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Things you should do during autumn in Tokyo: Enjoy Autumn desserts around Ikebukuro Station

Things you should do during autumn in Tokyo: Enjoy Autumn desserts around Ikebukuro Station

As the capital city of Japan, Tokyo (東京) is one of the world’s most exciting cities with many attractive places to visit and fun activities to enjoy all year long. Whether you’ve been to Tokyo many times before or haven’t been at all, social media sites like Twitter and Instagram have helped spread the word about popular and major Tokyo spots that no longer need further introduction. 

 

So, instead of sharing about famous spots, I will be focusing on a place in Tokyo that may not be well-known amongst tourists—my university town, Ikebukuro (池袋). Since autumn is approaching in Tokyo, I would like to introduce four yummy autumn desserts that you can find around Ikebukuro Station (池袋駅), which are usually not featured in guidebooks!

 

1. Daigaku-imo Frappuccino @ Starbucks

(Image credit: Norika)

 

The first sweet that I want to introduce is the Daigaku-imo Frappuccino (大学芋フラペチーノ) from Starbucks Coffee. Starbucks is probably the most famous coffee chain store in the world, and if you visit it, you must try new and seasonal flavours which are only available in Japan! Daigaku-imo (大学芋 university potato) is a deep-fried sweet potato coated with sweet syrup and this is a very popular food for Japanese people. Interested in the origin of this funny name of Daigaku-imo? Although there are various theories, it is mostly said that this food was known as an affordable snack and became very popular among cash-tight university students around the 20th century. You’ll be surprised how well it blends with brown sugar syrup, whipped cream, and black sesame seeds together! Also, for ¥590, there are a lot of chunks of potato in the drink which I find to be very worth it.

 

(Image credit: Norika)

 

There are a few Starbucks located all around Ikebukuro, but the most popular one is Ikebukuro Nishiguchi (池袋西口 Ikebukuro West Exit) store. I recommend going there during off-peak hours when it’s not so crowded—this outlet is most popular as it is the most accessible from Ikebukuro Station of all of the Starbucks stores in Ikebukuro.

 

Starbucks at Echika Ikebukuro
Address: 3-28-14 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-0021
Opening hours: 7am–10:30pm (Weekdays), 8am–10:30pm (Weekends)
Tel: +81 3-5960-0600

 

2. Chestnut Tart @ HARBS

A piece of Waguri no Tart (¥1,050). (Image credit: Norika)

 

The second dessert I’m going to introduce is the Waguri no Tart (和栗のタルト), or Chestnut Tart from HARBS. This cafe is very famous for serving many kinds of lovely cakes. 

 

(Image credit: Norika)


Every time I pass by the storefront, there is always a long queue. So this store is one of the places you can’t miss! I highly recommend you visit on weekday afternoons to avoid the long queue.

 

Can you spot the Waguri no Tart? It’s bigger than you think! (Image credit: Norika)

 

This tart is not one to be eaten all by yourself, because the serving is bigger than other cake shops. The Chestnut Tart that I had has two big chestnuts and the inside of the tart is filled with chestnut cream and chopped chestnuts. Once you take a bite into your mouth, you’ll be surprised how the flavour explodes in your mouth. Of course, take-out is also available—I ordered mine to-go. Chestnut Tart is the cafe’s seasonal special, starting from 10 September until 2 December (it might be sold out earlier than December due to popular demand).

 

HARBS at LUMINE IKEBUKURO 
Address: 1F, Lumine Ikebukuro, 1-11-1 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 171-0021  
Opening hours: 11am–9:30pm (Weekdays, Last Order: 9pm) / 11am–9pm (Weekends, Last Order: 8:30pm) 
Tel: +81 3-3986-8668

 

3. Purple Mont Blanc Pancake @ DIORAMA CAFE

Purple Mont Blanc Pancake (¥1,500). (Image credit: Norika)

 

The third one is a very instagrammable pancake from a cafe called “DIORAMA CAFE”. Located just a 5-minute walk away from Ikebukuro Station West Exit, this cafe is famous for its variety of pancake menu and homemade sweets, like puddings and cakes. As an autumn special, the cafe started selling the seasonal Purple Mont Blanc Pancake from the start of October and it will last until 30th November. 

