• The seasons come and go, and the scenery around us changes.
    As the days flow by and are gone, simply standing still every now and then can be enough to find new and stimulating encounters.

    Take a break and see what insights you might discover.
    Take a deep sip of tea.

    “Pause & Inspire”

    #5 A Boy Wonders in Yanaka

    The autumn sky is changeable, morphing from brilliant sunshine to cloud to rain, from one day to the next.

    Wandering out into the town, it feels like not only the weather but the very mood of the people has changed.

    I decide to stretch my legs a little and spend the night in Yanaka.

    I can’t remember the last time I woke up in a town that wasn’t my own.
    I wonder who I’ll come across here today.

    But first, it’s time to recharge the batteries with something to eat.

    Clay pot ¥6,600(Nankei Porttery); Tea leaves ¥537(Roasted Spring Bancha, TADA TEA PRODUCTS)

    I break apart a chili leaf rice ball I bought in the local shopping district and pour on some piping hot bancha to create a simple dish of ochazuke.

    The hotel employee who told me about the shopping district is an expert in the history and culture of the area and is known around here as the YANAKA DIGGER.

    According to him, a specific place nearby has a close connection to tea.

    Work shirt ¥38,500; Trousers ¥24,200 (SHINYAKOZUKA/MATT. INFO@THE-MATT.COM); Cap ¥5,940 (THE NORTH FACE PURPLE LABEL/nanamica DAIKANYAMA, Phone: 03-5728-6550); Sneakers ¥15,400 (STILL BY HAND×MOONSTAR/STYLE DEPARTMENT, Phone: 03-5784-5430); Water bottle ¥5,500; Bottle bag ¥10,450 (EDEN POWER CORP/Diptrics, Phone: 03-5464-8736)

    Okakura Tenshin Memorial Park.

    A great tea master, Okakura Tenshin (also known as Okakura Kakuzo), was the author of a famous book written in English called “The Book of Tea,” which introduced Oriental culture to readers in the West.

    This park stands on the place where he once lived.

    I borrow the steps in front of the hexagonal Rokkakudo building to indulge in a spot of tea.

    Earthenware tea urn, kisha dobin (steam train teapot), earthenware chakai (tea pitcher), earthenware tea box, caddy spoon (bamboo), kettle stand, tea tray (all from Takashi Ichikawa)
    Tea leaves ¥1,080 (CHAGOCORO Original Blend HENGE, TADA TEA PRODUCTS)

    “In the liquid amber within the ivory-porcelain, the initiated may touch the sweet reticence of Confucius, the piquancy of Laotse, and the ethereal aroma of Sakyamuni himself.”
    (from Okakura Tenshin’s “The Book of Tea”)

    To be continued.

    Model: Kaito Sasamoto
    Direction & Styling: Tadashi Mochizuki|Stylist Assistant: Hiroaki Endo & Charlie Smith
    Photography: Masayuki Shimizu
    Hair & Make-up: Nori
    Location: YANAKA SOW & Tenshin Okakura Memorial Park
    Produce: Kenichi Kakuno & Hiroshi Inada
    Edit & Text: Yoshiki Tatezaki|Coordination: Miho Akahoshi & Mika Kobayashi
    Special Thanks: Takashi Ichikawa & Keishiro Nagayama (ORANGE AND PARTNERS)

    *Appropriate permissions have been obtained to brew tea in the photographed locations.