Food was one of the highlights when I visited Japan last November. It was non-stop eating from Tokyo to Osaka to Kyoto. We ate at restaurants, cafes, food halls, markets, roadside stands and take-away counters. Between sweet and savoury, my choice is sweet. And my favourite is Japanese treats. Which is why I am dedicating yet another post on this. I will be revisiting the confectionery brands I tried, to check out their New Year and Valentine’s Day offerings.
1. Ginza Cozy Corner
My sister was super intrigued by this selection of mini cakes. But it was impossible to bring it back as it last for only 2 hours without refrigeration. So to indulge her love for Star Wars, we bought these instead.
Made by Ginza Cozy Corner, these confectionery were part of the bakery’s limited edition Star Wars sweets. If you are not a fan, then perhaps their Mickey & Minnie New Year madeleines and Puppy & Kitten Valentine chocolates will entice you.
2. Tokyo Disney
One of the nicest places to shop for treats is Tokyo Disney Resort. Feast your eyes on the wide array of biscuits and chocolates packaged beautifully. For the Christmas 2015 collection, I limit myself to a barrel of instant coffee and a tin of toffee. Got to save luggage space for the rest of the trip.
The current theme in Disney is L.O.V.E. There is Duffy Brings Love at Disney Sea and Disney Sweet Love at Disneyland. Along with the theme is a whole range of treats in lovely bags, tins and boxes. It is no wonder that visiting Disney is one of the most popular romantic things to do in Tokyo.
3. Gion Tsujiri
I mentioned in my Kyoto food post about the insane queue at this matcha tea house along Shijo-Dori road. I failed to try their famous Tsujiri Parfait but was happy to take away a matcha latte with matcha soft serve, and a box of Gateau Bubu Matcha and Hojicha Financiers. The financiers were one of my 3 favourite treats.
Since my last visit, Gion Tsujiri has introduced a new product – Gateau Bubu Chocolate Crunch. And again in two flavours – matcha and hojicha. They do not look tempting but I am sure they are scrumptious.
Another famous Kyoto confectionery brand is Malebranche. I read about their popular Cha no Ka, white chocolate sandwiched between two rectangular matcha biscuits, and could not resist buying a box to try. Good strong matcha taste balanced with the sweet chocolate.
Their latest product, Cacaoyaki Dorakoban, looks especially yummy for someone with a soft spot for cake, like me. Again a sandwich style but this time, it is caramel cream and thin slices of chocolate between two honey chocolate sponge.
5. Glico’s Baton d’or
Meaning “golden stick” in French, Baton d’or is a rich, buttery stick biscuit created by well-known Japanese confectionery company, Glico. The biscuit comes coated with an assortment of flavours. While I was there, the choices were Bitter Orange, Strawberry, Uji Matcha, Sugar Butter and Murasakiimo (purple sweet potato). I chose the last three and they were all very good.
According to its website, Baton d’or has launched two new flavours – V.S.O.P and Berry & Rose. These will only be available until early March 2016. There are also other flavours like Milk and Cafe. Like I mentioned in my post on Japanese treats, these biscuits sell like hot cakes and are usually sold out by late afternoon. So visit the stores early if you want to get them. They are only available at the food halls of Hankyu Umeda Main Store, Takashimaya Osaka Store and Takashimaya Kyoto Store.