“Toraya” is a world famous sweet parlor that has been around for quite some time. The brand name might be a little intimidating for a non-bourgeois (like me!), but there is actually a casual self-service branch of the shop, on the first floor of Matsuya, in the heart of Asakusa.
Sure, the shop is casual, but it still is a Toraya. The “omotenashi”, or sophisticated and warm hospitality, you will experience here is beyond comparison.
The interior is clean, bright and neat. Not a speck of dust!
The beautifully placed menu, displaying boards and products certainly contribute to the pleasant atmosphere.
You can eat in the shop, sitting on the bench. The store definitely has the casual and open feel. But what’s really nice is that the staff will give you your space. You won’t be rushed to leave after you finish eating. You are able to peacefully enjoy your book, or plan your travel schedule.
I ordered the “uji-maccha” (green tea) flavor shaved ice. I often come across shaved ices that go overboard with the quantity, but this one was perfectly calculated and refined.
The flavor of the delicate yet rich maccha spreads through my mouth and slowly cools my body after a day under the bright heat. What a soothing sensation!
The anko (red bean paste) is not to sweet, and the gentle taste exquisitely harmonizes with the maccha.
Asakusa is one of the most tourist-concentrated areas of Tokyo, but the majority of the customers in this Matsuya branch seemed to be regular visitors.
It is a rather small and quiet space; I recommend visiting with just a small group of people. A perfect place to stop by to take a break from shopping or sightseeing.
And you might want to note that this place does not have a restroom.
|TORAYA ASAKUSA-MATSUYA BRANCH|
|First floor of Matsuya-Asakusa, 1-4-1 Hanakawado, Taito-ku, Tokyo|
|1 min walk from Asakusa station|