Would you dare eat a cake shaped like a deep-sea dwelling organism? Shokotan certainly would.
Few things are more refreshing on a hot summer day than a nice big slice of a juicy, red watermelon, whether served plain, salted or drizzled with lemon juice. Internet marketplace, Rakuten, however, thinks they have a match for fresh watermelon, and it’s available to order for a discounted price on one day, for one hour.
Welcome back to the scene, Suika (Watermelon) Baumkuchen!
With Valentine’s Day out of the way, and plum blossoms still in bloom, it’s time for early spring marketing to burst onto the scene in Japan. Leading the pack, as it does every year, is popular coffee chain Starbucks, with the nation’s other favourite flower, the cherry blossom, taking centre stage in their annual line-up of sakura menu items and merchandise.
This year, the humble cherry blossom meets caramel and chocolate in latte and Frappucino forms, and also finds itself in a beautiful pink and white chiffon cake. Curious to know what sakura tastes like when blended with such sweet partners? Join us as we bring you all the photos and flavours from our recent visit.
If you like cute little pet birds and happen to be in the Tokyo area, we have some good news for you! There’s now a special exhibit going on at the Tokyu Hands Ikebukuro shop until January 22 titled the “Parakeets and their Friends Exhibit (Inko to Nakama-tachi Ten)”.
Yes, pet birds seem to have quite a following in Japan, enough at least for a unique product like “pet bird flavored ice cream” to have come out in the past. Now, at this Tokyu Hands exhibit featuring pet bird-themed items from various artists and creators, you can apparently enjoy a set of “parakeet cakes,” and judging from the pictures we’ve seen, the cakes certainly look almost too cute to eat!
A lot of times, the simulated situations of a video game are a lot more enjoyable than they would be in real life. For example, a Street Fighter or King of Fighters session is a pretty fun way to kill an hour, but it’d be considerably less entertaining to, in reality, spend 60 minutes brawling with a string of 10 or 20 dudes, one after another.
But what about music and rhythm games? Sure, dropping a few hundred yen into Konami’s DJ simulator Beatmania is cheaper than cover charge at a club, and arcade staff members are much less likely to give you an attitude than a front door bouncer, but the digital version doesn’t give you the same chance to form a connection with potential romantic partners, does it?
Actually, sometimes it does, as seen in this newlywed couple’s Beatmania wedding cake.
We’d like to think that all things sweet and beautiful have a certain universal appeal, regardless of country and culture. Japan is no exception, and the Japanese public certainly loves sweets in all shapes and sizes, so much so that the word pâtissier, French for “pastry chef,” has become an established part of the Japanese language. From that viewpoint, an event that brings delectable desserts, beautiful fashion and entertainment all together in one package is something of a dream experience, at least for this writer. And just recently, we were fortunate enough to attend exactly such an event — the Tokyo Sweets Collection 2014!
Join us as we take you along on a sweet journey through this unique show in which six renowned pastry chefs serve up heavenly plates of desserts in a fantastical setting complete with lights, music, dancing and models in beautiful clothes, all designed to tantalize not just your taste buds but all of your senses!
When it came time for my wife and me to put together a menu for our wedding reception, I tried to sound out her opinions before jumping in with my own. That is, until we got to the cake selections, and I immediately blurted out, “Let’s get the triple chocolate one!”
Thankfully, by that point she’d already made her peace with my many flaws which extend far beyond my cake preferences, and she smiled and acquiesced to the non-traditional, pitch-black (and completely delicious) choice.
Somehow, though, I don’t think things would have gone so smoothly if I’d done like the recently married man in Japan who suggested serving a wedding cake shaped like a sliced up, possibly bleeding tuna.
We previously ran an article about Maplies, a bakery in Shinjuku that excels in the art of making cake look exactly like Chinese food, namely gyoza, ramen (salt or soy sauce), and tenshindon.
About a year has past since then and our reporter Mr. Sato had a sudden hankering for some cake that looked like egg, crab meat, and rice. He headed down to Maplies only to be shocked at what he found. The bakery had added a whole new assortment of cakes that look exactly like other foods!
Needless to say he bought one of each and brought them back to the office for a taste of pure confusion.
It’s been over seven months since Disney’s Frozen was released here, but love for the hit animated film still seems to be going strong in Japan. Walk into a bookstore around here, and you’re more than likely to find several different Frozen picture or music books, and you can bet that many kids in Japan will be dressing up as Elsa and Anna for Halloween this Friday. Well, it seems the world of pastries here is no exception. Major Japanese confection maker Cozy Corner has announced that they will soon be coming out with lovely offerings inspired by the movie, and yes, we’re thrilled, because these are exactly the kind of goodies we love — delightful to look at and delectably sweet to taste!
What’s evil yet sweet and a delight to pop into your mouth? Well the newest tempting items from Japanese confectioner Cozy Corner’s Disney cake collection certainly fit the description. Yes, for Halloween this year, some of Disney’s notable villains have transformed themselves into gorgeous mini-cakes, and by the looks of things, we have to say Disney magic probably doesn’t get much sweeter than this!
