Make Authentic Matcha at Home With the New Ippukubox Set
25.April.2020 | FOOD
TAKAHASHI KOGEI has launched a new matcha making set called the Ippukubox which comes with everything you need to make authentic Japanese matcha.
For many of us, our time indoors has increased. When taking a break from remote work we head to the kitchen to make ourselves a drink. We’ve all had those moments when we’re torn between making coffee, black tea, herbal tea, and so on. In those undecided moments, why not try making a cup of matcha instead?
The Ippukubox is a 15cm box which comes with all the necessary gear for making mathca: a chawan cup, chasen tea whisk, chashaku teaspoon, and a natsume tea caddy for preserving your matcha.
The inside of the box is lined with Echizen paper from Fukui Prefecture which not only makes it look beautiful, but protects your matcha tools from becoming damaged as a result of rubbing together.
Generally in Japan, when you think about making matcha, the traditional tea ceremony springs to mind which follows strict rules when it comes to making the drink. But the Ippukubox is made for personal use, and so you can add as much or as little matcha or hot water as you like, and practice making it even if you don’t know the proper techniques. You can even add hot milk to make a matcha latte and enjoy a tasty treat with it.
The chawan teacup is Echizen ware from Fukui and was made specially for the Ippukubox. Its cute size makes it fit perfectly in the palm of your hand, but it’s also spacious enough for using the whisk.
The outside design of the box is also made in such a way that it fits seamlessly into modern living and dining spaces. Each wooden box is handcrafted individually and is layered in a matte coating to protect the wood.
*This chawan teacup is different to the one included in the set
The lid of the box can even be used as a tray as pictured above to fit your drink and snack.
Release Date: May 15, 2020
Price: ¥13,000 (Before Tax)
Official Website: https://o-takahashikogei.com
*Please note that the Ippukubox does not come with matcha or snacks.
Starbucks Japan Unveils Candied Sweet Potato Frappuccino®
18.September.2020 | FOOD
Starbucks Coffee Japan has revealed the second beverage in its Artful Autumn @ Starbucks® series of drinks. The “Candied Sweet Potato Frappuccino®” will be released at Starbucks branches in Japan on September 23, 2020.
Candied Sweet Potato Frappuccino® | Tall Size Only – ¥590
Each drink is made using a whole chopped and blended Japanese daigaku imo candied sweet potato to serve those autumn flavours, with its marbled golden colour also reminiscent of the autumn leaves. It’s topped with whipped cream, black sesame seeds, and sweet potato syrup.
Truly the perfect dessert drink to sip on for the changing seasons.
Candied Sweet Potato Frappuccino®
Serving: September 23, 2020 – October 31, 2020
Available: Starbucks in Japan (select branches not participating)
Starbucks Coffee Japan Official Website: https://www.starbucks.co.jp/
Experience Old Time Kyoto in Autumn 2020 With Tea and Textiles
18.September.2020 | SPOT
Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, is also called the birth place of Japanese culture, with a history spanning 1,200 years. Today, we’re going to take a look at a number of upcoming events and seasonal items on sale in Kyoto for autumn 2020.
Celebrating 300 years of Tango Chirimen
This year marks 300 years since Tango Chirimen was established, a company located in Tango in northern Kyoto that specialises in a Japanese textile of flat woven silk known as ‘chirimen.’ There are many local chirimen brands around Japan, but it is the chirimen from Tango that has stood above the rest these past 300 years. The brand is now looking to the start of a new era for itself during its triple century milestone.
LIFE WITH THE QUALITY
Tango Chirimen is currently displaying a collaborative art exhibit at NEWoMan Shinjuku in Tokyo. This includes the entry display made in collaboration with Japanese artist Saki Tanaka, wall art made from woven fabrics, and more.
Running: Until September 30, 2020
Location: NEWoMan Shinjuku
Lineup: Display in collaboration with Saki Tanaka, wall art, and more
United Arrows x Tango Chirimen
United Arrows is also collaborating with the brand and incorporating their logo mark “TANGO OPEN” on a new men’s t-shirt.
Product Name: BY Tango Broad Wide Form Tapered Shirt
Buy Here: https://store.united-arrows.co.jp/shop/by/goods.html?gid=52838245
Sold at: BEAUTY & YOUTH UNITED ARROWS stores and their official online store
Taste tea from Uji on Japanese Tea Day
It is generally considered that the first tea of the season in Japan is best enjoyed from the end of April and during May, but in fact Japanese tea is the perfect season to enjoy Japanese tea, specially since the country celebrates Japanese Tea Day (Nihoncha no Hi) on October 1 and 31.
