14 Must-Try Sweets in Tokyo

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Japan has always been my favourite country since forever! The food, people, culture and shopping...do I even need to go on? If you have been dreaming to tick Tokyo off your travel list or simply as memorised about the country as I do, then make sure you check out the 14 must-try desserts in Tokyo.

1. Kawaii (Cute) Doughnuts
Japan is known for cutesy food and Floresta Nature Doughnuts is not to be missed! These animal doughnuts made using organic, natural ingredients and are environmentally safe too. They started off in Nara and now you can find them all over Japan. Floresta Nature Doughnuts are unlike the American’s; they are denser and fill the stomach quicker too. They offer a variety of doughnuts coated in chocolate, animal characters and also the seasonal ones. I like how they create new animal characters or incorporate seasonal ingredients.
Floresta Nature Doughnuts フロレスタ京王クラウン街笹塚店
Address: 3-34-14 Koenji-ku North Suginami-ku, Tokyo 166-0002 Toshi Kosan Street Shopping Street (Map)
Opening Hours: 09:00 ~ 21:00 daily

2. Cremia
Cremia kinda resembles Hokkaido Shiroi Koibito also known as 白い恋人 but in a cone version. In order to achieve its rich, creamy and smooth texture, 25% Hokkaido fresh cream and 12.5% of high milk fat content are used. On top of that, the cone is the actual langue de chat! The milkiness was a little overwhelming for me at first, but as I stroll down the streets relishing it slowly, it seems fine. That’s the perk of having softserve in the cold cause it doesn’t melt as fast. You can easily get this premium softserve in various stores in Japan, but I got it from Cremia’s original shop at Silkream Cafe in Shibuya.

Dolci Café Silkream
Address: 1F, Haimanten Jinnan Bldg. 1-19-3, Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0041 (Map)
Opening Hours: 11:00 ~ 21:00 daily

3. Ningyo-yaki 人形焼
One of Tokyo’s traditional snacks made using only the basic ingredients of flour, sugar and eggs. This snack is usually filled with anko (red bean paste) and shaping in an iron mould, forming various shapes and characters. I got my first ningyo-yaki at Nakamise shopping street in the shape of the giant chochin (lantern). Although the snack looks simple but having it fresh off the oven, along with the atmosphere, it just felt tastier. Remember it’s rude to walk and eat in Japan, so if you are planning to eat it on the spot, do finish your food before moving off. Some stalls provide a standing area at the side for customers too.

Honke Bairindo 梅林堂
Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032 (Map) – Block 1
Opening Hours: 08:00 ~ 19:00 daily 

4. Agemanju
Also located along Nakamise shopping street, Agemanju is a deep-fried version of manju – round steamed cake (mocha-like) with sweet fillings. They are usually filled with anko (red bean paste) while other assortments of filling such as sesame, matcha and other seasonal flavours are available as well. Having a freshly made agemanju with anko on a cold day is the best combo ever!

Asakusa Kokonoe
Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032 (Map) – Block 7
Opening Hours: 09:00 ~ 19:00 daily

5. Disney-Shaped Food
Not sure about you but I hunt for Disney-shaped food when I’m in Disney parks. My eyes light up when I see them! Not only are they pretty to look at but they actually taste good too. Scrump (Lilo and Stitch) dumplings in Stitch cover has got to be my ultimate favourite of the lot. You can purchase with or without the stitch cover. It comes in 3 flavours – banana, mango, and purple sweet potato cream. The mochi-like dumplings come in shape of Little Green Men (Toy Story) too.
Melon pan aka Melon bread is a type of sweet bread popular in Japan. So I can’t resist when I saw Mike Wazowski (Monsters Inc.) Melon Bread and Mickey-shaped pastry in the bakery.

Tokyo Disneyland
Address: 1-13 Maihama, Urayasu-shi, Chiba-ken 279-0031 (Map)
Opening Hours: 08:30 ~ 22:00 daily

6. Softserve
Have you seen the instagramable multicolour softserve on a cone? You can get yours at Daily Chico! There are a total of eight flavours to choose from – Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Coffee Milk, Sesame, Sweet Potato, Green Tea and Soda Pop. Besides choosing the flavours, you could also decide if you want it in single flavour (small), with two to four flavours (medium) or have it all eight flavours (large). Overall, the flavours were not very distinctive for me but you might enjoy this if you have a lighter palate.

Daily Chico デイリーチコ
Address: Nakano 5-52-15, Nakano Broadway B1F, Tokyo-to, Nakano-ku (Map)
Opening Hours: 10.00 ~ 20.00 daily

7. Cheese Tarts
Originated from Osaka, Pablo is one of the big players in the market specialises in cheese tarts. They have even made their way out of Japan to Singapore; however, the outlet in Singapore doesn’t offer as much variety as Japan’s. At the Pablo Café, you can sample up to six kinds of mini tarts filled with gooey goodness, alongside savoury items, if you ever need a change in the palate.
It’s a pity that it slipped my mind about it when I was in Harajuku, hence the first speciality shop of Pablo Mini would suffice. Glad I managed to take-out two seasonal tarts to try – Strawberry Daifuku and White Raspberry cheese tarts.

