Springtime is often as synonymous with cherry blossoms as it is with the dreaded season of hay fever. Don’t worry though as we have just the remedy for you this week with an indoor allergy-free sakura festival. Not into pink and rather have fries with that? Then Wendy’s First Kitchen in Tokyo is calling you for their invite-only all-you-can-eat french fry event. Aside from this, Japan’s mega baseball star Shohei Otani is going all out with a pop-up shop that is taking over Omotesando. And last but certainly not least, we’ve got you covered for your next home party with this official Studio Ghibli cookbook.

ghibli food cook book

This New Recipe Book Lets You Recreate Memorable Studio Ghibli Food

Do you salivate just at the thought of the food from a Studio Ghibli film? We thought so. The animation studio is well known for its compelling stories and beautiful characters, and now it’s adding food design to its list of accomplishments. Thanks to publisher Shufunotomo, you can be a Ghibli chef-in-training with the recipe book Ghibli’s Dining Table: Kiki’s Delivery Service. Preorders of the book were so popular that a reprint is being organized even before the original release date.

Within this book are introductions to some of the dishes that have appeared in the movie, including original recipes. Die-hard Ghibli fans will recognize the herring and pumpkin pie, complete with an intricately designed pie top in the shape of fish and decorated with olive slices. Look forward to whipping up the iconic chocolate cake that Kiki receives from Madame, which honestly looks like a replica of how it appeared in the movie. 

The sheer variety of main dishes, sides and even drinks means you’re all set for your next Studio Ghibli-themed home party. Here’s a list of all the dishes that you’ll find in the cookbook, including original recipes.

Recipes from Ghibli Films

  • Gütiokipänjä’s mountain-shaped shokupan and round bread 
  • Tombo’s cookies 
  • Herring and pumpkin pie 
  • Osono’s milk soup 
  • Kiki’s pancakes 
  • Madame’s chocolate cake 

Original Recipes

  • Magic berry soda 
  • Witch’s ribbon snack 
  • Black cat cake pops 
  • Open sandwich in the attic 
  • Dragonfly-striped cake

The recipe book is currently only available in Japanese. However, the detailed step-by-step images should be enough to guide most people. And if all else fails, the scan function of Google Translate should help. 

You can preorder the cookbook for ¥1,760 on Amazon Japan here.

cherry blossoms tokyo

Cherry Blossoms Without the Allergies at the Indoor Tenbou Park Sakura Festival

The gorgeous cherry blossoms of spring might come and go, but for many of us, hay fever seems to go on forever. The folks at Sunshine City have come up with the perfect solution for those affected by the seasonal allergy but still want to enjoy the popular pink flowers, the Tenbou Park Sakura Festival, an indoor sakura festival held at Sunshine 60 Observatory.

Starting March 1 until May 12, visitors can enter “Park in the Sky,” a brand-new experience that promises the feeling of spring from the comforts of the indoors. During this time, Tenbou Park is transforming its artificial turf with cherry blossom decor, creating a striking natural park feel. Some of the decorations are made from the branches of the Somei-Yoshino variety of cherry trees, which are said to have originated from Toshima ward itself. Completing this picture-perfect moment is the stunning view from 251 meters above sea level.

The event might be indoors but it doesn’t lack in capturing that festive feel. Tenbou Park is also selling original cherry blossom food and drinks that you can consume while taking in the view. This includes a sakura Mont Blanc, sakura strawberry milk and even a bento with cherry blossom flower-shaped rice balls. Families can also participate in activities, such as a ring toss, target shooting and parent-child workshops.

Want to bring a date? Visit towards the evening to soak in an illuminated atmosphere with a drink in hand. There is a message tree for guests to write cherry blossom message cards conveying their goals for this year or heartfelt notes to loved ones. And if you fancy yourself as a budding photographer, Tenbou Park is also organizing a photo contest with prizes and the opportunity to exhibit at the observatory’s gallery. Best of all, folks residing in Toshima ward receive a 20% discount on admission fees. If that’s you, make sure to bring proof of address along, such as a residence card or a driver’s license.

