To continue from where I left off in the previous post, I will introduce this other tea place I encountered in Asahikawa, Hokkaido.
Not far from Asahikawa Station, there is a new-ish cafe and shop selling Japanese teas. Instead of the traditional tea shops that are often seen in old shopping arcades, Usagiya is a modern take on tea places.
On the outside, it looks somewhat nondescript in a quiet neighbourhood, located off main roads in the city central. It took me awhile to find it, as the Google Street View of it dated July 2015 showed a different shop. No wonder, because Usagiya opened in November 2015, according to its Facebook page.
Usagiya means ‘rabbit house’, and they have a simple but cute logo with rabbit ears. The shopfront is mostly wide glass windows, so anyone could have a good view of what is inside.
The moment I walked in, I saw the shelves of teas and tea wares lined up on the wall. Upon closer look, they were mostly tea-bagged teas. On another side of the wall were all the loose-leaf teas. These, of course, were more attractive to me.
Usagiya sells teas from different prefectures, which are blended in-house and sold in their customised packages. Looking at the names such as Usagicha, Yuzu Ryokucha, Ginger Hojicha, Goboucha, Kuromame Sobacha and so on, I was totally overwhelmed and spoilt for choices.
I decided to ask one of the staff members for recommendations instead.
Actually, if I could afford it, I would have swept one of each type, but I could not as I was traveling on a shoestring budget this trip. LOL.
The staff member was kind enough to explain to me some of their specialty teas as mentioned above and recommended I try their original blend Usagicha. Looking at the packaging info, I saw the tea originated from Uji and Shizuoka. Well, why not. I like teas from those regions.
The other I decided to grab Warakakecha, which is from Ise. Never had tea from Ise, so am looking forward to try it soon.
I would have loved to try their sweets and tea set in their menu, but I was in a hurry to meet up a friend for dinner.
Usagiya is open from 10am to 7pm on Mondays to Fridays and from 10am to 5pm during weekends.