London Part 5: The Japan Centre

I am a huge fan of Japanese food, culture and snacks. When I was researching places to see before my trip, the Japan Centre came up. Located on Shaftesbury Avenue, a few minutes from Piccadilly Centre Underground, it has everything for fans of Japan – fresh food (hot and cold), fresh desserts, bakery, cooking ingredients, sake, magazines and cds, tea, vegetables and fruits, and so on. I only wish I could come here all of the time!

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Ramune Soda is a very popular drink. It is flavoured lemonade in a uniquely designed bottle. At the top, there is a marble, which you need to push down with the plastic stopper to release the drink. Be careful not to shake the drink too much before opening – it can get a little messy as I found out! Taste wise it is nice, not overly sweet – I bought orange and melon.

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The Japan Centre also do a lot of different desserts and ice creams. I like green tea, so I wanted to try a green tea cheesecake. I tried a Japanese cotton cheesecake last month, so I saw a vanilla soufflé cheesecake, which is so soft and crumbly and light – so delicious!

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I have tried Japanese Kit Kats before, they are so different to ones in England! They are smaller in size and come in a variety of flavours, which don’t tend to be as sweet as the chocolate ones you find here. I bought a bag of sweet potato Kit Kats. I also got some Kabaya Saku Saku Panda cookies, which I am a big fan of already. I am also a big fan of Tohato Caramel Corn, flavoured corn grits which are very moreish. I bought two flavours I haven’t tried – Condensed milk azuki and almond.

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AND I LOVE THE BAKERY!!! I wanted to buy so much! In the end, I settled for these character buns – Rilakkuma *chocolate*, Hello Kitty *chocolate, and half price* and Totoro *custard*. You can also buy red bean Anpanman and Doraemon bread buns. These are so yummy and cute – they made a good late night snack/breakfast!

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***ahhhh hello kitty!****

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Kawaii Box – June Edition

Kawaii Box is a subscripton box that promises the cutest items from Japan and Korea to be delivered to you every month. I have subscribed to this box in the past and have currently taken out a new three month subscription. Compared to similar boxes, the price is not too expensive (about £13ish per box, including free shipping). So what did I get for my first month?

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  • Watermelon purse – really cute and perfect for summer!
  • Kawaii animals pouch – the design is really nice and the item is quite practical
  • Pom pom pen – a stylish item to add to your pencil case

 

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  • Plastic bear bag charm – for me, it doesn’t look that nice but others might appreciate it
  • Ice cream charm – again I am not such a fan of this; it isn’t the sort of thing I would attach to my bag
  • Harajuku bow hairclip – I like the light blue colour of the bow, the coloured spots not so much
  • Fresh Kiwi Juice fan – this fan is quite unusual in its design. The various paddles have a “fresh kiwi juice” design which is cute and perfect for summer! The fan can be closed to fit in your handbag.
  • Bear Pocket Mirror – I like the bear’s face – it is so cute! This would be something I would carry in my bag

 

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  • Kabaya Panda Cookies – I was so happy to see this…I really like them – panda shaped biscuits with milk and white chocolate. The biscuits usually have different panda faces on, but unfortunately, when I opened the box, all the biscuits had melted together! Instead of little cute panda faces, it was one big panda-ish glob 😦 They still taste great but I was a little disappointed…
  • Fruit Stickers – I like food with cute faces on 🙂
  • Korean Deco Glitter Set – this is ideal for those who like arts and crafts
  • Elephant Mini Plush – I usually like these sort of things but not really a fan of elephants

This is bit of a mixed bag for me – some of the items I really liked such as the fan, mirror and stickers. Some of items I didn’t like, such as the plastic bear charm. I was really sad to see that my panda cookies had melted together too. In the past, I really rated Kawaii Box as a great service. Yet with all subscription boxes, you have to consider that you won’t like all of the items – it depends on the monthly choice. Perhaps I will love next month’s box…

Tofu Cute Snack Surprise!

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For those who love Japanese snacks, this lucky cat bag from http://www.tofucute.com is a must have! Available in four sizes, ranging from the chibi size at £12.99 to the sumo size at £49.99, these bags contain a wide range of biscuits, sweets and chocolates.

Tofu Cute says that the actual value of the goods is greater than the price you pay, plus you get a cute kitty drawstring bag.

Last month, I ordered a sugoi bag at £19.99. I was amazed at what I received: a box set of ichigo Kit Kat, pack of two strawberry cheesecake Kit Kat, Meiji Melty Kiss blueberry chocolates, Tohato Caramel Corn, Lollipop DIY candy set, Kabaya panda chocolate biscuits, mango Pocky, grape flavoured chews and chocolate Pepero biscuits. There are good favourites such as the Kit Kat and Pocky and new things I liked. I really enjoyed the panda biscuits and the Caramel Corn. This is why it is so great – it gives you a chance to try new things!

Having finished everything I have ordered a Senpai bag and I am so excited! >○<

Kawaii Box – September Edition

This is the last box in my three-month subscription and it is one that will be missed. One small grumble is that the box always seems to be squashed when it arrives at my doorstep. I am a little fearful that something will be broken or fall out, but thankfully this has never happened.

So in my last box…

  • Kabaya Fish Gummies – I really like the packaging. The sweets are ok – citrus flavoured.
  • Kawaii food sticker set – yummy
  • Moomin Purse – although I have never been a big Moomin fan, it does look quite good!
  • Fragrance beads – this is something I have never really seen before. The pot is really cute.
  • Thank You Dog greeting card
  • Squishy Bread Charm – kawaii charms are a favourite of mine, and this is another one to add to my collection!
  • DIY Jewellery Kit – something to fill my time with, it reminds me of when I used to love making bracelets when I was younger
  • Bunny Pen – this is supposed to be a “neck stretching bunny pen” which looks quite bizarre. It is something that will stand out in my pencil case
  • Alpaca Pouch – this is something that I can find a good use for, and I like the print
  • Caplico Ice Cream sweet – this is a biscuit cone with strawberry and chocolate cream. This tastes quite nice – not too sweet and not too heavy.
  • Egg Mini Plush – he looks so joyful!
What I have really liked about these boxes is that they are quite big, so you get a huge range of items of differing sizes. I also like the addition of Japanese and Korean sweets, some of which I have really found tasty. I will miss this box and I hope I can subscribe again in the future.