 

Mandarin Orange pouch/drink. This was really sweet and made me thirsty, but I liked it.
Mandarin Orange pouch/drink. This was really sweet and made me thirsty, but I liked it. Available at grocery shops 👍

 

The other Dominique Ansel Bakery in Tokyo. This one is in Ginza and is a take away only shop (so you can't sit down to eat).
The other Dominique Ansel Bakery in Tokyo. This one is in Ginza and is a take away only shop (so you can’t sit down to eat).

 

I wanted to try these so badly, but not for $50. If you go to Japan and try these, let me know if I missed out.
I wanted to try these so badly, but not for $50. If you go to Japan and get some, let me know if I missed out.

 

Approximately $8 for a single strawberry. Didn't try these but they were probably better than the other ones.
Approximately $8 for a single strawberry. Didn’t try these but they were probably better than the other ones I got which were $10 for 20 mini strawberries.

 

All sorts of pastries at the department/supermarket shops. A little overwhelming to see them all and choose only a couple.
All sorts of pastries at the department/supermarket shops. A little overwhelming to see them all and choose only a couple.

 

Kyoto

We went to the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine outside of Kyoto. On the way up to the shrine are lots of little food stands, and none of them were great. Here are the ones we tried:

Some sort of cream puff cake. It was tasteless and not good.
Some sort of cream puff custard cake. It was tasteless and not good. 👎

 

Hanami Dango. Cute, but easy to get mochi'd out fast.
Hanami Dango. Cute, but easy to get mochi’d out fast. 👍👎

 

Fresh grapefruit juice. This was definitely a gimmick and not worth 5USD.
Fresh grapefruit juice. This was definitely a gimmick and not worth 5USD.

 

On the way back from the shrine, we stopped by this shop selling Marumochiya. These were cute and great!
On the way back from the shrine, we stopped by this shop selling Marumochiya. These were cute and great!

 

Here's a better description of the Marumochiya.
Here’s a better description of the Marumochiya.

 

In the city, Kyoto has a great market full of wonderful treats.

Soybean milk soft serve and tofu donuts. The soft serve reminded me of those gallon jugs of soy milk my mom used to buy at the Chinese grocery store when I was a kid. The soft serve was not too sweet but had a nice mild soy milk flavor. The donuts were also not very sweet, but they kinda had no flavor at all. First bites were not impressive, but we bought 10 so they were slowly eaten over 2 days, and they surprisingly were better as they aged (maybe because they were our bedtime snacks, and bedtime snacks are always good).
Soybean milk soft serve and tofu donuts. The soft serve reminded me of those gallon jugs of soy milk my mom used to buy at the Chinese grocery store when I was a kid. The soft serve was not too sweet but had a nice mild soy milk flavor. The donuts were also not very sweet, but they kinda had no flavor at all. First bites were not impressive, but we bought 10 so they were slowly eaten over 2 days, and they surprisingly were better as they aged (maybe because they were our bedtime snacks, and bedtime snacks are always good). Konnamanja, Nishiki Market Kyoto 👍👎

 

Osaka

The Matcha Tiramisu Pancake “Shitamachi no Tokeidai” at Cafe&Dining is major jiggly and fluffy. It’s a lot more eggy and custardy than the super soft pancakes I had at Gram. Overall these were great: spongy and pudding-like and very wet. But if I had to choose only one fluffy pancake, I’d go with the pancakes at Gram. However, the upside to ordering these over the Gram cakes is no wait and no need to get a ticket an hour beforehand for the permission to purchase said pancakes. Cafe&Dining, Dōtonbori Osaka
The Matcha Tiramisu Pancake “Shitamachi no Tokeidai” at Cafe&Dining is major jiggly and fluffy. It’s a lot more eggy and custardy than the super soft pancakes I had at Gram. Overall these were great: spongy and pudding-like and very wet. But if I had to choose only one fluffy pancake, I’d go with the pancakes at Gram. However, the upside to ordering these over the Gram cakes is no wait and no need to get a ticket an hour beforehand for the permission to purchase said pancakes. Cafe&Dining, Dōtonbori Osaka 👍

