A rich moment that tea creates can be spent only in Japan.
It's between Kamogawa river and Kiyamachi-dori, Ponto-cho is one of the streets that you can feel Kyoto atmosphere the most.
Not 'Ryotei (traditional Japanese restaurant)', not even 'Kappo (Japanese style cuisine)', nor 'Kanmidokoro (traditional Japanese sweets cafe),' it is rare to see something like 'Chakoubo' in front of their store name.
I heard this story from my friends that 'the owner of Chakoubo Nagatake was the original developer of Maccha parfait,' and 'their maccha sweets and also their dishes were amazing.'
I stepped into the restaurant wondering if this was the maccha sweets cafe or a restaurant or not. At a fine counter, there were tea tool sets and Maiko round paper fans on a shelf.
I already looked at 'Maccha Warabi Mochi' which was ordered by the customer who were already there since it looked delicious. So, I looked into the menu and...
Wow, I was completely lost that there were a variety of Maccha sweets everywhere and as well as tea selections.
After having thought of what to eat, I decided to order Maccha parfait at that time.
It has, grapes, raspberries, thick taste maccha jelly, maccha ice cream, red beans ice cream, and rice-flour dumplings. Every mouthful, it brings you pleasure and delightfulness.
Sencha (green tea : middle grade) has tea leaves inside. So that if you want to refill, you just pour hot water.
You can also eat this tea leaves and after you finish drinking, you can mix with salt and tea leaves together on top of the rice. It must be really delicious.
This is the idea of the owner in order to enjoy tea easier and tastier. This is the only way that you can do because of the quality of Sencha and no need for Kyusu (teapot), just pour hot water into the tea cup with tea leaves.
The owner also told us pleasantly about the attraction and enjoyment of tea.
"We produced a variety of foods and cultures based on tea."
The reason why he named 'Chakoubo' in front of their store name, is because everyone can enjoy their dishes, sweets and drinks based on tea.
A lot of dishes on the menu. You can also see some lunch menus which cost about ¥1,000. Not only sweets and tea, I met a customer who said, "I always come here for lunch whenever I visit Kyoto from Tokyo."
By courtesy of their service, I was able to taste Gyokuro tea (high quality green tea) which condensed its flavor.
As you can see a line from "Kusamakura" by Soseki Natsume, instead of drinking it, you should 'put that taste on your tongue.' As he said so, I tried to put tea on my tongue, then tea flavor and its aroma were spreading out all over my mouth for 10 minutes. The owner said, "There were foreign tourists who came back later on even though they actually had left my store. They told me that they had never had this kind of tea in their lives."
A lot of foreign tourists ask him, "We want this tea at our home as well." However Japanese tea very much depends on Japanese water itself. Once the quality of water change, the taste also will change completely, so this genuine 'Japanese tea is only for in Japan'.
"At the end of my life, I would be very happy to die with this aftertaste of Gyokuro in my mouth. HaHaHa!!!"
The owner was laughing at his joke, but I also thought about it as well. Nothing can compare with its flavor and aftertaste.
Nowadays, we are able to get everything everywhere in the world since the world-wide distribution, but in terms of our 'food', it cannot exist without its season and the natural feature. Meeting 'the food you only can eat there' is the true pleasure of traveling.
You can taste "the only thing" at Chakoubo Nagatake including the moment and the appearance of the person who serves tea politely in front of you.
I totally recommend you to have that genuine tea taste and also some experiences of their dishes, drinks, sweets or even a talk with the owner together.
ADDRESS : Hachiban-roji, 189 Pontocho-dori Sanjo-sagaru Zaimoku-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto city (MAP)
PHONE : +81(0)75-213-4608
HOURS : 1:00 p.m. ~ 11:00 p.m.
CLOSED : Wednesday / Once irregular holiday in a month