Trying unique and adorable ice cream stores scattered across Asia has become a huge hobby of mine. As I was thrift shopping for clothes in Shimokitazawa (which has much better selection than the overcrowded Harajuku), I stumbled upon Sweet Twist–a vintage ice cream store selling a variety of soft cream, gelato, and crepes with customizable toppings.
Like most sweets stores in central Tokyo, the store is tiny, but the bright pink exterior and colorful signs advertising a variety of desserts seemed extremely inviting. Not to mention the fluffy mascot that’s printed on all of the cups is the epitome of cute!
I decided to try the strawberry topped soft cream first. Like the name implies, the ice cream is extremely light tasting and sweet. The strawberry topping tasted much like strawberry chocolate so I really enjoyed the taste. Since the portion size I ordered was small (I regret not doing the 2 scoop option), I decided to try the raspberry gelato as well. They have a variety of flavors like green tea, coconut, chocolate fruits, etc. and you can choose extra toppings for just 50 yen. I liked the ice cream slightly better due to its sweetness, but I imagine everything here is really good!
The interior design with the neon pink flamingo and framed photos of Audrey Hepburn and other nostalgic icons was also a pleasant experience to take in. This neighbor hood has a lot of vintage shops that you should definitely check out if you have the chance. I will definitely be back here in the future to try more delicious flavor combinations!
Recently my hobby has been trying out vegan restaurants in Tokyo because their vegetables taste a lot fresher than most places, so I decided to stop by Ain Soph Journey which is right near my boxing gym in Tokyo.
I ordered the vegan taco rice salad and tiramisu cake. Both exceeded my expectations! The taco rice had delicious fresh avocado and tomato, and the “meat” tasted like salsa which was the perfect dressing. The tiramisu cake was very light and creamy! This was definitely one of the best lunches I’ve had here in a while.
Sometimes it’s hard to find a good salad in Japan because they often use cabbage leaves that taste extremely bitter, or sprinkle bits of meat and corn on it which throw off the texture. Fortunately I’ve been finding a lot of luck at local vegan restaurants and my body had felt a lot better. I’ll be sure to share my findings in the future!
Since I decided to cosplay a swimsuit version of Michiru Kaioh/Sailor Neptune for a photoshoot, I wanted the most suitable nails for this character. I looked at various nail catalogs online, but no design fit the one I had in mind so I decided to create my own. Fortunately, most nail salons in Tokyo are able to create original nail designs using stencils, hand-drawn art, studs, and various gradients of polish.
I booked an appointment at Nail Salon Glory through Hot Pepper, and these were the amazing results I got:
My nails were absolutely gorgeous! Since I have short nails, I requested the scalp nail course that will extend your tip to a custom length. The nail artist used a combination of beige and turquoise glitter polish to create a gradient that looks like an ocean. After painting a shiny coat over it, she added sea shells and pearl studs, as well as hand-drew the insignia on Neptune’s mirror that I requested. I was almost speechless when our session ended because I was so impressed!
Most fancy nail courses start at 10,000 yen ($93), but they are worth the price for the amount of detail and effort that is put in. There are various coupons that can be used to lower the price, like the ones featured on HotPepper.
Scalp nails last for typically 3 weeks and are perfect for every occasion. Not only did I use them for my photoshoot, but they also matched the color of the ocean when I was swimming in Thailand. I’m sure I’ll be back in the future once I think of more anime-based designs!
A diner and dessert restaurant called EGG & SPUMA located in the Shinjuku Lumine building serves up some of the most delicious Sanrio collaboration items you’ve ever laid eyes on. They serve a lot of comfort food like omelettes, risotto, and pancakes on their menu that changes with new featured items each season. Cocktails and sweet drinks are also available.
I ordered Hello Kitty pancakes topped with apples slices, custard, and whipped cream. They melted like butter in my mouth and had an extremely soft texture! I also tried pink lemonade topped with a Hello Kitty donut. Thought it was an extremely unlikely combination, it was amazing! The donut was extremely thick and completely covered in strawberry frosting. The lemonade size was noticeably large compared to most drinks here. I wanted to try more, but felt extremely full after this!
Overall, I was extremely impressed with the quality of food here for it being part of a theme cafe. Be sure to try their seasonal pancakes if you ever get the chance to stop by!
Last year I went on an exciting excavation digging through biomes (made of frosting) and unearthing dinosaur bones (made of cake) from an ancient land, otherwise known as the Jurassic World Cafe in Ikebukero, Tokyo.
This cafe ran for several weeks in July 2018 cooperatively with the Jurassic World movie that was released. The menu featured some explosive meals and delicious desserts! Additionally there were dino masks you could wear to feel like you were really a part of this cafe. My friend appropriately wore her Yoshi’s Island shirt, so we came well prepared. We ordered every dessert on the menu, and the green tea jelly egg drink!
Though this collab cafe has now ended, the rental space in Sunshine City is continually being used to host new cafes! For more information, please see The Guest Cafe & Diner website (Japanese with some English).
The Pokemon Cafe in Tokyo is home to many themed dishes, but this one takes the cake. Or carbonara, in this case. This dish was available for the Let’s Go Pikachu promotion in late February 2019. I am excited to see what kinds of dishes they come up with next.