2017 No.21

召し上がれ、日本Tasty Japan: Time to Eat!


Japanese Street Food

Photos: Ishihara Hideki and Marion, Co., Ltd.

The popular menu items of Banana Chocolate Cream (background) and Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake Cream (foreground) are served in a cone shape after baking.

Marion Crepes became Japan’s pioneer crepe vendor when they first opened their shop in Harajuku’s Takeshita Street in 1977. Back then, the hip thing for youngsters to do on weekends was stroll Takeshita Street and take in Harajuku’s pedestrian paradise overflowing with street performers while snacking on a crepe purchased at the shop’s wagon. Harajuku today is a Japanese fashion culture hub popular with young Japanese and tourists from abroad.

The crepe, which originated in France’s Brittany region, was imported to Japan and has since evolved into a street food that’s completely different from its French counterpart. The more simple French standard varietals, such as butter and sugar, or chocolate, are probably present somewhere on the Japanese crepe menu, said to count over 100 different varieties. The most popular choice in Japan, however, has been and always will be Banana Chocolate Cream.

Before crepes came to Japan, the most popular desserts in cafes and restaurants were parfaits and pancakes loaded with various sweet toppings. This trend crossed naturally into crepes, and common crepe fillings soon included whipped cream and ice cream. More recent filling varietals include sweet adzuki bean paste and cheesecake, as well as the more savory, light-meal crepes filled with hamburger patties or tuna and cheese.

It’s as though the evolution of food culture in Japan over the past 40 years has been condensed into this cool street food. The Japanese crepe—wrapped and rolled in a cone shape—has grown into a respectable staple in the country’s pop food realm.

A woman goes window-shopping with crepe in hand in this distinctive scene of Harajuku’s Takeshita Street.

Rich and greatly varied selection of crepes on display. Be sure to try the select menu of seasonal items that beguiles you with its bevy of choices.