Fans of Mr Hayao Miyazaki and Ghibli Studio will definitely lit up their eyes at the sight of these Totoro cream puffs! Yes! You heard us correctly~~~ Totoro from the highly acclaimed popular animated fantasy film My Neighbour Totoro produced by Studio Ghibli in 1988, came alive in the form of cream puffs at Shiro-Hige’s Cream Puff Factory! Together with my BFF, Hui (who is an avid fan of Mr Hayao Miyazaki), we set off on a journey to Setagaya in search of what we called “The Totoro Cream Puff Cafe”!
Located in the neighbourhood of Setagaya, it is easily accessible from Shibuya within 12 minutes.
- Take the Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line Exp. for Chuo-Rinkan from Shibuya Station to Sangen-Jaya Station.
- Transfer at Sangen-Jaya Station. Take the Tokyu Setagaya Line for Shimo-Takaido to Setagaya Station.
- Alight at Setagaya Station. Go to South Exit.
Turn left, walk down the street.
You will pass by a convenient store – Yamazaki. Walk further down till you reach the overhead walkway.
Follow the overhead walkway.
Saw that white house?
You have arrived! You might be confused by the signage at first glance. Well, let me explain: TOLO Coffee & Bakery is the bakery and cafe that serves homemade pastas, as well as Totoro cream puffs as their specialty dessert. These cream puffs are baked from Shiro-Hige’s Cream Puff Factory located on ground level.
Love how this hidden gem is tucked away in the peaceful residential area of Setagaya, away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo city life. A quaint cafe in a beautiful white colonial house. What struck me was the huge tree next to it – it certainly reminded me of the huge camphor tree where Totoro lives.
Oh such kawaii wooden stools!
Alfresco seating for you to enjoy take-away of the cream puffs.
Entering the house …we were already excited by the Totoro signage! Hahaha…
We highly recommend making dining reservation prior to arrival as you will be surprised by the list of reservations and the cafe could hardly accommodate walk-ins! We were so fortunate that after a 30 minutes wait, the cafe managed to slot us in for just strictly an hour of dining.
The menus! Of course, we zoomed in to the cream puffs. Do note the puffs cost a little more for dine-in versus to-go.
Another note: Compulsory for at least a drink order per person.
An overview of the cafe (Click play to view the video). Seating capacity is approximate 20 persons. There is also a small bakery section selling freshly baked breads and loaves.
The long-awaited moment!
OH MY GOD! KAWAII! Kawaii! Kawaii! (Have to repeat 3 times to emphasize and reemphasize!) hahaha.
The cream puffs were bigger than expected and tasted amazingly awesome with freshly made choux-cream and crispy crust. Aesthetically, they were so adorable that a good 10 minutes was spent taking endless selfies and a mere heartbreaking moment to slice the puffs. lol.
Can you guess the flavours? Well, Green – Custard, Pink – Peach (seasonal flavour), Yellow – Green Tea. The custard puff was my favourite! There was also a 4th flavour: Chocolate – signifies by blue hat.
How cute of Totoro to wear Mei’s hat! However, why isn’t it in red? mmm… Anyway, we even redesigned it! Hahaha..
My lovely bff – Hui.
After our delightful dessert, we eagerly visited Shiro-Hegi’s Cream Puff Factory on ground level (where the magic baking begins). Some background information: Established in 2008, Shiro-Hegi’s Cream Puff Factory is apparently owned by the sister-in-law of Mr Hayao Miyazaki. (That explains why the bakery has exclusive rights to produce Totoro Cream Puffs!) The baker is known as Shiro-Hegi (literally translated as “White Beard” in English) and he owns a cute animated image of himself and his pet dog; both were created by Mr Hayao Miyazaki!
Characters from My Neighbour Totoro were also evident at every corner of the house, especially Totoro. Unfortunately, these decorative pieces are not for sale.
The cream puff factory has a continuous stream of customers.
Lovely Mei’s hat!
Totoro cookies on sale too!
The full cast, which closely resembles what we see from animation. A bigger statue of Shiro-Hegi too!
According to the lady staff, these are handmade crafts from a customer!
A friendly lady staff. 🙂
An overview of the cozy Shiro-Hige’s Cream Puff Factory (click play to view the video):
A beaming us at departure!
TOLO Coffee & Bakery / Shiro-Hegi’s Cream Puff Factory
Operating hours: 10:30 – 19:00 hours. Closed on every Tuesday. The next day if Tuesday is a public holiday.
- Do remember to make a reservation if you would like to dine-in. Otherwise, you can buy take-away cream puffs and enjoy them at the alfresco area on ground level. (Do beware of mosquitoes for alfresco dining during summer!)
- Perhaps you can even bring along a small Totoro soft toy for photo-taking with the cream puffs! I think it will form an extremely cute image!
- The route from train station to the cafe is non-sheltered. Do bring an umbrella if you are visiting during rainy season or hot summer.
Ending with an aw~~~ moment…. (shsshh….somebody is sleeping soundly…) 🙂
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