Taiyaki is a fish-shaped cake that is a very popular treat in Japan. Don’t worry though, the cake doesn’t taste like fish! Taiyaki is usually filled with a traditional red bean paste, but can be found in many different flavours such as custard, chocolate, cream and sweet potato.
Taiyaki is shaped like the fish sea bream.. although nobody seems to know the reason why. However the taiyaki chain Kurikoan have decided to put a nintendo twist on the classic treat and create a magikarp shaped taiyaki and it’s really making a SPLASH.
(please forgive me for that last joke)
As a huge fan of the Pokémon franchise I knew I had to try these magikarp taiyaki myself, so I headed down to the Akihabara branch of Kurikoan to check it out. The shop is just a 3 minute walk from Akihabara station an area famous for all things nerdy, with many shops selling anime and video game related merchandise.
The magikarp taiyaki come in two flavours; custard (206 yen) and red bean (176 yen). I decided to try the custard flavour and it was really delicious! It also comes wrapped in adorable Pokémon themed packaging that reads ‘I love Koikingu!’ which is the Japanese name for magikarp.. you could say that it was super effective (that is the last cheesy joke I promise!) Kurikoan create taiyaki in many interesting flavours, so maybe they will introduce more magikarp fillings in the future!
There are Kurikoan shops in many locations all over Japan but these nerdy treats are only available in four locations; Yokohama Station, Minato Mirai, Kichijoji and of course Akihabara. If you haven’t already tried taiyaki, this is the perfect excuse!
Okinawa is famous for their purple sweet potato tarts🍠, and if you visit you will likely see these little tarts in pretty little boxes adorning the storefronts of every shop you see. The special thing about this venue is that it is the only place in Okinawa that you can make your own tart👩🏻🍳! If cooking is not your specialty you can choose to look at the manufacturing process to get an idea of just how they make these peculiar looking treats! In addition to trying this particular treat, the offer a wide variety of desserts local to Okinawa and Japan. There is no better way to get to know a culture than by tasting it! Include this spot in your travel itinerary for a truly sweet time🍡!
Enjoy a gorgeous view of the ocean behind the shop in addition to the beautiful and light beachy interior of their cafe.
Visit their website to make a reservation if you would like to make your own tarts.
Images found on their website and Okinawa Yomitan.
This "village" is the largest glass and crafts making factory in all of Okinawa, and there is so much to explore here. Their main workshop that they offer is making ryukyu glass products, which is an Okinawan specialty that you won't find anywhere else. They have tax/duty free shops as well and an online shop that you can browse for more products. If you want to make your own however, check their website to book your own glass-making experience. If you visit their website before you book, you can get their 10-15% off coupon that is good for all the items in their shop. Items you can make range from glass making, photo frames, accessories, gel candles, and painting.
Photos found on their website