Somushi is a beautiful Korean tea shop on the north side of Sanjo, a short walk west of Karasuma.
John Einarsen and I have gotten into the habit of meeting up here whenever a new issue of Kyoto Journal comes out. These pictures were taken in the spring.
The interiors are beautiful too. John told me that the building was designed by the same person who designed the KJ typeface.
It’s also the only place I know of that serves a vegan Bibimbap. Just look at those gorgeous colours. It was as tasty as it looks.
Of course they also serve some very fine teas. This one is Omijacha. Made from the Omija berry, this has a sour taste that “sharpens the five senses”!
This one is Yakucha or “medicine tea”. It includes ginseng and licorice among other herbs and it is said to be good for anemia, insomnia and indigestion. It tastes rather sweet.
These teas and the ceramics they are served in are so beautiful, you feel like you are consuming art! Here’s the Jyumonmo-cha I had today. This nutritious tea is drawn for two days from ten medicinal herbs and is said to increase the circulation and one’s appetite. It tastes like bitter fruit but comes with honey and a small desert to sweeten it…
Somushi is not only a tea shop but also a gallery and has frequent exhibitions.
One time we met the potter Naoto Ishii preparing an exhibition here. Here he is with John.
A lot of the fine ceramics used in Somushi are Ishii-san’s designs.
The current exhibition is of pojagi (Korean patchwork wrapping cloths) by the artist Kimie Yoneya. John was in raptures over these pieces and indeed they are beautiful. I advise you to click on the following images for a closer look!