Ujicha, or tea from Uji in Kyoto, boasts some of the most famous kinds of teas in Japan. This includes matcha, sencha, and gyokuro, all of which were first grown in southern Kyoto. Because of this, it is said that Ujicha marks the origins of Japanese tea. So when you visit Japan during autumn, why not celebrate Japanese Tea Day with some authentic tea from Uji?
Ujicha Tea Murie Online Course
The Ujicha Tea Murie Course has been held since 2015 in Kyoto, and this year, the course is heading online for the first time as a result of the pandemic. Learn how to make and serve Uji tea from a professional tea instructor as well as its history and more.
Running: Session 1: September 15, 2020 / Session 2: October 2, 2020 / Session 3: October 17, 2020
Requirements: Download and install Zoom
Official Website: https://www.pref.kyoto.jp/yamashiro/ocha/
Certified Ujicha tea cafes for an authentic experience
Tsujiri Rihei Ginza | Tsujiri Rihei Senju
Nakamura Tokichi Ginza
Tsujiri Rihei Ginza, Tsujiri Rihei Senju, and Nakamura Tokichi Ginza are all cafes in Tokyo that are officially recognised for serving authentic Ujicha tea which also includes proper preparation as well as teaching the history and culture behind the tea. These three cafes are also holding an Ujicha tea stamp rally as well as a Twitter hashtag campaign.
Uji Tea Cafe Stamp Rally
Running: Until December 31, 2020
Location: 40 cafes in Kyoto
*The information listed in this article is correct at the time of publishing. The information is subject to change.
Sweet Potato Milk Bubble Tea Pours Into Chun Shui Tang For Autumn
15.September.2020 | FOOD
Chun Shui Tang, a chain of Taiwanese bubble tea stores, is adding a new limited-time drink to the menus of all branches in Japan on September 16: the “Tapioca Sweet Potato Milk Tea.”
Tapioca Sweet Potato Milk Tea | ¥650 (Before Tax)
The beverage is made with annouimo sweet potatoes grown on the island of Tanegashima in Kagoshima Prefecture. The potatoes are known for their high sugar content, adding a delicious natural sweetness to the tea. It’s blended with a high grade sugar syrup and topped off with whipped cream and sweet potato chips to create a dessert drink.
Those who order the drink via the Smatapi (スマタピ) app from September 9 can get the drink early before its general release on September 16.
In Japan for the autumn season? Enjoy the tasty autumn flavour of sweet potato with the Tapioca Sweet Potato Milk Tea.
Tapioca Sweet Potato Milk Tea
Release Date: September 16, 2020
*Mobile pre-sales available from September 9 to those who order using the Smatapi (スマタピ) app
Available: All Chun Shui Tang shops in Japan
Chun Shui Tang Japan Official Website: https://www.chunshuitang.jp/
Luxurious Matcha Loaded Parfait Served Up at MICASADECO&CAFE KYOTO
13.September.2020 | FOOD
MICASADECO&CAFE KYOTO had to shorten its menu due to the effects of COVID-19. Their legendary parfait too was taken off the list, but now has finally returned, and even more delicious looking than ever.
MICASADECO&CAFE KYOTO has tried to make the parfait as breathtaking as possible, and they’ve certainly captured that. It’s vivid like the furisode long-sleeved kimono worn by the maiko of Kyoto, beautiful and dignified.
Uji Matcha Pudding & Raspberry Parfait | ¥1,250 (Tax Included)
This towering parfait is made up of many layers, one of which is a homemade Japanese-style pudding made with high quality matcha from Uji, Kyoto. It has a subtly sweet and deep flavour, and is taken to the next level with the matcha sauce it’s served with.
The homemade raspberry jam brings a delightful sweetness too as well as adds that eye-catching aspect they’re going for. As you spoon your way through, your taste buds are treated to an amalgamation of indulging flavours.
The lid that’s sat on top of the parfait is actually a tuile biscuit. The best way to go about beginning your feast is to break the biscuit and then pour the matcha sauce inside.
Hidden within the parfait are also pieces of homemade matcha brownies made with lots of top grade matcha.
These parfaits will be served from September 14 but are limited in stock, so if you’re in Kyoto this month, make sure you don’t miss out.
Address: 480 Umeyachō, Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto
Official Website: http://micasadecoandcafe.com/
Japanese Chawanmushi Egg Custard Dessert Turns Into Drink in Tokyo
03.September.2020 | FOOD
Japanese food company Ninben has announced that it is extending its sales period for its drinkable chawanmushi dessert at Nihonbashi Dashi Bar in Tokyo until September 30.