Pablo Mini
Address: 1-chome 15-8, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (Map)
Opening Hours: 11:00 ~ 21:00 daily

8. Taiyaki 鯛焼き
Also known as Japanese fish-shaped cake, it is a popular baked treat and it’s extremely comforting during chilly weather. I stumbled upon Yokohama Kurikoan in a departmental store when I was seeking shelter from the cold. They are a takeaway counter that specialises in taiyaki. They offer a variety of fillings among the Baked Grilled, Seasonal Specialties and Limited Time Bake. It may not be those famous ones, but I’m sold when I saw shiratama kurogoma, which is under their limited time bake. The soft pancake is filled with generous amount of black sesame paste and shiratama dango. It’s an amazingly good combination!

Yokohama Kurikoan 横浜くりこ庵
Address: Otsuka Store, Tokyo Toshima ku, Minami Otsuka Atrevi Otsuka 1F (Map)
Opening Hours: 10:00 ~ 21:00 daily

9. Matcha Ice Cream
When it comes to ice cream, I think Japan serve the best/ most authentic Japanese flavours. If matcha is your mantra then you have to take on the world’s richest matcha! There are a total of 7 levels and we tried level 2 and 6. Level 6 seems to be the furthest I can go. If you are going all out, I suggest pairing it with other flavours so the matcha bitterness doesn’t overwhelm your taste buds. Besides matcha, they also offer flavours like houjicha (roasted tea), kurogoma (black sesame) and milk. Suzukien Asakusa Honten is actually not too far off from Sensoji Temple ground.

Suzukien Asakusa Honten
Address: 3-4-3 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032 (Map)
Opening Hours: 10:00 ~ 17:00 daily (closed every 3rd Wednesday of the month)

10. Totoro Cream Puff
Shiro-hige's Cream Puff Factory is for all the Studio Ghibli and Totoro fans out there. Its Totoro-shaped cream puffs flavours vary from seasons. We had Strawberry and Banana, which were both seasonal flavours. The choux was delicate and crisp, while the cream was velvety and thick. I would have finished the puffs if the drinks weren't too sweet though. If you are just having the cream puffs dine-in, it is compulsory to order minimum one drink per person. Otherwise, they cost lesser if you take-away as compared to dine-in.

Shiro-hige's Cream Puff Factory 白髭のシュークリーム工房
Address: 5 Chome-3-1 Daita, Setagaya, Tokyo 155-0033, Japan (Map)
Opening Hours: 10:30 ~ 19:00 daily (Closed on Tuesdays)

11. Crepes
Harajuku is not only the place for all-things-hippest but also home to one of Japan's longest-running crêpe shop. That said, with about 4 crepe shops situated along Takeshita Street 竹下通り, you can’t leave Harajuku without having one crepe. I was spoilt for choices and just when I thought my woes are over after I have decided which stores to get my crepes, I was wrong…picking one flavour or fillings out of the hundreds is just as bad. I couldn’t recall what I got, but I’m pretty sure it is filled with strawberries!

Marion Crêpes
Address: 1 Chome 6-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001 (Map)
Opening Hours: 10:30 ~ 20:00 daily

12. Dango 団子
Another traditional Japanese sweet dumpling and is available all year round. The dango are often served skewered in threes or fours. They also come in different “toppings” or flavours, and as black sesame lover, I went with dango covered with black sesame for sure. Other favourite flavours include anko, soy flour and soy sauce syrup. Go with your first instinct, because there are simply too many flavours to choose from and you wouldn’t want to hog the queue.

Asakusa Kibidango Azuma
Address: 1-18-1 Asakusa Taito Tokyo111-0032 (Map)
Opening Hours: 09:00 ~ 19:00 daily

13. Convenience Store Desserts

Convenience stores in Japan are amazing. The varieties of food offering just blow my mind. It includes sushi, oden, cheesecake, potato salad, ice cream, and even fried chicken. Monaka is one of those ice cream you can’t go wrong getting it from a convenience store. Monaka is a traditional dessert with two wafers sandwiching red bead, but it evolved and now it comes in an assortment of ice cream flavours. 

Monaka Ice Crea from Tokyo's convenience stores

14. Zaku Zaku ザクザク
Japan’s desserts always taste so good is because they put in a lot of effort and strive to create that satisfaction. The same goes for this hand bake Croquant Chou Zakuzaku, a churros-shaped cream puff covered with croquant (made of almonds, sugar and egg whites). The custard cream is only pipped in upon order so you can ensure its freshness. I was full from eating and went for their softserve instead, which also comes with the croquant crunch. I’m going straight for the chou next time I’m in Japan.

Zaku Zaku ザクザク
Address: 150-0001 Cute Cube Harajuku 1f, 1-7-1, Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001 (Map)
Opening Hours: 10:00 ~ 20:00 daily

I know these are not all the sweets available in Tokyo. I'll update the list when I have tried them all haa! Also, I am planning to do a series of it so let me know what you think this. Thank you!

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