Tea Ceremony Brand Saron Launches Customizable Matcha Shaved Ice for a Limited Time
Nara-based tea ceremony brand Saron is serving up a tasty treat perfect for the warm weather! White shaved ice with dark matcha topping is now available until mid-September, and guests are invited to adjust the taste by altering the amount of tea added.
Lately, Nara has been experiencing a major shaved ice boom. Inspired by Himuro Shrine, known for housing a guardian deity of ice, the city introduces plenty of created recipes for the summer treats each year. The tea ceremony brand Saron was founded by Nakagawa Masashichi Shouten, in business since the Edo period–so it’s safe to say that the company knows what they’re talking about!
Guests can enjoy shaved ice made from pure Yamato ice, which is frozen for 72 hours, gently shaved, and topped with Nara’s Kasiya sweet bean paste, shiratama, agar, and condensed milk that has been boiled for four hours.
To finish off this luxurious dish, guests can add koicha, a thick matcha tea with concentrated flavor and incredible sweetness and depth. Polished twice as much as typical matcha, this is a taste you’ll never forget.
Why not come enjoy this traditional Japanese sweet this summer?
Saron – White Shaved Ice with Dark Matcha Topping
Available: May 11 – mid-September
Where to Buy: Saron Nara (31-1 Ganriincho, Nara)
Official Site: https://salon-tea.jp/
Summer-Exclusive Shaved Ice Available at Tokyo Tower Adjacent Terrace Dining TANGO
Terrace Dining TANGO, located at the base of Tokyo Tower, will begin selling three unique flavors of shaved ice for summer starting on July 1! These tasty treats will only be available until August 31, so be sure to visit while you can.
TANGO’s original shaved ice is popular every summer, and in 2022, customers can grab a bear-shaped treat made with brown sugar syrup and condensed milk.
Strawberry Milk ~Rose Scented~
Made with fluffy ice and homemade strawberry sauce, this delectable treat is topped with condensed milk and smells like sweet roses. Inside, customers will find rose gelato and strawberry compote.
Taiwanese Pineapple and Coconut
This fluffy shaved ice is topped with coconut milk, Taiwanese pineapple, and a generous dollop of sweet sauce. The ginger adds a spicy accent, keeping it interesting until the final bite.
Terrace Dining TANGO is attached to The Place of Toyo, a wedding hall overlooking Tokyo Tower. The shaved ice, available only during the summer, is made of natural ice that has been filtered and frozen slowly for 48 hours to create a fluffier texture. Each is served with a special sauce made by the restaurant’s pâtissier.
Come enjoy these sweets that make summer a little more fun!
Terrace Dining TANGO Summer Shaved Ice
Available: July 1 – August 31, 2022
Address: 3-chome-5-4 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo (1F)
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Collaborates with Nara’s Kakinohasushi Hompo Tanaka for LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project
In April, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu made a big splash around the world when she performed at Coachella, one of the largest music festivals in the United States.
The second half of the singer’s 10th anniversary nationwide tour 31-show has begun, gaining even more momentum following the announcement of a solo concert at Nippon Budokan in October. In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities. As with past concert locations, a new collaboration has been announced following Kyary’s June 5 performance in Nara.
During the late Meiji period, persimmon leaf-wrapped sushi became a local delicacy during the summer months in Nara after the delicacies began popping up at a shopping district near JR Gojo Station. In 1973, Kakinohasushi Hompo Tanaka officially opened its doors, selling this delicacy for dine-in or carry-out. Kyary has collaborated with this famous local treat, transforming the shop’s logo into a new version inspired by the singer’s 2014 song Kira Kira Killer. The jacket art originally featured Kyary with a collection of bizarre hairstyles, but these have been turned into persimmon leaves for the collab.
During the collaboration period, fans were able to buy specially-branded packages of Kirakira Persimmon Leaf-wrapped Sushi. While the leaves themselves aren’t edible, they act to preserve the sushi for days without refrigeration. This version contains mackerel and vinegar-soaked rice. The sushi was sold in limited quantities at Nara Centennial Hall, the venue of Kyary’s June 5 concert.
A collaborative T-shirt is also on sale featuring the new logo and the singer’s 10th-anniversary logo. The shirt is available on the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project website for two weeks only starting June 3. Support Japanese businesses and pick one up while you can!
