In central Tokyo that is dotted with commercial buildings, it is difficult to find a place where nature, aesthetics and tradition converges. And here comes Kosoan, the missing piece that will complete this puzzle. Located in the quiet residential area Jiyugaoka, Kosoan is a tea house within an old Japanese house. There is no English signboard to indicate its presence, merely a wooden signboard carved with the Japanese Kanji name.
Visitors are led by a series of stone steps through the tiny garden into the house. Warm yellow lightings, precious woods, carefully crafted paper screens and tatami mats, the intimate space overlooks the garden which is especially charming during my visit as it was wet and drizzling. Stepping off a bustling city street into the calm of a Japanese tea house, it is easy for me to feel the draw of this place.
Yet it is none of those strict regimented tea house where you have to sit with a kimono-clad obasan who will brew the tea in front of you. It is a relaxing place to gaze wistfully into the surroundings, with a hot brew of matcha or houjicha latte. Each set comes with a mini sweet. For some light desserts, there is also the traditional anmitsu or zenzai but that's about it on the single-side bilingual A4 size menu.
Sip on the drink and enjoy the moment of peace in this warm, cosy space. Just hope that you won't run into any rowdy tourists that speak boorishly and spoil the mood.
1-24-23 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo