I visited a traditional Japanese garden one afternoon during a day trip to Hitachiota. After wandering around for a while, I discovered a teahouse perched right above this gorgeous pond. For 500 yen, you could sit in a private tatami room overlooking the scenery, while enjoying a bowl of quality matcha tea whisked by hand right there in front of you.
The tea was frothy and perfectly prepared. Matcha has a bit of a reputation for being bitter, but it had a surprisingly delicate flavour with a pleasant and smooth texture. But before the tea, of course, there’s the traditional Japanese sweet!
The dessert served by this particular teahouse was called nerikiri. It is made out of sweetened white bean paste and rice flour on the outside, with red bean paste on the inside. It was topped with a little slice of jelly in the shape of a leaf. Depending on the time of year, they come in different shapes and colours to reflect the changing seasons. Nerikiri are incredibly soft and smooth. The texture is like a fluffier version of marzipan, but it tastes completely different, with a mild and subtle flavour.