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It has been a tumultuous year, but the cycle of dessert trends never stops, especially in Harajuku.

The newest international arrival is Taiwanese castella cake, courtesy of just-opened Kumo on the first floor of the neighborhood’s The Share building. What separates Taiwan’s take on the dessert from what you usually find in Japan is how the castella is cooked — soft on the outside, and approaching almost custard-like batter in the center. The store wants customers to experience the dish (¥880 before tax) at its freshest, so it bakes each one just after ordering (prepare to wait 30 minutes) and only sells it from 3 p.m.

It’s all worth it though. That texture is dreamy, almost close to a souffle pancake, and delivers a taste unlike any other castella in Japan. Pair it with one of Kumo’s fruit teas (from ¥550 before tax) and you have a lovely afternoon snack.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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