Top Picks... Tokyo’s Sweet Spots
From mochi to manju and meticulously made layer cakes, these are the Tokyo sweeties sugar-lovers shouldn’t miss...
Iron Chef Jun Kurogi makes artisanal takes on wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) to order in Kengo Kuma-designed caff Kuriya Kashi Kurogi. In winter and spring try the warabi mochi, a dark shiny jelly with toasted soy and matcha, or in summer slurp up the chilled kuzu-kiri sweet noodles.
Elegant wood n’ white Higashiya Ginza is a modern take on a classic ‘Onkashitsukasa’, the candy stores once favoured by the imperial court. Bag white sesame and bean balls, coconut jelly squares and persimmon mochi to go, or settle into the salon for an afternoon tea. Little sib Higashiya Man in Aoyama specialises in humble manju, freshly steamed sweet buns stuffed with bean paste fillings.
At Solamachi store Ameshin, nimble-fingered amezaiku (confectionary sculptor) Shinri Tezuka hand-works scissors and molten sugar into the most amazingly realistic goldfish, frogs, cats and candy cranes.
Kameya Mannendo’s name is a mouthful, and so too are the famed Italian-inspired Navona cakes at this Jiyugaoka stalwart. Whipped cream is sandwiched between two biscuits of fluffy light castella sponge, with seasonal sakura and cherry flavours.
For western treats, hit the backstreet shop of patisserie power-player Hidemi Sugino. It draws queues for its pretty French petit fours, including the renowned Ambroisie chocolate mousse, which disappears faster than a toupee in a typhoon. Savour little layer cakes like the Neo, with a liquid mango center and basil sponge base, or Tartelette au Caramel Passion. Sinfully good!
Kuriya Kashi Kurogi / University of Tokyo / 7-3-1 Hongo Campus / Bunkyo / +81 3 5802 5577 / 9am-7pm daily / wagashi-kurogi.co.jp
Higashiya Ginza / 2/F / 1-7-7 Ginza / Chuo-ku / +81 3 3538 3230 / 11am-7pm Tue-Sun / higashiya.com
Higashiya Man / 3-17-14 Minami-Aoyama / Minato-ku / +81 3 5414 3881 / 11am-7pm daily / higashiya.com
Ameshin / 4/F / Tokyo Skytree Town / 1-1-2 Oshiage / Sumida-ku / 10am-9pm daily / ame-shin.com
Kameya Mannendo / 1-15-12 Jiyugaoka / Meguro-ku / +81 3 3717 0400 / navona.co.jp
Hidemi Sugino / 3-6-7 Kyobashi / Chuo-ku / +81 3 3538 6780 / 11am-7pm Tue-Sat