Archive for May, 2015

Lazy Lunch at the Shirokuma Cafe

I’m here to share with you another fun cafe in Tokyo!

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This time I went to the Shirokuma Cafe (shirokuma is polar bear in Japanese)! It’s a quirky themed cafe in Takadanobaba based on the anime series about a polar bear who runs a cafe. So…I’m sure you can see where it’s coming from.

I especially tracked it down because of my love for this funny series about strange anthropomorphic animals combined with my love for themed cafes.

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When you eat here, you get to dine together with Panda and Penguin! Who, by the way, are also the main characters in the series and frequent customers at the cafe.

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There’s also a TV hanging from the ceiling that shows different episodes of the anime so you can watch while you wait for your food or eatsmile

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This is exactly what I came for. Panda-kun’s Hayashi Rice (¥1,200), which is Panda-kun made of rice and surrounded by curry. I ate it allheartIt’s good comfort food for a lazy day in the cafe. Plus since it was the lunch set it came with soup!

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Take a look at the Shirokuma Cafe goods on your way out after the mealhappy girlFirst Pom Pom Purin, and now this cafe-running polar bear. These character cafes really know how to capture my heart (and my money).

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Even the bathrooms are completely decoratedgirl love(though of course I didn’t take pictures of the toilet bits)

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It’s a small, mellow cafe with a lazy atmosphere—which is why you should check it out even if you’ve never seen the anime or the manga before. There’s something endearing about this motley crew of bears and penguins that makes me feel happy when I eat at their cafe.

And even though I went alone, it was great just whiling away the time with a warm plate of panda curry rice.

Tokyo Disneysea ☆

I graduated from school today! Hooray! You know how sometimes you get really sentimental and feel so many things at once you get an ice cream headache? That’s how it is for me now but I’m going to soldier on because it’s time to blog about Disneysea and spread the joy.

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I never get tired of riding the Disney Resort Line with its Mickey windowsmickey

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One of the first things we did was to get popcorngirlThere are lots of popcorn carts around Disney, but each one is unique to their zone and has different flavours. It’s a popular trend among visitors to carry around popcorn buckets, which come in a lot of special designs.

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My friend already had one of the Duffy-themed buckets, so all she had to do was refill it at a lower price!

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Inside was milk tea-flavoured popcornheartThe next flavour we got next was white chocolate, so we ate sweet popcorn the whole day. There’re savoury choices like curry and soy sauce too! Which, come to think of it, I should probably try for a change the next time I ever go.

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In the spirit of all things Duffy, we went to the souvenir shop in the American Waterfront zone that sold Duffy character merchandise! He also comes with his sweetheart Shellie May and the recently introduced grey cat Gelatoni.

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Lots of people carry around their Disneyland paraphernalia all over the place, whether they’re kids or grown ups. They either pin two dozen mini Duffy bears on their bag, or hold one big cuddly doll right in their arms.

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Still not enough Duffy. So we went to the Cape Cod Cook-off for some cakesmileThis cake set I got came with a free souvenir plate (the one it’s sitting on in the picture), which I thought was a really good deal. I think I actually got it more for the plate than the dessert itself.

Also! If you go to Cape Cod Cook-off you’ll get to eat while watching a mini musical (with Mickey and Minnie and the rest of their friends in tow), so if that’s your kind of thing I’d recommend itgood

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Snacking again. I don’t think I ate a proper meal when I was at Disneysea; I lived off small treats from around the place and it was more fun that way because Disney snacks are out of this worldloveAnyway, these were special churros for the Easter season!

Some slightly pointless backstory: I’ve hated churros ever since the one time I ate them on a road trip and got sick on the way up a winding mountain. Seven years later here they are coated in sugary sweet gimmicks, and my phobia immediately goes out the window. Thanks Disney!

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At Tokyo Disney Resort you’ll see lots of people dressed up for the day, and sometimes you get really impressive Disney garb—like this boy who came as Donald Duck together with his mother and her two dozen stuffed Donalds.

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Newer characters like Elsa from Frozen are a hit among the young girls.

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And sometimes there’s a baby Duffy bear toddling around with his parents too.

