Visiting the Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factory: Create Your Very Own Cookie, Eat as Much as You Like, and Enjoy a Factory Tour!
Last updated: 1 November 2018
Tivoli is a Japanese sweets brand that delights people all around with its delicious confectionery. Especially its cookies are highly sought-after! In November 2017, Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factory opened, combining factory with a directly-operated shop. While “cookie factory” by itself already sounds amazing, this one offers a factory tour, an activity corner where you can create your very own cookie, and a café with a cookie all-you-can-eat! A fun spot for old and young, it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in Yugawara! Let us take you on a little tour through the Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factory to see what it’s all about.
Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factory: Cookies Galore & Fun for the Entire Family!
The Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factory actually occupies the first and second floor of Tivoli’s headquarters in Yugawara, opened in November 2017 under the concept of “promoting Yugawara’s specialty items such as tangerines though pastries and confectionery, and letting people enjoy the factory with all five senses.”
Tivoli has three factories, including the Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factory, where pastries and confectionery are created for eight brands under the Tivoli umbrella. They’re sold in department stores and supermarkets of about 20 countries around the world.
Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factory is just a 3-minute walk away from JR Yugawara Station, boasting convenient access even from Tokyo. The first floor houses an atmospheric café that treats you to delicious cookies and sweets, as well as a shop and the cookie activity corner. The second floor is the proper factory where curious visitors get to witness the making of a cookie in the mini factory tour! For sweets lovers, the Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factory leaves nothing to be desired!
Ever since the factory’s opening, it has enjoyed quite a lot of popularity because it offers a tasty cookie gourmet experience and is a fun activity even on a rainy day. Of course, weekends at the factory are particularly crowded, but even weekdays see a lot of guests coming by who stay at the nearby hot spring resorts.
The Mini Factory Tour Shows the Making of a Tivoli Cookie!
First, we’re going to check out the mini factory tour on the second floor. You don’t have to make a participation reservation or anything, so freely stop by whenever you feel like it!
As soon as we step out of the elevator, we’re greeted by Tivoli’s own mascot called Izumin. The walls are adorned with various panels explaining the concept behind the factory and what products are made here every day. There’s a lot of interesting information, such as the factory’s own safety rules for the workers, the ingredients that go into the cookies, the process of baking them, and so on.
Especially children will enjoy the many fun illustrations that don’t only explain the standard facts such as the history of cookies, ingredients, and so on, but also playfully showcase what kind of foods can be made at a company, for example. It’s a great way to learn about everyone’s favorite sweet: cookies!
There’s also a lot of equipment showcased, such as cookie molds that are essential for the cute look of the sweet delights, as well as mixers and a large whisk for perfect frothiness.
While the mini factory tour and its many exhibits are really interesting, there’s an undeniably sweet and beckoning aroma in the air. Large windows allow visitors a glimpse into the actual factory where the cookies are made – and where that aroma comes from! On the day of our visit, caramel sandwich cookies were being baked right in front of our noses.
A panel at the side explains in an easy-to-understand way what kind of product you see being made right now.
The caramel sandwich cookies are first mixed to create the dough, then that dough is filled into the molds, followed by the baking. After that, the cookies are finished, packaged, assorted, and finally shipped.
About 80 kinds of cookies are made at Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factory. Apparently, the company itself is involved in the design of each machine because they need to be able to process a lot of different ingredients. Also, daily maintenance is indispensable to adjust the delicate settings.
Last but not least, we got to experience the air shower that factory employees are stepping under as well. The air shower is right in front of the stairs, so if you opt out of the elevator, this will be your first cookie factory experience! It’s stronger than it looks, so brace yourself!
Seeing the actual process alongside the explanations really is a fun and in-depth way to learn all about the art of cookie making. Tivoli’s cookies are made of the finest ingredients, the machines are diligently checked every day – there really goes a lot of work and care into these delicious treats.
After finding out the process that makes Tivoli’s cookies so delicious, let’s go make our own sweet treats!
Make Your Own Original Cookie Creation!
Let’s move on to the cookie making experience corner on the first floor to get creative!
We joined the “Tivoli Cookie Drawing Course” that is open to everyone 3 years and older. You’ll get to decorate your own cookie with sugar pens in whichever way you like!
It’s a popular event that takes place at 11:00 a.m. on Mondays and Fridays, as well as three times a day at 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
*The schedule changes for occasions such as summer vacation. Please check the official homepage for details. (Reservation possible until 6:00 p.m. on the day before your visit, 900 yen, about 45 minutes.)
The fee for the experience is paid in advance at either of the two cashiers inside the factory and the reception is right in front of the activity corner. After washing your hands, put on an apron hanging readily on the wall. Then, find the table with the number you’ve been given at the reception.
You’ll get a chef’s hat, four cookies, and four different kinds of decoration chocolate (lemon, matcha, chocolate, and strawberry). The chef’s hat is essential to channeling your inner pâtissier!
After a greeting from the staff, it’s time to start!
