Tea time: Aoyama Flower Market Tea House, Tokyo, Japan

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House
5-1-2 Minamiaoyama, Shibuya, Tokyo
http://www.afm-teahouse.com

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Yay Wednesday! I actually really like Wednesday, because it’s generally my work from home day, which means that I can enjoy perks like singing along to my favourite music loudly as I work, walking Marley on my lunch break, and drinking any tea from my extensive collection that I want, all day long! Today’s post is brought to you by tea, by the way…

Being a premature nanna/tea lover, this was by far one of my favourite experiences in Tokyo, and probably one of the first places I’d visit when I go back  : )  But before I tell you about this magical flower and tea haven, let me tell you how I actually got there…

So, there’s Jess, tall (comparatively), auburn-haired, freckled and tattooed foreigner that I am, sticking out like a pink polka-dotted emu on the streets of Tokyo. I’d successfully navigated my way from my hotel in Shinjuku to the Yoyogi Gardens, to the general region of the Aoyama Flower Market Tea House. I knew I was close, but after 10 minutes of wondering the streets, I couldn’t for the life of me find it. I swallowed my pride and approached a young woman around my age to see if she might know where I should be going; she had no idea and apologised profusely. All I could do was smile back – no problem, I’ll keep looking, arigato!

Off I walk, up the road, to complete another circuit in search of the elusive tea house, when I hear “excuse me, miss!” behind me; the English-speaking friend the lady I approached a few minutes earlier was waiting for at the train station had arrived with her elderly mother, and she promptly sent them running up the road after me to help me find the tea house! The young girl and her mother walked me back down the road to the tea house and waved me off, and it absolutely made my day  : )  If there’s one thing I can say with certainly about the wonderful people of Tokyo, it’s that they are the kindest, most generous, friendliest people I’ve ever come across. Even if they can’t speak English too well, they’ll do their absolute best to find a way to help you out anyway!

Finally arriving at the tea house 3 minutes before opening time, I joined the already lengthy cue, and was promptly seated along the communal bench by the window. On the way through, though, I got to take a good look at the stunning flower arrangements, because the Aoyama Flower Market is in fact a florist…

Imagine the most breath-takingly beautiful indoor garden/green house, the most intense colours and floral smells, and the most perfect tea cafe you could possibly imagine, and you’re half way there.

I was seated along the communal table by the window, which was picture perfect, decorated with both the flower of the month (rose) and Halloween inspired miniature pumpkins…

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They even managed to make a witch’s hat and broomstick look elegant and classy!

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After a quick read over the menu (they have menus in both English and Japanese) and weighing up a dozen or so options (herbal, black, green…), I finally decided on a sweeter, dessert-y tea – a black tea with vanilla, caramel and nut flavours. A few minutes after ordering, I was presented with the tea set of my dreams; a big glass tea pot containing an over sized tea bag floating in boiling water, a matching glass tea cup and saucer, a little jug of milk, sugar cubes, a tiny rose and an hour glass – it came with strict instructions to let the hourglass run its course before pouring the tea, so that it was perfectly steeped when I drank it. Wow.

The tea, as expected, was magnificent. And sitting there at the window in the warm mid-morning sun, all alone (and yet surrounded by softly giggling women enjoying tea with their friends), I couldn’t have been more content. It was one of those perfect moments that you know will stick in your mind forever…  : )

After my tea was gone, I made my way out past the pumpkins and roses, and onto the next adventure…

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6 thoughts on “Tea time: Aoyama Flower Market Tea House, Tokyo, Japan

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