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Before going home I went to the souvenir shop! I couldn’t get much because Disney goods are generally expensive (and it already cost me a week’s worth of meals to get into the park), so I just bought back this box of cakes for my familygirl love

Pom Pom Purin Cafe in Harajuku

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One of my favourite things to do during my trip was to go out in search of cute food all over Tokyo. So it made sense to visit the Pom Pom Purin Cafe, which is right in the middle of the trendy Takeshita-dori in Harajukukirakira

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Pom Pom Purin (or just Purin) is a beret-wearing golden retriever and one of the Sanrio characters. He’s popular enough to get his own cafe with countless teenage girls queueing for an hour just to get in (I guess that includes me).

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If you want to eat at the cafe, you need to get a queue ticket in advance (which runs out fast) and come back at the indicated time. And even when you return to start queueing, you still have to wait for a long time—I was in line for about an hourhurhurWhich goes to show my remarkable patience and also how easily won over I am by cute gimmicks.

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Once I was near the entrance they started showing us the menu so we could pick what we wanted to eat! This was the tricky part because everything just screams EAT ME I’M KAWAII at you.

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And so I finally arrived at the entrance in all its Pompompurin glory.

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The inside is decorated with Purin and his friends everywhereheartIt’s like a diner, but a cute one. The place is all warm and cosy and Purin-yellow everywhere. I don’t think my blog has ever looked so yellow, thanks to all these pictures.

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If you look around you’re likely to see someone taking a selfiesmileMost of the girls around me were doing that while waiting for their food.

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My friend and I ordered the taco rice, which has Purin (made of rice) sitting in a cup with his friend Muffin (made of cream cheese) sitting on his mushroom beret. It was a big portion so we shared itsmileAn ear each, a paw each, and so on.

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Dessert was this happy parfait! Naturally, Purin is the pudding. The beret is a chocolate biscuit, and the rest of the parfait has ice cream, whipped cream and juicy mango sliceslove girlAnd below all that there’s still a huge pile of sponge cake sandwiched between layers of cream and syrup. I know it looks alarmingly sweet, but I liked it.

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After finishing the meal I looked around the shop corner, which had all the standard merchandise from keychains to stationery to little boxes of ridiculously cute bandages.

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They were cute! But I didn’t buy anything because I’d already spent my money on lunchgirl

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Before you go out, don’t forget to take a picture with the big mascots in the centre of the cafe! The staff (all incredibly kind and adorable in their Pompompurin-themed uniforms) will help you take a picture, when you ask any of them who’s not busy serving foodgirl love

So if you like themed cafes or cute cafes or even better, Pom Pom Purin himself, make sure you visit this place once! It’s on the third level of Cute Cube, a building along the busy Takeshita-dori.

Staying in the Osaka countryside

I’ve always wanted to visited Osaka and take a picture with the famous Glico man. During this trip I did get to visit Osaka, but in a different way than expected—instead of the city I travelled through the mountains and settled down for a night in a village.

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Oba-san’s home was surrounded by houses like these that looked like they came right out of Rurouni Kenshin. I’d never seen such traditional Japanese homes before and they were timelessly beautifullove rabbitA lot of the people living here (including Oji-san) had stayed here for decades since they were born, so the houses have been kept pristine throughout the generations.

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We got up at 7am to go to the local mountainside onsen nearby for a morning bath. Since the weather was still cold, a good long soak in the outdoor hot spring was perfect. There were very few guests too (being on a mountain and all) so it was all quiet and peaceful.

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After our bath in the onsen, we got to enjoy breakfast al fresco. It was a toasty Japanese set with wild mushroom porridge, vegetables, grilled salmon and soft onsen tamago. According to Oba-san it’s an incredibly healthy combination of home cooked food and one of the best ways to warm the body up in the morning.

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Even the resident cat likes it. Or at least, he liked the fish we offered him.

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I had a can of Calpis Jelly to drink with breakfastsmileThis is my recommendation! The drink itself is light and a little bit milky, with chunks of jelly inside.

