To Satisfy Your Taste for Wagashi in the Heart of the City, Try the New Toraya Akasaka. A Space to Find Serenity of Mind

05.04.2019

WordsPen Editorial PhotographyTohru Yuasa

A wonderful venue for wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) is the Toraya Akasaka Shop, which came into existence with the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 as a nine-story building, and was reborn on October 1, 2018, as a four-story building in a pleasant space giving a generous view of the sky.

The entrance is on the first floor, where pre-ordered merchandise is handled. Even when things are busy, service here is prompt. On the second floor various confections are arranged for sale, from the perennial Toraya products to the special yokan (sweet jelly made from red beans) called Senri no Kaze (Wind of a Thousand Miles), which is only available at the Akasaka shop. The third floor is the karyo—an elegant tearoom with counter seating or terrace seating with views of the Toyokawa Inari temple and the wooded Akasaka Estate, serene vistas that let a person feel connected with nature in the middle of a bustling metropolis. The first basement floor has a gallery where art exhibits or events are held on the themes of wagashi and Japanese culture.

The new structure has an open feeling, with an atrium from the first through third floors, using Yoshino cypress from Nara. The architectural concept—elegant simplicity—creates a space of undisturbed calm where busy city-dwellers can leisurely savor the subtle flavors of wagashi.

Toraya Akasaka Shop

4-9-22 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Tel.: 03-3408-4121 (Japanese only)

Hours:

Sales floor: 8:30 a.m. -7:00 p.m. (weekdays), 9:30 p.m. -6:00 p.m. (Saturdays, Sundays, holidays)

Tea Room: 11:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m. (weekdays), 11:00-5:30 p.m. (Saturdays, Sundays holidays)

Gallery: 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Closed: 6th day of each month (except in December)

www.toraya-group.co.jp/toraya/shops/detail/?id=5