Release | nobu Kawashima
Tea Shop Yuhi - A Japanese tea cafe in a Meiji Period building with a view of Hakodate Bay
“Tea Shop Yuhi” is located at the west foot of Mt. Hakodate. It’s a Japanese tea cafe where you can get the view of Hakodate Bay, with many ships crossing every day. The historical building, which was built during the Meiji Period, creates a nostalgic atmosphere. Getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city and take a quiet moment that feels as if the time has stopped.
▲You might feel Japanese tea is too classy, like a tea ceremony. However, you don’t need to know manners nor dress up at this cafe. You can casually visit here to have a cup of tea with your jeans and sneakers.
Table of Contents- Take note at a nostalgic building that was built in 1885, during the Meiji Period
- It turned into a Japanese tea cafe in 2014
- Enjoy matcha, hoji-cha, kombucha, etc., with Japanese sweets wagashi
- The sunset is beautiful but brunch time is also a wonderful moment
▲You can have a relaxing time while getting the view of the ocean from the window seats.
▲They offer kombucha using south-Hokkaido sourced square-cut kombu pieces.
Take note at a nostalgic building that was built in 1885, during the Meiji Period“Tea Shop Yuhi” is located at the west foot of Mt, Hakodate. It’s close to Hakodate Foreigners’ Cemetery in the west district of Hakodate, where you can look down the ocean, and built along the slope that continues from the ocean to Mt. Hakodate.
▲The exterior of the building is pink. It looks awkward but at the same time, has a somewhat calm feeling.
This building was built in 1885 and was formerly used by the Hakodate Disinfections Office. The Hakodate Disinfections Office moved to a different place in 1968, so the building ended its job.
▲The cafe displays the sign of the Hakodate Disinfections Office inside.
Hakodate City bought the facility from the country in the Heisei Period. Because it is located at an amazing place where people can look down the ocean, they started lending the building to private companies to use for restaurants, etc.
The cafe displays antique life tools, etc. It matches perfectly with the old building and creates a nostalgic atmosphere.
It turned into a Japanese tea cafe in 2014There were two more different restaurants before “Tea Shop Yuhi,” and a different manager ran it.
Oya couple, who runs the cafe now, was a regular customer of the second restaurant. When they found out that the former restaurant decided to close because of their family issues, Oya couple talked to the owner and took over the management in 2014.
▲Even though the shop changes, the building is still the same.
The former owner offered coffee, etc., but Oya couple turned the cafe into a Japanese tea cafe.
“If it were coffee, people usually drink just a cup. However, if it was tea, they can have a few cups from a teapot. I wanted customers to spend a relaxing moment with a fantastic view and teas.”
The husband who liked Japanese tea and the wife who has studied about tea ceremonies started the cafe to make people realize Japanese tea is also a casual and delicious drink, just like coffees.
▲Have a cup of matcha (Uji-cha from Kyoto) casually.
They offer various tea from all over the country, such as Kirishima-cha (Kagoshima), Ureshino-cha (Saga), Ise-cha (Mie), and Kawane-cha (Shizuoka), etc.
Oya couple visits the production and inspects how they plant the tea and the quality of tea. They build relationships with the producers and stock tea leaves directly.
Just like coffee has different flavors depending on kind of beans such as Mocha and Mandheling, and production places, tea also has such differences.
▲A homemade hoji-cha tea made with Ise’s high-quality stem tea. You can enjoy it with Oshiruko (red bean soup), etc.
Enjoy matcha, hoji-cha, kombucha, etc., with Japanese sweets wagashiSnacks are necessary when having teas. This cafe offers seasonal Japanese sweets (wagashi) for matcha, sencha, and gyokuro. For Hoji-cha, Genmai-cha, and Kombucha, they offer deep-fried manju.
A long-established Japanese sweet shop in Hakodate City provides Japanese sweets for this cafe. Sweets in Hokkaido typically sweeter compared to those from the Honshu Region, and this cafe offers such less sweetened confections.
I will introduce three menus among their various dishes.
Matcha is essential when you talk about teas. You don’t have to know proper manners. Enjoy the matching of the bitterness of matcha and slightly sweet confections.
Oshiruko (Tsubuan & grilled mochi) - with Hoji-cha, Japanese chestnut, and pickles:
The smoky hoji-cha makes the sweetness of Oshiruko (red bean soup) stand out.
The Japanese chestnut had a sophisticated sweetness, and the flavor of chestnut spread gradually on my tongue. The pickles were slightly salty and created a great accent of flavors.
The oshiruko contains two bite-sized mochi. It’s a perfect snack for who wants to feel their appetite.
This Kombucha uses south-Hokkaido, such as Minami-Kayabe district in Hakodate City, square-cut kombu pieces. The cafe offers a refill, so you can enjoy second and third cups by putting additional kombu and hot water.
You can, of course, eat the kombu. This tea goes great with salty, non-sweet, rice crackers. It matches really well.
It was surprising that kombucha was delicious even after it got cooler. It might be because the kombu extracts dashi flavor very well. This is the dish that tells customers that they could stay as long as they want.
The sunset is beautiful but brunch time is also a wonderful moment
As the name of the cafe suggests, this place is a great place to view the sunset, because this cafe is located on the west foot of Mt. Hakodate. Many people visit the cafe in the evening to view the sunset.
The sunset is beautiful, of course, but I also recommend visiting here from the morning till noon.
The sun lights the ocean side, and the cafe is not against the sun. This means it’s not bright even if you sit on the window side, and you can watch ships that go on the ocean clearly.
This cafe is highly recommended if you want to spend a relaxing moment in Hakodate! You can watch the ocean without thinking anything or read a book with a cup of tea. This is what means luxury. Forget the hustle and bustle and visit this cafe to relax until you forget about time completely.
* Note that the cafe is closed during winter seasons.
Text/ Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima