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Enjoying Japanese Tea in Kagurazaka

Recently I saw one of the ubiquitous Japanese TV shows about food. I like to watch them because they are very educational. That’s my excuse for staring at people eating delicious food instead of cooking something myself.

It turns out that if traditional thick green tea is served after kaiseki-ryōri (traditional Japanese multi-course), the course is called cha-kaiseki. The show featured some restaurant with a long history, but unfortunately I only remembered that it was in Kagurazaka. Nevertheless, I felt encouraged to take a walk along Kagurazaka Street and look for some Japanese tea.

Kagurazaka street sign

This place in Tokyo is always busy due to the existence of numerous shops, cafes and restaurants. Also, it is a former hanamachi (geisha district), so if you are very lucky, you can see one. If not, you can always solace yourself with tea or lunch at a traditional tea house.

Traditional tea house

Walking up the slope, you will smell the irresistible, nutty aroma of roasting houjicha, a very popular kind of Japanese tea. The shop which roasts it on the street is called Kagurazaka Meicha Rakuzan and is conveniently situated next to Zenkoku-ji temple.

Zenkoku-ji temple

That smell makes you want to buy some tea and eat something at the same time. Forget the smell of freshly baked Cinnamon rolls! THIS excellent example of scent marketing dates back to the 1920s!

Roasting hojicha Tea

On top of that, many people are interested in the tea roasting machine.

Kagurazaka05

Address in Japanese:〒162-0825 東京都新宿区神楽坂4-3
Address in English: 162-0825, Tokyo, Shinjuku ward, Kagurazaka 4-3
Closest subway station: Iidabashi.
Distance to airport: 18 km from Haneda Airport

By Olga Kaneda

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