5 Shaved Ice Shops to Try in Tokyo: TP3’s Summer 2017 Crave List

The season’s almost over, but it’s never too late to indulge in a summer favorite. That’s right, I’m talking about kakigōri or shaved ice. This refreshing summer treat can be enjoyed almost anywhere in Tokyo, with cafes and restaurants serving their own flavors, mixes and concoctions. This year, I decided to go international and tried five shops of different origins. Continue reading

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Sweet Flavors of Fall: Enjoying Sweets in Japan

Among the many wonders of the fall season is that it brings about with it not only enchanting colors but a variety of flavors as well. A few weeks ago, I sat down with Yui, one of my best friends, to indulge in some of the season’s sweets. We originally recorded a video for it, but as luck would have it, the file got corrupted. Imagine the horror of devouring all these yummy treats, only to find out that the footage is unusable. Luckily, I managed to save some of the shots, so here they are, preserved in their aesthetic best, right before they made their way through our tummies.

Chestnut-flavored Bouchée/Anovan
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Chestnut-flavored Bouchée by Anovan

“Busse” as it is pronounced in Japanese usually comes in different flavors, but come fall and the chestnut flavor joins the list of options as well. The filling was thick and full of flavor, but I wasn’t a big fan of the buns. Continue reading

Have a Funny Valentine with these Parody Chocolates

In Japan, chocolates take center stage every time Valentine’s is around the corner. Successful marketing has us believe that it is customary for girls to give chocolates to boys on this occasion. Chocolates made for this day are generally classified into two categories: the honmei (real deal) choco, which girls give to the object of their affection; and the gilti (obligation) choco, which, as the name suggests, are given out of a sense of duty, or worse, pity.

It goes without saying that girls often go to lengths to make their honmei choco special. Making them from scratch is far from unusual practice. Giri choco, on the other hand, do not require much effort, but that doesn’t mean they have to be uninteresting. In fact, a number of ready-made giri choco available in the supermarket are designed to amuse, if not keep you in stitches. They’re aptly called “parody choco” given that they copy designs from existing products, while throwing in a joke or two. Here are some that I found the other day: Continue reading