Event Information

Event Date: Mar 1 – May 12 Opening Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (subject to the business hours of the Sunshine 60 Observatory). 

Price: Adults ¥700, Children ¥500 (Weekends and Public Holidays: Adults ¥900, Children ¥600). *Prices may vary depending on the season and special business hours. 

*Children younger than elementary school age can enter for free. 

For more information on the event, check the Sunshine 60 Observatory website.

all you can eat fries

Tokyo Wendy’s Releases Your Inhibitions with All-You-Can-Eat Fries Event

If this section of the article is what caught your eye, we just want to say, we understand and we won’t judge. Moreover, we’re here with you because who wouldn’t want to dive right into a pile of never-ending fries? Check out everything you need to know about the “Drowning in Dipped Potatoes” 40-minute all-you-can-eat fries challenge at Wendy’s First Kitchen. 

The challenge begins in late March, taking place at the Shimokitazawa, Akebonobashi, Sakuragaoka and Iidabashi Wendy’s First Kitchen stores in Tokyo. To be part of the foodie action, you’ll first need to apply here (entry fee ¥1,500) and win the opportunity to be a participant via a lottery. Successful applicants will then be invited to one of the stores for the feast of their lives. Not one to leave a meal unbalanced, Wendy’s First Kitchen has thoughtfully included a Baconator USA set which comes with a medium-sized Wendy’s chili and a drink.

After that, participants can order as much dipping potato (fries with a dipping sauce) or flavored potato (fries with dry seasoning added) as they can humanly consume. The retail price for a burger set with these add-ons is around ¥1,260, which means you’re only paying an extra ¥240 for the all-you-can-eat portion of the meal. Drink refills are also part of the deal, as is a free limited edition eco bag to commemorate this life-changing experience.

What’s the catch? Well there really isn’t one. Wendy’s does have one reasonable request, which is to ensure all the food ordered is eaten. In fact, you can only order refills as long as you’ve eaten all the fries and finished your drink or risk incurring additional charges for food waste. The fast food chain has also added the ominous disclaimer of, “We are not responsible for accidents or poor health caused by eating too quickly or eating too much,” so please consume as responsibly as possible. 

Full event information can be found here. The dates and times vary depending on the selected outlet. Please review the event details to ensure you’ll be able to attend should you be chosen.

shohei ohtani

Get the Shohei Ohtani Experience at this Omotesando Pop-Up Store

Hearts all over the world are still reeling from Shohei Ohtani’s marriage announcement. However his popularity has only continued to surge, as evidenced by this Ohtani takeover of the Decorté brand in the high-street fashion area of Omotesando.

Starting March 19, the athlete’s chiseled jawline will be gracing the streets, billboards, LED monitors and even a pop-up store. Titled the “Decorté Liposome Purple Stadium Pop-Up,” this limited-time event gives fans the chance to feel the world through Ohtani’s perspective with baseball motifs, a locker room and even a photo-worthy spot featuring Ohtani. 

You’ll also be able to play a pinball game inspired by a baseball field, while receiving a three-day sample of the liposome serum, plus personalized service and some original Decorté cookies. The purple interior is the same color as Decorté’s Liposome Advanced Repair Serum. Ohtani has been the face of the product since 2023. Just like the man himself, the serum is also the best in its field as it’s the best-selling beauty serum and best-selling skincare product in all of Japan.

Scope out Jingu Bridge at the main Omotesando intersection, outside Omotesando Hills and its Aoyama entrance to catch more of the Los Angeles Dodgers star. A smaller version of the Decorté pop-up will also take place in Shinjuku’s Odakyu Department Store,  Takashimaya Shinjuku and Ginza Mitsukoshi in late April and May. If you’re not able to make it to Omotesando, fret not as you can experience “Shotime” at 21 other locations around Japan. Check out the campaign page for all areas, dates and times to avoid being disappointed.

Event Information

Date: Tuesday, March 19 to Sunday, April 14, 2024 

Time: 11:00-20:00 (Business hours*) 

Venue: Bakery Cafe 426 Omotesando, Harajuku Piazza Building, 4-26-18 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 

*Business hours are subject to change 

*Admission may be restricted due to crowd control

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