Japan · JET Programme · Life in Japan

A Sweet Start to 2017

Happy New Year everyone! 😀

I hope that 2017 will be one amazing year for you full of adventure, good health and great company.

As it is the start of a new year, I have decided to refresh my blog by updating the design and changing the name to reflect current circumstances as I am not living in Japan at this point in time. So goodbye to ‘A(nother) Year in Japan‘ and hello ‘My Time in Japan‘.

I thought we could all do with something sweet to kick off the year, so today I want to share with you a collection of some of the incredibly delicious and beautifully presented parfaits, waffles, crêpes, and other desserts that have crossed my path while in Japan.

Crêpes

During my time in Japan, I discovered that you didn’t have to walk far to find yourself in front of a patisserie or bakery, packed full of freshly baked pastries and desserts. The same goes for crepes.

My first memory of a crêpe shop was in Harajuku, Tokyo. I could not believe how many varieties there were to choose from! I thought I would have enough time to decide on a filling as the queue was quite long, but they were so quick and efficient that soon I was at the front and under the sudden pressure I went for a standard chocolate flavour. Though since then I have tried to be more adventurous in my choices whenever I find myself in a crêpe shop.

Crepe Menu Board, Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan
[Click on the picture to zoom in]

Parfaits

Do you know that I have never had a parfait in Japan? I suppose I am more of a crêpe and waffle person. However, I have seen more than my share of incredibly indulgent parfaits over the last few years. The most memorable parfait shop was in Kyoto called Karafuneya Coffee. I was fortunate to have my mom with me who was visiting during spring break, and we both had a lot of fun browsing through the 200 choices available on the menu.

This place has the most amazing selection of crazy flavours when it comes to parfaits. Just take a look at a portion of the menu below to see how crazy it can get. Fried pork cutlet parfait anyone?

[click on the image to zoom in]
[click on the image to zoom in]

In the end my mom and I chose a waffle-parfait hybrid, though if I ever find myself back in Kyoto I will just have to go back to Karafuneya Coffee to try one of their original parfaits.

Another jaw-dropping parfait on their menu is the ‘Jumbo Parfait’. This is literally a massive parfait that will only set you back ¥50,000 (R5,800/$430). Apparently it serves approximately 25 people and you have to order it at least 7 days in advance. You can see the plastic version of it at the front of the shop, along with all the other plastic replicas of the parfaits found on the menu.

‘Le Reve’ Jumbo Parfait at Karafuneya Coffee, Kyoto

Waffles

Now this was my Achilles heel when I moved to Japan and soon realised the dangers (to my wallet and waistline) of these easily accessible and delicious treats. There was this great little coffee shop in Onomichi City (where I lived while on the JET Programme) right by the bus/train station, and often I would pop in for some coffee while waiting for my bus, though sometimes I would treat myself to a waffle.

The waffles, just like the crepes, are beautifully presented and often you’ll find seasonal specials created using the freshest ingredients.

waffles, strawberries
Strawberry waffle
The banana and chocolate waffle-parfait my mom and I had from Karafuneya Coffee in Kyoto
A rare treat: Fruit waffle and cappuccino (that is served with cream!)
20160202_164517
A special Valentine’s Day waffle, hearts and all

Other Special Delights

As I mentioned before, there is such a huge selection of sweet pastries and western desserts to be enjoyed in Japan, and that includes the many shops (including doughnut and coffee shops) that I found in Hiroshima City.

There is one counter at the station that had the most gorgeous cream puffs, and I was always tempted to buy one, but never did. Now I really wish I did because just looking at the picture below is making me drool. In fact, this whole post has me drooling!

They look so good! [click to enlarge]

If you are ever in Japan, do yourself a favour and try out the pastries and desserts as the presentation alone is just astounding, and of course there is the sweet delicious taste as well. 😀

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