Shoman (小満) May.20 ~June.4 (in 2020)
Shoman means “Grain Full”, and around this term we can see and buy this year's tea at stores, what we call “Shin-cha”(新茶). Actually we drink tasty Japanese tea all year around, but the first-picking tea is special. Because it has a fresh flavor and sweetness and mildness, and we can taste it only this season.
Around this term, I have nothing especially to tell you about well-known seasonal events honestly, but it is the beginning of early summer, I like to take a walk in Kyoto city and have tea time with my friends. And I really like to drink coffee with the sweets, I’m gonna tell you about my favorite things around this term.
Taking a walk Keage Incline, in Kyoto city
Keage Incline is a historic sites which is long slope with railroad tracks. In spring we can see beautiful cherry blossoms here. But not only that, we can see many kinds of seasonal plants in the beginning of summer, white clover, dandelions, thistles, etc. It is very quiet because there is few people in this season without cherry blossom…. It is often cloudy around this term. I am charmed with the beauty of green color of the field and enjoy fresh air.
Tea time at Zenkashoin cafe in Kyoto city
Around this term, we begin to meet “Warabi-mochi” as one of seasonal sweets. It’s one of the Japanese traditional sweets, it is clear and cold. This is the Warabi-mochi from Zenkashoin cafe. I had it with my friend on the table just in front of the Japanese garden by the window. It was so delicious! And in the café, it was so quiet and we had very nice tea time so long! I recommend you here to take a break in Kyoto city sightseeing.
This is the speciality of this shop, the Zen castilla. I ate it for the first time, I was so surprised because it was so rich with egg taste, not like sponge cake such as usual castilla. My friend ate it, but I couldn’t eat it even half of it.
Seasonal food? Green Ume
Around this term, we can see green ume in supermarkets. Of course, it is impossible to eat them! Traditionally, Japanese people have made Umeboshi from green ume for long time. Making Umeboshi is time-consuming work, so I can’t do it! When I get it, I usually make ume-shu(ume liquor) for my family. Preparing some green ume, some liquor, and some crystal sugar, and you wash green ume and remove a calyx of each ume. Then put green ume into a pot with the crystal sugar and liquor, and mix them and close up the bottle’s neck tight. You need to keep it for about a year…. This is the picture which I made it. How will it go? Yeah, no one knows. The taste of it depends on the year. Look forward!