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Pxl 20201002 052559899

Tou Lan Tea Strawberry Latte with Boba: I had some bad experiences with several bubble tea shops when I first came to Japan (ones I didn't bother to review), but there was a highly rated spot not too far from the university that I decided to check out. They feature a handful of classic herbal teas along with a wider menu of fruit teas, smoothies, as well as a whole section of banana lattes (I'm not sure why!). The strawberry latte was excellent, like a milder and less sweet version of strawberry ice cream (I had it at their "les... (read more) 4.0/5.0

recommended drinks tokyo toulantea strawberry latte boba 4.0
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Trader Joe's PB&J Sack Duo Packs: This is another hand-picked snack selected by my sister and sent to Japan for me to review. It's a welcome reimagining of the classic sticks + dip combo but with novel components: cylindrical peanut butter wafer sticks similar to Pirouline paired with a raspberry jam dip. I really like the peanut butter wafers, which I would buy on their own – they have a definite peanut butter flavor, but not enough peanut butter texture to stick to your mouth, and it's also not so saturated in peanut but... (read more) 4.0/5.0

recommended traderjoes pb&j sack duo packs 4.0
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Coop Ginger Ale: This small single-serving can comes from my local grocery store, Coop. From what I've experienced of ginger soda offerings in Japan, they tend to have a spicier ginger flavor and are less sweet than what you'd find on American supermarket shelves (like Canada Dry or Seagram's). That's perfect for me, as I like very gingery sodas. Even as a store-brand offering, this is a great quality ginger soda. According to Tasty Snacking archives, this is the 40th ginger soda that I've had, and it's d... (read more) 4.0/5.0

recommended coop japanese ginger ale 4.0
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Kamakura Gelato Soymilk gelato: I went on a day trip to Kamakura, a city about an hour south of Tokyo, to visit several temples, and when it started raining, I ducked into a gelato shop that many Japanese people appeared to be enjoying, a short walk from the Hasedera temple. A scoop of soymilk gelato was a little over $3 USD and had a deep roasted flavor and dark beige color. The texture was smooth, the flavor more light than creamy. They had a lot of other entiching flavors I wish I could try, but a single cup was just ... (read more) 4.0/5.0

recommended gelato japanese kamakura kamakuragelato soymilk 4.0
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Otsuka Match Jelly: Match Jelly is a popular citrus soda that's the color of electric yellow Gatorade and is similarly fortified with "nutrition" like Vitamin B6, Niacin, and Vitamin C. I haven't actually had Match soda before, but it's a standard vending machine staple. While vending machines have full-sized bottles, they also usually have a small selection of half-size containers, which I like to buy when I'm thirsty but not wanting more than a single serving. I purchased this "jelly" version of Match f... (read more) 4.0/5.0

recommended drinks japanese vendingmachine otsuka match jelly 4.0
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Haldiram's Panchrattan: This snack combines potato sticks, cashews and almonds, and raisins with curry leaves to create an impressively delicious blend of sweet and savory. Haldiram's potato sticks are the closest I've found to french-fry-tasting snacks, and the pairing of french fries with raisins isn't a combination I would have thought could work so well. There's also a range of textures, from the crispy sticks to crunchy and rich nuts to soft and tangy raisins. It's a bit of a messy snack, so I pour it into ... (read more) 4.0/5.0

recommended indian haldirams panchrattan 4.0