Artisanal patissiers have been on the rise in Japan for years, and the best pastry chefs in Tokyo are striving to out-bake each other. Being the best means producing confections with the right balance of flavor, visual appeal and originality, and these hotel bakeries are churning out treats with stylish flair.
The Peninsula Boutique & Cafe
Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star The Peninsula Tokyo’s in-house bakery has the Japanese concept of kawaii (cuteness) down pat. Browse the cases for colorful, symmetrical and perfectly formed cakes and confections created by executive pastry chef Pascal Cialdella. And don’t worry, these sweets taste as delightful as they look.
Celebrating seasonality, the menu focuses on fresh produce — a late-winter selection spotlighted strawberries sourced from Ibaraki Prefecture in treats like strawberry tarts and fruit-infused chocolates.
The start of spring introduces another anticipated time — cherry blossom season. With The Peninsula’s lobby draped in nine-foot cherry boughs, delight in the beloved tradition of hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) with finger foods, pastries, rosé, 20 teas and live entertainment.
Chef patissier Tetsuya Yasuzato’s seasonally inspired cakes, chocolates and pastries are some of the most sought-after in the city, especially at Halloween and Christmas. But you should look out for spring-themed treats, like cherry blossom and strawberry cakes and pastel-hued macarons as well.
This artisanal shop is also famous for its spectacular German apple cake. Available year-round, this house specialty is made with apples from the Aomori Prefecture and served with butter and syrup.
The Mandarin Oriental Gourmet Shop
Apart from traditional European breads, sandwiches and coffees — which are vastly popular among the business people in the area — the Gourmet Shop on the ground-floor of Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo also sells exquisite artisanal cakes.
Executive pastry chef Stéphane Tranchet and head baker Tomohiko Nakamura create stunning sweets and savories that fuse artisanal French techniques with Japanese ingredients.
Specialties here include Tokyo pound cake (flavors change seasonally, currently Jandaya tea and chocolate) authentic French macarons and sets of jelly in Japanese fruit flavors. Both taste and presentation are on point with these items, and it doesn’t hurt that these treats are packaged into beautiful little gift sets.