Coming to the land of rising sun soon and wondering what to buy in Japan? Here we are at your service and we are going to focus on what to buy in Shinjuku! Why, well, Takaski’s office is located only 16 minutes away from Shinjuku and we know it as our own pocket;-)
Now, Shinjuku is definitely one of the most bustling places on earth. The city is full of department stores of varying size and interesting local shops that sell amazing sweets. Here is our unique take on top 5 sweet things to buy in Japan – Shinjuku. We picked best 5 sweets takeaway to try in the comfort of your home or hotel rooms:)
No 1. Sentaro’s Monaka at Shinjuku Isetan
Shinjuku Isetan is the flagship and largest Isetan Department Store. The best part of this amazing place is the basement food hall or endearingly called “Depachika (Depa = Department; Chika = Basement)” among Japanese. No matter how many times we visit Shinjuku Isetan Depachika, we still get mesmerized. We are also literary lost in terms of where things are and what to buy in Japan as it’s a huge place full of great stuff. But what we always manage to buy is Japanese sweets that are hard to get elsewhere, including our No. 1 recommendation, Sentaro’s monaka (最中).
Monaka is a Japanese traditional sweet made from azuki bean paste sandwiched between thin crispy wafers. While monaka is normally around 150 yen at regular shops, Sentaro’s monaka is priced at 260 yen. Still, you’ll most likely have to wait in a long queue at Sentaro’s shop in the basement it’s that good. Try one and discover the art of monaka!
Address: Shinjuku Ward, Shinjuku Isetan, Basement 1
No. 2 Bakery buns at Shinjuku Nakamuraya (中村屋)
How many bakeries in the world has an eight storey building in the middle of a massive city, like Shinjuku? As far as we know, only Nakamuraya does. Established in 1901 in Tokyo, Nakamuraya has grown to be one of the largest confectionary companies offering a wide range of bakery, sweets and cuisine.
Nakamuraya’s eight storey building in Shinjuku opened on the 29th of October 2014, and it’s worth a visit.
8th Floor: Restaurant Granna
3rd Floor: Nakamuraya Salon Museum
Basement 1: Sweets and Delicatessen Bonna
Basement 2: Restaurant & Cafe Manna
Mustbuy items at Shinjuku Nakamuraya are curry buns (top left), cream buns (top right), Chinese seafood fried buns (bottom left) and milk manju (bottom right). Obviously curry buns are not sweet, but they are perfect companion to sweet cream bun and milk maju!
Nakamuraya Building in Shinjuku is also one of the most interesting places to buy souvenirs, while you get to explore exquisite art pieces offered for free at its salon on the third floor.
Shinjuku Nakamuraya Building is located 5 minutes from Shinjuku Station, just before Biqlo on Shinjuku Street.
Within Nakamuraya Building, you will stop wondering what to buy in Japan:-)
Address: Shinjuku Ward, Shinjuku 3 26 13
No. 3 Ken’s Cafe Tokyo
Ken’s chocolate cake has become an international sensation. Why? Because it’s made from chocolate blended by Domori founder Gianluca Franzoni. And you’ll be amazed to know that this chocolate cake priced at 3,000 yen is all they make and sell!
It has won a number of awards including, but not limited to:
2014 Best Chocolate chosen by Tabelog
2015 Best Gift chosen by Japan Gift Awards
2015 Best Sweets Souvenir chosen by Tokyo Broadcasting Station
It’s all handmade at Ken’s Cafe in Shinjuku. It lasts for three days in a room temperature and for two weeks under 10 degrees in refrigerator. It’s best to microwave it for 10 to 15 seconds so that it becomes even more moist inside.
It’s so popular that you won’t be able to order it until May 2016. So, you just have to get to Ken’s Cafe in Shinjuku Gyoen and try the best chocolate cake in Japan!
Address: Shinjuku Ward, Shinjuku 1233
No. 4 Dango at Oiwake Dango Honpo
Long, long time ago, the crossing between Oume Kaido and Koshu Kaido was called Shinjuku Oiwake and a buzzing place. Dango or sweet dumplings made from mochiko (rice flour) was offered to locals and travellers. Oiwake Dango Honpo continue to serve these traditional dangos at its headquarter in Shinjuku.
Oiwake Dango Honpo is located near Shinjuku Isetan on Shinjuku Street.
Address: Shinjuku ward, Shinjuku 3122
No. 5 Bell Manju Suzu at Suzukake
Bell Manju Suzu at Suzukake is not only delicious but so cute that you won’t want to eat. The bell kind of reminds us of Doraemon’s bell! While Suzukake headquarter is in Fukuoka, their bell manju is made with beans from Tokashi, Hokkaido.
Apart from the Fukuoka Headquarter, you can buy Suzu at Shinjuku Isetan and Nagoya Takashimaya.
Address: Shinjuku Ward, Basement 1, Shinjuku Isetan
In sum, hopefully this post is useful for those who are wondering what to buy in Japan🙂 If not enough, let us know and we’ll try to provide more info:-)