Christmas cakes (yes, it’s already time to start thinking about the holidays) come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s not surprising at all to see our favorite feline character and international celebrity Hello Kitty turn herself into one. But this “Hello Kitty Face Cake” requires just a little bit more artistic creativity from you than the average cake. You see, the cake doesn’t come looking like the picture above — you actually have to make it into its Hello Kitty form!
It seems only a short while ago that we were battling the unrelenting summer heat here in Tokyo, but now that autumn is on its way, apparently it’s already time to start hearing news about Christmas — heavens, it’s hard to keep up with the passing of the seasons!
Well, for those of you who like to start thinking early about the Holiday Season, one of the reporters from our sister site Pouch has a very special Christmas cake to introduce to you. It’s an absolutely gorgeous creation by gourmet ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs — which is more than enough to catch our attention and make our mouths water. And even though they’ll only be available in one shop in France, the cakes look so exquisite that we just had to share the pictures with you!
Even though I was an extremely finicky eater growing up, my palate has broadened quite a bit since moving to Japan. In the years I’ve spent living in Tokyo and Yokohama, I’ve become convinced that cooking a cut of tuna is the quickest way to ruin its flavor, spicy cod roe makes an excellent pasta sauce, and that chicken cartilage isn’t just something you can eat, but should.
Still, I’m not entirely sold on unagi, or freshwater eel. Honestly, the flavor is surprisingly mild and not unpleasant, but I still have a hard time getting past the mental image of the snake-like appearance for something that, in my opinion, tastes just OK and is a little on the expensive side.
On the other hand, unagi-shaped chocolate pastries make a much more compelling argument.
Tanuki, also known as Japanese raccoon dogs, hold a special place in Japanese culture. Often the center of folktales for their large testicles, magical abilities, and easygoing attitude, you can see them depicted in works of art all over the country.
However, now the tanuki is threatened. Not the actual animal, but a cake created in its image known as the tanuki cake. For many middle-aged Japanese people the mention of such a treat would awaken fond childhood memories. Despite this, the tanuki cake population in Japan has plummeted in recent years to the point of being critically endangered.
That’s why the website Tanuki Cake No Aru Toko Meguri has established the National Tanuki Cake Habitat Map, so that we may monitor and perhaps conserve these noble animal-shaped cakes.
The relatively small size of Japanese kitchens, and ovens for that matter, mean the average person doesn’t get many opportunities to bake desserts. Sure, once a year a lot of women will whip up a batch of chocolate or some other sweets, but February 15 is usually the beginning of a 364-day streak of no homemade goodies.
Looking to break this cycle was our Japanese-language correspondent Momo. But how would someone who charred all of her attempts at Valentine’s Day sweets to a crisp as a schoolgirl, fare at her Alice in Wonderland cookie and cake decorating class?
Sure, we’re crazy about cats and otters and penguins here at RocketNews24, but we’ve got to admit, pandas are pretty darn cute too, whatever form they come in (even when they’re not actual pandas but an entirely different animal in disguise) . This time, the pandas come in an edible form that’s sweet to both look at and eat. They’re the “Fluffy Panda Rolls” (Funwari Panda Roll), and like the countless other panda products out there, they’re utterly adorable!
With the string of holidays known as Golden Week coming up in early May, all of Japan is looking forward to a couple of days off to spend with friends and family. Whether you’re visiting a friend’s apartment or going back to your hometown for a couple of days, Japanese manners dictate that you should bring a gift, with food being the most popular choice.
If you’re stumped for what kind of food to bring, here’s an easy way to play the percentages. Almost everyone likes cake, and almost everyone in Japan likes Disney characters, so odds are this set of Disney cakes will make just about everyone happy.
The aesthetic quality of a character cake can be judged by the degree of reluctance felt before cutting into it. Some cakes are so well-crafted that taking a knife to them would be nothing other than desecration of art. Conversely, some cakes are so insultingly terrible that basic survival instincts would compel most people to take knife in hand and stab them out of their misery.
A series of images recently shared on Chinese Facebook ripoff social networking site Renren suggests character cakes in China fall into the latter camp.
What could be cuter than a fluffy, rolly-polly panda? A panda full of gooey strawberry-milk flavored cream of course. That’s just what Ginza Cozy Corner is cooking up at their L’Ueno shop this month.
According to many people, Japan doesn’t celebrate Christmas the “right” way. We’re not sure what that means exactly, but even Japanese folks seem to agree that a Christmas in the Land of the Rising Sun isn’t quite what you might expect to find in most other countries. And there’s nothing wrong with that, of course! Who can complain about adding a new spin on some old fun, right?
But just how strange is a Japanese Christmas? Well, it’s no little green men from Mars, but we have four words for you: Potato Salad Christmas Tree.