Wagashi, but not edible! -CHAEN-

wagashi box, not edible:-)
Can you see the picture?

It is a box of assorted Wagashi (Japanese traditional confection)!
Looks good, doesn’t it?

Wagashi is usually a good company with tea. Yes, usually…but not this one:-). They are not edible, they are “felt- wagashi” made by a Japanese tea shop “Chayen” owner.

Surprisingly, he just started making felting handicrafts all of sudden a few months ago and has made a lot of stuff already (including animals too!). Good news is that the felts draw more customers, especially kids, to his shop. Remember, this is a tea shop. They serve “real eatable wagashi "with tea, too! Whatever the reasons may be, kids who usually don’t drink tea a lot could come to like tea. Which is good!

felt animals made by the owner. So cute!

* My previous blog: about this tea shop (Chayen)


The Day of Black Tea

In Japan, there is a day called “ kocha-no-hi”, which means “ the day of black tea”, set by Japan Tea Association in 1983 to boost the consumption of the tea.
When is it?
It’s November 1st, which mark the very first day that Japanese ever had “black tea”. The luckiest person was a Japanese castaway, named Daikokuya Kōdayū. In 1783, his ship drifted on the way to Japan, but managed to escape to the Russian mainland. People there saved his life and he stayed for a while. Eventually, he had Catherine the Great allow them to go back to Japan. During his stay, he was invited to her tea party, and had a cup of tea. This is why November 1st was chosen as “the day of black tea” in Japan.
I’m curious what he thought about his first taste of black tea.
Daikokuya Kodayu frm web



British Fair in Osaka

The British Fair is held at a well-known department store in Osaka at this time of every year. Tens of thousands of Anglophiles flooded during the fair. Especially, tea and scones captivate so many people every year. And it is no exception this year, either.

ad for the fair  -by T-
Davenports Tea room awarded the 2013 UK’s top tea place opens their shop temporary and serve cream tea. Scones from The Goring Hotel awarded the 2013 top London Afternoon Tea Award sells scones at a hall. A surprisingly long long queue forms in front of the shops all day and every day long during the fair.

I remembered a word that an old English lady told me when I was in London a long time ago. While I was having “cream tea” which is scones-and-tea set at a tea room in London, she spoke to me and we started chatting. Since she was a regular customer, the tea room owner joined our conversation, and I was spending very good tea time there with them, although my English was much poorer back then. Anyway….what they asked me jokingly then was “Why do all Japanese order scones?? You love scones that much??”

Seeing the long queue to seek tea and scones at the fair, I remember the conversation. Believe me, yes we do. We love English tea and scones. No doubt.

a queue to seek scones  ^by T-


Tea Club at an Elementary School

Did you belong to any club activities at school when you were a child? Basketball club? Baseball? Or Brasband??

Recently, “Black tea club” has set up at an elementary school in Tochigi prefecture. I know students can join Sado club (Traditional Japanese tea ceremony club), but I had never heard of “black tea club”. It must be the first one in Japan.

photo by T
Tochigi prefecture is now nation’s number one consumer of black tea. So, the municipality might want to boost its popularity further. The students who join the club are supposed to learn basic knowledge about black tea, how to make good tea and how to serve tea. Also they are plannning to make their own original blended tea, and hold a tea party.

The school hopes the students will learn not only tea, but the spirit of hospitality throughout the club. It could be a good way to cultivate a wide range of sensibilities.


English Style in Osaka

Is this a tea room in London?? No, it’s not. This is the one of my favorite tea rooms in Osaka known as Torrington Tea Room.

photo by T

They serve a good selection of tea and great food including their special Egg-Benedict. They use crumpet instead of English muffin. When I feel like having something light, Torrington-style cream tea is good too. Other than crumpet, Walsh cake, which few shops serve in Japan, is served there with cream and seasonal jam made by the shop manager’s own recipe such as nectarine-and-ginger jam, fig-and-nuts jam, peach-and-almond jam etc.

Last month, they saw their first anniversary of the opening of a business. Luckily we enjoyed special menu using big savory scones, which was great too.
photo by T

It is always fun to choose what tea I want to have, and what food I should get with…or vice versa. In Osaka, tea is often served by a cup, which makes me disappointed, but it is served by a pot at this tea room together with a milk jar and a water jug too. Again, this is still unusual in Osaka. This is a great place for a big tea drinker like me!