Explore the City with Malte 12: Forge a New Path
Spirit and Body: the two parts that make up the human form. Both are equally important and must be maintained regularly. Call it hyperbole, but I can tell you that both are taken care of at “Path – Travel and Eats”. Delicious Bubble Waffles will make you happy and colorful smoothies containing lots of fruits and vegetables are there to fuel your body.
Discover the new hidden gem for sweets lovers. “Path – Travel and Eats” is just a 5-minute walk away from Kashiwa Station West Exit. It follows the tradition of “Ame no hi no coffee” and “Tribal Cacao” by putting a strong emphasis on craftsmanship. The owner, Mr. Iijima, focuses on the quality of his products as well as their sustainability and environmental impact.
“Path – Travel and Eats” opened its doors on January 6th, 2020. Through their bubble waffles, coffee, and leather, they want customers to experience a sense of adventure and enjoy the journey as much as the final destination. Through the big takeout window, you can glimpse at the rustic interior. The garlands decorating the window remind me of a circus.
When you completely open the door, the logo on the glass and a big piece of leather line up to create a popular photo spot. The interior with its many leather products up close reminds me of a stereotypical Native American settlement like the ones portrayed in movies. The colorful leather products work well with the black and white furniture.
Bubble waffle and other treats
I think everyone has eaten a crepe once or twice and Japan certainly is famous for its re-imagining of the French original. But how many have tried or even heard of bubble waffles? Unrelated to the popular Taiwanese bubble tea, bubble waffles use a batter like the one for crepes. However since they use more batter than a regular crepe, bubble waffles can be very filling.
Sweets lovers like me will be satisfied. The batter is not too sweet, making bubble waffles delicious with a variety of fillings. I tried a sweet one with locally farmed strawberries, vanilla ice cream, and sweetened whipped cream.
The most popular waffle is the “Kashiwa Genso Pork” waffle, using locally produced high-class pork as the main filling.
You will not be disappointed by any of the waffles on the menu.
Even though the waffles will make you happy, you may want to do something kind to your body instead. If that’s the case, a refreshing smoothie is the perfect choice. Path offers green and red smoothies. Smoothies are still not very popular in Japan and mostly associated with people who do Yoga. However, many Japanese people drink packed vegetable juice. Juice is the liquid extracted from vegetables and thus low in fiber and high in sugar. Smoothies are a blend of fiber and water, allowing for better sugar absorption. Since they only contain vegetables and fruits, smoothies are kind to the environment as well.
I ordered a well-balanced green smoothie. The ingredients are produced by local farmers and depend on what is available in each season.
I’ve been making smoothies for some years now. In western countries, some people might substitute solid meals for smoothies. Many people do this in an effort to be healthy. I think this mindset is not very common in Japan. If small stores such as Path continue to create delicious, beautiful, and healthy smoothies, we might start a new trend.
Path’s owner is Mr. Iijima and the shop is run by manager Mrs. Takehara. Their kind greetings and friendly attitude made me feel like I was talking to old friends.
Path’s manager, Mrs. Takehara, has been working for Mr. Iijima for a while. Starting in the kitchen of Mr. Iijima’s Izakaya (Japanese Pub), she transitioned to Path in January. Path’s menu is her creation.
Mr. Iijima runs two more stores in Kashiwa. Not only is he the CEO of Kashiwa Leather Inc., but he has his own leather store and brand and owns an Izakaya.
Mr. Iijima started the “Kashiwa Leather” brand out of his leather retail shop, “Nuizaemon”. In making leather, there are typically byproducts. However, Mr. Iijima sources his leather from Genso Farm and uses the meat for the Kashiwa Genso Pork bubble waffles. Even the leather is a local procuct! The big piece of leather at the entrance is from just one pig.
Mr. Iijima receives the pig skins with the fur remaining and sends them to Tokyo for processing. When the leather comes back from Tokyo, he turns it into handbags and wallets. Real craftsmanship at a high level.
Mr. Iijima trains students from nearby Reitaku University in the art of leather-craft and even sells their products at his store.
As sustainability is gradually becoming a larger value in Japanese society, Mr. Iijima has also made strides to encourage its integration. Many stores offer discounts for customers who bring their own mugs. At Path, customers who bring a Path leather strap get a discount. They were even nice enough to give me a leather strap after the interview.
Path is managed with sustainability in mind. Local ingredients and local materials are sold to local consumers. Going to Path directly supports the local economy. Enjoying the delicious menu while helping people in the region, is truly added value at its best.
Path – Travel and Eats：
- Opening Hours：１０：００〜１８：００
- URL: Path – Travel and Eats
Date of coverage: 10th March 2020
We accept no responsibility for any changes that may have occurred
Hey! I’m Malte, the weird Germany guy. I moved to Kashiwa at the end of 2012 and have been living here since.
Graduating from Reitaku University in 2018, I entered the University of Tokyo’s graduate school to do some additional research.
I absolutely fell in love with the kind people of Kashiwa. Everyone welcomed me with open arms, and I got financially and emotionally saved more than once. Through my articles and pictures, I try to show everyone what kind of beautiful place Kashiwa can be.