Sweets for Show: The Brightest and the Cutest of Tokyo’s Insta-bae Desserts
The Instagram boom in Japan is still going strong; if anything, it’s shining even more than ever. With so many youths and celebrities on the photo-sharing app, it’s become an increasingly busy market for trends. And we all know in Japan they put their own kawaii spin on everything—that’s where “Insta-bae” comes in.
“Insta-bae” (インスタ映え) is the Japanese version of “Insta-worthy”. It used to be all about whipping out your phone as soon as you saw something adorably photogenic, but now the game has changed. You look for it. Nowadays more places are starting to create sweets purely with the purpose for taking photos. Cue rainbow food dye, sparkles and every other edible decoration you can think of.
MONARCH OF LONDON
The English sweets brand has only been around in Tokyo for little over a year, but they already have over 4,000 followers and are raking in the photos from satisfied customers who appreciate their dreamy and creative line up of sweets. Monarch of London is sharply ahead of the curve, bringing the unicorn and mermaid trends to Japan with their pastel-colored smoothies.
MONARCH OF LONDON Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monarchoflondon/
When you think of rainbow cakes and the like, you might start to have suspicions about just what goes into the batter that makes them so colorful. AWORKS, however, would take you by surprise—they use absolutely no artificial colors in their incredibly colorful cakes. They specialize in cheesecakes that come in a myriad of vividly eye-catching patterns and colors, all while using natural ingredients. It’s a real work of art that’s unique every time!
AWORKS Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gakudai.aworks/
This small ice cream shop is nestled within the edgy streets of Harajuku, and rightfully so. Blending in perfectly with the designer brand stores around them, they’re more like a fashion emporium for ice cream. They play dress up with dessert—you’ve never seen ice cream toppings like these. Everything is customizable, so you can get your pick of decorations from chocolate unicorns to stars to giant red lips.
Eddy’s IceCream Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eddys_ice_cream_/
BEAR’S SUGAR SHACK
Tokyo’s pancake obsession is hitting the streets, literally. No longer confined to crowded cafes and restaurants, you can now find a wagon out in Shinjuku that serves mini pancakes hot off the grill for you to eat on the go. Of course, the gimmick doesn’t stop there either. The real draw at Bear’s Sugar Shack is customization, where you can choose the most colorful of sweet toppings to sprinkle over your pancakes. Sugar bears? Marshmallows? Pastel candy balls? They’re all yours to garnish with.
BEAR’S SUGAR SHACK Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bears_sugar_shack/
KAWAII MONSTER CAFE
If a café was co-produced by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, you know you’re going to expect some extreme kawaii of the weirdest sort. At the same time, you’ll still be surprised. The menu at KAWAII MONSTER CAFÉ will both shock and delight you. Step into a psychedelic world with dancing cats and spinning stages, and enjoy a meal of rainbow pasta and pastel unicorn pancakes. It’s a feast for the stomach and for the eyes—or should I say, Instagram.
KAWAII MONSTER CAFE Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kawaiimonstercafe/
It’s a debatable concept. Some live for finding the most “Insta-bae” sweets so that they can fill their Instagram feed with the most attractive pictures. Others can’t comprehend why you’d go out of your way just for a photo. On one hand, they’re ridiculously good-looking and a sure way to get likes on your photo. On the other hand, with all those colors and extreme decorations how good can the sweets themselves even taste? Not to mention they can be pricey; that one extra candy ball comes at a cost.
Still, it’s all subjective and down to preference. At any rate it’s a given that like it or not, “Insta-bae” sweets definitely get your attention. Would you spend money on the most photogenic sweets on the street?
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