 

(Image credit: Norika)

 

On the top of pancakes, there is vanilla ice cream topped with purple sweet potato cream and dried sweet potato chips. Also, chopped baked potatoes are sprinkled on top of the pancakes. Salty chips and the sweet pancakes go really well with sweet potato cream!

 

(Image credit: Norika)

 

Don’t forget to check their store information from Google or its social media pages before visiting, because this store has irregular closing days!  

 

DIORAMA CAFE
Address: 3-29-4 GEST7ビル B1, Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 171-0021
Opening hours: 11am–8pm (Mon–Fri, Last Order: 7:30pm) / 10:30am–7:30pm (Weekends, Last Order: 7pm) (Closed on Tuesdays)
Tel: +81 3-5944-8498

 

4. Aki-Hirioi-Bonbon @ Momobukuro

Aki-Hirioi-Bonbon (¥1,800). (Image credit: Norika)

 

Do you want to have something not too sweet? There is a store called Momobukuro, the store of “Night Parfait” (夜パフェ専門店 Yoru pafe senmon-ten), that is just a 3-minutes walk away from Ikebukuro Station West Exit.  

 

(Image credit: Norika)

 

This cafe offers unique and special parfaits to call it a night. At this store, you can try a variety of artistic and photogenic parfaits from the menu in the cozy atmosphere. 

 

The shop serves some new flavours seasonally, so I ordered the Aki-Hirioi-Bonbon (秋拾いボンボン Autumn-picking-bonbon). As its name suggests, this parfait includes classic autumn ingredients like persimmon sorbet, fig, soft cream, pumpkin pudding, dried and sliced purple potato, and so on. Those ingredients go well together and bring a delicate and rich autumn flavour. I promise this parfait will be totally different from the ones you’ve ever had! 

 

Parfaiteria Momobukuro (夜パフェ専門店 モモブクロ)
Address: 1-4005 Natori Building B1F, Nishiikebukuro,Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 171-0021
Opening hours: 5pm–12am (Mon–Thur) / 5pm–1am (Friday, and the eve ofday before PH) / 3pm–1am (Sat) / 3pm–12am (Sun, PHholiday)
Tel:  +81 3-6914-1839

 

BONUS: ぼうず’n COFFEE

Beautiful interior in ぼうず’n COFFEE and Matcha Latte (¥400). (Image credit: Norika)

 

Lastly, I’d like to introduce a hidden and secret cafe that opens only a couple of days a month, irregularly. This cafe called ぼうず’n COFFEE (Bouzu’n COFFEE). It is located within the temple grounds of Shoun-ji (祥雲寺) and 10-minute walk away from Ikebukuro Station West Exit. Surprisingly, this cafe was opened by a Buddhist priest, who used to work as a barista. 

 

(Image credit: Norika)

 

In ぼうず’n COFFEE, there is a Japanese-style room as well as a terrace where you can enjoy Japanese sweets and Matcha. They also serve cafe latte, espresso, Dango (団子 skewered sweet dumplings), Dorayaki (どら焼き Japanese red bean pancake), and so on. From the Japanese-style room, you can see traditional and beautiful Japanese gardens. Enjoying Japanese sweets and drinks while listening to the singing birds will make you forget the hustle and bustle of Ikebukuro. 

 

(Image credit: Norika)

 

The only way to know if they are open is to check their Facebook or Instagram accounts before your visit. Out of all the places I have introduced, this cafe is the least accessible, but it’s worth trying!

 

Priest’s coffee (ぼうず’n COFFEE)
Address: Shoun-ji, 3-1-6, Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 171-0014
Opening hours: Irregular
TEL:+81 3-3984-2408

 

I hope you have found some new cafes to visit in Ikebukuro from this article. We are facing an unprecedented pandemic now, but I believe we can get over this crisis together. Take care, and see you soon in Japan!

 

Header image credit: Norika

 

Writer’s profile: I’m Norika, a student from Rikkyo University in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. I’ve grown up and lived in Saitama, the prefecture near Tokyo. This is my second time to join here as an intern. Traveling across Japan is one of my favorite things to do and I’m more than  happy to share my recommendations and experiences in Japan.

 

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