Archive for February, 2016

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House: Fairest Cafe of Them All

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House

If I ever had awards for cafes in Tokyo—I should actually make that a thing one day—this place would win prettiest of them all. The Aoyama Flower Market is a flower shop (as you might expect), and they have a few chains in Tokyo that come with a cafe. In Japan a lot of brands come with their own cafe; even Giorgo Armani has one in Omotesando.

Back on topic, the Aoyama Flower Market Tea House is beautifulkirakiraAt the risk of being mistaken for a gardening blog, I’m going to post a lot of pictures of the place and its floral glory.

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House

I’ve been to the Tea House twice! The first time I went to its more popular branch in Aoyama itself and waited for an hour out in the cold (nothing unusual for the average cafe visitor in Japan, really). The second time I went to the Akasaka branch on a weekday afternoon and sailed right inneko

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House

The inside of the cafe was even more gorgeous than the sneak peek from outside. Inside there were flowers and plants everywhere! A lot more than there were humans. It really was a classic tea house; a lot of people were just sitting there and drinking tea and enjoying their own company.

Okay, most importantly, food.

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House

So many flowers everywhere, it even gets in their food.  This was from my first trip, when I ordered that flower parfait I’d been seeing in all the pictures online. It was a bowl of rose jelly, berry mousse, fresh cream and vanilla ice cream (and some rose petals thrown in to make it extra fancy). I wasn’t sure about eating bits of dried flowers at first, but the parfait was really goodlove girl(Everything’s good with ice cream. You could probably eat grass with it and it’d taste acceptable)

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House

Rose jelly, similar to the flower parfait but this time consisting of nothing but that lovely pink stuff. And of course more rose petals over the top, with vanilla ice cream on the side again (in my hypothetical cafe awards this ice cream would likely win Best Supporting Ingredient).

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House

Until now they’d been sprinkling petal bits into the food so maybe this time it’d be a good idea to eat an actual whole flower with my dessert, right? Wrong. Whatever you do, don’t eat the flower. I did it for the Snapchat and instantly regretted it. Apart from that the french toast was divineheartHoney, cinnamon and berries made it perfectly sweet and extra pretty (oh, and can’t forget the ice cream).

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House

They worked hard to create such a charming ambience, so it’s not surprising how popular it is.

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House

Even the customers here fit in so well with the scene. Like this elegant couple having an elegant date (probably making conversation about classical music and the latest wine trends).

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House

I don’t typically have much interest in flowers, but I found all these flowers placed around the cafe incredible. The cafe is attached to the florist side where people can buy flowers, which is a good move after making their customers look at their products during their entire meal.

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House

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Strawberry Sweets in Japan

Last week I wrote about the strawberry buffet at the Hilton Tokyo. As if there weren’t already too much of it on my blog, I’m going to carry on with the strawberries. It’s the season where everything strawberry (or as they say in Japanese, ichigo) appears in the shops and cafes—strawberry cakes, strawberry coffee, strawberry curry. I’ve had my own strawberry streak thanks to conbini, because there’ve been so many ichigo products.

Strawberry Japan

I rarely buy sandwiches because I’d rather just make my own, but these were too cute to pass uplove rabbitJapan seems to like fruit and cream in their sandwiches; I can’t really decide if they’re more like a dessert than a proper lunch food. But I’d always wanted to try the strawberry sandwiches anyway, so I got these from Family Mart.

Strawberry Japan

Puchi kuma cookies! I love this series from Bourbon because they literally have over 20 different flavours in all colours of the rainbow and it’s so fun seeing the new ones come out every season. I’m also kind of fond of these cookies because back when I was a part-time shopkeeper at a Japanese snack shop I used my staff discount to buy these all the time (and eat them on the job). The strawberry ones this time are adorable, and there’re even two kinds of themLove

Strawberry Japan

There’s never been a drink in a prettier shade of pink. The only thing is that ichigo Calpis tasted a lot sweeter than the normal Calpis, so you probably have to have an intense sweet tooth to finish it. And it’s low-calorie! Just thought I might add that there because it seems to be one of its selling points (not that I’d really trust this bottle of pink sugary liquid to help in a diet)diet neko

Strawberry Japan

Another popular snack with lots of different flavours. The Caramel Corn series has such great packaging that I sometimes I buy a lot of them even though they mostly taste the same (that’s how I ended up getting three special edition Star Wars Caramel Corn packs for my older brother). But they’re just meant to be lightly flavoured anyway; strawberry milk had a pretty nice sweetness to it and it was just right with a crunch to itgood

Strawberry Japan

Every time I find Tirol Choco in the shops they just get fancier and fancier. Did you know there’s raisin sandwich Tirol Choco?! Back on topic, this strawberry series might be my favourite so fargirl loveThere were three flavours: strawberry mousse, strawberry tarte and strawberry mille feuille. I loved how they were all made distinctly different, from the mochi sandwiched inside the strawberry mochi to the crunchy layers in the mille feuille. So precise.

Strawberry Japan

And then the bakery at the train station was selling these strawberry pie bunsloveEverything else I just wrote about was great but nothing’s quite the same as the smell of bread straight out of the oven, plus fresh strawberries.

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I hope you liked reading about Japan’s strawberries and their spawn of sweetsstrawberryMy blog is now full of pink. And soon enough it’ll be cherry blossom season, which means even more pink. I need to get my hands on everything sakura!

Strawberry Buffet at the Hilton Tokyo

Last year I went to a strawberry farm and picked lots of strawberries. This year I went to a strawberry buffet and ate desserts that literally take a ton of strawberries to make.

