In this volume we welcome Ms. Rumi Kuroda from Ginza Kuroda Toen, a pottery and porcelain store established in 1935 (Showa 10) that carries works by artists ranging from the masters to young emerging artists. Kuroda-san communicates the charm of pottery and porcelain while supporting the current storeowner. In the past few years, the store has enjoyed an increasing number of customer from overseas. Kuroda-san will introduce a Japanese confectionery shop that she stops by when she wants to take a breath and cafés that you can go to for good tea and coffee.
Established in the late Muromachi period in Kyoto, TORAYA has been a royal warrant holder for a very long time. The Ginza Store is located in a grand location facing Ginza Chuo-dori and has a café TORAYA KARYO on the second floor. Being next door to Kuroda Toen, Kuroda-san often stops by.
“Their traditional lineup of Yokan and seasonal sweets are, of course, wonderful, but they constantly have a new product unique to Toraya and I enjoy discovering them. I often go to purchase gifts for our customers or when I want to give myself a special treat.” Kuroda-san finds their “Anyaki” and “Kogata Yokan” the most irresistible.
The “Anyaki” (238 yen each, incl. tax) is a velvety piece of baked an (adzuki bean paste) mixed with egg yolk and baking powder.
”I especially like Shiroan. The crumbly texture is delicious. They are made from Japanese ingredients and yet they are like small cakes and can be paired with both coffee and Japanese tea.”
The “Kogata Yokan” (260 yen each, incl. tax) is a smaller bar of Toraya’s most famous “Neriyokan” (gelled sweet bean paste), cut into single portion sizes and packaged individually.
”I am very fond of all flavors, but I especially like ‘Omokage.’ The rich sweetness of Muscovado sugar matches both coffee and tea. If you stock some, it will help you recharge when you miss your lunch break. When I travel for vacation or work, I take some in my suitcase. I recall taking some with me when studied in the UK. They helped me overcome my homesickness (laughs). Their compact size and long life can be very convenient.”
New! Tokyo 2020 Olympics & Paralympics package with official emblem. Photo (right): Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games emblem package (5 pieces of Ogura Yokan); photo (left: Tokyo 2020 Oympic Games emblem package (5 pieces of Ogura Yokan) (1,728 yen, incl. tax; to be sold until the end of September). Don’t miss their limited edition!
〈TORAYA Ginza Store〉
Address: 7-8-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Store hours：10:00~20:00 (Sunday and holidays〜19:00)
Closed on January 1
”Whenever a customer asks for my advice on a place to purchase good tea, I always recommend this store without hesitation.” Kuroda-san recommends UOGASHI MEICHA CHA-GINZA with great confidence. The store is the Ginza address of a Japanese tea specialty shop in Tsukiji celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. Their concept is to be “a tea shop that seems common but to be found nowhere else.”
Tea leaves are sold on the first floor, open and spacious with a high ceiling. Two or three types of tea are constantly available for tasting when you make your purchase. The tea that is carefully prepared by the staff has a sophisticated aroma and taste that makes you want to purchase a number of different leaves.
Kuroda-san especially recommends “Haikara” (photo on right; 540 yen/100 grams, incl. tax)and “Shan” (photo on left; 1080 yen/100 grams, incl. tax).
“Haikara is a hojicha (roasted green tea) that is more fragrant and thus more delicious than that of other tea shops. I drink some every night and I don’t know what I would do without it.” The tea leaves roasted are of the same quality as those sold as Sencha; and therefore, they feature a special savory sweetness.
“Shan,” with a perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness, has been an unchanged best-seller for a long time at the Ginza Store. “It has a rich strong flavor and the scent alone is very soothing. In summer, its flavor is enhanced when cold brewed. At the store, I also learn how to enjoy the tea,” Kuroda-san explained with a smile.
You can indulge in savory tea and wagashi (Japanese confectionery) at the Japanese tea room on the second floor.
”They serve tea made by Uogashi Meicha which can be paired with carefully selected wagashi. I look forward to the different wagashi they have everytime I come.”
The ”Seasonal tea set” (1,000 yen, incl. tax) includes the weekly wagashi and two or three types of tea. This week, a piece of wagashi Yukiguni” from Osakaya, a long-etablished store in Niigata Prefecture whose history dates back to the Ansei period (1885-1860), is paired with Sencha “Haru yo koi” served hot and cold. It make one long for spring.
〈UOGASHI MEICHA CHA-GINZA〉
Address： 5-5-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Store hours：1F 11:00~18:00; 2F 12:00~17:00
Closed on Sundays and Monday
For Kuroda-san, who enjoys a cup of hand-dripped coffee every morning,〈TORIBA COFFEE Boutique Coffee Roaster〉 is essential. The coffee specialty store selects high-quality coffee beans from around the world and offers around six types of coffee blends.
At the store, they offer two “tasting coffees” (100 yen per cup, including tax) of the day. Even when you do not have the time to sit down to enjoy a cup of coffee, you can refresh yourself here, embraced in the wonderful aroma of freshly roasted coffee in a green space.”
Coffee beans are roasted on the second floor, where a carefully selected roaster is used to achieve the perfect roast for the characteristics of each bean type. The lineup for February includes five different blends and “100% Pure Hawaii Cona” from the corporate plantation, and a seasonal special blend.
“I enjoy their Mild Blend, which will always be my choice when I cannot make a decision. The acidity, bitterness and sweetness is so well-balanced that I can drink it every day without ever getting tired of it, The chic package design is appreciated when given as a gift.”
Every month, the store hosts an event on a various range of matter and things related to coffee.
”Last year, they suddenly started selling kendama, or hamburgers and hotdogs. Their collaboration with other stores is exciting.”
Their wide lineup of tools for brewing savory coffee and special gifts should also be highlighted. “I bought my coffee dripper here. Coffee not only has a relaxing effect when drinking it, but the entire process of brewing it is enriching.”l
You will surely appreciate knowing a place to go for good coffee in Ginza.
〈TORIBA COFFEE Boutique Coffee Roaster〉
Address： 7-8-13 Ginza, Brown Place 3F, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Store hours：11:00〜21:00 (Saturday, Sunday and holidays〜19:00)