The Harajuku/Omotesando district in Tokyo is already a mecca of sweet shops from around the world, but things in the area just got even sweeter this past weekend as another internationally loved bakery opened its very first shop in Japan. Yes, we’re delighted that London’s celebrated LOLA’S cupcakes now has a shop in Tokyo, and as you may have guessed, we weren’t about to miss out on trying the sweet creations from one of London’s best-loved baking outlets, so there we were on opening day.

We already knew from the pictures that their cupcakes look simply amazing; now we couldn’t wait to try some for ourselves, and there were even going to be four original Japanese flavors too — Yum!

October 3 turned out to be a beautiful day in Tokyo; not too warm, not too cold. This was, as it happened, not only the day that LOLA’S was scheduled to open, but the grand opening of the entire shopping/dining complex in which the store would be located, so there was a lot of excitement and activity going on in the facility.

▼ Here’s the Cascade Harajuku complex that opened on October 3. The entrance was decorated with beautiful oversized paper flowers.

▼ Here are the signs showing the shops in the complex. We found the blue LOLA’S cupcakes sign is there in the bottom row. Yay!


▼ It’s a beautiful, modern-looking building with plenty of open space.


▼ Here’s the shop entrance. There were many gorgeous floral gifts on display, as is the custom in Japan with store openings.


▼ We arrived somewhat early, and as we had a bit of a wait before the shop opened, we were given a leaflet that we could look at while waiting.


▼ Inside was a menu of the available cupcake flavors. The only problem was, they all looked so good, we found ourselves in serious contemplation over which flavors to choose.


▼ The staff inside were busy getting ready for the opening, and our anticipation was running high too!


▼ Shortly before opening, free samples of the “tiny” size Red Velvet cupcakes were distributed to the people waiting in line. What a welcome surprise!


▼The small cupcake looked adorable!


▼ And here we are entering the shop just as it opens!

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▼ Our eyes were immediately drawn to the colorful cupcakes lined up in the case. These are the cupcakes in the “tiny” size, priced from 250 yen to 300 yen (US$2.08-2.50).



▼ And these are the regular size cupcakes, priced from 460 yen to 560 yen ($3.83-4.67), with the same flavors available in the two sizes.


▼ Heavens, how were we going to choose from among these delectable looking flavors?


▼ But choose we did. We decided to get the four Japan original flavors — the Mont Blanc, Tokyo Vanilla, Matcha (green tea) and Blood Orange — plus the Red Velvet and Banoffee. (But goodness, that was a hard decision to make!)


▼ Once we had placed our order, we were able to take a closer look in the store. The colored tiles gave the interior a bright yet gentle atmosphere.


▼ An illustrated menu showing all the flavors was hung on the wall.


▼ They also had several LOLA’S cupcakes merchandise on sale, including the tote bag (1,300 yen [$10.84]), the LOLA’S forever recipe book (4,200 yen [$35.01]) and two types of mugs (1,300 yen each).


▼ The mugs come in “London” and “Tokyo” designs. Here’s the Tokyo design, with the Tokyo Tower prominently illustrated.


▼ We were also fortunate enough to have the chance to speak with LOLA’S cupcakes Managing Direcctor, Mr. Asher Budwig. He was kind enough to pose for this photo holding a “Tokyo” mug and also give us some comments. He told us that naturally, he was very excited about the opening and amazed at the amount of interest the shop’s opening has received in Japan. He also said that he was very happy about the four original Japan flavors and that the quality of the cupcakes here in Tokyo are excellent, if not better than in London!


▼ Now it was time to head home and try the cupcakes. By the time we left, there were about 50 people waiting in line, and all the cupcakes apparently sold out around 2pm this day.


▼ Yes, it takes some patience to get your hands on tasty sweets in Tokyo!


▼ The excitement of the opening was great, but now we were coming to the best part—tasting time!


▼ We couldn’t get over how beautiful the cupcakes looked in their different colors!


▼First,  for the four original Japan flavors: This is the chestnut-flavored Mont Blanc, with a steamed chestnut paste cream on a plain vanilla cupcake, topped with a piece of stewed Japanese chestnut. The cream had a gentle flavor but still tasted strongly of chestnut, which should delight the customers here, as chestnut is always a popular sweets ingredient in Japan.


▼ Here’s the Tokyo Vanilla flavor. The cream on top contains Japanese-style white bean paste (shiro-an), giving it a very gentle sweetness, which again should appeal to Japanese consumers. The snow white cream topped with the silver pearl decoration was visually breathtaking.


▼ An obviously Japanese flavor, the Matcha (green tea) cupcake is made using plenty of Japanese green team in both the cream and the cake, and is topped with a marshmallow infused white and green tea rocky road chocolate. The strong taste of green tea was refreshing and should make this a suitable flavor  for people wanting something not overtly sweet.


▼ And this is the Blood Orange flavor, all the pink color making it look like a pop art masterpiece. (Well, there’s nothing we love more than art we can eat!) The refreshing and slightly sour orange-flavored cream and topping combined exceedingly well with the base chocolate cake.


▼ We also tried two of the flavors that weren’t limited to Japan. This is the Bannofee cupcake, and well …  all we can say is, the cream, the banana on top and the banana flavored cupcake was absolutely divine!


▼ And we had to have the classic Red Velvet cupcake. The slightly salty flavor of the cream cheese in the topping combined with the cocoa flavored cake was unbelievably tasty — we can see why this is one of the most popular items on the menu in London!


So, that sadly brings us to the end of our cupcake tasting session. We have to say, we were delighted with both the flavor of the individual cupcakes and also with how visually attractive they looked. We felt we could stare at the cakes all day (or is that just me?). We also though it was nice that they have all the cupcakes in a “tiny” size, so that you can try many different flavors in small amounts.

Yes, we have a feeling that we (or at least this writer) will be coming back here again, especially with all the flavors we haven’t had yet. And thank you, Mr. Budwig, for taking the time to speak with us. Here’s wishing the folks at LOLA’S many years of happy and tasty baking in Japan!

Shop information
LOLA’S cupcakes (Tokyo)
Address: 2F Cascade Harajuku, 1-10-37 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
〒150-0001 渋谷区神宮前1-10-37 カスケード原宿2階
Telephone: 03-6447-1127

Open 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

Photos © RocketNews24