Who doesn’t love Doraemon, the wonder-robot from the future, and his wonderful machines? With gadgets like a portable door that instantly opens to any place you want to go to or bread that when eaten allows you to memorize anything you’ve written on it, it really is no wonder his comics and anime have been translated and viewed around the world. Fans of the series may be familiar with the fact that Doraemon has a weakness for a particular Japanese snack, the dorayaki, but did you know that the snack that appears in the comic is said to be modeled after actual dorayaki sold at a shop in Tokyo?
Dorayaki, the popular Japanese confection that consists of sweet red-bean paste (anko) sandwiched between two small round flat cakes, is sold in various sizes at countless shops across Japan, and recent times have even seen some innovative variations of the snack, such as dorayaki with whipped cream or chocolate as filling instead of the traditional bean paste. So then, which dorayaki is the one that appears in the comic and has so wholly captivated Doraemon’s heart?
●Loved by Doraemon’s Author
With so many shops in Japan selling dorayaki, is it really possible to know which shop’s dorayaki the one in the comic was based on? Apparently it is, as it is well known among fans of the comic that one of the authors of Doraemon, Fujiko F. Fujio, had a favorite dorayaki that he loved dearly and is thought to have been the model for the dorayaki in the comic, and the dorayaki is supposedly sold at a shop called Tokiya located near Shinjuku Station.
●Could this be the one?
Here’s what an individual with inside connections had to say to us on the matter. “Yes, it’s indeed been said that the dorayaki from Tokiya is the dorayaki that Doraemon loves so much. Well, I wish I could actually say that it is in fact the dorayaki in Doraemon, but… let’s just say that there seem to be certain circumstances that prevent anyone from saying definitively that this is Doraemon’s dorayaki.”
Hmm… it probably won’t do much good for us to speculate on the so-called “circumstances”, so we won’t go into that, but what we do know is that Fujiko F. Fujio absolutely loved Tokiya’s dorayaki, which means firstly, it’s more than likely that this is where the idea for Doraemon’s favorite snack came from, and secondly, the dorayaki probably tastes pretty darn good! Of course, we had to go and try some for ourselves!
●Various types of dorayaki available at the shop
So, off to Tokiya we went in search of the legendary confection. It turns out that there are several different kinds of dorayaki available at Tokiya–small, medium and large sizes as well as dorayaki with chestnuts or fresh cream, all looking sweetly delectable. You can buy most of the products to take home, but there’s also a cafe area where you can eat the sweets right in the shop.
▼The exterior of the Tokiya shop
●Tasting the actual dorayaki
We ordered a medium-size plain dorayaki and a dorayaki with fresh cream along with some green tea, starting with the latter. We took a bite, and just as we expected, it was absolute bliss! The cream wasn’t overly sweet, the outside cake was slightly sweeter and the red-bean paste was the sweetest ingredient, the three components combining to create three layers of sweetness. Really, there was no reason for it to taste anything short of divine.
And how about the plain dorayaki? It was nice and simple, with nothing extra to get in the way of the taste of the bean paste and cake. The sweetness of the bean paste was quite strong but was complimented well by the less sweet cake. Even more delightful was the soft and chewy texture of the sponge, the kind of sensation that’s bound to put a smile on your face.
▼And here are some extra photos to whet your appetite further:
▼The dorayaki and tea that we ordered
▼Yup, the fresh cream inside is looking really good!
▼And this is the plain dorayaki
▼Mmm … the red-bean paste really goes well with the green tea
Okay, this is one addictively tasty snack — not flashy or unique in an unexpected way, but a classic taste you would want to keep coming back to again and again, which actually may be the most difficult kind of taste to achieve of all. We also bought several different dorayaki to take home, and we thought that the small-size dorayaki looked the most like the snack in the comic in terms of shape, while the medium-size dorayaki seemed to be the closest in size.
Now, if only we had that wonderful portable door of Doraemon’s that can take you anywhere, and then not just the people living in the Tokyo area but everyone around the world could come and buy these dorayaki…
Shop Details for Tokiya:
Address: 1-5-1 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
Shinjuku Nishiguchi Halc 1F
(located in the Odakyu Halc Department Store)
Business Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00 – 21:30, Sun & Holidays 11:00 – 20:00
Open seven days a week
▼Some Additional photos of the dorayaki we took home:
▼From the side it really looks like the dorayaki in the comic
[ Read in Japanese ]