Jiyugaoka: Tokyo's Hidden Sweet Neighborhood

Have any of you heard of Jiyugaoka station? The Jiyugaoka area/station is located in Meguro-ku and takes about 40 minutes from Waseda. The last time that I visited Jiyugaoka is probably more than 5 years ago, but I clearly remember how I fell in love with this not-too-bustling neighborhood. 

Photo by Yolanda ​

Personally, I think Jiyugaoka should be named as Tokyo’s Hidden Sweet Neighborhood because the density of dessert shops — whether chain shops or more luxurious dessert shops — is not only high, but I am also pretty sure that you won’t find a ‘bad’ Jiyugaoka dessert shop in Jiyugaoka.

As soon as you step out of the north exit of Jiyugaoka station, you will see an array of dessert shops. The first dessert shop that I would like to recommend is known for their souffle pancakes: Flipper’s. I’m sure some of you tried out this place before, as Flipper’s have many stores in Tokyo; they sell delicious souffle pancakes and has attracted both tourists and locals when they come to Tokyo.

Photo by myself

Flipper’s release seasonal pancake flavors based on seasonal ingredients, and currently they are promoting the Mont Blanc chestnut souffle pancake flavor. In the pancake, you can savor three different chestnut textures — a whole sweetened chestnut, sweet stir-fried chestnut chunks, and the smooth chestnut cream on the top of the souffle pancakes.

Photo by myself

Be sure to save some space for more amazing desserts on the way as you stroll around Jiyugaoka. When it comes to the most famous and delicious dessert shop, Jiyugaoka Rollya and Mont St. Clair fit as the perfect answer. Both of these dessert shops come from the same owner - Hironobu Tsujiguchi. He is a renowned Japanese baker and has won many awards throughout his baking career, which started from when he was only 18 years old. Jiyugaoka Rollya boasts more than 15 different cake roll flavors; new flavor releases are European pear and pumpkin. I have tried the salted caramel and European pear cake roll flavors; because Jiyugaoka Rollya is meticulous in their use of different sugar types that fit each flavor the most, their cake rolls are not too sweet and is just right.

Photo by Yolanda

If you are looking for a dessert that looks like artwork or thinking of buying a high-quality sweet treat as a present, Mont St. Clair is a perfect choice. All of their desserts look like art, making you hesitant to consume the beautiful, aesthetic creation. Their dessert is relatively more expensive than Jiyugaoka Rollya, and I do believe that buying desserts from either of these two dessert stores are truly worth the money.

Photo by myself

Alongside Flipper’s, Jiyugaoka Rollya and Mont St. Clair, I encountered a cute little dessert shop when I was walking with my friend a few days ago. The shop is called Hachikaku Store, and they sell Taiwanese pineapple cakes, Ooyama blueberry cakes, and Longan (a type of fruit that is similar to lychee) muffin. Hachikaku even won the gold awards at a recent dessert shop ranking for a girl’s magazine amongst many other dessert shops. They use Tottori (located in the southern part of Japan Main Island)’s fresh, local fruits, such as blueberry and the naturally sweet flavor of pears to incorporate in the delicious pastry cake. The cute, bright blue packaging of the pineapple cakes definitely attracted me at first sight, so Hachikaku is another great omiyage choice if you are searching for one.

Photo by myself

Photo by myself

I've definitely missed out on many popular dessert shops, but I really do hope you take one day or an afternoon to leisurely stroll at Jiyugaoka. This area is a hidden gem for your sweet tooth, and I am sure you won’t be disappointed with the desserts that Jiyugaoka has to offer.