Japan Today

Magnolia Bakery opens very first shop in Japan to huge crowds

By Kay

Before we had mouth-watering croissant doughnuts and doughnut sandwiches, we had … good ol’ cupcakes. But we’re not talking about just any ordinary cupcake here. We’re talking about cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery in New York, made famous the world over by the hit TV series "Sex and the City." And yes, the TV series was an enormous success in Japan too, meaning that countless Japanese fans were left coveting not just gorgeous Manolo Blahnik shoes, but the delectable looking Magnolia Bakery cupcakes as well.

So, you can imagine how absolutely thrilled fans of the cupcakes were about Magnolia Bakery opening their very first store in Japan in the Omotesando area of Tokyo this week. And prove their enthusiasm they did, as throngs of fans showed up on opening day of Magnolia Bakery Tokyo on June 16. Now, as a passionate fan of all things sweet, as well as a devoted follower of American TV dramas — "Sex and the City" in particular — I knew I simply had to be there for the grand opening. And while the wait was long, the sight that greeted me in the shop was sweet indeed. But first, let us tell you just how long the wait was.

Only last week, we’d had day after day of rain in Tokyo, but fortunately, June 16 turned out to be a beautiful day. I knew there was going to be an incredibly huge crowd, so I thought I’d get just a bit of an early start … and arrived in front of the shop at about 5:30 a.m. (the shop opens at 11 a.m.) ... just five and a half more hours to wait. That’s no big deal, right?

It is in the GYRE building in Omotesando, which by the way is very close to the Max Brenner Chocolate Bar where you can enjoy chocolate pizza. Omotesando is really becoming a sweet-lover’s paradise.

By 11 a.m., there were about 300 people in line. In fact, there was such a crowd throughout the day that they announced later in the afternoon that the waiting time could be as long as six hours and they eventually had to stop accepting new customers into the line at around 4 p.m.

While I waited for the final minutes before the opening, I was able to see the lovely ladies of Magnolia Bakery Tokyo hard at work creating the scrumptious cupcakes through the large windows in the front of the shop.

The decor and pastel colors were delightful to look at and retained the atmosphere of the shop in New York.

Magnolia Bakery goods such as cook books, t-shirts, aprons and caps were also available.

I know I bought too much, but there were so many cakes that looked amazing, I just couldn’t help myself.

Once I stepped outside, as I was one of the very first customers to finish shopping, people were eager to see the actual cupcakes I had bought, including a TV crew who were filming the events surrounding the shop opening, so we decided to open the box of cupcakes and taste one right there.

I chose the “Carrie cupcake”, the vanilla cupcake with pink frosting topped with a sugar daisy, which was inspired by "Sex and the City." I actually had a similar cupcake from Magnolia Bakery when I visited New York a few years ago.

The cupcake, and the frosting in particular, was quite sweet, with the definite flavor of vanilla, and tasted very much like the one I had in New York. It looks like they didn’t change the flavor of the cupcakes for the Japanese market.

It looks like there will be some serious lining up and waiting involved for the foreseeable future if you want to get your hands on their cakes, but since there are many other flavors I still want to try, I know I’ll be going back for more, once the crowd settles down a bit. Well, we’re thrilled there’s another lovely shop we can turn to when we want to satisfy our sweet tooth, because we can’t have too many of those, can we? Thanks for coming to Tokyo, Magnolia Bakery.

Magnolia Bakery Facebook page.

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Buttery and flaky goodness — Mister Donut Japan to sell original Croissant Doughnuts -- Video proves how much Japan loves its pastries -- The old-time treat that’s back in style thanks to Hayao Miyazaki

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The banana pudding is to die for!

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Magnolia cupcakes are terrible, all you can taste is butter and sugar. Obviously things like this should be decadent and sweet, but they take it to a nauseating degree.

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Wait in line for hours just to get cupcakes? You're joking right?

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Popular for some time, then on the trash heap that is trendy sweets in Japan, joining Cinnabon, nata de coco, belgian waffles, Krispy Kreme, Mrs Fields etc etc

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