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Kyoto to Offer Immersive Meditation Rooms
13.April.2022 | SPOT
The pandemic has caused problems for people all over the world. Mental health has taken a beating over the last few years, and in order to help people take back control of their mental wellness, The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Kyoto will begin offering immersive meditation rooms for guests only! These rooms will allow guests to enjoy a soothing private space and will be available starting April 1, 2022.
The Medicha meditation rooms consist of two spaces: ‘blank,’ where guests are surrounded by mist, and ‘tea,’ where guests will immerse themselves in beautiful water patterns. An original program shown on in-room televisions at the hotel will also instruct guests in the art of meditation.
In ‘Blank Meditation,’ guests will stand in a cool mist and immerse themselves in layers of diverse sounds and shifting colors of light. This will help quiet the mind and create a ‘blank slate’ mentally.
The ‘Tea Meditation’ room invites visitors to spend time with themselves while getting lost in shimmering water patterns in a dimly lit space as they carefully brew their own tea. Two types of tea are on offer, each with distinct aromas and flavors.
Meditation Room by Medicha
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Kyoto
Address: 420 Funayacho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
Official Site: https://www.the-royalpark.jp/ic/kyoto/
Stationery Fair Opens at Tsutaya Books Nara
A popular stationery event held last year is back! The pop-up space on the first floor of Tsutaya Books Nara has been filled to the brim with unique stationery items from a number of creators. Guests can grab these inspiring items from March 15 until April 17, 2022.
Visitors can use a variety of printing techniques like letterpress and foil stamping at echos. Connect with your loved ones through printing and design, and show your creativity!
These nostalgic yet new paper products pull from Showa-era illustrators to give an authentic antique feel.
This general store and gallery is located in Nanba, Osaka. The shop mainly deals in original handmade goods, antique European tools, and merchandise by illustrator makomo. Both store owners are stationary lovers, and they have recently begun offering a wide selection of paper products of all genres and styles.
Otome Printing makes paper goods by printing each sheet of paper one color at a time on a letterpress! The handmade printing gives each sheet a one-of-a-kind feel by virtue of the indentation of the printing plate, ink blurring, and crooked prints. The lineup includes postcards, letterheads, pouch bags, and gift bags decorated with these unique prints.
Printing Studio Tan
Printing Studio Tan has been making Nara-inspired letterpressed pieces since it opened its doors. The symbol for ‘tan’ refers to the color of red earth, symbolizing the values of ancient Nara, once the central city of Japan. The company’s products feature ancient patterns associated with classic Japanese culture.
Kei Printing, with a factory in Kobe, offers delicate items with incredible attention to detail. With the goal of designing ‘memorable printed materials,’ customers are sure to find items that will help them to express themselves.
With a storefront located in Tenmabashi, Osaka, Yonagadou also has a small gallery in the back featuring items from both Japan and abroad. The shop offers a wide variety of small items, from Taisho and Showa-inspired paper goods, handkerchiefs, and more.
This year, paper lovers will find an array of products using letterpress printing. Many items were also inspired by Nara, so travel lovers will also be thrilled!
Tsutaya Books Nara Stationery Fair
Running: March 15 – April 17, 2022
Location: Tsutaya Books Nara 1F Pop-up Space
Enjoy an Open-Air Tea Ceremony with This New Collaboration Set
02.March.2022 | FASHION
Established in 1716, Nara-based store Nakagawa Masashichi will release two types of open-air tea ceremony sets in limited quantities at its online store and select locations around Japan on April 6, 2022.
The last time the shop released these items in 2020, they sold out instantly. The set is a collaboration with Snow Peak, a manufacturer of high-quality outdoor goods, and Salon, a brand attempting to get more young people involved in tea ceremonies by injecting the tradition with a modern touch.
The coating around the light and strong titanium teacup is made of a sturdy cotton canvas often used in outdoor tools. Each of the eight items in the set were made with the ruggedness of nature in mind while also preserving traditional beauty. The double set is a new addition to the lineup and includes two tea bowls and two confectionary bowls to make entertaining others more simple.
