Starbucks: Shinagawa Station

I feel like there were a lot more Starbucks in Japan than the last time I was here. The menu is pretty much the same except pricier. I got a tall cappuccino for 380 yen, or about $3.82. But unlike the cappuccinos I’ve been getting at the Starbucks in DC, it actually tasted more espresso-like. In the US, don’t usually get Starbucks espresso drinks without ordering an extra shot because it otherwise tastes like milk, not coffee.

You can supposedly get free Wifi service at Starbucks stores in Japan, but I wasn’t about to connect to it, myself. The Starbucks in Shinagawa also had some food items like this quiche – which I didn’t try – and a baum cake, which is pretty ubiquitous in Japan.

More after the cut:

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15 Jun 2009, 9:44pm


Depachika: A Foodie's Paradise


If you are a foodie in Japan, one trip you must make is to the “depachika” – the basement of a department store. Department stores in Japan dedicate their basement levels to top grade food items, where you’ll find tasty foods you didn’t even know you wanted until you set your hungry eyes on them. Word of caution: don’t visit these places when you’re starving, or you just might blow your budget.

These are actually great places to buy gifts to take back with you to your friends and family, and you can count on them to gift wrap everything (and even give you spare bags complete with brand insignia) with your choice of ribbon color.

I don’t think I spent half as much time as I should have at the depachika, because looking back at the photos now, I’m realizing that I hardly ate any of these. (;__;)

My brother took these photos, since I was too busy staring covetously at everything. Most of the pictures here are of pastries, but don’t be mistaken. Depending on department store, you’ll find all kinds of foods, ranging from fish and meats to produce and hot prepared foods. =9

The rest of the pics follow. >>

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14 Jun 2009, 9:48am


Daibo Coffee


This will be the first of several posts on my Japan trip from May ’09. I was there for a week and a half, staying mostly in Tokyo, but with a brief side trip to the Hakone hotsprings. Japan’s got some of the best food to be had in the world, and this trip certainly did not disappoint on that front!

Today’s post is on Daibo Coffee shop, a place in Aoyama that my Tokyo Time Out guide highly recommended. My brother and I had been wandering around Harajuku/Aoyama that day and after a long day of walking, we desperately needed a place to sit down and cool off.

Daibo is located on the second floor of a rather nondescript building near Omotesando station. It’s a real hole in the wall, a tiny little space covered in wood and (on the day we went) smoke. I’ll never really get used to the public smoking in Japan, but I would say that this place is well worth sucking up that second hand smoke…and the price! I had the iced cafe au lait, pictured here with the handy syrup (sugar water) for easy sweetening. This bowl of icy goodness set me back a whopping 700 yen, but it was probably the best cafe au lait I’d ever had in my life.

This coffee shop also offers liquor…and desserts. An odd combination, but no complaints here! The menu was filled with funny Engrishy wording. Pics under the cut.

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