Chawanmushi is a refreshing Japanese egg custard dessert that’s perfect for cooling down during the summer, and seeing as the summer heat isn’t letting down in Japan just yet, Ninben’s drinkable rendition is now available until the end of September.
Chawanmushi Drink | ¥300 (Tax Included)
The chawanmushi drink is a collaboration between the owner of Suzunari and Ninben’s Nihonbashi Dashi Bar. The drink was created to get more people enjoying the delicious taste of dashi. Exclusive to Nihonbashi Dashi Bar, which is located inside Ninben in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, the drink is being served for takeout only.
Normally, chawanmushi is eaten with a spoon, so using a straw adds an entirely new experience to enjoying the dessert. It’s seasoned with salt from Christmas Island which elevates the flavour of the egg and dashi.
It’s still hot in Tokyo, so if you’re in the city, then why not order one to cool down?
Nihonbashi Dashi Bar
Address: COREDO Muromach 1 (Floor 1F), 2-2-1 Nihonbashimuromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Official Website: www.ninben.co.jp
Autumn Flower Topped Cream Sodas Served at Floral Cafe and Bar HANABAR in Koenji
31.August.2020 | FOOD
HANABAR, a floral themed cafe and bar in Koenji, Tokyo, released two breathtaking new cream sodas on Friday which capture the sentimental feeling of summer transitioning to autumn.
HANABAR opened in September 2017 as Japan’s “first dried flower cafe.” A sister store, gmgm, opened last year selling gorgeously gourmet doughnuts topped with dried flowers. Both stores as produced by Nana Yui, a dried flower artist.
Lavendel | ¥1,100
Coloured an eye-catching purple, this autumn-time cream soda is made with lavender, butterfly pea, and lime.
Aimatsurika | ¥1,100
A refreshing mix of jasmine, grapefruit, and lemon topped with sweet ice cream that has a citrus fruit aftertaste.
The flowers draped inside the ice are all elderflower which has high nutritional value.
Beat the Japanese heat this summer in Tokyo with one of these tantalising cream sodas.
Floral Autumn Colour Cream Sodas
Serving: August 28, 2020 – Late October 2020
Address: 3-30-6 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 12:00-22:00
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: https://www.hanabar.tokyo/
McDonald’s Japan Reveals Japanese Tea Infused Dessert Beverage Series
31.August.2020 | FOOD
McDonald’s Japan has announced the release of four limited-time drinks which will be sold at McCafé by Barista branches of McDonald’s from September 2. The line-up includes the ‘Houjicha Frappe Shiratama Kuromitsu Kinako,’ ‘Houjicha Frappe,’ Matcha Frappe Shiratama Kuromitsu Kinako,’ and ‘Matcha Frappe.’
The beverage lineup is the perfect pink for an autumn-time dessert drink, each made with authentic flavours from Japan.
Houjicha Frappe Shiratama Kuromitsu Kinako | Regular ¥490, Large ¥530 (Tax Included)
Made using 100% Japanese houjicha powder and delicious milk, this houjicha frappe is topped with soy flour, sweet brown sugar syrup from Okinawa, chewy rice flour dumplings, and a squirt of whipped cream. This is the ultimate McDonald’s Japanese dessert drink, laced with fragrant houjicha tea with a creamy texture.
Houjicha Frappe | Regular ¥450, Large ¥490 (Tax Included)
Houjicha frappe is used as the base for this one, and if inished with whipped cream and a dusting of houjicha powder. The subtly sweet houjicha and creaminess of the whipped cream is a deliciously perfect match.
Matcha Frappe Shiratama Kuromitsu Kinako | Regular ¥490, Large ¥530 (Tax Included)
Just like the houjicha variant, except this time it’s a latte made with matcha and matcha powder from Uji, Kyoto. A truly all-star Japanese dessert drink.
Matcha Frappe | Regular ¥450, Large ¥490 (Tax Included)
The matcha frappe too is sprinkled with matcha powder from Uji, combined with full-bodied milk, and topped with whipped cream.
Available: McCafé by Barista branches of McDonald’s in Japan (124 branches as of August 27, 2020)
Official Website: https://www.mcdonalds.co.jp/shop/barista/
UK Matcha Company Matchaeologist Collaborate With HARIO On Matcha Products
29.August.2020 | FOOD
UK-based matcha brand Matchaeologist is celebrating its second anniversary of selling products in Japan by collaborating with laboratory glassware brand HARIO Science on a matcha sets that come with a beaker with both company’s names on them. The sets were released on August 20, 2020 and are limited in stock.
