At the Kyoto cafe (there are 12 outlets spread around the country), you are greeted by a selection of cakes inside a museum-like glass vestibule. And like a star attraction, it draws crowds (mostly, of “cooing” girls). You pick first, then order, then wait. ...

I was there for the French toast: voluminous, coquettish, accompanied by a twirl of soft-serve ice cream and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Aurora Lounge, located on the 45th floor of the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku, is one of the most non-drinker friendly places in Tokyo. Its 45 Refresh! Non Alcohol Cocktail menu has as many cocktails as floors that the lounge is from the ground.

The pancakes at the Tokyo outpost of Oahu’s popular Cafe Kaila are indeed very good. They are light and fluffy but not at all vapid; they’re incredibly filling and include a surprisingly generous amount of fruit.

For an extra ¥150, you can also get a cup of coffee. As a way to warm up customers who were brave enough to dare a large scoop of gelato, the shop offers free hot tea.

Cafe Papins has four new flavors that can only be enjoyed in these cold winter months, such as shaved ice drizzled with hot kabocha squash sauce, adzuki beans and caramel — all homemade — with a scoop of vanilla Haagen-Dazs on the side.

At Mario Gelateria in Ginza, you can warm up with a cup of hot chocolate, ginger milk tea or consomme soup before you order a scoop of ice cream.

In addition to its usual kakigori, it offers a special winter menu from November to April that includes cream stew that is simmered on the stove for at least two hours, gratin that will be served in the store from January and French toast ...

The sign outside says “Welcome to the Small World of Eating Paradise.” And for such modest premises, they offer a surprisingly wide menu, from simple starters such as gyoza pot-stickers and Singapore-style smoked duck through a good range of stir-fries and seafood dishes.

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