Archive for the 'Ikeshita 池下' Category


自転車で素敵なミスド店巡り!(Mister Donut Bike Ride Adventure 2012!) PART 1

2012年5日26日 (May 25, 2012)


The long-awaited; Mister Donut Bike Ride Adventure!



This is what everyone has been waiting for! The epic Mister Donut bike ride adventure (自転車で素晴しい素敵なミスド店巡り!) Uh, yeah, loosely translated….

What, what?

That’s right. Basically a friend and & I one day had a sudden burst of inspiration in that we would take a bicycle tour of all the closest Mister Donuts to us- IN ONE DAY!! As well as, have a brief sit & eat a doughnut at EACH location!  Genius, I know! How could anything go wrong? It was a flawless plan, surely.

So, we mapped out a route to all the closest mister donuts to us- and how many would be feasible to do in one day. We figured if we sat & shared one donut at each shop- it would take about 15 mins in the shop, and another 15-20 mins to travel to the next mister donuts. So basically, allowing 30(+) mins per shop (sitting, eating a donut & transit time).

Yes, in case you’re curious- a lot of heavy calculations went into this…

In the end, we decided we could d0 a tour of 16 DIFFERENT Mister Donut shops in ONE DAY (8 hours or so).

So, without further ado-The epic 16 different locations of Mister Donut around Nagoya tour! (名古屋の素敵なミスド店巡り!)

10:20 a.m.

1番目: 大須シャップ // Osu Kannon/Kamimaezu Shop

Osu Kannon- looking quiet and relaxed at 10:30a.m….

This is where it all began…what started out as a simple/nonchalant idea- grew into an actual expedition into the surreal realm of MANY, TOO MANY DOUGHNUTS.

Excited! But little did we know of the trials and tribulations in the name of doughnuts to come…

We were feeling pretty upbeat and enthusiastic about the expedition at this point, but LITTLE DID WE KNOW- of the many, many trials we would be sure to face on our; “Journey into more Mister Donuts in one day than any single man should ever know”. Catchy, right?

10:20 AM- French Cruller & coffee to get us started on our adventure…

So, we started off with a coffee each to get us going and we split a french cruller (my personal favourite). We decided that 16 doughnuts each was WAY too many, and on a flash of insight, opted to split one single doughnut between us at each shop. Taking our individual doughnut intake down to a more manageable, 8 DOUGHNUTS PER PERSON IN ONE SINGLE DAY. 0_O (What were we thinking, really??)

11 :06 a.m.

2番目: 栄シャップ // Sakae Shop

(11:06 am) 2nd stop- Sake (2番目栄店)

Sakae was the next stop on the itinerary, I kinda like this shop- it’s right smack in the middle of downtown Sakae- but it still feels somewhat hidden away and upon entering, it’s like a breath of fresh air/escape from all that “downtown Sakae/プリンセス通り” madness- (trust me, you need an escape from that street).

A typical evening view of Sakae

It’s right across from club ID (I think that says enough right there) and a pachinko parlour with enough lights on to actually give the street the illusion of daylight, even in the middle of the night.  キラキラ. Even so, it always seems pretty empty and has a relaxed atmosphere. You’ll often see businessmen, over-worked students (and myself) passed out here at varied times throughout the day.

Golden chocolate- complete with feelings of emptiness and solitude, isolation and despair; and chocolatey goodness!

This poor doughnut is looking helplessly alone and insignificant in this great, big, frightening world outside.  But, it was still delicious, regardless! While this doughnut is alone with (possible) feelings of isolation, anguish, despair etc. , it still didn’t seem to waiver in it’s overall deliciousness- which is something to give you hope or a sweet golden-chocolate beacon of light in even the bleakest of moment. Uh, yeah- basically, we would need this ray of golden-chocolate goodness to keep us going for the (many) doughnut-induced trials ahead of us.

11:41 a.m.

3番目: 千種シャップ// Chikusa Shop

The Chikusa illusion, or rather, you can’t see from the outside what a CRAZY BUSY madhouse it was!

I’ve written about the Chikusa shop before, you can check it out here, if you’re so inclined.

