I came back to the blog since almost 2 months absence due to my works, trip to Europe and preparation for an exam of official guide license. September has already come and season has changed into fall, my most favorite season in a year!
Green tea is one of the best seasoning for various sweets
I would like to introduce you some green tea (called “Maccha” in ＠ｓJapanese) sweets this time. As you know, green tea is powdered tea leaves used for traditional Japanese tea ceremony, but the tea powders are also applied for a various type of foods in modern times. One of most popular ways is for sweets.
My husband & I are keen on having green tea sweets, especially green tea parfait at the specialty cafes. There are many Japanese who are fascinated with sweets and bitter flavor, but green tea sweets also attract attention from many foreigners nowadays. Needless to say, green tea with high-quality is hardly available in other countries, so we can say green tea sweets are one of typical foods who can enjoy while staying Japan. Actually, Kyoto is famous for and an originated region, but I would like to focus on 2 specialty cafes in Tokyo where I am familiar with and recommend you to experience during your trip.
“Tsujiri” is my favorite and never-missed green tea cafe
Our most favorite specialty cafe is “Tsujiri” there the origin is Kyoto and has opened the shop in Tokyo several years ago. There is only one shop in Tokyo at Tokyo Daimaru department store in front of Tokyo Station. We order a green tea parfait called “Tokusen Tsujiri Parfit” or “Suigyoku Parfeit” almost all time. We really fond of its combination of ice cream and jelly with strong and condensed green tea flavor there.
They also served other green tea sweets such as shaved ice with thick green tea source and roll cakes with green tea flavor, or other sweets with Japanese roasted tea (Hoji-cha in Japanese) which I never tried. They also serve light meals like green tea noodles as well. There are relatively many seats inside, but always clouded with customers, so you must be ready line up the long queue and wait for at least 30 minutes around the tea time, but I think that it is worth for you to do it even once. Or if you avoid to go around that time, you may enter the cafe without waiting. If you don’t like to do it, there is a quick-stand as sister shop in Tokyo Soramachi, a shopping mall of Tokyo Sky Tree. They only served lighter sweets such as soft cream and some drinks based on green tea. (But I still prefer to visit the proper cafe.)
“Nakamura Tokichi” is the cafe I have been longed to open in Tokyo
“Nakamura Tokichi Honten” is another fabulous specialty cafe where we have visited recently at GINZA SIX. The shop also has a company and the main shop in Kyoto and they came to open the cafe in Tokyo almost two years ago. Before the shop coming in Tokyo, I had visited their shop in Kyoto for getting raw green tea jelly as souvenir according to my friend’s strong recommendation. As the jelly was so tasty with elaborate green tea flavor, I completely became their fan once I ate their sweets! I had been waiting for their coming to Tokyo since then. We ordered green tea parfait there too. Compared with the one in Tsujiri, the size is a bit smaller, but the appearance seems sophisticated and the combination of contents such as ice cream, fresh cream, sticky white rice ball (called Shiratama in Japanese) is exquisite, so you can enjoy it both looking and tasting at the same time. The café is also very popular among people and always crowed around tea time. So I would like to recommend to visit there in the morning when it opens if you want to enter without waiting for a long time.
Some other green tea cafes in Tokyo
If you want to enjoy green tea sweets in more casual way and reasonable prices, “Kagurazaka-Saryo” and “Nana’s Green Tea” are other options. As they have several chain cafes in Tokyo, especially in department stores and shopping malls, you can easily find them. (In my opinion, their green tea flavors are not so strong as much as my 2 favorite cafes.) Suzukien, a Japanese tea specialty shop also provides green tea ice cream in a unique way, having a wide variety of green tea ice cream according to intensity of tea flavors. I just visited their limited-time-only shop at a department store in Tokyo, but Their shop locates in Asakusa, so you can drop at the shop while you are sightseeing around the area. Why don’t you try these green tea sweets during your stay in Tokyo? I swear you will definitely love them 😉