Luxury fillings you won’t find anywhere else.
Back in late March, before the coronavirus state of emergency was declared in Japan, a small store opened in Tokyo’s trendy Nakameguro district and immediately started selling out of its products.
As the days passed, the queues at the front door grew, and photos of the store’s wares started going viral on the Internet, quickly making it the hottest must-visit destination and the newest best place in the city to get…fruit sandwiches.
Filled with pieces of fruit and latherings of whipped cream, fruit sandwiches are an iconic Japanese snack, and this particular store stands head and shoulders above its competitors as it was originally founded as a local greengrocer called Daiwa Super (Daiwa Supermarket) in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture.
Daiwa has been selling exquisite fruit sandwiches in Okazaki for a while now, using only the freshest ingredients and including some unique options that can’t be found anywhere else. The popularity of their products led them to expand with fruit sandwich stores in Kyoto and nearby Gifu prefectures, and now, the specialist fruit sandwich makers have come to Tokyo.
We visited the new Daiwa store just after they opened, and were surprised to find a huge array of options, all listed in beautiful calligraphy on an inside wall.
▼ We purchased four sandwiches that were highly recommended by staff on the day.
The Amaou Sandwich (730 yen [US$6.80]) uses “Amaou” strawberries, which are known for being one of the most expensive and sought-after varieties in Japan.
▼ Sooooo plump and juicy
The Strawberry Daifuku Sandwich (600 yen) uses the Beni Hoppe (“red cheeks”) strawberry, a specialty product from Shizuoka Prefecture which is known for its rich sweetness.
▼ All the usual strawberry daifuku mochi ingredients are there, only inside a sandwich.
The Tarocco Orange Sandwich (700 yen) packs half a whole orange in between two slices of bread.
▼ Tarocco oranges are known for their ruby red blush
The Premium Banana Sandwich (380 yen) might seem ordinary, but the high quality of the fruit was evident upon tasting, and according to the store clerk this is one of their most popular products.
We were blown away by the fine quality and flavour of every variety we tasted, and the sandwich store is still creating lines outside its front door today. In fact, Daiwa has gone viral online again, this time for their giant mango sandwiches, which are made with fruit sourced from Miyazaki Prefecture.
Twitter user @pe_8800 posted the above photos online, showing just how much of a heavy handful these giant mango sandwiches are, and the tweet instantly went viral, earning over 300,000 likes.
@pe_8800 also shared this photo below, showing the glorious display of generously packed sandwiches inside the store.
The mangoes inside Daiwa’s sandwiches aren’t just oridnary mangoes, as Miyazaki is famous for being Japan’s primary producer of the luxury fruit, with locally grown varieties often fetching in the market of 5,000 yen each.
The mangoes Daiwa uses are A grade, making them one of the best — and most expensive — money can buy. And how do they taste? Find out in the epic moment at the end of this clip.
The mango sandwiches are priced from roughly 1,080 yen for a half-mango variety, 1,580 yen for a small whole and 3,000 yen for a larger whole mango sandwich. If you’re planning on making a visit to Daiwa to get your hands on the most Instagrammable fruit sandwiches in town, make sure you arrive early, as they close their doors once they sell out, and they do sell out, sometimes even by noon or 2 p.m.
▼ Sign posted on the door lets customers know their products are all gone for the day
If you’re outside of Japan and hankering for a fruit sandwich right now, don’t despair! This easy-to-follow recipe and video will show you how to make fruit sandwiches wherever you are, and they’re arguably even more beautiful, as they’re arranged to look like beautiful flowers.
Daiwa Nakameguro / ダイワ 中目黒店
Address: Tokyo-to, Meguro-ku, Kameguro 1-13-6
Hours: From 10:00 a.m. until sold out; no regular holidays
Featured image: Twitter/@pe_8800
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[ Read in Japanese ]