Updated: November 07, 2018
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Hands Expo Cafe: Incredibly Cute Japanese Sweet Dumplings, Ginza

Ginza

Hands Expo Cafe is located on the 7th floor of Plaza Ginza. They have a secret menu from which you can order a colourful set of four sweet dango rice balls.

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Insta worthy traditional Japanese dessert!

desser_set
This dessert set (¥1,200) has been a hit on social media in Japan. It has four dango style sweets that are skewered and topped with different things, a kashiwamochi (rice cake wrapped in oak leaf), a small serving of colourful oiri (soft candy balls), and a cup of matcha green tea.

The set was originally served as a special seasonal set during the cherry blossom season. It was so popular that people kept asking for it even though it was not on the menu anymore. The demand was such that the cafe decided to keep serving it as part of its "ura-menu" (secret menu) after it was no longer officially on the menu.
dango
The set consists of 4 dongo rice balls on skewers. From left to right, the flavours are: purple sweet potatoes, sweet soy sauce, sakura (cherry blossoms), and white adzuki bean paste.

Homemade dango rice balls on skewers

dango_closeup
They are not only super cute but also served to you freshly made. You can still feel the warmth in them, and the texture is nice and chewy.

The sweet potato one here is sweetened with brown sugar, but just only lightly. the sweet soy sauce one is quite a nice sweet and salty combination that is often used for mochi traditional desserts.
sakura_motchi
The sakura dango here has a delightful flowery scent, while the white adzuki bean one is a little sweet and crispy from the bits of roasted mochi it has sprinkled on top of it.

Kashiwamochi

kashiwamochi
There is another type of mochi that comes in a different plate and that is wrapped in an oak leaf the traditional way. This is the kashiwamochi.
kashiwamochi2
It is filled with sweet adzuki bean paste.

Oiri and other small candies

oiri
These little sweet candies are meant to be eaten at the end. They are really cute too and their sweetness level is higher than the sweetness level of the mochi desserts.

Matcha tea: the perfect drink to go with those sweets!

matcha
Nothing goes better with these traditional sweets than a strong, slightly bitter cup of matcha green tea!

Lastly...

inside
Hands Expo Cafe has a spacious relaxing interior from which you have a splendid view of Ginza because of its large windows. It's the perfect place to go for afternoon tea. Give it a try!
tabikamome
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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