Archive for the ‘wagashi’ tag
Add: 2F Pola Bldg Ginza, Chuo Ku / 中央区銀座 1-7-7 ポーラ銀座ビル 2F
Hours: [Tue-Sat] 11am-10pm [Sun] 11am-7pm
Price: [tea] 1,400~1,500 yen
Visited: Oct 2016
My favorite spot for Japanese tea and sweets on this trip to Tokyo was Yakumo Saryo, but if your itinerary is too rushed and don’t have time to venture out to this neighborhood, perhaps you can try Higashiya, another Japanese sweets establishment by the same designer Shinichiro Ogata, conveniently located in Ginza. Higashiya was established with the goal of creating modern wagashi (Japanese sweets) that can be enjoyed on a daily basis, hence the name “higashiya” (“hi” means day in Japanese).
如果你在東京的行程很趕，沒有時間到目黑區去尋找八雲茶寮的話，那可以試試同樣出自緒方慎一郎之手，位于銀座的 Higashiya。Higashiya 原本是家沿著目黑川的小店，品牌的初衷是將和菓子帶回到人們日常生活中，做出 “每天吃也不會膩的果子”，因此名爲 Higashiya（日菓子屋）。
The Ginza shop opened in 2009, composed of a boutique space and a 40-seat tea salon. A white canvas noren hangs at the entrance, and walking through it is like entering another space, leaving all earthly worries out behind. Unfortunately photos are not allowed inside the shop, so here’s a quick sneak peek. If you would like to see more, take a look at their beautiful website.
2009 年開幕的 Higashiya 銀座店位于ポーラ銀座ビル的二樓，首先穿過似乎可以把煩惱擋在門外的布簾，先看到的是和菓子的櫃台，往裏走才是茶室。店員表示緒方先生不希望客人在店裏拍照，所以在這裏就沒有太多照片可以放，喜歡的話可以上官網瞧瞧。不過總之茶館裏的裝潢風格結合了現代和日式傳統，桌椅均為木質，沒有太過華麗的擺飾，簡單大方。
In addition to seasonal desserts, Higashiya offers a diverse selection of Japanese sweets and original tableware, 30 varieties of tea, as well as lunch menus and afternoon tea using seasonal ingredients.
Add: Tenryui-ji, Sagano, Kyoto
Price: 700 yen+
Visited: Aug 2016
The more than hundred-year-old Oimatsu used to be the wagashi (Japanese confectionery) provider for the Japanese imperial family. It has two locations in Kyoto (Arashiyama and Kitano), and was recommended to me by Nao from Bar Bunkyu the night before.
The shop is not huge, but the tables are comfortably distanced. On the left side are floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a beautiful courtyard, and it’s quite lovely to be eating wagashi with this as the backdrop.
Add*: Galleria B1F, Tokyo Midtown, D-B117, 9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo Midtown Galleria B1F is a foodie wonderland. Sleek and stylish shops of Sadaharu Aoki, Henri Le Roux, Jean-Paul Hévin, and Maison Kayser bewitch passerby with their alluring display of bright colors and fancy garnishes. Admist all the hustle and bustle, the understated elegance of Toraya is in a class of its own. One of the oldest makers of traditional Japanese sweets, Toraya has been supplying confectionery to the Imperial Family since the 16th century. For those with an appreciation for the subtle sensibilities of wagashi (和菓子), Toraya is a must-visit.
*Various locations in Japan and France. Check website for details.
The sweets at Toraya appeal to much more than just the sense of taste. Rather, they engage all fives senses of appearance, taste, texture, scent, and sound. Appearance: the beautiful combination of shapes, colors, and designs, inspired by both natural and cultural images, is a feast for the eyes.Texture: soft or crisp, moist or dry, the texture one feels when handling, cutting, and tasting the sweets reveal the quality of ingredients and superior craftsmanship. Taste: the natural, distinctive flavors of ingredients are showcased through careful preparation. Scent: delicate fragrances enhance the taste without overwhelming the subtleties. Sound: lyrical names from classical prose or poetry, often suggestive of a particular season, are a pleasure to the ears.
As a gift, I received a box of monaka (最中), confectionary made of azuki bean filling sandwiched between two thin crisp wafers made from sticky-rice. The package includes two varieties of monaka: cherry blossom shape with soy bean paste (白餡), and plum blossom shape with red kidney bean paste (こし餡). Like most wagashi, monaka are quite sweet and are best when enjoyed with a cup of green tea.
Other than monaka, Toraya also makes beautiful renditions of namagashi 生菓子 (seasonal cakes in the forms of flowers and leaves), yokan 羊羹 (thick jellied sweet made of azuki bean paste, kanten and sugar), higashi 干菓子 (a dry sweets made with glutinous rice flour, sugar and starch), and much more. Next time in Japan, make sure to visit a Toraya branch and try some of their exquisitely crafted Japanese traditional sweets.