Matcha lovers, you’d be green with envy throughout this entire post.
Wow, that was a bad joke ain’t it? HAHA! But here’s something you guys NEED to know, and be on your bucket list. The WORLD’S RICHEST MATCHA is a REAL thing now, it’s not a fantasy, IN TOKYO. Yes, Tokyo.
Nanaya from the Shizuoka perfecture, together with Asakusa’s famous tea shop, Suzukien has set up their very first store in Tokyo in January this year (2016), and of course, it is at Asakusa. If the above statement confuses you, here’s what you need to know:
1. Nanaya is a gelato store that claims to serve the WORLD’S RICHEST MATCHA ICE CREAM. And Shizuoka is a place which is known to be the top producer of premium quality matcha.
2. Asakusa is a place in Tokyo, where the popular Sensoji temple is located at.
3. OMG MATCHA HEAVEN HAS ARRIVED IN TOKYO.
What makes Nanaya different from the 5 other stalls that serve matcha ice cream in the area, is its different levels of Matcha for you to choose from. Yes. Level 1 to 7, each with ascending intensities. Level 7 is known to be the richest matcha flavor known to mankind.
Nanaya @ Suzukien is located across the road from the back of the famous Sensojī temple. For a closer landmark, you should be able to spot a hospital just behind the temple. Walk in that direction and cross over. You should be able to spot Suzukien quickly with that crazily long queue!
LOOK. We were denied from joining the queue at 2.40pm because they weren’t ready or something like that. But by 2.45pm, we joined the queue and were weirdly allowed. Hmm. This was the half an hour long queue. Yes. Almost all my food requires at least 15 minutes of queueing. Some examples include Shake Shack, Luke’s Lobster and the worst queue ever, at Red Rock.
The queue moves relatively fast, after all it’s ice cream right? Them matcha for sale. Here’s a look at the interior. They’ve got indoor seatings as well. Their freezer has flavors like Milk, Hojicha (roasted green tea), Chocolate, Strawberry and some Azuki thingy, besides the 7 levels of matcha.
For the matcha, the first level tends towards the sweeter and lighter taste of matcha, and moves along the bitter and richer matcha spectrum till the last level, which is most intense and bitter. For a good comparison, the ones you get at Tsujiri in Singapore ranks probably at 4 or 5.
We ordered an azuki ice cream with level 5 matcha on a cone for my mum as she was not quite a fan of matcha. She surprisingly loved it and did not think it was too bitter for her liking! Oooh! She also really liked the one with azuki beans! I don’t like azuki.. That’s why.. I didn’t try it at all.
I had the Level 4 and level 7 scoops just to taste the disparity. The level 7 scoop is of a much darker color:
INTENSE. The level 4 one was markedly milder, but it was already pretty strong for our Singaporean standards. I was surprised and couldn’t believe how strong the level 7 one would fare. The 4 was satisfactorily bitter and adequately rich. Good for someone who’s not too much of a fan of matcha, or hates the bitterness from teas. The level 7 is hidden below. This was so strong that I felt like I overdosed on matcha for the day. Its richness gave me a slight headache, like for real. Not even exaggerating. HAHA! For a non-matcha lover or someone who just fancies matcha as a dessert, I’d imagine the level 7 to be pretty painfully bitter and overwhelming. However, for someone who loves matcha, this was probably THE matcha ice cream you’ve been looking for all your life – it’s richness was unbelievable. You could see the difference in colors between level 4 and 7 – the lighter being from the 4.Gosh, I hope this picture makes you drool right now.
I’d say Nanaya is a once in a lifetime experience for the matcha lovers, especially for those who are visiting Tokyo! It’s not everyday you get relatively easy access to the WORLD’S RICHEST MATCHA. Besides, they are located just a stone’s throw away from Sensoji temple, which I thought was a pretty nice place to visit as well. Lots of tourist attractions, shops, food and things to do within the area, and once you are done with them, you could just head over to Nanaya for your matcha fix. You could easily spend up to half a day in the area.
Beside, the Tokyo Skytree Solamachi is just one stop away from Asakusa. I think I just planned your itinerary for you.
How to get there?