First in my series about stops on the Toyoko line, the ever lovely Jiyugaoka!
Wednesday being 'Thanksgiving for Labour Day' (yeah, I know) and thus a day off, I made plans with Candidate n.3 (from this post) to go see the odd fake-Venice, and then wander about. The weather was being wonderfully cooperative, so I didn't even need to cover my wonderful orange dress with a coat!
After wandering down one of the wider streets, taking in the fashionably tiny shops and incredibly well-dressed dogs being carried about, we arrived at La Vita (a.k.a fake-Venice), only to find all the shops and cafe's were closed. It still totally merits a quick look, and perhaps a picture or two.
However, just across the street is something so much better. What looks like a private, traditional-style Japanese house is infact a cafe' and gallery, with an incredibly charming garden and decor. Kosoan is housed in what was once the writer Natsume Soseki's daughter's tea house (okay, a bit of a stretch there), and their specialty is, naturally, matcha. And here Candidate n.3 surprised me, and earned himself a new nickname. While I decided on the wonderfully smooth Matcha au Lait (accompanied by preserved yuzu), he went straight for the real thing, pure matcha. Very shibui.
Matcha-kun and I hung out there for quite a while, as the atmosphere is lovely and the owners very friendly (even when it suddenly became crowded). His way of behaving and speaking make me think he is probably a chounan, and seiza-ing there I was struck by how very different he is from my ex. Eldest son vs. second son. Soft, almost Heian features vs. somewhat Korean sharp angles. Quiet and a little shy vs. outgoing party animal... I guess its good not to get stuck in a rut!
Just wandering around Jiyugaoka's twisting little streets is fun, looking at all the cool stores. Down a little cobbled alleyway a tiny spice shop, karaoke bar and the entrance to the Kumano shrine (I always seem to end up at shrines, must be a power I got from my time interning as a miko!), with autumn leaves blowing about our feet. And everwhere, sweets galore. Cake shops, bakeries, wagashi, crepes... and eventually the famous Sweets Forest.
Which is very, very pink. And sparkly. And smells absolutely wonderful, of sugar and cream and pastry. The 'Princess Macaron' was wonderful, as was Matcha-kun's apple cake... and then he told me he is infact not a fan of sweets, sigh. I forget sometimes that guys here will suggest going out for cake, even if they hate it, because it is expected... next time I'll suggest ramen. AND maybe next time he will actually let me pay for something! (Ms.Godzilla is a bit of a feminist at times)
As it gets dark, the area lights up with twinkly lights, and Christmas is already very much on everyone's mind, as Jiyugaoka is filled with decorations and Christmas music... it isn't even December yet! Still, all very lovely. And all this topped off by flowers.
He gave me roses. Fancy preserved roses (has anyone heard of these before?) that stay beautiful for about 2 years. I don't think any of my previous beaus have ever given me flowers before, preserved or not!
Matcha-kun is sure something... and yet.
And yet, because I am an anxious critter, I have to wonder 'why does this guy not have a girlfriend already?!'. He has all three takais, a nice personality, looks and style. Am I missing something here?! Or perhaps just obsessing, as per usual ;P
Oh, and for those still wondering about the orange dress: