Tag: Things to do in Japan

Very popular Mochi café “Gekko” in Tokyo! Try silky chewy freshly-made Mochi

Very popular Mochi café “Gekko” in Tokyo! Try silky chewy freshly-made Mochi

I want to introduce you to this popular Mochi café, “Gekko”, that is specialized in Mochi and Japanese teas. Please add this café on your list of must-visit-cafes in Tokyo!(๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و

Here is everything about the café, access, menu and how I like it!

 

Cozy small café with a good access from Tokyo station

The café, “Gekko” (月光), is located near Uguizudani station, which is only 5 stations away from Tokyo station and takes 10 min ride. From Uguisudani station, you need to walk 4-5 minutes after taking the South exit. (see below for maps and address)

It is a very small café that has cozy and warm atmosphere. The café only sits 12 people in total. Because I went there 20 min before they open on weekday, I could find a seat but people kept coming in and started making a line.

 

gekko outside inside

 

They hand-make Mochi every morning

What makes Gekko so special is that they hand-make Mochi every morning. It is unusual because most Mochi makers make Mochi using machines these days. Making Mochi by hand required a lot of effort and time because you need to pound Mochi rice hundreds of times to make it Mochi. By making Mochi with your bare hands, Mochi becomes very silky and smooth. You can tell the difference for sure!

They use special Mochi rice from popular rice farm in Aomori prefecture. With this rice, you can taste rich and sweet flavor from their Mochi.

 

Try “Donburi-Mochi” and “Gekko Zenzai”

In this café, I recommend you to try their signature Mochi dish, “Donburi-Mochi” (950 yen). It is a warm bowl dish that has 5 small round Mochi coming with soy sauce, spices and a cup of roasted green tea.

 

mochi cafe gekko donburi mochi

 

The soy sauce is made with fish and sea kelp broth, and tastes a little sweet. You can add spices of your choice from wasabi, crispy seaweed and radish.

Once I held the Mochi with chopsticks to eat, I was surprised how soft it was! Also, their Mochi is amazingly silky and smooth, and of course, very delicious! The Mochi was very nice and chewy , but I felt as it was melting in my mouth. I ate it with some spices on it. Spices are also fresh and add nice kicks to soft Mochi.

 

mochi cafe gekko delicious mochi

 

My biggest regret was that I got my stomach full with “Donburi-Mochi”and could not challenge another dish. But everyone was ordering “Gekko Zenzai” (950 yen) which is a dessert bowl that comes with small Mochi pieces, Matcha ice cream and red bean paste in cold Matcha tea. I wish I had invited my friends so we could share all of these delicious menus!

 

 

[Cafe Info] Gekko (月光)

Access: 5 min walk from Uguisudani station of JR Yamanote line.
1. Take the South exit of Uguisudani station.
2. Make left and cross the bridge.
3. At the first signal, cross the road and make left.
4. Make right at the corner of Chinese restaurant and Japanese sea food restaurant.

 

gekko access from uguisudani station

 

Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-7:30pm (last order at 7pm), Sat-Sun 12pm-7pm (last order at 6:30pm), closed on Wednesday

Note:
1. May close early when Mochi is sold out for the day
2. Cash only
3. Has an English menu

Website: minowa-gekko.com

Address: 3-7-18 Negishi, Taito, Tokyo

 
 

If you visit there, please let me know how you like Gekko! Hope you enjoy staying Tokyo.

Related post: my recommended 3 cafes in tokyo where you can enjoy matcha and high-grade japanese sweets

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

3 popular spots in Shibuya where you can buy Japanese traditional sweets, Wagashi!

3 popular spots in Shibuya where you can buy Japanese traditional sweets, Wagashi!

If you visit Japan, I assume Shibuya is on your list of must-visit-places. Shibuya is one of the most popular places, especially famous for the busiest big crossing in Japan.

I will introduce you to department stores where you can buy all sort of Wagashi, Japanese traditional sweets, in Shibuya! (* ̄∇ ̄*)

Related post: where to buy wagashi, japanese traditional sweets, in japan?

 

1. Shibuya Hikarie B2F

Shibuya Hikarie is a department store that is directly connected to Shibuya Station. Each floor has trendy clothes, shoes, cosmetics and food!

If you want to buy Wagashi, Japanese traditional sweets, make sure to check B2 floor. There are many Wagashi brands/makers from traditional long-established ones to modern ones that take inspiration from Western sweets to create unique taste.