Open-air tea ceremonies date back to the Muromachi period, and in the Sengoku period, it is said that tea was served in the mountains during the march of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. These ceremonies are traditionally less formal than the indoor version, so it’s easier for those new to the experience to relax and enjoy!
Single Open-Air Tea Ceremony Set / Double Open-Air Tea Ceremony Set
Release Date: April 6, 2022
Where to Buy:
Official Site: https://nakagawa-masashichi.jp/
Participating Stores: Sapporo Stellar Place / S-PAL Sendai / Shibuya / Tokyo Main Store / Terrace Mall Shonan / Futako Tamagawa Rise / Perie Chiba / OPA Takasaki / LUMINE Omiya / Nara Main Store / LUCUA 1100 / Takashimaya Gate Tower Mall / Aeon Mall Okayama / AMU Plaza Hakata Citty / AMU Plaza Kumamoto
Official Site: https://ec.snowpeak.co.jp/snowpeak/ja
Participating Stores: Snow Peak Headquarters / Snow Peak Land Station Harajuku / Snow Peak Land Station Hakuba / Snow Peak Land Station Kyoto Arashiyama
Cherry Blossom Viewing Themed Café “Nintama Rantaro Chaya” to Open in Tokyo and Osaka
Two limited-time-offer collaboration cafés named “Nintama Rantaro Chaya” are coming to Tokyo and Osaka! The Tokyo location is now open, and the Osaka location is scheduled to open on February 18. Based on the long-running anime series Nintama Rantaro, this cafe invites guests to enjoy the falling cherry blossoms set to bloom in the spring. While the series hasn’t found much popularity outside of Japan, it premiered in 1993, and continues to be a big hit with kids and adults alike!
Reservation Bonus: Original Sticker Sheet (3 varieties)
Drink Order Bonus: Original Coaster (20 varieties)
[Bento Team] Piping Hot Dashi Udon and Onigiri Bento Set
[Bento Team] Mountain & Seafood Bento
[Dumpling Team] Chicken Meatball Set
[Teahouse Team] Chouji & Isaku’s Chazuke Set
[Bento Team] Cherry Blossom Viewing Sweets Set
[Dumpling Team] Two Peas in a Pod Anmitsu
[Dumpling Team] Shaved Ice and Sweet Dango Set
[Teahouse Team] Traditional Garden Plate
Shinbei’s Dango Latte / Rantaro’s Matcha Milk / Kirimaru’s Shiny Lemon Soda
Fourth Grade Transforming Drink / Fifth Grade Purple Sweet Potato Milk Tea / Sixth Grade Matcha Lemonade
Pin (20 varieties, random)
Acrylic Keychain (20 varieties, random)
Acrylic Pin (20 varieties, random)
Acrylic Stand (Bento Team, Teahouse Team, Dumpling Team)
Clear Folder Set (Set of 3)
10-piece Sticker Set A, 10-piece Sticker Set B
The cafe menu has been divided into three ‘teams’: the Bento Team, the Dumpling Team, and the Teashop Team. Characters have been divided into these three teams, and many of the available dishes are based on everyone’s favorite aspiring ninjas! Original merchandise and special offers will be available at the cafe as well, with the items featuring newly-drawn illustrations for the event.
Cafe Nintama Rantaro Chaya 2022
BOX cafe&space Tokyo Solamachi / February 10 – April 3, 2022
Tokyo Skytree Town Solamachi 1F #8 (1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo)
Abeno contact / February 18 – March 27, 2022
Abeno Q’s Mall 4F (1-6-1 Abenosuji, Abeno-ku, Osaka)
Reservations Now Available
Reservation Fee: ¥715 (Tax Included) *Includes bonus
Cafe Original Merchandise Available until April 3 at 23:59
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/nntm_cafe (＠nntm_cafe )
Official Site: https://nintama-cafe.jp/
Wako Tea Salon in Ginza Offering Seasonal Strawberry Parfait
Those familiar with the Ginza district of Tokyo will recognize the iconic Wako clock tower. The department store sells everything from watches to chocolates, and on the second floor of the Wako Annex, guests will find the Tea Salon. The bright and relaxing place invites adult shoppers to enjoy seasonal sweets, with its popular Strawberry Parfait constantly reinvented depending on the time of year.
