While places like Keio Department Store and Shinjuku Takashimaya continue to operate with curtailed business hours, the recently opened Ikea Shinjuku has been grabbing much of the attention this month. As well as fashionable furniture, the new location offers delicious takeout dishes and special deals, all aimed towards the achievement of sustainable living goals. Also in Shinjuku this month, there’s a cafe designed for architecture geeks and a Japanese tradition dedicated to desserts.

Shopping and Cafes

The Grand Opening of Ikea Shinjuku

Despite the third state of emergency taking place in Tokyo, Ikea Shinjuku still managed to successfully open its doors on May 1. The company’s main goal is to provide customers with inspiration and comfort as the public finds new ways of spending time at home. Improving the quality of life in our living  space has been a crucial part of surviving the pandemic- from work and online parties to daily exercises and meditation practices, everything seems to be happening in the same space. At the Shinjuku store there are room displays and suggestions designed to fit every person’s needs while also representing the area’s culture which is all about diversity and variety. 

The new Shinjuku location is also the first in Japan to include a Swedish deli section that sells by the gram. It’s called Swedish Bites and you can purchase various dishes and baked goods including Ikea’s famous meatballs and plant balls. The plant-based lasagna might be something you want to try as well. In addition to making plant-based dishes, they are also working hard to decrease food waste as part of their goal of being climate-neutral by 2030.

If you’re looking to throw out some of Ikea’s old furniture as you look for new items, the company’s buyback campaign is also worth taking note of. It’s available for all Ikea Family and Ikea for Business members until June 20. Check out their website for details.

Where: 3 Chome−1−13 , Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku

When: Buy Back Campaign May 20—June 20

shinjuku architecture cafe

Combine museum and bar experiences at the Architecture Cafe Sumika

This innovative cafe allows customers to enjoy the view of professional architectural models while sipping on coffee or alcoholic beverages at night. The Architecture Cafe Sumika actually opened in Shinjuku-Sanchome at the end of last month, but it’s still rather new and exciting. It’s a “museum-style cafe” showcasing architectural models of buildings designed by famous architects such as Kengo Kuma and Le Corbusier. The lights are dimmed during the evening which can give the architectural models a different look compared to the daytime.

Where: 3 Chome−6−7, Shinjuku 

When: from April 28 | cafe 10am—6pm | bar 6pm—4am

Desserts to Enjoy at Home

Savory Sweets Dedicated to Wagashi Day (6/16) from Toraya

How many people know that June 16 is officially dedicated to traditional Japanese wagashi? I certainly didn’t. The event actually originates from the old Japanese traditions of warding off evil spirits, which involves eating sweets. Toraya, a famous Japanese confectionery brand that’s most known for its yokan, will be selling four special wagashi treats at various locations in preparation for this event. Three of them will be available at the Shinjuku Isetan store: the yokan set, manju set and an assortment box. 


Where: Shinjuku Isetan, 3 Chome-14-1 Shinjuku

When: June 10—June 16

Luxury Dessert “Matcha Terrine”

Why not indulge in some rich, matcha-flavored dessert during your weekends at home? This dark-green, flavorful matcha terrine is handmade using only hand-picked and graded matcha leaves. The dessert boasts the perfect balance of umami and bitterness. This is then combined with high-quality chocolate and cream. There’s also a hint of yuzu and lemon to balance out the taste. You can either wait an hour for the terrine to defrost or enjoy it frozen for an ice cream-like texture. It’s available at Fujie Lab on the basement floor of Shinjuku Takashimaya as well as at Fujie Sabo in Nihonbashi.


Where: 5 Chome-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya City

When: Started May 13

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