Chikusa ミスド at “proper people” time; (anytime before noon I suppose)

What I mean to say is that, this particular experience at Chikusa Mister Donut was QUITE a far cry from my usual 寛ぎ/relaxing prior excursions here. Under normal circumstances, (perhaps not peak hours of the day for regular, proper people i.e.- anytime before 12p.m.)- this location is quite quiet, chilled-out and relaxed. But that was NOT the situation we stumbled upon this time around.

It was only our 3rd stop, and roughly 1-hour later from our initial departure from the Osu ミスド shop, but we were getting tired and would have liked a place to sit down and enjoy our 3rd doughnut. Not in the cards, unfortunately.  The place was PACKED! すごっく満員した! There was literally no free spot to even stand, let alone a table or place to sit down at.

To make matters worse- we ended up stuck at the check-out for a good 10-15 mins extra than what we had allotted, as it was 1) very busy and even worse, 2) the employee who was ringing us up accidentally DELETED ALL MY MISTER DONUT CARD POINTS!! All 300+ of them! Tragic, I know!

Luckily, the mister donut point card/existential crisis (what does it mean to be; lost- adrift in an endless sea with no donut points to redeem??)- was resolved eventually, but it did take about 10mins of him frantically inputting buttons into the register and frowning/sweating profusely.

Tarro: “Make sure you get the bins in the picture too- for nostalgic purposes” …いい思い出かな?

In the end, we wound up with a strawberry-frosted doughnut, some frazzled nerves (mostly me from the prior point-card fiasco) and a lovely standing spot near the trash bins. And with that, we were off to Imaike! ミスドShop #3 on our long day ahead of us.

12:03 p.m.

4番目: 今池 ップ// Imaike Shop

(12:03pm), 4th stop at Imaike Mister Donut

Well, if Chikusa was a picture of chaos and donuts- Imaike being the next in line was the exact opposite. It was a relaxing breath of fresh air and open space (with lots of big windows and natural light- my favourite). It was quite the stark contrast having just come from the Chikusa Mister Donut “madhouse” (which the name implies was more fun than it actually was).

Are we getting sick of donuts yet? Not quite yet…

I like Imaike  for its big windows, open space (the booths aren’t all packed in), lots of natural light- and a great place to people-watch/zone out from up on the 2nd floor. Zone-out, which is exactly what we did at this point.  In addition to splitting a choco old-fashioned donut.

We took this moment of zen & donuts to space out a bit and relax- and get our bearings together for our next stop at…Ikeshita! Actually, we were feeling a little bit more optimistic/upbeat at this point, that we thought it might be fun/interesting to mention our little “doughnut めぐり” to the staff/employee who rang us up- since she seemed friendly and cheerful with us.

“Who knows?” I said. “She may even be interested/excited to hear about our doughnut expedition– and, and maybe she will tell Mister Donut headquarters about us! And…we’ll get on the news! And- and Mister Donut will pick me up to be their official spokesperson–!”  I was starting to get a little ahead of myself at this point- possibly brought on by a donut-induced sugar-high from eating nothing but donuts for the better part of the day.

Well, needless to say- she was NOT impressed with this little doughnut adventure of ours. Her reaction was…hard-to-place really. We weren’t sure if she was frightened, or just completely nonplussed- perhaps a little bit of both? But it certainly wasn’t as excited as we were hoping for. It went a little something like this…

Me: Hey! Did you know we’re doing a [ミスドめぐり] (Mister Donut tour)?! We’re cycling around to 16 different Mister Donuts IN ONE DAY. Isn’t that cool/exciting?!

Employee: Ah! -goes quiet suddenly- I see…so, uh, that would mean next is…Ikeshita then, right?  ….

Me: -slightly disappointed- Oh. Yeah! Pretty cool huh? Do you think it’s ever been done before?

Employee: Mmmm… -nods and backs away slowly-

At that point she disappeared into the backroom and we took it that that was our cue to leave- maybe before she, you know…called the cops or tried to get us committed.

12:27 p.m.