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After the onsen trip, Oba-san and Oji-san brought me to a place for strawberry picking! This was a special experience because initially the farm was actually closed for the day. But it seems like everyone in the neighbourhood is friends with each other, so after some chatting over the phone the farm owner kindly opened the strawberry section just for me. I was gratefulcry

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These were the reddest, juiciest strawberries I’d ever seen. I love strawberries, so when I saw rows and rows of them hanging and waiting to be picked I went a bit nuts filling my baskets.

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When we got home we ate some of the strawberries with a bit of cream. Freshest strawberries I’ve ever had (I did pick them just half an hour ago, after all)love girlThese were also really sweet, unlike the slightly sour ones from the supermarket at home I end up with sometimes.

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In between the strawberry snack and lunchtime, I got to wear a kimonoheartOba-san is a professional kimono teacher, so since I was visiting she wanted to let me experience it. The one I wore is a furisode, a formal style of kimono for young women that are usually worn at special occasions like ceremonies. In my opinion they’re the most gorgeous kind of them all because of the long, long sleeves that just flow down from your armsgirl love

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Like this! It took about thirty minutes (or at least, I lost track after a long while of standing there and getting wrapped up in all that cloth) for Oba-san to put on the furisode for me. One of her specialties is in the tying of the obi (a sash), so she knows how to do a lot of elaborate and decorative styles instead of an ordinary bow.

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Since we spent all that time getting the furisode on, we took a walk in the village! The thing about wearing kimono is that you can’t walk more than tiny, barely-there steps at a time, so I spent a good length of time just circling the neighbours’ houses.

It was probably one of my favourite experiences during this tripgirl love

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Lunch was a smorgasbord of all my favourite home cooked dishes. We drove out to another farm, this time one where they served all their fresh produce of the day for lunch. It was at a buffet price of ¥1,250, which was extremely worth it because there were so many options that were healthy and tasted good tookirakiraThere were all sorts of homey Japanese favourites like stewed potato and meat, peas and scrambled eggs and my beloved bamboo shoots.

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And then I had dessert for a good end to this comfort mealsmile

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The last stop in Osaka was the Kaiyukan, one of Japan’s most popular aquariums. It was definitely impressive, but admittedly I’m not that big a fan of looking at marine life. Though if you like taking a nice stroll around a giant aquarium and wandering between penguin enclosures and shark tanks, this is a good place to visitkiraMy favourite was this giant ray that always looked so happy when it swam above you.

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Outside the aquarium we found a shop selling soft serve ice cream by the confectionery company Fujiya! The flavour was Milky candy, represented by their popular mascot Peko-chan. My soft serve came with a Country Ma’am cookie too, which made it ten times better because it’s my favourite.

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There was a sweet Peko-chan mascot standing outside the shop too.

After that, it was time to go homecryWe’d ended later than expected, so Oba-san and Oji-san had to rush me to the train station to catch the shinkansen back to Tokyo. It was a big hurry, because if I missed this train I’d end up on the next one which would’ve gotten me home way too late at night. But I managed to get on, and the doors closed a minute after I sat down.

Make sure to be on time when you travel, especially for long-distance bullet trains! Japan’s train service is extremely punctual, which is great but also kind of ominous when you’re running to catch it. It’s also a good idea to get there early so you can shop for souvenirsgoodI didn’t have any time to do that, so I had to make do with the extremely limited section at the platform kiosk. And even then I was hastily paying for my things in a panic because the shinkansen had already arrived at the platformhurhur

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But at least I got to buy a bento for the train ride backhappyI realised that it’s almost exactly the same as the bento I bought three years ago when I went to Kyoto. This one has all the specialty ingredients from the Kansai region!

And so I returned to Tokyo that night. It was only a short trip to Kansai, but it feels like I got to see much, much more than usual thanks to Oba-san and Oji-santumblr_inline_mmzn5c2D231qz4rgpBecause it was their hometown, they knew so much about it and let me experience so many special things I couldn’t have done by myself.

I can’t wait to go back again!


Welcome ♡

▷ . Cheryl

I'm a university student in Tokyo blogging every weekend about cute food and cute places in Japan٩( ᐛ )و

Read my About Me ☆ to know more.

はじめまして!
大学一年生のシェリルです
毎週日本の可愛い食べ物や場所についてブログ更新していますヽ(´_`) /♪

よろしくお願いします

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