“Squeeze the chocolate like this to draw on your cookie,” explains the staff, showing how to do it.
The chocolate comes out evenly if you squeeze the upper part of the pastry bag. Here’s another tip: if you want to draw a circle, draw it in four pieces. Apparently, if you want to get a straight line, just put the tip down at the starting point, then let it hover in the air and only put it down at the end point.
You’ve got about 20 minutes to decorate your cookies. They’re all shaped differently and give you some ideas by that alone! Feel free to draw whatever you like, though.
It’s a great experience for children who surely make precious memories of their trip to Yugawara, decorating their own cookies together with their parents.
Once everyone finishes their cookie creations, the staff announces that it’s time to let the chocolate dry in the oven. We actually had to struggle a bit to finish our fourth cookie!
The staff puts all the cookie trays into the oven so that the chocolate decoration can dry.
Once done, you’ll get your cookies back with an original box!
If you feel like it, use the colored pencils to adorn the foldable box and make it unique. It’s a cute bag type that’s easily carried around while keeping your cookie creations safe.
As soon as everyone’s done with their box, the staff returns the now dried cookies.
It’s surprisingly hard to decorate cookies with chocolate in a neat and fancy way, but everyone tried their best and the results are adorable! It’s a fun experience that puts a creative spin on the classic factory tour. Since even young children can participate, it’s a wonderful family activity.
Cookie All-You-Can-Eat! Savor 8 Different Kinds of Cookies in the Factory Café!
Just outside the experience corner is the factory’s popular café and its cookie buffet. After exploring the second floor and creating your own cookies, it’s a great spot to sit down for a delicious break.
Various cakes and ice creams beckon deliciously right next to the register, while various kinds of cookies line up for the cookie buffet.
Of course, the cookie all-you-can-eat buffet is the most popular choice! For one full hour, you get to eat as many cookies as you like for 540 yen, drink included! The buffet features eight kinds of Tivoli cookies, so there are all sorts of flavors to discover.
We got to enjoy mini coco chocolate, leaf pie, mini leaf pie cocoa, orange galettes, tea roll, almond Florentine biscuits, milk jam rusks, and coconut shortbread.
The crispy shortbread and the soft cookies make for a wonderful variety. Thankfully it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet, so go ahead and try every single flavor!
The perfect afternoon snack! With the gentle sourness of tangerine juice balancing the sweetness of the cookies, we could keep on eating forever.
Our personal favorite is the mini leaf pie cocoa. The granulated sugar coating makes for a crispy texture, while the cocoa enhances the cookie with a subtle sweetness. The bite-sized bits are positively addictive!
A cookie buffet may seem overwhelming at first, but you will soon notice that the light, sweet delights are quickly snacked away, and you’ll hit the buffet for seconds! The variety of flavors makes this a genuinely fun gourmet experience.
Besides the buffet, we highly recommend the sweets made with Yugawara tangerines. Every single one brings out the natural citrus flavor just perfectly and especially the Yugawara tangerine juice (270 yen) is a rare treat, as squeezing a single tangerine gives surprisingly little juice!
The dough of the cream puff is nice and crispy, topped with a hint of granulated sugar. The middle is filled with a full-bodied tangerine flavor and plenty of refreshing cream.
The pudding is mellow and creamy, and the subtle bitterness of the tangerine makes this a perfect delight for everyone who doesn’t like overwhelming sweetness. The rich flavor spreads throughout your mouth from the first spoonful!
Fun for Old and Young: the All-New Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factory
The shop on the first floor sells unique souvenirs themed around Yugawara. It also sells the cookies of the buffet, but we highly recommend to get something that features the logo of the Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factory.
The selection of original sweets is rich, so surprise family and friends with the “Mikan Chocolate Balls” (25 for 648 yen) featuring Yugawara tangerine powder, or the savory “Kataura Lemon Langues de Chat” (18 for 756 yen) made with lemons from Kataura.
The most popular souvenir is the “Shortbread Sandwich Tangerine Jam.” It’s an original recipe with a dough that is infused with both caramel and tangerine. The sweet-and-sour taste of Yugawara tangerines and the crispiness of the shortbread is a match made in dessert heaven.
The Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factory is also very accommodating to parents with young children and seniors. There’s a stroller storage, baby care rooms, and the entire facility is barrier-free. Inside the baby care rooms are hot water dispensers for milk and diaper changing sheets. Two nursing rooms are also freely accessible.
Whether you bring your entire family, just your friend, or set out to explore the world of cookies all by yourself, the Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factory is a fun place for everyone! From making your own cookies to learning all about the factory, plenty of experiences await and the café’s sweet delicacies are sure to recharge your energies afterward! If you take a trip to Yugawara’s famous hot springs, why not spend an afternoon at the Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factory?
Tivoli Yugawara Sweets Factoryちぼり湯河原スイーツファクトリー
- Address 1-15-4 Doi, Yugawara-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken 259-0303
- Phone Number 0465-63-0404
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Closed: open every day (closed for maintenance irregularly throughout the year)
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*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
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