Sunday, September 3

Bokutō Cafe

Time perhaps to take a break from books and talk about food.
    The last time I was in Tokyo I visited this cafe in Kameido 亀戸 several times. It’s called Samurai 侍 and is located immediately south of the JR line Kameido station, east exit (one stop east of Kinshicho). By any objective measure, the shop is a conceptual mess. The name suggests some sort of warrior -blend coffee, and there are swords on the wall if I recall correctly, but what I liked was faux Sengoku-era language used in the placards decorating the walls (the whole interior is done in very subdued wood, which I must admit adds to the effect). Of course, any battle-weary samurai, after taking off mud-stained boots and blood-stained katana, does not want to sit on an uncomfortable bar stool. So the bar at Samurai is lined instead with rocking chairs (see the photograph). But my favorite element in this thematic mélange is the collection of English-style tea cups, of which the shop seems to have several dozen, no two of which match. The coffee was excellent, the barista well-groomed, and the breakfast special a steal.
    I had never spent much time in the eastern part of Tokyo before my last visit. The best part about it is the rivers and canals which run through the city east of the Sumida. These are an endless source of walks (and great atmosphere for reading certain old books). But mostly, I think I probably like the area because there aren’t so many young people around.

1 Comments:

Blogger leoboiko said...

From my very limited exposition to tea ceremony, it is my impression that Japanese people prefer tea sets not to match. Of course there are subtle rules about what is appropriate to use with what, but so far as the rules go, the more varied the cups and kettles the better. You’re supposed to select the best utensils according to the current season, mood, one’s social role, personality etc. Maybe that’s the reason behind those assorted English cups.

English people, obviously, like their tea sets to match thoroughly :)

2/23/2007 1:48 PM  

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