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Mount Takao Mitarashi Dango: A couple weekends ago, I went hiking at Mount Takao, a scenic destination about an hour from Tokyo with views of Mount Fuji from the 600m tip. It's especially famous for its colorful autumn leaves, which I was very thankful to get to experience firsthand. Probably because I've been especially inactive since the start of the pandemic, it was more difficult than I expected to scale the mountain with its steep inclines and the added challenge of wearing a mask while exercising. The 22k steps... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 dango mitarashi mounttakao mochi japanese recommended
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Hio Ice Cream Green Tea Milk Ice Cream: Even before I arrived in Japan, I had bookmarked this modern ice cream shop in Jiyugaoka to try for Tasty Snacking. Unfortunately, it's a bit far away from central Tokyo and I never got a chance to make it out there before COVID hit. I didn't realize, though, that you can actually find their ice cream at certain grocery stores. I went for the classic green tea flavor, which has specks of dark green mixed in. While I was hoping for a strong bitter matcha flavor, it actually disappointingl... (read more) 3.0/5.0

matcha 3.0 cream ice milk tea green hioicecream queensisetan japanese icecream
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Morinaga Choco Monaka Jumbo: First introduced in 1972, this iconic ice cream sandwich comes in a huge bar (especially as far as Japanese desserts go); its grid-like pattern is meant to make it easier to break off and share pieces with others. It features a thin crispy wafer-like exterior, vanilla ice cream, and a shard of chocolate at its center. The wafer is what makes it feel particularly Japanese, as many snacks like cookies or Taiyaki feature the same texture (it's mostly flavorless, acting largely as a protective... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 jumbo monaka choco morinaga japanese lawson icecream
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Le Cafe De Joël Robuchon Peach Bread with Pistachio Crumble: I actually purchased this bread back in June but realized I never wrote a review. This is from the Le Cafe de Joel Robuchon located on the ground floor of NEWoMan in Shinjuku; it's hard to miss as it's right at the entrance of the shopping mall, with a portrait of Joel Robuchon on the window. The pastries are a bit pricier than normal Japanese bakeries, but the quality is unsurprisingly good. I purchased a seasonal bread that was topped with a remarkable buttery nut crumble both savory an... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 crumble pistachio bread peach lecafedejolrobuchon tokyo bakery robuchon recommended
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Paul Apple Kougin Amann: Paul is a French bakery chain that has locations in several popular spots around Tokyo. I went to the one in the cute Kagurazaka neighborhood of Tokyo. Having not had any European pastries in a long time, it was definitely a treat to see rows of croissants and tarts; you could smell the butter from around the corner. I decided on a kougin amann topped with a couple slices of apple and a thin caramel glaze. It had definitely been sitting out for a while, lacking the comforting warmth of a... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 amann kougin apple pastrykouginamann tokyo paul
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Yifang Matcha Brown Sugar Bubble Tea: I was delighted to come across the Taiwanese bubble tea shop Yifang in Shin Okubo, the Koreatown of Shinuku in Tokyo. I wish I were able to read the menu of fruit tea options, but I had to go by the pictures and decided to try their matcha latte with brown sugar, a drink that has a fixed amount of sugar (unlike some other menu items, where you can adjust how sweet you'd like it to be). I did find the drink to be sweet for my taste, but the combination of bitter matcha with sweet brown suga... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 tea bubble sugar brown matcha yifang bubbletea boba taiwanese tokyo drinks recommended