Soft Serve Ice Cream ¥400, Daily Green Tea ¥300
- 3 Chome-14-3 Imagawa, Suginami, Tokyo
- Distance from Station:
- 1-minute walk from “Ogikubo Byouin Mae” bus stop (About a 10-minute bus ride from Ogikubo or Nishi-Ogikubo Stations (JR Chuo / Sobu line)
- 03-3397-4188 (Japanese only)
- Weekdays 10:00am - 6:00pm, Saturdays & Holidays 10:00am - 5:00pm, closed Sundays (except during Suginami Festa)
- http://www.harada-tea.co.jp/en/companyinfo/company-05/ (external link)
The History of Shizuoka Green Tea Swirled into a Soft Serve Cone
[updated May 2020]
Gensouen is a comfortable cafe/tearoom managed by a green tea shop in Shizuoka, the prefecture in Japan famous for its green tea production.
Gensouen is about a two-minute walk from the northeast entrance of Momoi Harappa Park (about a 10-minute bus ride from JR Ogikubo Station). It is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tearoom because it blends in with a quiet residential area.
Managed by Harada Tea Processing Co., Ltd. which has its headquarters in Shimada City, Shizuoka, the cafe originally opened as a tea shop only, then the tearoom was attached in 2007 in order to spread the tastiness of green tea, and the shop has kept sending this message. The shop’s recommendations are “Matcha Softcream”, Green tea soft serve ice cream (400 yen) and the daily green tea (300 yen).
We were told by the manager that their “Green tea soft serve ice cream is the result of many trials and errors with the company’s president, who knows the best about green tea. It contains a secret ingredient probably not used by other companies, but it is a trade secret. Please taste the ice cream, and it will be fun to see if you can determine what the secret ingredient is yourself. ”
Regarding the daily green tea, you can choose among several kinds. When you cannot make up your mind, they will likely recommend the green tea called ‘Akane-Fuji’ (It literally means Mt. Fuji in madder red). It is not so bitter or astringent, and very easy to drink, so it is popular among green tea beginners and experts alike.
There are over 10 flavors of soft served ice cream aside from basic flavors such as vanilla or green tea. They are served as a limited time ice cream flavor, one at a time. In particular, “Imagawa Softcream” (450 yen) should be noted among these flavors. This flavor was developed because of the linkage between Imagawa where the tearoom is and Shizuoka where Harada Tea headquarters is: in the early 1500’s, the current Shizuoka region was governed by Imagawa clan, but the reign ended after 1560. In the Tokugawa period (1603-1868), Imagawa was given a territory around present Imagawa area in Suginami. That is why the region is called Imagawa, and the grave of the Imagawa clan is now at Kansenji Temple, which is a few minutes’ walk from Gensouen.
Imagawa soft serve ice cream is kinako (roasted soybean flour) flavored ice cream covered with brown sugar syrup, and it also looks luxurious with gold dust topping!
You can feel warm hospitality from a cup of green tea which is always served with all dishes including light meals such as soba and others, as well as sweets. Outside seating where you can enjoy the air of the different seasons and relax, as well as comfortable indoor seating in the bright room, are both available.
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