Take a Break with Sweet Treats! 10 Popular Dessert Spots in Asakusa
Asakusa is a very popular spot for sightseeing that is crowded with tourists all throughout the year. While it is nice to enjoy the lively atmosphere, you might feel tired while you’re walking around seeing the sights. At such times, why not take a break and restore your energy by eating sweets? Here are 10 popular shops in Asakusa with delectable sweet treats!
Aug 24 2018 (Sep 09 2020)
1. Kimuraya Main Branch
Ningyo-yaki is a snack-like cake that is made of a batter of flour, eggs, and sugar cooked in an iron mold. You can choose the flavor, either plain or with sweet red bean paste inside. It is said that it is called "ningyo-yaki" because it originated in Ningyo-cho, Tokyo. Kimuraya Main Branch is the oldest ningyo-yaki shop in Asakusa, and they are famous for their pigeon-shaped ningyo-yaki.
The ningyo-yaki in Kimuraya come in 4 different shapes, including pigeon, five-storied pagoda, and Raijin-sama (thunder god). They are available from a pack of 8. It is a great snack to have while walking, since each one is small enough to finish in a few bites.
The ningyo-yaki is made right in front of the store. Although it is delicious even when cool, it is best eaten freshly cooked so that you can enjoy its soft and moist texture. It is a good option for a souvenir, since it keeps for one week at room temperature.
2. Kagetsudo Main Branch
There are many types of Japanese bread. One of them is called "kashi pan", consisting of sweet breads that you can enjoy as a snack. Melon bread, which is known for its cross-hatch pattern that's similar to the surface of a melon, is one particularly popular kind of kashi pan. If you're looking for a place to try melon bread, visit Kagetsudo, which sells over 3,000 of them every day!
Their signature item is the Jumbo Melon Bread, which measures 15cm in diameter. The outside is crispy and the inside has a fluffy and light texture. It is lighter than its large appearance may have you believe, so you can finish it rather quickly. They also have unique versions of melon bread that are filled with vanilla or matcha (powdered green tea) ice cream.
The second floor of the shop is a Japanese-style cafe where you can indulge in a wider variety of sweets, such as Kaki-gori (shaved ice with toppings). Although it has a tatami (straw mat) floor, there are table seats, so you can easily sit back and enjoy your time there.
3. Ameshin Main Branch
"Amezaiku" is a traditional Japanese candy art craft. The candy is softened by heating it to around 90°C (194°F) before being finely crafted with bare hands and special scissors. You can attend a workshop and experience crafting some for yourself at Ameshin Main Branch.
Inside the spacious shop, you'll find finished works done by craftsmen scattered around. Many of them look gorgeous and lifelike. You'll surely by how finely detailed they are!
At the workshop, even beginners can enjoy crafting amezaiku when guided by expert craftsmen. Anything you create, you can take home!
4. Asakusa Naniwaya
In Japan, sea bream is said to be a very auspicious fish because its name in Japanese is “tai", which sounds like the last part of “medetai”, meaning "joyous" or "propitious". It is also a symbol of longevity since Japanese sea breams live nearly 40 years, a lifespan that is comparatively long in fish. The specialty of Asakusa Naniwaya is Taiyaki, which is a pancake shaped like a sea bream. It is made of flour and sugar, and the inside is filled with sweet red bean paste. You can eat it freshly cooked in the shop or enjoy it as takeout.
It is recommended to order Taiyaki with a Drink Set if you are eating at the store. You can choose from a wide selection of drinks, including green tea, matcha, and coffee. Be careful not to burn yourself, as fresh taiyaki is hotter than you expect. Also, don't forget to take a picture of that cute taiyaki-shaped plate!
Another specialty of this shop is Kaki-gori. You will be surprised by how much is provided in each bowl! Although Kaki-gori is typically a summer food, they serve it all year round here. They have popular standard flavors like milk and fruits, as well as unique and seasonal flavors like peanut butter and cocoa powder.
5. Suzukien Asakusa Main Branch
Matcha ice cream and gelato are very popular foods that you can get anywhere in Japan. However, the Japanese tea specialty shop, Suzukien, offers super rich matcha gelato that is incomparable to others. Their matcha gelato is recommended for those who like the bitterness of matcha.
