How many people here love the movie My Neighbor Totoro? And what do you think about eating a fluffy Totoro? An edible one of course, not in a creepy kind of way.
My Tokyo trip on September 2016 was my second touchdown of Nippon land. I went to Japan (Osaka, to be precise) for the first time when I was in 3rd grade, visiting my uncle who was working there.
Because I was a little kid back then (with no internet era like right now), I just went to wherever my parents brought me, like of course… hahaha. So I was very excited for the 2nd trip to Japan with my friends. I was able to arrange my own itinerary, and even paid the whole trip with my own money (it’s nice to be an adult sometimes).
Couple of months before the trip, my friends and I listed all the places we want to visit. I bumped to a blog and found this super cute bakery which sold anything Totoro related, but their signature dish is their Totoro Cream Puff.
Fyi, I am not a huge fan of Ghibli (many of my friends are huge fans especially my friends from uni), I watched maybe just around 5 Ghibli movies. My Neighbor Totoro is my favorite though! Well, maybe draw with Spirited Away.
Anyhow, it did surprise me when I’d seen a lot of people posting anything Ghibli in social media, yet when I told my friends about Totoro, many of them didn’t know about it! Even my two friends who went to Japan with me, they were excited about going to this Totoro cream puff store but when I asked them, they didn’t know about Ghibli and hadn’t watched the movies yet -__- My colleagues in office also had no idea about Ghibli when I told them about my trip to here.
Skip to the real topic, I was lucky because the airbnb we stayed in Tokyo was located in Setagaya area. We checked the mighty Google Maps and jackpot! It was located just walking distance from our apartment. Well, around 2 kilometers but still.
After walking for around 30 minutes, we arrived at this cute little bakery in a house. It is inside the neighborhood, not on a main street. Sounds difficult, but just use Google Map to find it (unless you’re genius and also can read Japanese address).
We went there early, so there were smells of freshly baked bread around. Entering the humble house you’ll experience the strong Ghibli vibe from the figurines and images in frame. Go to the left and you would find the bakery with glass display, with KAWAII Totoro puffs lining up inside. Go upstairs and you’ll find The Tolo Café located on the 2nd floor. We planned to stay at the café to order the Totoro puffs but the place was full booked (we went on a Saturday, fyi). I encourage you to reserve first if you go here on a weekend. I am not sure the staffs can speak English really well though (especially if you speak to them through phone), so it’s beter to go there on weekdays.
There are a few flavors you can choose for your puffs: custard, chocolate, strawberry, and caramel banana. Every Totoro have different ‘accessory’ on their head, depends on the flavor. I picked the custard (I love custard!), and my friend chose the strawberry one. The custard and chocolate costs 400 yen, the strawberry, and caramel banana costs 440 yen.
How was the verdict about this cutie Totoro puff? The pastry was crispy and what I love the most is the cream filling. You crack open the Totoro and you’ll see a generous amount of filling, almost no empty spaces (you know how it is in cheap choux puff). It tasted homemade which made me love it even more (if you know what I mean). I tried my friends’ strawberry one and it is good too. But I love my custard even more hahaha (this is subjective though).
A little effort is needed to reach this place. But I think you have to try it especially if you are a Totoro (or Ghibli) fan. I can imagine myself being a regular customer of this bakery if I live around this area, because it is just that adorable little café you’ll love if you want to have a quiet little chat with your friends or just doing me time alone. And for the yummy puffs, of course.
Shiro-hige Cream Puff Factory
Address: 5 Chome-3-1 Daita, Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan
Opening Hours: 10.30 AM – 7 PM
Closed every Tuesdays.