Otaru! According to my dad, it’s this town near Sapporo where there’s loads of touristy little shops selling glasswares, wooden craft objects, music boxes and the like as well as a few awesome patisseries. I’d say that description is about spot on.

The first place we head to is this street that lines up against a canal. I think in the other seasons, there’s a lot of painters and whatever looking to make a quick buck but this time, there’s like one dude painting and a smattering of trinket stores. There’s this school group taking photos on the bridge though.

Hunger pangs draw us away and we pass this shop with a robata in the front and shellfish in a display. My mom opts for a “small” scallop and me, dad and my brother get an oyster. It’s pretty awesome. So awesome, we decide to get some ark shell before we leave.

A little more and we come across the patisserie stores. Le Tao is the biggest, with like 4 different shops. One focuses on chocolates, one on cheese, one on pastries, one on ice creams… The decor is simple and modern but it’s really the pastries that are the draw. They’re just hella beautiful and delicious looking. We eventually go to the Le Tao cafe, on the second floor of the patisserie and grab some tea and cake. Their creme caramel is inside of this milk bottle and it is round about the best I’ve ever had. My brother’s cheesecake is their forte and it’s pretty divine, light and smooth and creamy. The texture in mouth is near disappear. Mom’s napoleon is aight and so’s my baked cheesecake. I highly recommend Le Tao’s creme caramel and cream cheesecake.

Kitakaro is a place I really liked. I’m not really sure why. Maybe it was the beautiful glass cabinets filled with pastries or just the layout of the space. It doesn’t look like a pastry shop, more like an upmarket retail store. They’ve got baumkuchen made in house and I finally get to sample some. Pretty much like Japanese castella, it’s highly refined and delicate in nature but seriously, it just doesn’t wow. It’s nice though. I think the Japanese like it a lot because the rings in the cake are kinda like tree rings, which is highly auspicious. Lots of people buy them as gifts to signify wishes of longevity, whether in life or marriage. I had this eclair at the back though and ooh yea, cream! Cash Rules Everything Around Me!

Rokkatei is also great! The second floor feels like a gallery space. The middle is a void, with windows and seating all around, so customers can peer down into the mainstore. You can grab a sweet or soft serve for a paltry sum and get some free filtered coffee to boot! It’s probably one of the best places to visit just because. I had some adzuki ice cream and some biscuits. One was an next level oreo-esque cookie with a lighter, crunchier bite. Another was this praline snap that was also tasty tasty tasty.

I really like Otaru’s pastry shops. They’re like little nuggets of awesome. I reckon I’ll be back there pho sho, with a bish in tow.