I feel kind of sorry for the staff at the Tolo Bakery & Cafe, because how many times can you hear, “Kawaiiiii!” in one day without checking yourself into the loony bin? Seriously, even if you’re not at all the sort of person who squeals it all over everything from coffee foam to pit bull puppies, I dare you to walk in there and NOT SAY IT. Trust me, you will lose this one. It will spring from your lips as though free will were not a Thing.
And because these Miyazakian pastries also happen to be delicious, they are worth every step of the ten minute walk from Shimo-kitazawa Station, even in blazing sun, pouring rain, or raging typhoon.
Tip ‘o the leaf umbrella to Helen Foster of Destination: Differentville, whose intrepid legwork brought to my attention just how worthy this bakery really is. (And psst, she’s got some great posts about what to do while you’re in Japan!)
When not biting the ears off Totoro cream puffs, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!