5番目: 池下シャップ// Ikeshita Shop

(12:27pm) 5th stop on our donut tour. “Donut Crossing in Ikeshita”

The Ikeshita ミスド is another nice spot, which is lucky since it’s actually the closest Mister Donut to my house- and therefore visited regularly. The windows are great for zoning out and people watching at the busy crosswalk/intersection directly out front of the shop.

late afternoon; golden-chocolate light streaming through the windows

My favourite time of the day to visit Ikeshita ミスド is in the late afternoon, when the sun is just starting to go down, casting everything in long shadows and golden light. The late afternoon/early evening light comes in really nicely from the windows- and the whole shop takes on a golden colour.

Still somewhat cheery! Looking forward to more donut adventures ahead!

We were there a little too early for that however, arriving just after it had gone half-past noon. Our donut for this particular stop was an エンゼルフレンチ or french-cruller with angel-cream filling (another one of my favs). Were we getting sick of donuts yet? Only a little bit!  次はMotoyama(本山)!

And…here ends (PART ONE)-of the Mister Donut Bike Ride Adventure.

So, I realized this post is taking me quite some time to write/recount- so in the interest of time (and not having a ridiculously long post at once), I’ve decided to break this up into THREE parts -also known as the; ミスド EPIC BIKE RIDE ADVENTURE: THE TRILOGY!

Look forward to our continuing adventures on our Mister Donut Bike Ride Adventure in the posts to come! (^0^)/

UPDATE: Part 2 of the epic,continuing adventure is now available- here!


池下 Ikeshita Shop Review (and New Years adventure)


(Ikeshita Shop)

Ikeshita on the corner amid a cloudless blue sky

 ポイント! (Key Point)

  • Mysterious 2nd floor bathroom in an alternate dimension
  • Cozy window seating area with blinds and ground-level view of the outside street &  Ikeshita train station

Some studying in late-afternoon

First of all, I love the lighting in this particular location. I really dislike synthetic light, and I like places with lots of windows/good natural lighting.

Ikeshita has some great windows and lets the light in really well, and at the right time in late afternoon, the whole place is bathed in this great, golden late-afternoon glow.

I like to sit on the stools by the window and look outside through the blinds. It’s a great spot to study and/or take an afternoon nap. Siestas/昼ね/Mid-afternoon naps are another one of my favourite hobbies.

What secrets lay inside?

One of the most interesting aspects of this place however, is the mysterious 2nd floor bathroom in an alternate dimension and which is also devoid of time- or perhaps caught in one particular still or moment in time, I’m not quite sure, myself.

Honestly though, every time I go upstairs to use the bathroom I feel as if I have been transported to another world or dimension and that the world I’m living in is no longer real.

First of all, in order to get to the bathroom, you can’t access it from inside the shop, but you literally have to go out a door that leads to the outside, back onto the street and walk up an immediate staircase to the next floor of the connecting building.

Up the stairs...

Into the alternate donut dimension!

Its during this transport from the shop to the upstairs that I feel like myself has been physically removed from the universe I thought I’ve come to know. Upstairs, it all looks the same, but something is very off with the feeling and mood- the light- everything about it is slightly strange.

This is by no means a bad thing, in fact it’s a very interesting thing- and I always like the labyrinth maze-like walk upstairs to this bathroom in an alternate dimension. I feel like time there stops and stays still for just a little bit.

Here I feel a sort of odd, wrenching kind of feeling- oh wait, this is starting to sound like a Murakami novel…perhaps this can all be attributed to that fact that I’ve gotten deep into reading 1Q84, often at this particular location. In addition, I may or may not have fallen asleep at the counter having wild Murakami and too much black coffee/french cruller-induced dreams. ;)

Herein ends my little story/ode to the alternate universe that lies just on top of a nondescript little office building above the Mister Donut in Ikeshita, Nagoya, Japan.

Perhaps one day you too, can experience time stand still and see the universe from inside a fish-eye lens on top of the 2nd floor of the Ikeshita ミスド.  Sometimes we all need a little escape from reality/the everyday and our own little escape into a quiet, faraway place. :)

Christmas time at Ikeshita! クリスマスのとき~

Merry Christmas! Happy 2012!



Existential Donuts. The Quest to visit every last Mister Donut in Japan.


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