Japan was on my ‘to-travel’ list for the longest time. Japan and Italy. I had already finalized a trip to Italy for my birthday (in April) this year. But I didn’t know I’ll get to tick both these countries off my list in the same year. I got invited by the Japan National Tourism Organisation to experience the country and promote the vegetarian food and desserts it has to offer, both of which are my things!
My trip to Japan was short but completely packed with magic. What do I say? I was just what I had imagined and much more. In the 5 days we got to spend in the beautiful country, we covered Hokkaido, Osaka and Kyoto. Each of these places were so unique in their own way and still reflected the core values that Japan stands for. Hokkaido was covered in snow, Osaka was a busy city with tall skyscrapers and Kyoto was quaint and traditional. But in each of these cities we felt welcomed and were left mesmerized by the Japanese discipline, precision and their eye for detail.
All these qualities were also very well reflected in the desserts of Japan. I’ve traveled to several countires in the last few years and I taste desserts everywhere I go ( read my article on my 10 favorite bakeries in the world). My favorite countries in terms of desserts so far were France, Copenhagen and London but Japan completely blew me away!! What they’re doing with their desserts in absolutely phenomenal. Their desserts are so pleasing to the eye, made with perfection and so detailed. They’re also equally delicious and pleasing to the taste buds. If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen the outrageous amount of dessert I consumed in 5 days!
So here is a small of list of the desserts I tried in Japan and absolutely loved-
Hokkaido milk ice-cream
While walking down the streets of Otaru, trying not to slip on the snow, we stumbled upon this adorable snoopy ice-cream parlor. Temperature was -2*C and there was snow as far as the eyes could see but I still could not resist getting myself an ice-cream. Why? Hokkaido milk is supposed to be the best in the world. It is because Hokkaido cows are raised in very calm conditions. The lovely climate, fresh air and abundance of fresh green grass in Hokkaido enables the cows to grow healthily and naturally. This results in their milk tasting very strong and being very smooth. I took the lavender flavor and my friend picked matcha. Needless to say, the ice-cream was one of the creamiest, most delicious I’ve ever had! Definitely lived up to the hype.
I’m officially obsessed with Japanese cream and their cream puffs. I had them every single day in almost embarrassing quantities haha. No regrets, though! They were all sorts of incredibly and I still wake up dreaming of these light choux pastry desserts. I had the from everywhere- from seven elevens to fancy hotels in Japan. The strawberry cream puffs at Ritz Carlton Osaka were hands down the best. The choux pastry was crisp and the strawberry scented cream filling was light, fluffy and absolutely dreamy. These cream puffs at Universal Studios, Japan were equally yum and super cute. Definitely Instagrammable! They were filled with a delicious banana cream. So good!
One of the things I loved the most about Japanese desserts was that they were all super light. I love desserts that are not too heavy and that is why chiffon cakes are my favorite. The chiffon cake I picked up from seven eleven in Osaka was just the dessert of my dreams. How in the world are departmental store desserts in Japan so good? two layers of the lightest, fluffiest chiffon cake filled with the best cream in the world and fresh strawberries- it doesn’t get better than this! I had this for breakfast ha ha, because why not?
No one comes close to Japan when it comes to making the most adorable dessert. Just look at how finely made this taiyaki cake is. It reminded me of the Taiyaki cone ice-cream I had in China Town in London. This Taiyaki cake was filled with custard cream and was as delicious as it looks. One bite into the chewy cake and then into the luscious custard filling was enough to make me fall in love with Japanese desserts all over again. This was picked up from a seven eleven again! I loved the textures of this dessert.
If you’re in Japan, don’t forget to pick up a box of Tokyo Banana from one of the airports. It is a very interesting dessert, which I am sure you’d love. It is a banana shaped cake that is filled with banana custard cream. The cream basically uses strained banana puree so it is very flavorful and light. Like all Japanese cakes, this one is also super light and fluffy. After baking, the cake is actually steamed to bring out it’s soft texture. You can’t miss this one!