No Japanese apartment comes equipped with an oven. That shocked me, until I stopped to think about it, and realized not a single traditional Japanese dish requires baking. Which doesn’t keep them from being some of the most skilled bakers in the world. Like the fiber artists of the Tokyo International Quilt Festival, the pastry chefs at the Japan Cake Show manage to take what used to be a very Western art and…turn it Japanese.
These may look like wedding cakes, but cake plays no part a traditional Japanese wedding, so these tend to celebrate other life events like…
Welcoming a new little prince or princess into the world:
Throwing a tea party for your hundred best friends:
Shichi-go-san (the November coming-of-age ceremony for three-year-old girls, five-year-old boys, and seven-year-old girls):
Political support for Ukraine, in edible form?
Okay, this one actually is for an autumn wedding:
And finally, a sculpture disguised as a cake to celebrate…the opening of a new kabuki play?
And naturally (this being Japan), the closer you get, the more amazing they are.
For example…all these filagree decorations and the fan-like yellow bits were hand-piped from white chocolate…
…and everything you see here (even the flowers) is edible, made from either chocolate or fondant
Which makes this next cake topper ever more mind-boggling! I think the only thing that’s not edible are the traditional mizuhiki colored wires used to wrap gift envelopes.
And not only are the flowers perfectly formed, some are hand-painted with the kind of skill usually lavished on far more permanent canvases…
…and sculpted to such perfection they could be mistaken for a museum exhibit
Look at the “embroidery” on the kabuki costumes and the expression in the figures’ gestures!
Now that you’ve seen the “wedding” cakes, come back for Part Two: The spun sugar and chocolate sculptures!
The Japan Cake Show Tokyo usually runs for three days in mid-October and entry costs ¥1500 for adults. Details about the next one (in Japanese) are on the Tokyo Confectionary Associations website.
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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had
3 thoughts on “Epic Japanese Cake Show: Part 1”
I don’t think I could bear to cut into or eat any of those works of art. Wow. Hope you are having a wonderful time.
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Thank you, Diane! (Sorry for the late reply—I’ve been neglecting my blogging duties while running around and seeing what’s still here in Tokyo and what’s new since the last time I was here!)
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