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This is a slightly older piece of news that I recently ran across and thought was worth sharing. Popular California-based cult coffee cafe Blue Bottle Coffee is seeing so much success in Japan they are planning to open up a third cafe later this year:

Blue Bottle’s first Japan shop, which has a roaster, is in Kiyosumi, an older part of Tokyo, chosen because it reminded Freeman, the founder, of Oakland. It opened in February. The second shop, in a backstreet of Tokyo’s fashionable Omotesando, opened in March.

A third, likely opening later this year in Tokyo’s Daikanyama shopping area, will feature a menu that reflects Blue Bottle’s recent acquisition of San Francisco-based Tartine Bakery, which serves croissants, sandwiches and pastries.

I have never stepped foot near a Blue Bottle cafe but given their popularity I may have to reconsider. When I tried a few smaller niche coffee shops I was unimpressed with the coffee, finding it far too bitter for my palate. Maybe Blue Bottle will be different, though I do not want to be caught in a four-hour line just for a small cup of joe!

Eater on Cronut founder Dominique Ansel unveiling the first cronut flavor for his upcoming Tokyo bakery situated in posh and trendy Omotesando:

Soon, there will be two places in the world to buy an authentic, bona fide Cronut. As the opening date for pastry genius Dominique Ansel’s Tokyo bakery nears, Ansel is teasing out details about the menu and space on Instagram. Last night, he revealed the flavor of the first Cronut of the month: Hokkaido Milk Honey Ganache with Yuzu Lemon Cream.

The flavor actually sounds quite interesting. A yuzu lemon cream sounds simply delightful, and when coupled with a milk honey ganache sounds like it could be quite addicting. Hopefully, as previously discussed, the sugar levels will be low enough to whet the average Japanese appetite. Too sweet, and it will be eaten once and summarily discarded. Made just right, and there will be hour-long lines from now through eternity.

Dominique Ansel Bakery Japan have their own twitter and instagram accounts worth following if you are interesting in staying updated on the latest and greatest original cronut news for Japan.

The Japan Times on the original cronut master concocting Tokyo-only pastries for his upcoming Omotesando store:

Ansel is also promising exclusive items with a distinctly Japanese theme, but won’t disclose the details just yet.

“We are still working on a few Tokyo-only items,” he says. “It’s important to me to look into the traditions of Japanese culture, but also the techniques that are used. There are a few Japanese ingredients I am working with. I am trying to surprise people — it’s going to be a little bit of a surprise for everyone.”

Ansel also knows that what works in New York may not necessarily translate to the Japanese market, and intends to adjust his recipes accordingly.

“I have turned down the sugar level quite a bit,” he says. “I think it’s important to have a product that’s really good without having too much sugar. And something that matches Japanese culture — not too much sugar but more focused on the quality and the taste.”

It may be a smart move to tailor the cornet offerings to better match the Japanese palate. However, it is worth noting I have already had cornets in Tokyo. Every so often a pop-up Jack in the Donuts shop is resurrected in Shibuya Mark City for a couple weeks, selling their cronuts wares. They are actually very tasty, and I have been craving one lately but the pop-up shop has been MIA for months.

It is also worth mentioning, Krispy Kreme remains highly successful in Japan and it has not modified its recipe. Arguably, the cronuts could follow a similar course. But my gut instinct tells me this is a smart, long-term move, because the originals are far sweeter than their native cousins.

Just like Taco Bell in Shibuya, just like the god-knows-why popcorn shop in Harajuku, and just like when Krispy Kreme opened in Shinjuku many years ago, expect lines for cronuts to be unbelievably long. My best guess is the wait will be at least two hours to get your New York sugar fix, if not longer.

Here is random “WTF Japan?” for you: a Japanese court has indirectly endorsed adultery for business purposes if the sex is predicated on securing future club patronage by the customer:

Some experts said the ruling effectively endorsed adultery, as long as the third party – in this case the hostess – was motivated by financial gain.

The judge, Masamitsu Shiseki, said the hostess had slept with the customer only to secure his continued patronage of the club she runs in the capital’s Ginza shopping and entertainment district.

High-class hostess clubs charge customers large sums to spend time drinking, chatting and singing karaoke in the company of female staff, but they do not offer sexual services.

Shiseki said the hostess’s actions were more akin to prostitution than an affair, and dismissed the wife’s ¥4m (£20,860) claim for emotional distress.

The wife was asking for ¥4m, which is merely $33,000. There are no million-dollar judgments in Japan, unlike the crazy US, where people try to use the court system as some mock “get rich quick” scheme.

This type of legal opinion is likely only to be found in Japan. The rest of the world has already caught up with modern societal norms around adultery.

Yahoo News reports Tokyo topped Monocle’s most livable city ranking for 2015:

After finishing runner-up last year, Tokyo has climbed to the top spot on Monocle Magazine’s list of most livable cities in 2015.

Japan’s capital was followed by Vienna in second place, with Berlin rounding out the top 3 cities. Fukuoka and Kyoto also ranked in the top 25, at 12th and 14th, respectively.

The London-based lifestyle and culture journal said that Tokyo was crowned the top city in its ninth annual Quality of Life survey “due to its defining paradox of heart-stopping size and concurrent feeling of peace and quiet.”

For this year, the magazine said that they refined some of the marking system, adding 22 new metrics. The cities are ranked based on factors including housing, cost of living, and access to outdoors, as well as crime rates, healthcare and business climate.

I can confirm, Tokyo is absolutely the best place on the planet to live. Outstanding food, unparalleled public transportation, beautiful sights, and more. There really is nowhere else I can envision living other than Tokyo.

On to something a whole lot lighter. This time mindbodygreen discusses twenty-nine food rules we can learn from the French to keep a slim waistline and remain healthy:

5. Eat real, local, fresh, unprocessed food. 
As much as you can.
6. Balance your meals.
Indulgence is important, but you feel you’ve overdone it a little at one meal, balance it out with a lighter meal the next time you eat.
7. Never go for second best.
It’s about quality not quantity. Always.
8. Have three meals a day.
Not two, not six. Three.
9. Set and respect meal times.
You’ll be hungry for your meals and will actually enjoy each of them if you’re not snacking in between.
10. Add side salads.
Eat a green salad at every meal or at least once a day; it’s the best way to easiest way to eat more plants.
11. Prepare and cook your meals with love.
Take pride in what you prepare to feed and nourish your body.

I especially like the idea of preparing and cooking meals with love. I have dabbled in cooking lately and always try to apply as much love as possible to my meals. The outcome is obviously notable.

One addition to the list I did not quote is to always drink as much water as possible, or even a couple glasses of good quality red wine, completely foregoing sugary drinks like soda, fruit juice, and energy drinks. This is something I need to pay closer attention to, although I have been getting better lately. Most of my meals are enjoyed with wine and water, but I more than occasionally slip in a glass, or three, of Coca-Cola.

The entire list is well worth the read, especially if you are interested in remaining healthy while still enjoying very tasty food.