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Pxl 20201206 064142183

Shake Shack Black sesame milkshake: I hadn't been to a Shake Shack in Japan and stumbled upon one near Meiji Jingu, where I went to see the yellow autumn ginko trees. I stopped in to see if they had any exclusives, and their menu features a Japan-only black sesame shake. It was super satisfying on multiple levels: thicker than anything I've found in Japan, with a nutty and savory black sesame flavor that didn't taste at all artificial. Black sesame is one of my favorite flavors; I've had a lot of black sesame snacks over the ... (read more) 4.0/5.0

exceptional japanese drinks blacksesame shakeshack black sesame milkshake 4.0
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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

recommended japanese mochi mounttakao mitarashi dango 4.0
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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

recommended robuchon bakery tokyo lecafedejolrobuchon peach bread pistachio crumble 4.0
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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

recommended drinks tokyo taiwanese boba bubbletea yifang matcha brown sugar bubble tea 4.0
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Yotsuba Orange and Yuzu Yogurt: A limited-edition flavor, this yogurt contains zest from Japanese yuzu and oranges, giving it a uniquely tart citrus flavor that's balanced with the creamy Hokkaido-milk-based yogurt. The yogurt is fairly loose but I find that most Japanese yogurt is. While lemon flavored yogurt is pretty common in the states, I can't think of many brands that sell orange yogurt, so I'm especially glad to come across this Japanese take. 4.0/5.0

recommended yogurt seijoishi yotsuba orange yuzu 4.0
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Häagen-Dazs Soybean Flour Brown Sugar Mochi Ice Cream (Hanamochi): The ice cream aisle in Japan consists largely of individual single-serving sized portions (kiddie-sized), whether for popsicles or regular ice cream. The most ubiquitous ice cream brand seems to be Häagen-Dazs, which has many exclusive Japanese flavors. Their Hanamochi series, originally introduced in 2015, features mochi-topped ice cream. The brown sugar soybean flour flavor I purchased has a peanut-colored powder that often coats traditional mochi treats. You ideally wait about 5 minut... (read more) 4.0/5.0

recommended icecream japanese coop hagendazs soybean flour brown sugar mochi ice cream (hanamochi) 4.0