Matchaeologist describes themselves as artisanal matcha green tea specialists who have expanded worldwide across Europe, the US, and Japan. Matcha has become a superfood outside of Japan and one of the new standard drinks alongside coffee.
Matchaeologist has a big fan base – with close to 150,000 followers on Instagram. Its matcha is grown in the world-famous Uji in Kyoto and is served in a “minimalist way for an epicurean tasting experience not unlike that of fine wine” in order to bring a modern perspective to the ancient tradition of the Japanese tea ceremony.
Matchaeologist x HARIO
Matchaeologist x HARIO Beaker – Matsu (20g Set) | ¥4,180
HARIO is a hugely popular brand that sells a variety of products from laboratory glassware to coffee making equipment. The collaboration with Matchaeologist introduces a sophisticated and minimalist HARIO beaker as a set with two of the matcha company’s matcha blends: matsu and meiko.
Matchaeologist x HARIO Beaker (Meiko 20g Set) ¥3,180
Experience matcha in a completely unique way by preparing some in one of HARIO’s high quality beakers.
Premium Uji Matcha Afternoon Tea Begins at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo This September
24.August.2020 | FOOD
Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo has announced a collaboration with Tsuji Rihei—a tea shop that first opened in 1860 in Uji, Kyoto—to serve up a new “Premium Uji Matcha Afternoon Tea” in its lobby lounge Le Jardin from September 1.
This will be the hotel’s fifth serving of the Premium Uji Matcha Afternoon Tea, which first began in 2016. Last year saw 5,000 customers enjoy experience.
Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo actually began serving the afternoon tea from April 13 this year, but had to stop service in May as a result of COVID-19. September 1 will see its return.
The food and drinks in the afternoon tea are all made with a Japanese green tea known as Kuradashi. The first fresh leaves picked from springtime have been put to one side for the summer serving, so customers can enjoy an enrichened tea-sperience.
Top Tier – Desserts: Sencha Jelly, Genmaicha Egg Tart, Kabusecha Souffle Cake, Kyobancha Tiramisu
Middle Tier – Scones: Plain Scone, Gyokuro Scone, Hojicha Scone
Bottom Tier – Savoury: Tea Leaf & Walleye Pollack Open Sandwich, Lily Bulb Honey Ham Tart, Smoked Salmon & Plum Mayo Sandwich, Smoked Dick & Cheddar Cheese Japanese-Style French Toast
Drinks: Uji Tea (3 Flavours), Hotel Original Blend Tea (15 Flavours)
The afternoon tea set is three tiers of desserts, scones, and savoury snacks, all served with a tea of your choice. Summer ‘falls’ into autumn with this lovely selection of delights.
Premium Uji Matcha Afternoon Tea
Running: September 1, 2020 – September 30, 2020
Location: Le Jardin (Lobby Lounge), Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo
Price: ¥4,500 (with welcome drink ¥5,000 – 20 people per day)
TEL/Enquiries: 03-3943-0920 (10:00-21:00)
Official Website: https://hotel-chinzanso-tokyo.jp/restaurant/plan/ujichaafternoontea2020/
4 Must-Try Colourful & Kawaii Cream Sodas in Kyoto
The rainy season in Japan, known as Tsuyu, is finally coming to a close, which means the real summer is right around the corner. And what better way to stay cool in Japan during the summertime than with a glass of coo, refreshing cream soda?
We’ve compiled a list of 4 must-try cream sodas in Kyoto recommended by Tiara on Instagram, who posts photos on her Instagram of drinks and desserts she tries around the Kanto region of Japan, and who has kindly provided us with photos on this occasion too.
and C Kyoto | Kita-ku
Yellow Cream Soda / White Cream Soda / Red Cream Soda / Blue Cream Soda
and C Kyoto is a stylish bar, cafe, and second hand clothes store located right by Hirano Shrine. They serve four different colours of their cream soda which look super cute when lined up in a row.
and C Kyoto
Address: 30 Hirano Kamihatchōyanagichō, Kita-ku, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 12:00-23:00
BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO | Gion Shijo
Mango Passion / Classic Blue / Amaou Strawberry
BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO is located along the Kamo River and is famous for its gelato. They also sell some super refreshing cream sodas topped with their tasty gelato.
BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO
Address: 134 Saitocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 13:00-20:00 (Temporary hours due to COVID-19)
Official Website: http://www.babbi.co.jp/showcase/gelateria-kyoto/
Kissa Zou | Imadegawa
Pudding a la Mode / Lemon Squash & Elephant Cookie
This cute cream soda comes with an elephant-shaped cookie. The custard pudding has a rich eggy flavour.
Address: 440-3 Santeichō, Kamigyō-ku, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)
No Fixed Holidays
Bread, Espresso & Arashiyama Garden | Arashiyama
Cherry Blossom Cream Soda
This old cafe is renovated from an old family estate which was built at the end of the Edo Period and is designated as a cultural property of Kyoto. This beautiful cafe coincides with the gardens and has gorgeous thatched roofing.
Bread, Espresso & Arashiyama Garden
Address: 45-15 Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)
Official Website: https://bread-espresso.jp
Tiara has lots of other delicious dessert recommendations over on her Instagram, so be sure to follow her if you’re travelling in the Kansai region and are in need of a sweet treat.
Original Text & Photo: ＠happy_pinkrose_tiara
Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
*The information about the items on this list are correct at the time of publishing. For the latest information, please visit each cafe’s official websites and social media pages.
Flower Miffy Juice Garden Asakusa Now Open and Serving Adorable Drinks
22.July.2020 | FOOD
The new “Flower Miffy Juice Garden” opened as a permanent addition to Flower Miffy Asakusa on July 21, 2020. Flower Miffy is a Miffy-themed flower and merchandise shop.
Colourful Jelly Soda – Gerbera/Tulip/Sunflower/Lavender: ¥580 Each (Before Tax)
Four new Miffy drinks are being served for the opening of Flower Miffy Juice Garden. Each is a soda beverage is filled with colourful jelly, elderflower syrup made from real flowers, and a soft, bouncy kind of jelly. Each drink itself looks like a colourful bouquet.
Miffy Cream Soda: ¥680 (Before Tax)
Flower Miffy Juice Garden will also introduce the “Miffy Cream Soda” on Saturday August 1 which is a colourful jelly soda topped with ice cream, a Miffy wafer, and flower-shaped chocolate.
Lemonade: ¥480 (Before Tax)
Apple Juice: ¥480 (Before Tax)
Other available drinks include sweet and sour lemonade made using lemons grown in the Seto Inland Sea, 100% apple juice, and other cute delights.
Flower Miffy Juice Garden Asakusa
Address: Aiso Bldg. 1F, 2-19-7 Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, TOkyo
Opening Hours: [Weekdays] 11:30-18:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 10:30-18:00
Official Website: https://www.benelic-flower.com/
*Please note that the opening hours of Flower Miffy Asakusa and Juice Garden Asakusa are different
4 Refreshing Matcha Shaved Ice Flavours Released at Itohkyuemon in Kyoto
30.June.2020 | FOOD
Kyoto’s famous tea shop Itohkyuemon began serving four new Uji matcha and shaved ice mixed desserts on its menu yesterday (June 29). Itohkyuemon was founded in 1832 in the latter period of Edo. Ujitawara, the place in Kyoto where the shop is located, is famous for the tea served by Itohkyuemon which has been harvested by the Ito family for years.
Uji Matcha Parfait Ice: ¥1,490 (Tax Included) | Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon JR Uji Station/Itohkyuemon Gionshijo
The Uji Matcha Parfait Ice uses a blend of matcha and milk-infused ice as its base. It’s then topped with sweet treats like rice flour dumplings, red bean paste, ice cream, matcha jelly, and more to turn it into a parfait.
Uji Matcha Daifuku Ice: ¥1,290 (Tax Included) | Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon JR Uji Station/Itohkyuemon Gionshijo
This Uji Matcha Daifuku Ice is an upgrade of the one Itohkyuemon served last year. It has a creamy custard base with matcha daifuku hidden in the shaved ice.
Fluffy Uji Kindokei Vanilla Ice Cream: ¥990, Matcha Ice Cream ¥1,090 (Tax Included) | Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon JR Uji Station/Itohkyuemon Gionshijo
Fluffy Uji Kindokei Rice Flour Dumpling: ¥850, Rice Flour Dumpling & Vanilla Ice Cream ¥970, Rice Flour Dumpling Matcha Ice Cream ¥1,090 Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon Uji Main Branch
These two “Kindokei” (Gold Watch) servings use more ice. At the main branch of Itohkyuemon they’re more crunchy, while at the JR Uji Station and Gionshijo branches they’re more fluffy.
Official Website: https://www.itohkyuemon.co.jp/corporate/