On this floor, other than Wagashi section, you can find Western sweets and delicious stands with freshly made meals too. There are a couple of tables and chairs at the B3 floor you can take a rest from walking and enjoy Wagshi at the same time.

 

 

[Info]Shibuya Hikarie

Address: 2-21-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Access: Direct access from exit 15 of Shibuya station

 

2. Toyoko Store, Noren Street

Toyoko Store is a famous department store. Its B1 floor is called Noren Street, where you can find so many food shops. It is just like an inside food market!

 

 

Here, you can buy any types of Wagashi from famous popular brands/makers. Some shops also sell freshly made hot Japanese street sweets such as Taiyaki.

Related post: what is taiyaki? the most popular japanese traditional sweets

 

 

[Info]Toyoko Store, Noren Street

Address: B1F 2-24-1, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Access: Underneath Shibuya station

 

3. Tokyu Department Store, Shibuya Main Store

Tokyu Department Store, Shibuya Main Store is categorized as a luxurious department store.

If you want to buy Wagashi, make sure to visit B1 floor. Since this department store is luxurious one, you can find some high-end Wagashi here such as Nerikiri, a beautiful Japanese high-end traditional confectionery.

Related post: nerikiri, an edible art! beautiful high-grade traditional japanese confectionery

 

[Info]Tokyu Department Store, Shibuya Main Store

Address: 2-24-1, Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Access: 7 min walk from Shibuya station

 
 

Department stores in Japan are quite popular and you basically can find anything you want. Please make sure to stop by when you visit Japan!

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

My selection of 3 best Mochi cafes in Tokyo! Enjoy freshly made super delicious Mochi

My selection of 3 best Mochi cafes in Tokyo! Enjoy freshly made super delicious Mochi

There are many Mochi sweets and dishes in Japan, but, there are not many places that offer freshly made Mochi. So, let me show you some of my favorite Mochi cafes! (º﹃º)

Related post: what is mochi? a beginner’s guide to mochi

 

1. Gekko(月光)

Gekko is a very famous and popular café that is specialized in Mochi and Japanese teas. They make Mochi everyday by hand without using any machine even though most of makers use machines to pound rice and make Mochi these days! By doing every process with hand Mochi becomes very silky and smooth.

 

 

Here, I recommend you try “Donburi Mochi” (950 yen) which is a hot bowl dish coming with 5 round soft Mochi. It comes with a soy sauce based special sauce designed by the owner. It is amazingly soft yet chewy, and has a rich flavor of rice. So, so delicious! It comes with a cup of roasted Japanese green tea.

 

 

Not only Mochi, they also offer a variety of Japanese teas and Japanese tea sweets, including Matcha. If you are a fan of Mochi and Matcha, this place is where you should go!

See how I liked it!: very popular mochi café “gekko” in tokyo! try silky chewy freshly-made mochi

 

 

[Info]Gekko

Access: 4 min walk from Uguisudani sta (JR Yamanote line)
Menu: Donduri-Mochi: 950 yen
Note: Cash only

 

2. Kinozen(紀の善)

Kinozen is a long-established Japanese café that is famous for their Japanese traditional sweets such as Matcha mousse and Anmitsu, Japanese red bean parfait.

 

 

However, you can also find fresh Mochi dishes here as well! I recommend you try “Zo-ni”, a Japanese traditional soup dish with Mochi. The broth of its soup is based on fish and sea weed and tastes very clean yet rich. The Mochi is grilled and has a nice crispy surface, while keeping its very soft and chewy texture.

 

 

 

You can also buy some of their sweets and Senbei (Japanese rice cracker) to go.

[Info]Kinozen

Access: 3 min walk from Iidabashi sta (Yurakucho line, Namboku line)
Menu: Matcha mousse: 874 yen
Note: Cash only

 

3. Oiwake Dango Honpo(追分だんご本舗)

Oiwake Dango Honpo is a long-established Dango shop/café located in Shinjuku, one of the most popular tourist place. They are specialized in Dango, skewered round Mochi balls. Here, you can enjoy freshly made Dango.

Related post: what is dango? the 5 most popular types of dango

 

 

There are many types of Dango on their menu, includeing Mitarashi Dango (sweet soy sauce Dango), sea weed wrapped Dango, spicy chili pepper Dango and many more. Please try as many flavors as you can!

