It’s a hot, humid day in Jiyugaoka, and I’m desperately trying to search for a specific restaurant. I can’t find it, and I’m losing hope. Then, in the distance, I spot a bright pink sign which promises sweets, cakes, and dessert delights. I’m quickly convinced to go investigate this so called 'Sweets Forest'.
I’m the only one mad enough to go outside in the heat, it seems, because there’s hardly anyone there – which leaves plenty of room for me to wander around the ‘forest’ and see what it has to offer. Which, it turns out, is just about every sweet thing you can think of.
Amongst the pink trees and Alice in Wonderland-themed décor, several counters offer souffle, jellies, doughnuts, Hawaiian desserts, Hong Kong desserts, sweets, pancakes, waffles and.... quite literally anything you can think of. I decided to opt for the matcha and white chocolate frozen milkshake, with the ‘princess tiara’ roll-up cake. It was about as delicious as it looks, which is, by the way, very. That was, however, after many minutes of debating which stand to even go to. Many people in the café chose more than one item, taking a tray around the room and picking things out.
I spent around 15 minutes trying to decide what to have, while simply taking in the bizarre, ‘kawaii’ environment I’d inadvertently wandered into. Jiyugaoka’s Sweets Forest feels like something you’d find in a backstreet of Harajuku – it’s cool, cute, and offers some really amazing food. It’s nice to know that can go about the well renowned shops and cafes of Jiyugaoka and get a similar experience without having to venture all the way to busy Harajuku.
After a walk around the café, carefully debating which dessert to get, I made my choice, sat down and enjoyed my piece of cake. There were many tables and chairs outside, but considering the heat, everyone had opted to stay indoors under the blissful air-conditioning with a good view of all the beautiful cakes and cute décor.
Jiyugaoka’s Sweets Forest is only a 5 minute walk from the train station, and is very easy to find. If you’re in the area and want to try some of the best desserts in Tokyo, you should make a stop there.