Strawberry Buffet

The Hilton hotel (fancy, I know) in Tokyo has a strawberry fair every year during this season, and it’s a huge, elaborate strawberry smorgasbord with all kinds of different cakes and puddings and other sweet treats. See that majestic fountain of a fondue? It’s strawberry chocolate and very pink. Everything it touches turns pinkheart

Strawberry Buffet

This was my first round! I went straight for the dessert spread first because that’s what you do at a dessert buffet. Everyone probably had the same thought because there was a line of people (mostly female) crowding the strawberry table. We were all taking pictures before taking food too, so that might have slowed us down a little.

Strawberry Buffet

Everything was beautifulLoveThey really went all out to make their sweets look as appealing as possible. Everything was small and pretty bite-sized too, so you wouldn’t get full on them. Or that’s what I thought, until I ended up eating almost everything.

Strawberry Buffet

They had lots of juicy strawberries in their pure form too; it was a whole bowl of fresh and chubby strawberries that they refilled again and again all night. I read somewhere that they use thousands of strawberries just for this fair, which isn’t unexpected but still strange to imagine. If you took all the strawberries they use maybe they’d fill a house?

Strawberry Buffet

This was the cutest onegirl loveA mousse cake that looks like a giant strawberry.

Strawberry Buffet

Second round of the night! With said mousse cake, green tea strawberry cake, pudding, meringue and a tiny brownie. And that little cup in the corner is strawberry and mozzarella cheese on a stick with balsamic vinegar. Which sounds incredibly weird but tasted surprisingly good (I just like mozzarella a lot).

Strawberry Buffet

I lost track of the rounds after that, but this was one of them. Maybe I took too many cakes, but they were all too cute to pass uploveJust look at that little marshmallow heart! Again with the details. They’d change up the offerings once in a while, so every time I went back to take more food there’d be something different for me to try.

Strawberry Buffet

And no, it wasn’t just sweet things—at least half the buffet spread was all savoury, with meat and pasta and exotic dishes, and a salad bar if you wanted a quick dose of health in between the cakes. The savoury part was just as interesting as the desserts because there was such a big varietykirakira

Strawberry Buffet

Bread, the one section I avoided. I didn’t come all the way to a buffet to eat breadhurhurI think I did take a bit of garlic bread though, but that was just to mop up my soup. They did a good clam chowder!

Strawberry Buffet

I’ve gone to buffets before, but this was the first time I’d gone to one that was themed after strawberries. I guess that’s not unprecedented in Japan, especially since it sounds exactly like the kind of thing Japanese girls (and I) would go forstrawberryIt was both tasty and tasteful and the best way to treat myself after finals. We were having so much fun there we spent three hours just eating strawberries and feeling classy at the Hiltonkirakira

Snowy Kawaguchiko

Kawaguchiko

On the one day Tokyo had snow, it was mostly scattered around the roads and more like slush than the marshmallow substance of my imagination. So we went to Kawaguchikokira kiraIt was a spontaneous trip that we decided on the night before, so that might say something about how easy it is to get there from Tokyo. Kawaguchiko’s in the Yamanashi prefecture but only about two hours away by bus, and it’s right by Mount Fuji! Perfect for snow chasing.

Kawaguchiko

It’s popular with tourists, but even then the town was quiet and peaceful and totally postcard-worthy. I’ll just show these pictures and not pull out my Ghibli reference again haha. I’d gone for the snow and everywhere was covered in white! Kawaguchiko makes dreams come true, basically.

Kawaguchiko

Even the stations look cuter here.

Kawaguchiko

We were walking and kept seeing these signs that advertising ほうとう (houtou) and had no idea what it was except some kind of food. It turned out to be a Yamanashi specialty (hotpot with flat noodles and vegetables) which explained why pretty much every single restaurant we passed had houtou. It’s quintessential winter food—a big hotpot stuffed with pumpkin and cabbage and and meat and noodles. Deliciousgirl love

Kawaguchiko

After warming ourselves up with hotpot we went to get ice cream and ate it out in the cold. Experiences aren’t defined by logichurhurIt was also possibly the cutest soft serve ice cream cone I’d ever eaten. Lavender on the bottom, topped with vanilla and peach. Look at those colours! They’re so pastel and aesthetically pleasing.

Kawaguchiko

It was cloudy that day, so Mount Fuji was unfortunately out of sight. But it didn’t actually matter that much when we were already surrounded by other mountains. Maybe Mount Fuji is famous and prettier, but we still got a great viewsmile

Kawaguchiko

This was the snow I’d been looking for. Pure, white and abundant (and not likely to get me into a traffic accident)smileSend a tropical kid into a mountainside filled with snow and you’ll probably lose her in it for a few hours. We played around and took lots of snowy pictures that could potentially go on the next round of Christmas cards.

Kawaguchiko

After sunset we got on a bus and headed to see the beach illuminationskirakiraIt turned out to be less extravagant as the poster made it out to be, but still worth a pretty picture. The lights were gorgeous anyway!

Kawaguchiko

Back to Kawaguchiko Station to catch the return bus to Tokyo, so there was just about enough time to look around the souvenir shop. There were plenty of Fujisan-themed items and confectionery—just about the pinnacle of Japanese culture (literally too, in a sense). I bought some for my friends back home because nothing says “I came from Japan” better than little cakes that look like Mount Fujigood

Kawaguchiko

Japan being creative with their souvenirs as usual.

Kawaguchiko

It was only a day trip, but the short getaway was worth it just to wander around in the snowhappyEvery time I go to these rural spots of Japan I get so excited about going out of the city that I dream about starting a new life and being one with nature and all that, but once it gets dark I don’t think that anymore haha. Admittedly, it’s kind of scary when everything’s pitch black and silent. I’ll slowly appreciate the countryside from when it’s bright and sunny outlove


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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