◆Writer: Ashley (DeepExperience Content Creator)
If you’ve come to Osaka before, then you’ve most likely been around the city. But that’s not all Osaka has to offer. There’s lots of cool places outside of the city too. This time we went to one of those places, in the south, called Sakai. If you want to get away from the crowds, then I recommend coming here!
Sakai is most well-known for tea. It’s the birthplace of Sen no Rikyu. He’s a famous tea ceremony master credited with greatly influencing tea drinking culture in Japan. In this area, you can find a lot of famous places that are either linked to him or tea ceremonies.
So this time, let’s get out of the city. We’re going to try a tea experience at Tsuboichi Seicha Honpo, a long-established tea house.
The only remaining streetcar in Osaka, to Sakai
▼Get on the Hankai Tramway from Tennoji or Ebisucho and take it to Shinmeicho Station.
▼The entrance Hankai entrance from Tennoji. Take the car headed for Hamaderaekimae.
Get on using the back entrance, and you have an IC Card, tap it on the panel. When you get off, leave through the front, and tap once again as you exit. If you’re paying with cash, you can just drop it into the machine on your way out.
An old, traditional building for the matcha experience
▼Tsuboichi Seicha Honpo will be to your left after getting off at Shinmeicho.
It’s a two-story building, and the first floor is a cafe where you can enjoy lunch and dessert. There’s a dish you can only try here called “chagayu.” During the summer, you can also try their matcha flavored shaved ice.
▼The tea room on the second floor. A member of the famous male idol group, Kanjani∞, supposedly came here!!
Let’s try some different kinds of tea!
▼In front of your seat will be 4 different kinds of tea leaves.
▼Give them a steep, and get to know their different flavors.
I’ve had the genmaicha (brown rice tea) and houjicha (roasted green tea) before. The genmaicha doesn’t have an overly strong brown rice taste. A little sweet and a little bitter, I never get tired of it. Houjicha doesn’t have much bitterness at all, and is very refreshing. Popular among women!
The other 2 were Tsuboichi Seicha Honpo’s green teas. Simple yet delicious.
Let’s get things started with a simple quiz!
Here, we start things off with a short quiz. Find Sen no Rikyu! Look at the 4 choices and choose the correct answer!
▼After the quiz, it’s time to look the part and become Sen no Rikyu himself.
▼Then, an explanation of the matcha tea manufacturing process.
▼This is one of those steps: using a stone grinder, turn the leaves, which have been steamed and dried, into a powder. Let’s take it for a little spin!
▼Then, it’s time to prepare the tea for a little taste!
▼Once the tea’s ready, you can enjoy it together with Rikyu mochi and polvorons made with matcha!
▼There’s a proper way of holding the cup. Mmm, now that’s some good tea!
▼If you want to try this at home, they have this set for sale.
I love matcha goods, and I really like the atmosphere here at Tsuboichi. I’ve actually been several times, and every single time, I always get either the matcha or houjicha ice cream! Yum♡
And with today’s matcha experience, I got to see the second floor tea room.
▼Apparently, the oldest part of the room is the beam on the lefthand side. Earlier, I mentioned Kanjani∞. Well, one of the members, who came here to film for a program, touched this beam. There have been requests from fans to come up and touch the same beam. But unfortunately, the second floor is usually off limits, so they couldn’t.
You can enjoy food, tea, or dessert along with the view of the garden from the cafe on the first floor. It has a really nice atmosphere for relaxing and just taking things easy. I’d like to come back when I want a slower change of pace.