A Day for Cats?!
It always surprises me how the Japanese phonetic and kanji writing system can be bent in some unusual yet cool ways that it makes, in my opinion, one of the most interesting and most enjoyable languages to learn!
So far I was able to enjoy the hidden meaning behind 11.11 (Pocky Day because of the way the chocolate sticks and date look like || ) and 01.05 (Strawberry Day because the sound “Ichi” for “One” and “Go” for “Five” also can be used to say “Ichigo” which is “Strawberry”), but little did I know that the 22nd of February was Neko no Hi (Cat Day) in Japan! Why you may ask?
It’s because the number “Two” is pronounced “Ni” in Japanese and because the 22nd of February can be written as “222,” the Japan Pet Food Association in 1987 decided to call this day “Cats Day” because the day can be read as “Nyan Nyan Nyan” or “Meow Meow Meow,” just the way a cat sounds! Cute right?
(It’s also Ninja Day on the 22nd as well WTF?!)
To mark the day I ventured to Jiyuugaoka again in search of the instafamous “animal doughnuts,” which was as you may have guessed, doughnuts that are shaped into cute animal faces. And no unfortunately, you cannot find these at just any doughnut shop like Mister Doughnuts or Krispy Kreme. I’ve been dying to try one since appearing on our instafeed almost two years ago and now, the wait is over!
If you ever stumble to Jiyuugaoka, I highly recommend a stop over to La Vita at the top of the hill from the north exit of the station as well. When can you go from traditional Japan…
… to a Venice canal just around the corner?!
Ok so it might be a bit small to be a “real” canal but it’s such a pretty little place to just sit and enjoy the scene. Be sure to bring a camera at night as well as it’s also lit up!
Back to the subject of these doughnuts, where did I end up finding them?
Just near the station’s north exit gate is a shop called Izumi Mama’s Animal Doughnuts, a franchise chain that creates these cute creations!
Adorbs overload! Look at their winky expressions and cute ears! As you place your order, the staff will also let you pick which face you want to eat your favourite kaomojis/emoticons (>.<)!
With so many types to choose from, I decided on MiKe (cat) and Usagi-chan (rabbit). Unfortunately the lady before me took like 4 of the MiKe cat doughnuts including the last winky face one so I chose the sleepy face instead.
So we all know how cute it looks but what about the taste?
Unfortunately taste wise, it was a bit dry and didn’t have that “cake” spongey or cake taste to it. It was more like a bread texture but thank god for coffee to save the day. I was hoping that the rabbit one would be strawberry flavoured since it had that kind of look to it but it had the same normal base as the cat doughnut. Sad face :(
FYI, the little ears of the cats are almonds so nut allergic peeps beware!
In any case, it was a good experience trying these little animal doughnuts out after two years of waiting!
Where: 1F Jiyugaoka Department Store, 1-28-8 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun 10:00 am. – 7:30 pm (closed Wed)
Until Next Time!
(=＾● ⋏ ●＾=)