One of the more alluring aspects of Shinjuku lies in its variation. The hustle and bustle of the daytime grind blends with the nighttime flair of Kabukicho and other after-hour locations. With shops, eateries, and activities as far as the eye can see, one could spend a lifetime here and barely explore half of everything available. While the glitzy and glamorous locations attract most of the attention, it’s important to remember even the faintest of places have a unique appeal unto themselves. Sometimes all that glitters is not gold, and the ones who have an appreciation for the subtle and unseen are often rewarded for their efforts. This description encapsulates Otodocake, a sweets shop nestled deep in the urban sprawl of Kabukicho.
Small and quaint, the place does little in trying to compete with the dazzling stimulation around it. Customers often frequent the establishment with surprising enthusiasm, yearning to imbibe on the sugary desserts and fresh fruits that wait inside. As you enter Otodocake, you’ll see a bevy of different designs on the walls of past pastries, and collections of holiday-themed items. Countless variations of flaky goodness are on display, as the aroma of freshly baked delights enrapture you with a sense of edible purpose.
Otodocake is ran by a lady referred to as Miss Juli. Having been open for a few years, she has developed quite a following on social media, boasting thousands of followers on her Instagram, Facebook, and LINE accounts. Her hard work even garnered the attention of various Japanese TV shows and media outlets, praising Otodocake for having a sharp attention to detail coupled with excellent customer service. Miss Juli utilizes these platforms to showcase her stellar handiwork in the art of baking, with stunning visuals of anime characters, Disney princesses, and other specially crafted creations. From cakes and lollipops, to uniquely designed fruit trays, she has done it all with a cheerful disposition and warm smile.
Today, another pastry chef was working behind the counter, as he took the orders on the phone as well as from the customers who walked in. Eager to showcase some of his more exquisite designs, he continually brought out different cakes and pies custom-ordered from hours before. He especially beamed in admiration as he just completed his “Godzilla” cake, in tribute to the famous Toho Cinemas in Kabukicho featuring a large statue of the monster. Every inch of the cake is edible, composed of fresh sweet cream prepared every day before business hours. The second cake the chef had on display was the “Ichiman yen” dessert, made with the image of a happy customer as the featured face on the banknotes. Prepared with a gloss texture, the chef wanted to create a cake that was fun, friendly, and memorable. The craftsmanship of the cakes and the details accentuated in each piece conveys the love and dedication the chef possesses in the world of culinary affairs.
For first-timers, make sure you have plenty of yen on hand, as some of these selections can run past the ¥3000 mark. However, a cheaper option would be to choose one of the regular pastries without all the bells and whistles. Still, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll receive a handmade dessert that’s prepared promptly, leaving you with a strong sense of satisfaction. Night owls can rejoice, as the shop doesn’t open until after the sun goes down. Language isn’t much of an issue either, as the menus have English script and large pictures to ensure you leave the shop just as content as the many customers before you.
There’s nothing like enjoying a little slice of heaven with hot tea under the Tokyo night sky. If you venture deep into the grotto of Kabukicho, Otodocake just might be where you find that piece of paradise.