Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Habutae Dango

While in Tokyo, I spent some time within the Yanesen (Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi) neighborhoods.  Amidst the modern buildings and conveniences are thriving historical remnants of Edo-period's Shitamachi (downtown area).

During my first day in Tokyo, I took time to for a refreshing visit to Habutae Dango, a teahouse and dango shop which started business in 1819 under the name Fujinoki-chaya.

There are actually two branches of Habutae Dango within a short distance of each other.  From Nippori Station's East Exit, you can almost see the newest shop with it's modern black exterior and gold lettering.  From the same exit, turn right (keeping Nippori Station on your right) and walk 3 minues (approximately 4 blocks).  There you will find the entrance to Zenshoji Temple on the left and Habutae Dango's main shop on the right.

Guests can enjoy a Sencha set (with free refills!) or a Matcha set, both of which include two skewers of dango (glutinous rice dumplings), one coated in sweet bean paste (an) and one dipped in soy sauce (shoyu) and toasted.  I chose the Sencha set and found that the tea made a nice palate cleanser between the sweetness of the an dango and the salty/savory flavor of the shoyu dango.  

While relaxing with my tea, I was able to take in the history of the teahouse which, though it has been rebuilt several times, retains much of its original charm, as well as the original courtyard garden with a waterfall (not running at this time) and koi pond that was created by the company's founder who had started out as a gardener.

There is seating for guests in the courtyard, though the weather wasn't quite warm enough during my visit to take advantage of that option.  The koi seemed to agree as they were still in winter stasis.

If you would like, Habutae Dango also offers their treats in gift boxes to take away.  Keep in mind that they are freshly made and only good when eaten the same day.

〒116-0014 東京都荒川区東日暮里5-54-3
5-54-3 Higashinippori, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo

9am-5pm (closed on Tuesday)

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