Photo by George Lloyd

Shinjuku institution Takano Fruit Parlour quashes rumours of its imminent demise

Takano Fruit Parlour, the long-established Shinjuku specialty fruit store, recently announced that it planned to close its much-loved fruit bar at the end of March 2021.

News of the closure spread on the Internet faster than fruit flies on a bunch of ripe bananas. But somewhere along the way, the news morphed to become a rumour that Takano Fruit Parlour itself was about to shut down.

One of Takano’s famous fruit parfaits | Photo by George Lloyd

Aghast at the slipup, Takano management rushed to set the record straight. It was all a terrible misunderstanding. In fact, there are no plans to close the Takano Fruit Parlour. Indeed, they are even planning to expand the store. Only the fruit bar will close.1

Another delicious Takano fruit concoction | Photo by George Lloyd

Tokyo’s fruit lovers breathed a collective sigh of relief. One of the behemoths of the Japanese retail fruit trade would live to fight another day after all.

Takano Fruit Parlour started out in 1885 - around the same time Shinjuku station first opened - as a simple fruit shop called Takano Shoten. In 1921, Mr. Takano established a rim stand service, the predecessor of his famous fruit parlor, next door to his shop. The fruit parlor was established in 1926, and soon became a firm favourite with shoppers, who flocked in droves to sample Mr. Takano’s high-class fruit parfaits. It celebrated its 135th anniversary last year.

Advertising posters from the early days of the Takano Fruit Parlour | Photo by George Lloyd

Takano Fruit Parlour still uses the same generous portions of fruits in its parfait as it always has. These days it is celebrated, not only for its wonderful fruit parfaits, but also its enticing range of fruit salads, cakes, jams and bread. Its team of dedicated chefs also prepare top-quality gift hampers and baskets of seasonal fruit.

A Takano fruit gift basket | Photo by George Lloyd

Takano’s fruit bar, offering all-you-can-eat fruit deals and cut fruit and cream sandwiches, first opened to the public in 1987. Its buffet style, whereby customers were free to peruse and choose the fruit themselves, proved a big hit with Tokyo’s famously picky shoppers.

Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic has made the buffet a risky proposition, so Takano has decided to close it. Tokyo’s fruit fans will be dismayed to learn that Takano’s all-you-can-eat cut fruit deals and fruit sandwiches will soon be a thing of the past.

Takano is famous for its musk melons | Photo by George Lloyd

But there is some good news: with space freed up by the closure of the fruit bar, Takano have decided to expand the fruit parlour, which means more room for Tokyo’s fruit fans to sit and eat all those tasty fruit parfaits!

Spokeswoman Naoko Kubo said, “Takano will be a more relaxing store with more spacious seats than before, plus a range of delicious new fruits in the store.”

The Takano Fruit Parlour as it looks today | Photo by George Lloyd



1. 「タカノフルーツパーラー「閉店」ではなく「拡張」ビュッフェ終了の理由は」(Mainichi Shimbun, Feb. 13)

By - George Lloyd.

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