This season’s strawberry parfait includes pistachios and local fruit. For a limited time, guests can also enjoy the Lychee and Raspberry Parfait until the end of February. A Fruit Parfait is available in March and April, and the Chocolate Parfait is available year-round.
At the Wako Annex Tea Salon, visitors can also enjoy light meals alongside tea and coffee specially blended for Wako by Yoshiaki Kawashima, known as the ‘coffee hunter.’
Lychee and Raspberry Parfait
Wako Annex 2F Tea Salon
Address: 4-chome 4-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Open Year-Round (Except New Year holidays)
Hours: 10:30 – Last order at 19:00 (Last order at 18:30 on Sundays and holidays)
Access: Immediately in front of Ginza Station Exit B1 on Tokyo Metro
*Young children are not permitted in the restaurant.
Online Store: https://shop.wako.co.jp/
Official Site: https://www.wako.co.jp/
150-Year-Old Teahouse Releases Crayons Made from Discarded Tea Leaves
The domestic crowdfunding service Makuake has opened preorders for a unique new product: ‘tea crayons,’ made from tea leaves that would otherwise be thrown away. These will be available for purchase from January 31 until March 21, 2022, and a set of teas specially blended by tea masters will also be available to buy on the site.
Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea): These leaves have a light brown color reminiscent of the color of a roasting fire.
Sencha (Green Leaf Tea): Asamiya, known as one of Japan’s five most famous tea-producing areas, produces sencha exclusively. This yellow color is to be expected of the variety.
Kabusecha (Covered Tea): The pride of Tsuchiyama, these tea leaves are cultivated by covering the fields to produce a sweeter taste. Kabusecha is characterized by its vivid green color.
Gyokuro (High-Quality Green Tea): To produce this fine tea, the land is covered for more than 20 days in a very time-consuming process. Gyokuro has a strong, sweet flavor, and can be recognized by its darker green color.
Matcha (Powdered Green Tea): Matcha from Shiga Prefecture is not very well known throughout Japan, but it is extremely tasty and is popular in tea ceremonies. It also has a beautiful dark green color.
Yasuharu Maeno, a tea master, includes the names of each region and species of tea leaves used.
Makuake Tea Crayons
Orders open until March 21, 2022
Hotel and Workshop Mimaru Suites Kyoto Shijo Holds Japanese Tea Workshop
Mimaru Suites Kyoto Shijo is a unique hotel combined with a shop selling traditional Japanese tools and kitchen items. Kura Daily Store and Kawataki Kyoto Kitchen Shop, both in business for over 100 years, sell their wares at this cozy lodging space.
Fuya Ryu-Ryoku Japanese Tea Workshop
Hachidaime Gihei Rice x Mimaru Tool Shop Earthenware Pot Lunch
Following the six months since the shop’s opening, the hotel has collaborated with Fuya Ryu-Ryoku, a Japanese tea salon promoting the tea found in Miniamiyamashiro Village in Uji. They are also working with Hachidaime Gihei, one of Kyoto’s oldest rice shops with a line of restaurants in Gion and Ginza. Guests can now take a workshop led by knowledgeable instructors to make a delicious meal of rice and local tea! The workshop is open to non-guests as well.
Mimaru Suites Kyoto Shijo features spacious guest rooms with two or more bedrooms and separate living and dining areas. The Mimaru Tool Shop in the lobby sells a wide variety of goods from vases and cutlery to cooking utensils and more. Guests can actually choose their favorite items and enjoy them in their room’s kitchen.
Mimaru Suites Kyoto Shijo
Address: 717-1 Inabadocho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
Access: 3-minute walk from Shijo Station on the Kyoto City Subway Karasuma Line / 7-minute walk from Karasuma Station on the Hankyu-Kyoto Line
Official Site: https://mimaruhotels.com/jp/hotel/suites-kyoto-shijo/
The Museum of Japanese Art Yamato Bunkakan Opens Japanese Ceramics Exhibition
From January 5 until February 13, 2022, the Museum of Japanese Art Yamato Bunkakan in Nara will feature a large exhibition of Japanese pottery, spanning from the Jomon period to the present day.
