pasta

Japan: Tokyo/ Omotesando/ Gluten-Free (Natural Cream Kitchen)

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If you have food allergies like I do, you know how daunting traveling may be, particularly when it comes to overseas travel.  But, a great man once uttered, “Nothing is impossible,” and indeed with growing food allergy awareness, traveling with food allergies is becoming much easier than it used to be.  The only caveat is that you must do your homework ahead of time, which many of us who have allergies are accustomed to doing anyway.

In this new blog post, my purpose is to introduce you to a wonderful little café located in Omotesando, which offers all natural, gluten-free items on their menu.

Natural Cream Kitchen opened in spring of 2015 and bills itself as an “additive free sweets café.” However, sweets are not the only things offered on their menu. Here you will find delicious items such as chicken and roast beef entrees, meatloaf, pasta, sandwiches, quiche and salads.  Their drinks menu includes soft drinks, herbal teas, beer and wine! They even have a brunch menu featuring oatmeal and omelets among other items!  Everything is prepared using natural ingredients, no sugar and no additives.  Their tarts, breads and cakes are created with rice flour and sweetened with amazake  (a traditional sweet, low- or non-alcohol Japanese drink made from fermented rice) and sugar beets. Their signature roll cakes come plain and in chocolate cake flavors and are available in sizes up to 50cm (19.6 in). For Christmas you can order the Christmas cake version. Oh, and did I mention their sweets sampler tower?

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You can choose to dine in the cozy café decked out in a bright and soothing décor or take your food out. There are large vases filled with white flowers, white washed tables and chairs, exposed white brick walls and a giant chandelier comprised of eating utensils.

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The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, able to answer any questions you may have regarding the menu (provided you speak Japanese.)  Even if you can’t speak Japanese, the menu has pictures of the items available so you can just point to what you would like to order.

Whether you have food allergies, are health conscious or just want to try delicious tasting foods, Natural Cream Kitchen should be on your list of places to visit when in Tokyo! The café is open Mon-Sat from 10AM-8PM, Sun & Holidays 9AM-8PM. It is easily accessible via the Meiji-Jingumae Station (Chiyoda, Fukutoshin Lines) or the Omotesando Station (Ginza, Hanzomon, Chiyoda Lines).

 

Web page:                        https://naturalcreamkitchen.com/

Location:                           GYRE B1F 5-10-1 Jingumae Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001

Japan: Aichi/ Inuyama (Okashi no Shiro)

Located just north of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture is an amazing sweets museum called Okashi no Shiro. The museum is housed in a 19th century Neo-Baroque style building and serves not only as a sightseeing spot but also as a hall for parties and weddings.

Inside, beside a winding staircase you will find a 46-foot tall sugar cake, said to be the tallest sugar cake in the world. There is also a Sweets Village featuring 200 works using sugar to depict famous castles and landmarks from around the world as well as various scenes from well-known fairytales.

The museum also houses two restaurants. Cupid’s Flower Garden is an all you can eat sweets buffet offering everything from cakes to ice cream, coffee, juice, tea and the experience of creating your own crepes and parfaits. Cinderella’s Restaurant offers a lunch buffet serving such delectable items as roast beef, pasta, pizza, desserts, juice, etc. Again, this is an all you can eat buffet and there is no time limit enforced. Do note that the lunch buffet is open only on weekends whereas the sweets buffet is open all week long.

Visitors to Okashi no Shiro can engage in various hands-on experiences too, including baking cookies, biscuits and breads. The museum grows its own fruit in their fruit garden and these can be used in the various baking classes. Another popular experience is dressing up in different costumes and having your photo taken on the museum grounds. Cinderella’s Magic Salon offers at least 100 dresses/ costumes available for rental as well as accessories such as shoes, floral bouquets, etc.  The Magic Salon offers rental tuxedos for men and they even have costumes for tiny infants!

Lastly, you can host your party, corporate event or wedding in Cinderella’s Party Hall. The room can accommodate up to 300 people between the hours of 9:00 AM and 8:00 PM and the cost of rental is ¥4,200 per person.

The museum is open from 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM on weekdays (closed Wednesday & Thursday) and       9:00 AM – 6:00 PM on weekends. The admission fee is ¥1,200 for adults and ¥900 for children aged 3 years and above. In addition to the admission charges there are separate fees charged for the various activities so check the web page for specifics.

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Website:          http://www.okashino-shiro.jp/english.html

Address:          1-11 Shinkawa, Inuyama City (Inuyama-shi), Aichi Prefecture (Aichi-ken) 484-0956, Japan