Saturday, December 10, 2016

裏参道 GARDEN : My Secret Garden in Tokyo

After Omotesando Koffee, Urasando Garden is probably the next best kept secret in Omotesando hills. Camouflaged into one of the residential units, Urasando Garden is a 2-storey traditional Japanese house that has been converted to a co-sharing space that celebrates traditional Japanese arts and sweets.

The name also aptly describes the place because "Ura" means "at the back" or "behind" while "Omote" means "front". As such, you can literally interpret the name as a garden in the back streets. This is a space where people gather for cultural experience and taste of Japan, with a tweak of creativity reflecting the uniqueness of the Omotesando area.


There are 5 different "stalls" under one roof; tea & tea sweets "Ujien", Japanese sweets teahouse " Migan Club", sake & bistro "gokaque", specialty coffee roaster "Coffee Diary", wine & shochu "Margaux".

The most sought after item is "Tenshi no Namida" also translated as tears of angels. Available from the 甘味 Club, this is simply seaweed jelly made without adding any sugar or artificial ingredients. Like a pure and innocent magical ball, this is not only Instagram-worthy but also taste-worthy. The texture is neither chewy like a warabi mochi nor as firm as an agar-agar or kanten-jelly in anmitsu desserts. 

Close to the rainbow drop cake but a thousand times prettier and stable because it doesn't melt (at least we weren't told to eat it within a certain time). It's tasteless so you would naturally dabble it with the aromatic Hokkaido kinako powder (roasted soybean) and kuromitsu (black sugar syrup).

And that's the point when you feel as if an angel has just descended from heaven.

No wonder this has been the talk of the media recently. 

Next to the 甘味 Club is Uji-en which is based in Osaka. It serves the typical beverages and desserts which one would expect to see from a tea house. I highly recommend the chilled green tea (600 yen) because the consistency is almost close to the traditional whisk matcha--thick and potent--but serving is as generous like a normal green tea beverage. Both the Matcha Soft Serve and the Houjicha Parfait did not disappoint as well. 

My visit on a weekday was an ethereal experience because we sat in the garden and everything was so calm and peaceful. It's a totally different world from the jammed, raucous streets in the Harajuku-Omotesando area.

Being newly opened in March 2016, it doesn't feel commodified by tourists as Omotesando Koffee yet and I wish it remain as such. 

Urasando Garden
Shibuya ku, Jingu-mae 4-15-2
http://www.urasando-garden.jp/
甘味 Club 
1200-1800 (Closed on Mondays)
Ujien
Mon-Fri 1200-1900
Sat/Sun/PH 1100-1900

2 comments:

  1. Hi, I've been in Tokyo for 7 weeks as my husband is working here. I've been relying on your blog so just wanted to tell you THANK YOU for all the recommendations that you have made and written about. They were really useful. Your posts are straight forward, not gimmicky and very sincere. Thank you very much and may you continue to eat your way through SG and JP! Enjoy! :)

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  2. Hi! THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading my blog and your support! Really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I will continue to work hard and write as much as I can, hopefully exploring other countries such as Taiwan and Hong Kong in the future! THANK YOU once again and have an OISHII trip in Japan!

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