Oh my! We were walking through Ginza and couldn’t help but stop to find where this sweet smell was coming from. We noticed it was coming from this small Belgian waffle store named Manneken and there was a small line out the door. Just like us, many on-goers couldn’t help but stop to check out this store as well and the line kept getting longer. We waited a few minutes and got to the counter and decided to try the plain (126yen) and the maple (147yen) waffles. Both were delicious! Soft and chewy, not too sweet but sweet enough, and the sugar coating on the sides were yummy. Can’t believe I’ve never noticed this place until now but hightly recommend it for a treat :)
Did you know that there’s a 3-star michelin rated Mountain in Tokyo? It’s called Mount Takao (Takaosan) and it’s hard to believe that such a beautiful mountain is just an hour or two away by public transportation from central Tokyo. It’s a nice getaway from the busy city life and the best part is they have many trails to choose from so all different age groups and levels (from beginner through advanced) hikers can enjoy this mt. Even the ‘Inariyama trail,’ which is supposed to be the most strenuous, is hiked by everyone from elementary school kids on field trips to grandmas & grandpas, so it’s a great way to get some exercise surrounded by nature without going on an all-day hike. If you are not that into hiking but still want to go to Takaosan, you can still take the tram and reach the observatory for a nice scenic view! On a clear day, you can see Mt. Fuji from the top and it’s a great way to experience nature in the massive metropolis of Tokyo.
I love hiking — I’ve climbed Mt. Fuji and Half Dome in Yosemite, but Takaosan is one of my favorite hikes in Tokyo. Just a tip, I would try avoid climbing Takaosan during major holidays like Golden week as it gets really packed and difficult to navigate. Also, bring a large ziploc bag/trash bag with you as you will have to take your trash home with you. For advanced hikers, you can continue from the top of Takaosan to the Mt. Jimba Trail to extend your hike.
Anyhow, at the top of the tram station is where you can find the delicious treat pictured above called “Tengu Yaki” for 130yen. ‘Tengu’ means a long‐nosed goblin and that’s what the shape is based off of. It has a sweetened black soybean paste inside the crispy waffle and it’s tasty. Surprisingly not too sweet and it’s a perfect snack to pick up on the way. Go on this hike with your family and friends on a nice weekend :)
Takaozan’s English website:
Address // 2205, Takaomachi, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 042-665-1808
Website // n/a
DISCLAIMER: This location has closed. Here are their other locations that are open.
Found a cute melon pan shop right outside/underneath the Gakugeidaigaku train station in an area called “Gakudai-Ichiba”. Apparently this place just opened on April 11th, 2012 and it’s one of melonpan factory’s ten locations. The place smells amazing when you pass by… you simply can’t walk by without buying one.
Their most popular flavor is the plain original (170yen), and it’s pretty good! Naturally, it’s best eaten right when you buy it. I’ve also tried their maple flavor but it’s not that much different than the plain so I would stick to the original. They also have some other more wacky flavors such as strawberry, chocolate, green tea, cinamon, caramel and orange if you’re feeling adventurous… If that’s not enough, they also sell croissants and apple pie. A good place to grab a snack!
Taiyaki is an authentic and very distinct Japanese fish-shaped dessert. The most common filling is red bean paste that is made from sweetened azuki beans. Hiiragi is a small shop located in Ebisu that has Taiyaki with a subtle level of sweetness. If you eat it right when it’s freshly made, it’s perfectly crisp on the outside and the combination of the hot redbean filling with the cake surrounding it tastes so good. But remember, the key is to eat it when it’s freshly made since it’s crucial to have the beans be hot on the inside.
If you want to give Taiyaki a try, check this place out.
Want a freshly baked melon pan? This Melon pan shop is located on the same street as the monjyayaki place I blogged about in Tsukishima. Even if you’re full after your monjyayaki, you’ll definitely want to make room for this dessert. This freshly baked melon pan is crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside! Since it is freshly baked, I recommend eating it right away! 160yen for one.
Address // 1-21-3, Tsukishima, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-3534-0298
Website // n/a