Translated by Mariko Satoh
Urasandō Garden: A Place Where You Can Enjoy Japanese Food and Culture
Urasandō Garden is a shopping district in Omotesandō, one of the most fashionable areas in Tokyo. Here you can enjoy both Japanese food and culture.
Written by Mami Wakamatsu
Omotesandō 表参道, Tokyo, is known as a fashionable area where one can find famous brands and trendy shops such as the shopping center Omotesandō Hills. "Urasandō Garden" (裏参道ガーデン) is a shopping district that was recently opened in this area, where customers can enjoy Japanese culture and food.
Urasandō Garden is Full of Japanese Charms
Images courtesy of Urasandō Garden
This building, which at first glance resembles an apartment building and is a bit different from other buildings in Omotesandō, is Urasandō Garden.
On the first floor, there are four shops where you can experience Japanese food and culture. The second floor, on the other hand, is a space with three shops where you can find traditional products manufactured in Japan. Shops are lined up like those on a yokochō, a narrow side street off from the main street. Each shop is overflowing with Japanese charm.
Image courtesy of Urasandō Garden
The building itself is originally an old Japanese house and retains that heartwarming atmosphere. Strangers talk to each other in the common space on the first and second floors. This place definitely has a relaxing atmosphere.
Make and Taste Matcha Green Tea at "Ujien" (宇治園)
You can find here beverages other than matcha green tea, such as hōjicha (*1). There are also sets popular with female customers such as matcha latte and sweets. "Kurīmu Pan (くりーむパン)" in green tea flavor, available for 250 yen, is their specialty. This is a very rare product which you can only purchase here or at "Ekimarushe Osaka" (エキマルシェ大阪) in the Shin-Osaka Station Building. This soft bread filled with fluffy green tea flavored cream isn't too sweet and has a hint of bitterness from the green tea. We are sure you will find it delicious.
*1: Hōjicha: A type of tea in light brown color made by roasting sencha (煎茶, green tea with a mild flavor) to enhance the fragrance. It has a refreshing taste with less bitterness.
Try Japanese Traditional Nel Drip Coffee at "Cafe Façon"
This is a coffee shop produced by a well-known cafe in Nakameguro, Cafe Façon. You can enjoy nel drip coffee made by the cafe owner.
The nel drip method is a way to make coffee by using a filter made from flannel - a soft, raised fabric.
Unlike with paper filters, with this method coffee needs to be dripped by hand each time. However, because of this process, the left-over residue of the coffee will be removed, making each cup mild and refreshing.
As this is a method unique to Japan, some foreigners come just to experience the Japanese nel drip coffee.
Enjoy The Combination of Wine and Japanese Pickles At Margaux (⚪︎郷)
You can enjoy the combination of Japanese wine and Japanese pickles at Margaux.
The combination of Japanese pickles and wine is even considered unusual by Japanese people. Most Japanese wine has a smooth taste to it, so it goes well with the sour pickles.
At Gokaku, which is another Japanese bistro within Urasandō Garden, atsukan (熱燗, heated Japanese sake) and Japanese meals are available. For those who like Japanese sake, this restaurant is highly recommended.
On the Second Floor, Find Products Made in Japan
You can find products made in Japan on the second floor.
Kuragarō (蔵がろう) is a shop which introduces Japanese alcoholic beverages and products made in Japan. It is produced by a Japanese sake bar with a membership system in Nishi-Azabu. As you can see by its name, its concept is garō (がろう, a museum or art gallery). You will find Japanese sake samplers and plenty of other Japanese products.
Juttoku. is a store specialized in Japanese incense sticks. Not only will you find high-quality, beautiful incense sticks, but you can also make your own incense sticks at their workshop (3,000 yen, material cost included). Workshops are available in English as well.
Kakimori (カキモリ) is a stationery store with a full lineup of fountain pens and ink. You can also make your own original notebook by choosing the cover and paper. It only takes about 20 minutes to do so.
Image courtesy of Urasandō Garden
Each shop may be small but, due of this, you can experience different types of Japanese culture all at once. We hope you will explore Japanese culture using all your five senses at Urasandō Garden.
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Jingū-mae, 4-15-2
Hours: Different for each shop
Closed: Open 365 days
Credit cards: Different for each shop
Languages: Japanese and English
Menu in other languages: Menu available in English (partly in Chinese and Korean)
Most accessible station: Omotesandō station (表参道駅) of Tokyo Metro Ginza, Chiyoda, and Hanzōmon lines.
Access: 7 minute walk from Omotesandō station
Price Range: -
Phone number: -
Website: Urasandō Garden