Seven Select Chocolate Brands Available Only in Japan
Across the ages and regardless of nationality, chocolates have always made people's hearts flutter. Here are chocolate brands with selections of tasty chocolates made using uniquely Japanese techniques. It includes some items with Japanese ingredients, such as matcha and miso. How about getting some as gifts to take home?
1. Chocolat Bel Amer
Bel Amer operates under the philosophy of making "chocolates tailored to Japan." Their chocolates are made at a dedicated atelier where temperature and humidity can be controlled precisely. It is equipped with the perfect environment for creating the aroma, melt, and richness which are key for chocolate. The recommended item is the Palet Chocolat (281 JPY per bar (incl. tax)), which is made with special care given to thickness and texture. It is a round chocolate bar that comes in 30 flavors, including some Japanese flavors such as matcha and hojicha tea. Bel Amer has outlets in department store in major cities around the country.
2. Chocolatier Inamura Shozo
This shop opened in Nippori as the chocolate store of Patissier Inamura Shozo, a French pastry shop that has been popular since its establishment. When making the chocolates, they focus on bringing out the natural flavors of the ingredients, and on the sense of satisfaction after eating the chocolates. The showcase in the store has more than ten types of chocolates (300 JPY each (incl. tax)) as well as a selection of chocolate-based petits gâteaux (around 550 JPY). There is a cafe on site as well.
3. Le Chocolat de H
This is a chocolate line by the pastry chef, Hironobu Tsujiguchi, who was born into an established Japanese sweets-making family as the third successor. His chocolates are distinguished by the addition of Japanese ingredients and culture to cacao of various aroma and tastes from around the world. Its appeal is the innovative flavors such as of the Miso and Apple (1,851 JPY) tablette bar that combines miso with apples. These chocolates can be purchased in their stores in Ginza and Shibuya in Tokyo.
4. Chocolatier Erica
Chocolatier Erica, in the glamorous, upscale neighborhood of Shirokanedai, is a full-fledged chocolate specialty shop. Their signature chocolates are the eight types of truffles (assorted truffles (673 JPY (incl. tax) and up)) with such adult flavors as ganache, brandy, cognac, and rum. A variety of other chocolates that represent the seasons are displayed in their showcase.
Goncharoff, a well-established shop that opened in 1923, became famous when its founder, Makar Goncharoff, who was previously a pastry chef for the Russian royal court, started to sell whiskey bonbons and fancy chocolates (cookie and nougat covered in chocolate). Goncharoff chocolates are now sold around the country, primarily in department stores. The recommended item is the assortment of sumptuous chocolates, Bouquet de Chocolat Desserts (864 JPY (incl. tax) and up). It includes such items as ganache chocolates topped with fruit and nuts.
Rokkatei, which has numerous shops in Hokkaido, is a manufacturer of Japanese and Western-style sweets known for the quality ingredients it uses and its roots in Hokkaido. They focus on seasonal senses expressed by sweets, and it was the first to release white chocolates in Japan. Its white chocolates were developed after extensive efforts to create a chocolate with a color that "reflects the image of snow in Hokkaido." The white chocolates that are made with milk from Hokkaido and quality cocoa butter is used in its matcha white chocolate and mocha white chocolate, as well as in its specialty product, the Marusei Butter Sand (box of 10: 1,300 JPY (incl. tax).
7. Message de Rose
This is a chocolate shop with a French name that means "a message from rose." They sell delicate chocolates in the shape of roses, with each petal carefully layered by hand (Mini Rose (1,296 JPY (incl. tax)). These are created using the same ingredients as the highest quality shops in France through delicate techniques and careful attention to detail. In addition to the main store in Akasaka, the chocolates can be purchased at locations in Matsuya Ginza department store and Daimaru Tokyo department store.
*The baked goods in the image are from another store.
Why not get some deluxe chocolates as gifts or as a treat for yourself?
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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