A line of at least 60 people huddled under umbrellas in a relentless spring rain in Tokyo's Harajuku neighborhood. What were they all in line for? As I got closer it dawned on me: free ice cream scoops to mark the opening of Ben & Jerry's Japanese flagship store.
So far on this vacation, I hadn't thought much about sweets. Most restaurants in Japan didn't serve dessert, and if they did, it was usually a sticky, chewy mochi concoction. But I did notice that sweet shops abounded in Kyoto, with displays of beautifully wrapped boxed things—typically mochi sheets wrapped around fillings mostly made of bean paste. But the products all looked the same, a bit sterile, even boring. READ MORE