 

Mochi from Nakatanidou. This is where the famous mochi pounding takes place. They weren't pounding when I stopped by, but I did try one of the mochi. It was just ok and nothing spectacular. Glad I only ordered a single.
Mochi from Nakatanidou. This is where the famous mochi pounding takes place. They weren’t pounding when I stopped by, but I did try one of the mochi. It was just ok and nothing spectacular. Glad I only ordered a single. This can be found outside of Nara Park (home of the ferocious deer) about an hour out of Osaka 👍👎

 

Outside of Nara, you can find several shops selling mochi. This Ichigo Daifuku (strawberry mochi) had a chocolate cream filling and was amazing.
Outside of Nara Park, you can find several shops selling mochi. This Ichigo Daifuku (strawberry mochi) had a chocolate cream filling and was amazing. 👍

 

Inside Nara park, there are some scattered food trucks. This soft serve truck stood near the entrance. Flavor: Yubari Melon Twist soft serve. It tasted like cantaloupe and a second chance at life after the deer attack inside Nara Park.
Inside Nara Park, there are some scattered food trucks. This soft serve truck stood near the entrance. Flavor: Yubari Melon Twist soft serve. It tasted like cantaloupe and a second chance at life after the deer attack inside Nara Park. BTW the soft serve was just ok. 👍👎

 

If you stay at the Intercontinental Osaka, you get these cute little gummy, marshmallow-y petit fours
If you stay at the InterContinental Osaka, you get these cute little gummy, marshmallow-y petit fours. Thumbs up for the hotel room and its convenient location. If you are visiting Osaka, I highly recommend the InterContinental Osaka 👍

 

Mt. Fuji

We took a bullet train from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji to see the Shibazakura festival. Sadly, it was too cold so the flowers weren’t blooming and the fog hid Fuji-san. But we did get some sweet treats.

 

Sakura soft serve for the Shibazakura fest.
Sakura soft serve for the Shibazakura fest. The silkiest smoothest soft serve with a light sweet taste of floral tones mixed with little bits of jelly on an airy crispy cone. 👍

 

Sakura Cherry Blossom Malasada at the Sakura Festival Mt. Fuji 🗻 Fuji-san is hiding in the fog somewhere in the back
Sakura Cherry Blossom Malasada  🗻 Fuji-san is hiding in the fog somewhere in the back 👍

 

Here's a list of all the sakura treats you can get at the Shibazakura Festival.
Here’s a list of some of the sakura treats you can get at the Shibazakura Festival.

 

Ichigo Daifuku. This was the sweetest strawberry I've ever had. Probably because it was covered in sugar. Delicious!
Ichigo Daifuku. This was the sweetest strawberry I’ve ever had. Probably because it was covered in sugar. Delicious! 👍

 

Sweets from Fuji Lake Hotel at Lake Kawaguchiko (one of the Fuji Five Lakes).
Sweets from Fuji Lake Hotel at Lake Kawaguchiko (one of the Fuji Five Lakes). The hotel is a little outdated, but it has a traditional Japanese charm to it. Great breakfast buffet though 👍

 

Mt Fuji souvenir shortbread cookies. These looked a lot cuter on the packaging (the ducks actually looked like ducks). If you want to buy Mt. Fuji cookies, get the Fujiyama ones.
Mt Fuji souvenir shortbread cookies. These looked a lot cuter on the packaging (the ducks actually looked like ducks). If you want to buy Mt. Fuji cookies, get the Fujiyama ones. These were disappointing at first, but they grew on me. 👍👎

 

I could have sworn I ate more sugar than this. I guess I didn’t take a photo of everything.

In summary, soft serve in Japan is abundant and a must. Get the fluffy pancakes at Gram. Get the mochi donut from Mister Donut. Go out of your way to visit Totoro. And have a fantastic time in Japan!


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