Important Cultural Property – Painted Platter (Imari Ware) / Yamato Bunkakan Collection
Celadon Porcelain Vase – By Soubei Kinkouzan (Taisho Period) / Privately Owned
The exhibition will feature both potteries from the museum’s collection and those held by private individuals. The history of pottery in Japan began in the Jomon period around 14,500 BCE, and this earthenware eventually evolved into Sue ware, formed on a potter’s wheel. The Nara period saw the emergence of glazed ceramics. During the Momoyama period (1573-1603), the world of pottery was revitalized with the popularity of the tea ceremony. During the Edo period (1603-1868), porcelain was first successfully fired in Arita, and these pieces became popular throughout Japan. Painting on ceramics also became popular during this period, and although pottery saw less popularity after the Meiji Restoration, it has since evolved in different ways with more modern technology.
Japanese Pottery: From the Jomon Period to Today
Running: January 5 – February 13, 2022
*Closed on Mondays (Open on January 10, closed on January 11)
Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Last Entry at 16:00)
General: ¥630 / High School, College Students: ¥420 / Elementary, Middle School Students: Free
Official Site: https://www.kintetsu-g-hd.co.jp/culture/yamato/
FUKUCHA to Offer Limited-Time Strawberry Desserts with Uji Tea Pairings
FUKUCHA Teahouse, a Fukujen cafe in Kyoto, will start a limited-time Strawberries and Uji Tea Fair on January 8, 2022. Last year’s Matcha fair was incredibly popular, and certain items will also be available again in 2022. The new menu includes a strawberry version of the popular Herbal Tea Pairing Set, making it even more fun and elegant! Guests can enjoy flavorful Uji green tea along with a number of tasty strawberry treats.
Mont Fraise: ¥1,150
Mont Fraise means ‘mountain of strawberries’ in French. This dessert is made with thin white chocolate and sponge cake soaked in matcha syrup with matcha cream and strawberries covering every inch. It is also served with a green tea chocolate sauce.
Strawberry Pairing Set: ¥1650
The strawberry version of the popular Herbal Tea Pairing Set on the regular FUKUCHA menu.
・Ginger Blend Genmaicha and Strawberry Cheese Tart
・Hibiscus Blend Hojicha and Strawberry Chocolate Bonbons
・Cinnamon Blend Twig Tea with Strawberry Cream
・Peppermint Blend Twig Tea with Large Strawberry
Marscapone Strawberries: ¥1450
Using 10 strawberries, this parfait is designed to look like a herbarium. Putting a spoon into the light mascarpone cream will reveal the bright green color of the matcha chocolate sauce.
Strawberry and Uji Tea Fair
Running: January 8 – May 15, 2022
*Limited to 10 Servings per day.
Official Site: https://www.fukujuen.com/
Wakura Onsen in Ishikawa Prefecture to Hold Special Illumination, Luxurious Tea Time
11.January.2022 | SPOT
The Wakura Onsen Tourist Association is sponsoring a new project to illuminate Seirinji Temple, a nationally registered cultural property. Along with this light show, guests can enjoy a luxurious tea time starting on January 8, 2022. This year, the pavilion and garden will be lit up again, and the entrance will be decorated with traditional local paper lanterns.
The historic property was built in 1909 as a resting place for Emperor Taisho. Only two such buildings exist in Japan: one in Hamada City, Shimane Prefecture, and the other at Wakura Onsen. Both were registered as Tangible Cultural Properties of Japan in 2017.
Last year, the area was photographed for posters and pamphlets as part of the ‘Japanese Beauty Hokuriku’ campaign organized by JR East, JR West, and the Central JR Railway.
Each Saturday evening through February 26, guests will be invited to enjoy a different kind of atmosphere while enjoying a very fancy tea time. The program has been very well received by visitors, so it shouldn’t be missed!
The light-up of the temple and garden, with its slowly changing colors, will transport guests to another world. The entrance to Seirinji Temple will be redecorated and lit up, and a pathway of lights will be created from the gate to the entrance of the pavilion using paper lanterns.
Seirinji Temple Illuminations & Luxury Tea Time
Running: Saturdays from January 8 – February 26, 2022
First Seating: 17:00
Second Seating: 18:00
Address: Seirinji Temple, Wakura Onsen (61 Wakuramachi, Nanao, Ishikawa)
*Available for guests of Wakura Onsen
Official Site: https://www.wakura.or.jp