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Matcha and wagashi: a perfect combination

After following the path inside the Kinkaku-ji grounds, we came upon a smiling woman who beckoned us to have tea. R and I didn’t really think twice before deciding to go ahead and see what tea was being sold. I had the feeling that it was going to be the traditional one – ‘traditional’ meaning the sort of thing I used to see in TV documentaries about Japan – and I was right.🙂

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We paid 500 yen each (if I remember correctly) and was directed to sit down anywhere we liked in the mostly-bare room (after removing our shoes, of course). I was hoping we’d get to see how the tea was prepared, but that wasn’t the case here. Apparently it was only going to be served. We didn’t have to wait very long before the tea arrived with a piece of wagashi each.
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Wagashi is a traditional Japanese sweet usually served with tea. There are a lot of different kinds of wagashi and I don’t know what this one is, but when I asked what it’s called, the man who served our tea said its name is kinkakuji. As you can see, the Kinkaku-ji is painstakingly carved into this wagashi, and is garnished with flakes of gold. It was frankly my first time to ‘eat’ gold, haha.

Now, while we’re used to maccha/matcha or green tea-flavored food (such as the dango we had in Nijo Castle), I discovered that the actual tea made from matcha is very bitter and, well, powdery. However, it was a nice compliment to the very sweet wagashi it was served with.

For more about Kinkaku-ji, visit my post here.

Visit my Japan page for more of my misadventures (and information, of course)!

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