A little different from my usual vibe, but a wonderful place I really enjoy going to is Bread & Cafe. It’s a great place to bring your laptop and work but even better for bread and design.
This thick sliced toast with textured red bean paste and a healthy pad of butter is a classic Nagoya snack and is one of my all time favourite foods. The bread, called shoku pan・食パン was fluffy and perfect and the azuki beans were jammy and rich. Impossible not to love it.
I pickup up this castella in Nagasaki when I was there a little while ago. It was nice and dense but not too sweet. Castella is very popular all around Japan but it most famous in Nagasaki. It obviously has Portuguese influence and is not what come to mind when you think of wagashi. I also re-stocked my favourite matcha, but I might have to switch to iced matchas pretty soon.
There’s a first time for everything, and today was the day I woke up at 3:00am to go chase the sunrise. A few of us avid hikers drove up and made the quick hike up. Full disclosure! Most of these are my incredibly talented friend’s pictures from his amazing camera and the boring unedited ones are mine.
The sun rises very early in the summer so it was a little brighter than we planned on the way up, but incredibly beautiful.
Even at such a low elevation we were above the clouds, which in this sunrise pic look like the ocean I think.
I’ve been to this area a few times, it’s a pretty popular hike because if it’s accessibility and being beginner-friendly. It was really nice to have the place to ourselves.
It was such a nice start to the day and I would definitely go on another sunrise trek again.
From Tugi, a favourite shop of mine: a beautiful white hydrangea namagashi topped with dew drops and filled with tart plum paste. The filling was one of the most surprising and interesting I’ve had in a while- in a very good way! Even the texture of the outside was different, a bit more firm than usual. Beautiful and delicate and delicious as always!
Welcome to one of my favourite shops in Fukuoka, Tugi! It’s so beautiful and their innovation equally matched by the deliciousness of their sweets. They have monthly specials and I always look forward to checking out their new items. Here is the daily selection of ohagi (sweet rice and bean paste), namagashi (bean paste, flour, sugar sweets) mushigashi (steamed sweets) and monaka (rice wafer and bean paste).
I don’t usually have drinks that aren’t plain coffee or tea but if I see something unusual I can’t help myself. Tugi has あんこソーダ・anko soda, or read bean soda! It’s smooth red bean paste with simple syrup and a splash of lemon topped with soda. It was so good! Definitely happy I tried it.
I took my sweets home and sat down to my matcha set. I got one of the monthly specials, black sugar walnut mochi・黒糖胡桃餅 made with black rice. Really everything they do is incredible, this one was no exception.
A huge departure from the norm! I am typically a matcha purist but decided to shake things up and have a blended blueberry, almond milk and matcha latte. It was fun and tasty but I might prefer the classics. The sweet is from Tugi, one of my favourite places in Fukuoka. Everything they do is breath-taking. This one is a dried pineapple, jasmine and smooth red bean paste wrapped up in a little package.
It’s hard to beat their treats. I couldn’t help myself and got this funny little guy! Those are little rosemary sprigs popping out and is filled with rosemary paste! It was one of the best and most unique wagashi I’ve ever had. But, I think I always say that when I go there.
One of the most popular hikes in Fukuoka is Hōmanzan, which I’ve done a few times but never added Sangunsan・三郡山 to the route. Between the two summits there are a lot of little waterfalls and streams I wanted to check out.
The summit of Sangunsan is a lot like Sefuri. Wrapped with barbed wire and quite industrial. Oh well, it was nice to check it off the list and there was a nice spot so sit and have lunch.
Just beyond there, I climbed down to see the waterfalls. It was so cute! The tsubaki flowers had recently fallen and the ground was covered with them. Against the green mossy rocks and sounds of water trickling everywhere it was pretty magical.
A familiar view, at the top of Hōmanzan. The only surprise here was how quiet it was! It was a nice surprise as it’s often quite crowded at the top.
The way down to the shrine is always really lovely.
I’ve done this hike a few times but had somehow forgot it was a touch of a challenge, so I’m a bit more tired and sore than I thought I would be today. But good practice for my hike coming up this week!
I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when this season is over next week. For now, I will have sakura mochi with sakura paste beside my sakura branches and sakura tea on a sakura plate. I went for a walk in the evening and it was just the prettiest ever.
It is officially full bloom, or man kai・満開 for sakura season. I celebrated with the prettiest sakura and red bean namagashi・生菓子 from Kichi Zoh. Soon the petals will start falling and it will be beautiful as well but I’m hoping for a couple more days.