They rate their matcha gelato from No. 1 to No. 7, depending on the concentration of matcha, with No. 7 being the strongest. Besides matcha, there are other tea-based flavors, such as hojicha (roasted green tea) and brown rice tea.
Why not try ordering the No. 1 (sweetest) and No. 7 (most bitter) to compare them? If you order the double size, you can choose and enjoy two flavors at once!
Founded in 1854, Umezono is a long-established dessert cafe. You can enjoy classic Japanese desserts here, such as Anmitsu (cubed agar agar jelly with toppings) and Kuzu-mochi (kudzu starch cake). Although most dessert cafes open only during the day, Umezono is open until 8:00 pm, making it great for those who get cravings for sweets at night.
They have been serving Awa-zenzai since they first opened. They use mochikibi, which is a type of mochi (sticky rice cake) made of millet, with sweet red bean paste dolloped on top. It looks like a simple dessert, but has an incredibly sweet taste. The faint taste of the mochi and the rich sweetness of azuki form a flavor combination that has been popular among their customers for a long, long time.
Sweets for takeout are also available, so you can eat them while you roam the streets. They change their menu every season, so it is always exciting to see what they have to offer!
7. Courage Asakusa
Courage’s specialty is a square an-pan (bun filled with sweet red bean paste), the top of which is marked with kanji characters that read “Asakusa”. Generally, an-pan has only anko (sweet red bean paste) inside, but Courage’s an-pan also includes fresh whipped cream.
Though it is a little large, the balance of incredibly sweet anko and faintly sweet whipped cream is perfect. It tastes so delicious that you won’t have a problem finishing it!
There are a wide variety of breads besides sweet pastries in the shop. Sozai-pan (stuffed bread) is a good option for lunch. The price range is around 100 yen to 200 yen, so you can easily buy several pieces of bread to savor!
Angelus is a retro-style cafe founded in 1946. Their signature sweet is the Angelus, a roll-cake made with coffee-flavored buttercream. There are other flavors like white chocolate and seasonal editions. All the flavors are slightly sweet and incredibly delicious.
There are wooden decorations and paintings on their walls, creating a calm atmosphere. The first and second floors of the cafe are spacious with open ceilings, while the third floor is like a cozy hideaway. You can choose where to sit depending on how you feel that day!
Osamu Tezuka, a famous cartoonist in Japan, used to come to this shop frequently. You can see his photo and a signed illustration in the photo above!
*This place closed down in 3, 2019.
9. Cafe Tsumuguri
Cafe Tsumuguri is housed in a renovated kominka (Japanese traditional house). Their popular dessert is the Fruit Sandwich, which has seasonal fruits and yogurt cream in-between slices of soft bread. You might expect it to be very sweet, but in fact, it has quite a refreshing flavor.
The interior retains an old Japanese atmosphere. You can enjoy some classic architectural features, such as the irori (traditional Japanese hearth) and the old ceiling.
Since the location is a little removed from the train station, it is surprisingly quiet. There are various types of seating, such as counter, small table, and large table seats. Sit back and relax in your favorite seat!
*This place closed down in 3, 2020.
10. Funawa Cafe Asakusa Branch
Funawa is a famous traditional Japanese confectionery that's known for its Imo Yokan, a sweet made of sweet potatoes. The shop has a history of over 110 years. At their cafe, which is located near Kaminari-mon (Kaminari Gate), you can get their specialties: Imo Yokan and Anko-dama, which look like beautiful accessories.
Besides Imo Yokan, they have a variety of sweets made with sweet potatoes, such as pancakes and puddings. The Sweet Potato Pancake even has a cute smile drawn on!
The cafe looks so modern that you wouldn't believe that it's super old! This includes the stylish interior. On a sunny day, why not get a seat on the terrace to enjoy both their sweets and the weather?
In the old, retro district of Asakusa, there are many famous wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) stores. That said, more and more stores selling breads and cakes are starting to gain attention throughout Japan. The next time you visit Asakusa, keep an eye out. You just might find your favorite dessert!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.