2019/04/20

Very British in Osaka - Kitahama Retro -

A tea room, "Kitahama Retoro" , has been very popular since it opened in 1997. You have to be ready to wait for an hour, or longer.



The building is designated as a national tangible cultural property, which is one of the reasons of its popularity, but more than that. The tea room has a full of British atmosphere.









The tea room is along the river. When you see it across the river, the tiny tea room is sandwiched between the taller building.


Do you see a teapot and the sign "TEA" on the building?


The tearoom, which is sandwiched between the buildings reminds me of Twining in London. "Kitahama Retoro" is really British in terms of not only food and interior decorations but how it is built.

Twining in London.




2019/04/08

Hoga Sengen 2019

The Kyoto tea authority announced “hoga sengen” (budding announcement) on April 5th 2019.
 
It’s 2 days later than last year. Since it was warmer this February, it could have budded earlier than usual. But the temperature was back to normal this March and it became colder at the beginning of this month. After going through "up-and-down" temperature, the announcement turned out to be a bit later than last year.
 
The announcement is annually issued when about 70% of new buds of “Yabukita” cultivar (the most common cultivar to produce green tea) cultivated at a research institute are grown about twice as big as the size of leaves which are wrapped the buds. Usually, about one month after hoga sengen, tea is ready to be plucked.
 
In Japan, the new era is going to start on May 1 after the current Emperor abdicate on April 30. Tea season this year is coming together with the opening of the new era "Reiwa", which means "beautiful harmony". It'll be very special for sure!