1. Dandelion
    Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa Dandelion Chocolate, Kuramae
  2. Dandelion
    Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa Dandelion Chocolate, Kuramae
  3. Minimal Tomigaya
    Minimal Tomigaya

Best chocolate shops in Tokyo

From dark, bitter truffles to creamy white bonbons, these chocolate shops are the most decadent in Tokyo

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen
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If Willy Wonka had started a chocolate factory in Tokyo, he’d be well behind the game by now. While the bean-to-bar movement is relatively new, Tokyo’s chocolate scene has long been highly competitive. Annual local events such as the prestigious Salon du Chocolat from France identify the best chocolate makers in the country and see how they compare to overseas experts through a showcase of specially crafted sweets. 

These speciality stores are run by passionate chocolatiers who seek to show off the complex characteristics of cacao from different regions. For instance, cacao from Madagascar produces fruity chocolate with strong acidic notes that lovers of bitter chocolate favour, whereas those from Amazonian regions such as Ecuador often boast floral flavours with a fruitier finish.

So go ahead and indulge – you can keep it simple with a single-origin bar, splash out on a luxurious selection of assorted sweets, or order an opulent dessert to savour on the spot. 

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Choc these out

Ken's Cafe Tokyo
  • Shopping
  • Shinjuku-Nichome

There’s no fussing with espresso powder or vanilla extract in this kitchen. Ken’s Cafe Tokyo sticks to the basics by using just four ingredients and making only one product.

Despite its unassuming appearance, the ¥3,000 cake has earned Ken’s Cafe an outsized reputation – and with good reason. Eat it at room temperature and it’s a rich gâteau. When chilled, its texture resembles that of ganache, and when warmed, the centre liquifies like molten chocolate cake that you can combine with a scoop of ice cream. 

The shop recommends placing your orders online in advance as quantaties are limited. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Asakusa

Dandelion Chocolate originates in San Francisco but this café and factory in Kuramae, with its modern rustic interior, fits right into the quiet neighbourhood known for its vibrant artisan community.

It’s difficult to choose any single dessert here; luckily many of the sweets are available in a set. Get the brownie flight to sample three baked chocolate cakes made with different varieties of cacao, or the Chef’s Tasting, a dessert platter of five mini treats, including a chocolate choux and pistachio crème brûlée. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Shibuya

It takes a special kind of passion to build an empire like the one chocolate pioneer Koji Tsuchiya has built in the two decades since opening his Yoyogi Koen store. Colourfully wrapped bean-to-bar chocolate is just one of many goodies you’ll find in this chocoholic’s wonderland, along with an assortment of handmade bon-bons, including some flavoured with Japanese ingredients like yuzu, whisky and even hatcho miso. The menu at the adjoining café is just as inspired, with rare treats such as chocolate curry and cacao iced tea.

Mamano Chocolate
  • Shopping
  • Akasaka

Mamano prides itself on being fair-trade as well as organic, dutifully sourcing beans from Arriba cacao farms in Ecuador to use in its colourful creations. 

In winter, you can get the Mamano hot chocolate, made with 50 percent milk, and have the sweetness adjusted to your liking (you should also ask for the seasonal flavoured ones as well). In the warmer months, a popular item is the refreshing yet decadent chocolate kakigori (shaved ice dessert), which comes in flavours such as chocolate orange and honey lemon.

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Le Chocolat De H Ginza
  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and sweets
  • Ginza

Trust upscale Ginza to house one of the finest chocolate boutiques around. Le Chocolatde H was started by celebrated chocolatier and pâtissier, Hironobu Tsujiguchi.

You can buy packs of Le Chocolat de H’s signature chocs, or pick a limited-edition box featuring the shop's creations for Salon du Chocolat that year; expect daring flavour combinations such as apricot with miso and caramel, or sake and praline. The ¥1,200-a-piece Cacao Blanc de L’illusion is also worth a splurge as it’s made with rare white cacao harvested from the Piura region of Peru.

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and sweets
  • Yoyogi-Hachiman

Minimal founder Takashi Yamashita equates chocolate to Japanese cuisine in that both taste better without the addition of unnecessary ingredients or flavourings – hence the shop's name.

Minimal’s neatly packaged chocolates are stamped with colour-coded profiles detailing each bar’s origin, texture, sugar content, roast and ratio of beans. At the café, the indulgent chocolate parfait and hot chocolate are year-round crowd pleasers, but don’t overlook the seasonal plated desserts either, such as chocolate flan with homemade ice cream, pastel parfaits and fruit-filled crêpes. 

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  • Shopping
  • Aoyama

In a mission to evoke the mischievous thrill of sneaking chocolate as a child, self-taught artisan Jean-Charles Rouchoux opened his first chocolate shop in Paris in 2004. This stylish shop in Minami Aoyama is just one of three in the world selling Rochoux’s signature creations.

Fresh ganache variations include fusions of orange blossom, basil praline, mountain honey and even sansho pepper. Among the assortment of truffles and pralines, there's also a chocolate sculpture of the shop’s trademark crocodile, which represents the swift and surreptitious way a child might snap up chocolate when their parent isn’t looking.

Artichoke
  • Restaurants
  • Kiyosumi

Artichoke’s playful take on chocolate sets it apart from other boutiques of its kind. Here, you’ll find a myriad of choccy creations disguised as other food, such as white chocolate made to look like eggs sunny-side-up, chicken drumsticks and even grilled unagi. Aside from the quirky takes on savoury dishes, the shop also offers a selection of beautifully crafted bonbons and single-origin bars, each with a unique flavour profile due to the way each individual batch is roasted. 

The café menu offers a selection of equally artful parfaits (from spring), as well as drinks such as the chocolate espresso, a cacao concentrate served as a 30ml shot. 

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  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and sweets
  • Nakameguro

Directed by Chloé Doutre-Roussel, the Parisian chocolate connoisseur, this slick shop is – as the name implies – part of Tokyo's bean-to-bar trend, creating quality chocolate from raw cacao beans. Join one of the workshops to learn about the entire production process and enjoy an educational journey into the wonderful world of chocolate.

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and sweets
  • Aoyama

All-organic and eco-friendly, Denmark's Summerbird brings its strong chocolate game to Tokyo with this Aoyama shop. After appearances at Salon du Chocolat and other choc exhibits in the city, the brand has been making inroads into the Tokyo coholate scene.

Sit down at the café and watch as delectable Cream Kisses are crafted in the open kitchen – these decadent treats come in three flavours and also make for great gifts. Look out for seasonal specials, too.

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