 

 

Their shaved ice is also famous and popular. Please stop by there when you are tired from walking around Shinjuku.

 

 

[Info]Oiwake Dango Honpo

Address: 3-1-22 Shinjuku | NSO Bldg. 1F, Shinjuku, Tokyo (Mon-Fri: 11am-7pm, Sat-Sun: 11am-8pm)
Access: 1 min walk from Shinjuku-san-chome sta (Marunouchi line, Fukutoshin line)
Menu: 2 Dango sticks (Mitarashi and Anko): 567 yen

 
 

Even if you don’t live in Japan or not visiting Japan, you can make Mochi at home. It is delicious and easy. Please try!

Related post: how to make mochi at home : 3 easy ways

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

My recommended 3 cafes in Tokyo where you can enjoy Matcha and high-grade Japanese sweets

My recommended 3 cafes in Tokyo where you can enjoy Matcha and high-grade Japanese sweets

In Tokyo there are many cafes you can have a delicious cup of Matcha , but there are only a few cafes where you can have Matcha together with high-grade Wagashi. Let me introduce you 3 cafes I recommend you to visit in Tokyo!(*´∀`*)

 

1. Tsuruya Yoshinobu, TOKYO MISE

Tsuruya Yoshinobu TOKYO MISE is a cafe located on the 1st floor of a department store called “Coredo Muromachi” directly connected to Mitsukoshimae Station. Tsuruya Yoshinobu is a well-known long-established Japanese traditional sweet brand in Kyoto. You can buy this high grade Wagashi at different department stores all over the country now. However, this café offer an artisan made beautiful high-grade confectioneries, called Namagashi. The café offers three different seasonal sweets options, and you can choose the one you like the most.

 

 

Since the artisans make the sweets on the spot, it is certainly fresh. You can take photos as well. Your eyes will be glued to the vivid hands of the artisans who create more and more sweets.

Related post: nerikiri, an edible art! beautiful high-grade traditional japanese confectionery

Matcha is served at the same time when your Namagashi is made. The bitterness from Matcha tea match really well with the sweetness from the freshly made Namagashi.

 

 

Tsuruya Yoshinobu, TOKYO MISE

Address: first floor of Nihonbashi COREDO Muromachi 3, 1-5-5, Nihonbashi Muromachi-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Access: Connected to Exit A6 of Mitsukoshimae Station on the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line/Ginza Lines
Menu: Matcha and Wagashi: 1,296 yen

 

2. Mori-no-Chashitsu

Mori-no-Chashitsu is a Matcha café located 7 min walk from Nishi Sugamo station. Once you enter, the café will greet you with bar-like counter with a very calm atmosphere. Here, you can enjoy both high grade regular Matcha, as well as Koicha, which is thick Matcha tea, together with Wagashi that are made by an owner of this café. Wagashi may change every day and you can enjoy seasonal taste.

Related post: thick matcha tea, koicha? matcha tea you didn’t know

 

 

 

In the back of the café, there is a room for tea ceremony where you can watch the owner making Matcha tea for you in a way of Japanese traditional tea ceremony, Sado. If you want to experiment Japanese Sado tradition to a full scale recommend you to visit this café!

 

 

Mori-no-Chashitsu

Address: 2-33-11, Nishi Sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Access: 7 min walk from Nishi Sugamo station
Menu: Koicha: 1,500 yen

 

3. Toraya Tea Room, Tokyo Midtown

Toraya is a well-known Japanese-style sweet shop; it is known by essentially all Japanese people. It is particularly famous for Yōkan, and you can taste the delicious red bean that has just the right level of sweetness.

Related post: what is yokan? traditional japanese sweets that can be very arty

Toraya sweets can also be purchased at famous department stores and other places, but if you want to enjoy the sweets with Matcha green tea, the Toraya Tea Room is recommended. Especially at the Tokyo Midtown store in Roppongi Tokyo, beautiful Japanese sweets including Jo-Namagashi and others are displayed.

 

 

 

Here, not only you can have Wagashi that are made with red bean paste such as Namagashi and Manju, but also you can have Japanese style shaved ice. Don’t forget to order Matcha tea together!

 

 

Toraya Tea Room, Tokyo Midtown

Address: D-B117, 9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku, TOKYO (Tokyo Midtown Galleria B1F)
Access: Directly connected from Exit 8 of Roppongi Station, Toei Subway Oedo Line

 
 

Please let me know how you like them if you visit!

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)