In the historical city of Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture, renowned for its well-preserved warehouse-style buildings from the Edo period, tourists flock to experience the charming ambiance of the nostalgic town.
Tea time in a 120-year-old storehouse
Located along Taisho Roman Yume-dori, a central avenue in Kawagoe, is the traditional Japanese teahouse 1901 TEA SALON. This unique cafe opened its doors in April 2022 after five years of meticulous restoration and renovation work on a storehouse built in 1901.
Visitors can immerse themselves in a surreal experience while savoring specialty Japanese teas and indulging in exquisite matcha desserts and traditional confections.
The cafe space on the first floor offers 22 table seats within a quaint 120-year-old setting. The retro atmosphere is accentuated by antique lighting fixtures and wooden interiors, creating a harmonious blend of classic and vintage aesthetics. Abundant sunlight streams into the shop, providing a welcoming and comfortable environment. During warmer seasons, additional seating is arranged outside, creating an open-air cafe-like atmosphere.
Introduce the appeal of Kawagoe matcha and Sayama tea
At 1901 TEA SALON, they take pride in serving menus made from locally sourced Sayama tea from Saitama. The most popular choice among visitors is the Kawagoe Matcha Bavarois Set, which features a delectable combination of Kawagoe matcha-infused Bavarian cream and Sayama tea. The rich and creamy Bavarois is topped with sweet bean paste and cream, offering an indulgent treat.
For a delightful seasonal experience, the Seasonal Wagashi Set is a recommended choice. Every two weeks, visitors can enjoy two varieties of freshly made seasonal Japanese confections paired with Sayama tea options such as sencha, hojicha, and Japanese black tea. The sencha is a deep-steamed tea made from the first picked leaves, showcasing the unique richness characteristic of Sayama tea. It’s worth noting that the types of sencha offered may vary according to the season.
Hojicha, with its fragrant and refined taste, offers a pleasant balance of flavors with minimal bitterness and astringency. Additionally, the cast iron teapot alongside the tea deserves attention. Designed by industrial designer Kiyoyuki Okuyama, known for creating designs for automobiles like Ferrari and Maserati, the teapot adds a touch of luxury to the tea experience.
Gallery space on the second floor
On the second floor, a gallery space hosts exhibitions and events, featuring an ambiance that evokes the nostalgia of times gone by. As of July 2023, the gallery showcases Ranji Labels, which were attached to tea boxes for exporting Japanese tea during the Meiji to Showa periods.
The 1901 TEA SALON is bustling with visitors every day, operating on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and public holidays.
Address: 10-3 Renjaku-cho, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
Opening hours: 11am-6pm
Open on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and public holidays