When everyone talks about cheesecake, everyone always talks about Rikuro Ojisan (you know, the bouncy cheesecake that's in every Japan travel food video?), a staple Japanese cheesecake from Osaka.
Personally, it's not my favourite cheesecake in this country. I think it's good and it's very fresh (probably the biggest selling point), it's just the raisins at the bottom really aren't my thing. They could do without and it would taste just as good. And quite frankly, there's other places that also make really good cheesecakes! And I want to talk about a few that I've been obsessed with over the years.
Don't worry, Pablo is not on the list. We don't talk about it here.
And also... this post isn't for the lactose-intolerant folks, but I hope this might help you if you have a family member or a friend who loves cheesecake as much as I do!
If you know a bit of French, you probably figured out that the store name means 'Black Cat'. This sweets store deals with a lot of different kinds of Japanese sweets, but one of their more popular items is their Japanese Cheesecakes.
This cheesecake does require refrigeration, so it's nowhere as fresh as a Rikuro Cheesecake, but the taste is just as good if not better! There aren't too many shops in big tourist areas, but they can be seen selling at a promotion type sweet stall called Sweetsbox. They might also be selling at department stores as well. Definitely give it a try if you see it!
I also found this one during the Sweetsbox promotion rotations. They don't actually sell at the stalls often, but when they do, you will find them rotating between different Sweetsbox locations and even consecutively selling inside department stores for a limited time.
KAnoZA is not a Japanese bouncy cheesecake. They're more of your traditional New York style cheesecake, which I love!
But actually advertise their cakes as "fondue" cheesecakes. I'm still really confused as why that is, because I don't think you're suppose to heat it up and melt it... but their cakes have a VERY thick outer cookie shell that's absolutely out of this world if you love cookie crumb crusts in cheesecakes as much as I do.
Just look at that crust! Mhmmm:
And yes, their signature is the Matcha Fondue. According to them, this cheesecake has won some national awards - so even the food professional agree that it's good! It's more heavy on the matcha taste than the cheese taste, but they also have a regular Double Cheese fondue, which is very cheesy! And if matcha isn't your thing, they have the Chocolate fondue as well. They also have seasonal flavours from time to time like melon, which has not disappointed me so far.
If you are in Izumo City in Matsue, definitely stop by and support them.
Or if you see them at one of the promotion stalls, check them out!
Again, this isn't a Japanese cheesecake in a traditional sense. They actually call themselves a "Cheese Omelette", and these suckers are extremely difficult to find outside of Hokkaido.
In Sapporo, these things sell out like hotcakes at the Airport Duty Free and Souvenir shops daily. If your flight is later in the day out of Chitose, your chances of actually buying them at the airport is extremely slim. Now I've never been to Hakodate yet, but as Snaffles is from that city, I imagine it'll be easier to get there. However, they are quite famous.
They're just that good.
These are bite-sized little spongy cakes - all made of cheesy goodness. I absolutely adore them. I love them so much that my boyfriend had in the past, mail ordered (yes, by snail mail) from Hakodate to be shipped to Kansai as a surprise for me. I can't tell you if the rarity of it contributes me craving it, but it is good, I promise!
They also offer two flavours on the regular - the original and the chocolate. On their online shop (no more mail ordering!), they have a couple more other flavours like Matcha and Latte. But outside of Hokkaido, the most common place you will see Snaffle is during those Hokkaido Fairs department stores like Daimaru host on their event floors. They will most likely only carry the two regular flavours.
If you ever make it to Hokkaido, and you want to impress your cheesecake-loving family and friends, seek these out and give them as souvenirs. I'm sure they'll not be disappointed!
Now, this list is just a few that I've come to love over the years. There are literally SO MANY sweets shops in Japan that makes cheesecake. There are so many cafes like HARBS that put various kinds of cheesecakes on their seasonal menus, and they are so good - but I didn't mention because it's not a permanent item.
(HARBS' blueberry cheesecake? Honestly to die for!)
So I'm sure there is a cheesecake you love which I haven't mentioned yet. What's your favourite cheesecake in Japan?