Kagawa prefecture’s tea production is centred around Takase, a district located in Mitoyo City. Its green tea is known to be fragrant and sweet.
However, I did not quite make it to Takase as originally intended, due to unforeseen circumstances. It would have been great to visit the tea fields there.
I did not want to leave Kagawa without its tea, fully intending to buy it from the nearest supermarket I could find, if needed be. So it happened when I was sightseeing in Kan-onji City, I chanced upon a tea shop called Imaya Seikouen (今屋静香園).
I first noticed the green ice cream cone display outside the shop, signifying that green tea ice cream is sold here. A quick peek into the glass doors told me that I should be going inside the shop.
Indeed, it was a tea lover’s paradise. Tea wares, from cups to pots to whisks and everything else needed in tea drinking and tea ceremony, are stocked snugly in every corner of the shop.
The charming old lady manning the counter was kind enough to let me gawk at the wares and take photos. Feeling a little self-conscious, I decided to buy myself a Tokoname kyuusu, as I really needed one specifically for sencha use.
I came to the corner of the shop where they sell teas. I was a little apprehensive, seeing the teas being refrigerated. I remember clearly most people would recommend *against* storing teas in the fridge because of the risk of condensation.
The old lady informed me that it is necessary to keep them in the fridge because the temperature is constant in order to maintain their freshness. Well, who am I to argue with her, if that is how they conduct their business.
I decided to buy a pack of 100g Takase sencha that the old lady said goes best with meals. Because I’m worried about the condition of the tea being refrigerated before, I made sure to consume it first before the other sencha I had bought.
For those hunting for tea wares, Imaya Seikouen is open every day from 8:30am to 7pm. It closes on the first three days of January and the first half of September.