Upon a Fold

A little peek into the world of paper artistry

paper & tokyo - baishinka... August 25, 2011

Above: Gift wrapping the Baishinka way. Below: Beautiful windows throughout.


The Baiten is where the sweetest gifts can be purchased. baishinka_6

Seasonal sweets come packaged in gift boxes and ready for giving.

The entrance to Baishinka and the garden. baishinka_1

Beautiful details throughout.
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Bite-sized beauties (Hitokuchi-gashi) made from local and seasonal produce.
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I covet this cabinet, I do!
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Handmade Wagashi.
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‘Suiteki’ (Water droppers) designed by Shinichiro Ogata.

Inside Baishinka’s Sabo.

The communal table and garden view from inside the Sabo. baishinka_10 baishinka_22

There are beautiful antique pieces everywhere. This was one of my favourites. baishinka_19 baishinka_27

The sliding door to the Sabo.

More amazing garden views.

The street entrance. baishinka_30
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The gallery space with many of Ogata’s designs.

This stone is Baishinka’s way of saying ‘no entry’. Good thing I didn’t step over it! baishinka_18
Remember the amazing Tokyo tea house I blogged about called ori HIGASHIYA? You know, the one with the amazing folded paper feature wall? It was stunning but this Tokyo tea house I recently visited called Baishinka REALLY took my breath away! Both are the beautiful creations of Shinichiro Ogata from Simplicity in Japan.

Finding this place was a bit tricky and that’s because it’s tucked away in a residential Tokyo neighbourhood. Actually the property was once a private dwelling but it has since been transformed into this truly remarkable tea house (Sabo), wagashiya (sweets shop), gallery and restaurant. The Japanese garden that surrounds the property is picture perfect and can be admired from every room inside the house. I especially loved the plum trees – they were the inspiration for the name Baishinka meaning ‘the heart of the plum’.

There are so many reasons to love Baishinka. First is the beautiful Sabo. It’s the room behind the large wooden sliding door where delicious food and drink are meticulously prepared and served throughout the day. Our friend Ayako ordered for Matt and I the most pure and health-giving Japanese tea. I’d never had anything like it before. We also enjoyed Hitokuchi-gashi (bite-sized sweets). We sat, we ate, we drank and soaked in the views. This place is really something.

Another thing I love about Baishinka is the Baiten. It’s the place to go to buy beautifully packaged sweets. Baishinka offers the most colourful and delicious range of Jō namagashi – a moist and fresh sweet inspired by the seasons, and usually reserved for special tea ceremonies. They honestly look too good to eat! But I did eat them and they were delicious! Amazingly at night the Baiten area disappears (thanks to moveable and removable fixtures) and turns into a hallway, leading guests from the Sabo to the restaurant at night. Oh yes, did I mention the restaurant? Yakumo Saryo comes to life at night when Baishinka is ready for its nights rest.

The highlight for me was the gallery area. On display was a selection of Ogata’s homewares collection. Is there anything this man can’t design?! The space also hosts a series of small exhibitions throughout the year. I seriously could not take my eyes off those bronze ‘Suiteki’ – Water droppers (image above). I think they are used for adding drops of water to an inkstone, maybe? Yet another thing to add to my wishlist. Ooooh how the list grows!

Baishinka is one of those places that makes me want to move to Tokyo.
Beautiful interiors and product aside; this place offers a truly peaceful escape where stillness and quiet contemplation (two of my favourite things btw :) are possible, even amongst friends.

3-4-7 Yakumo, Meguro-ku, Tokyo.
Tel: 03-5731-1620
Map here.

images © upon a fold


Ella — 25 August at 06:36PM

This place looks amazing! I need to be there. Now. Beautiful space & the little treats look like perfection!

Justine — 26 August at 05:56PM

Thanks Ella! It’s even more beautiful in real life. You must get there one day :)

Ceci — 27 August at 01:52AM

Seems like such a perfect environment for reflection/meditation.

Justine — 27 August at 11:31PM

Ceci – It’s was such a peaceful place. It was hard to believe we were in the middle of bustling Tokyo!

Sun. — 07 September at 02:42AM

This place is very beautiful and poetic. Not only the design, but also the food and surrounding, a whole package. I love the name too, in japanese it sounds very strong and bold, but the meaning is very pretty. A rare place to see in today modern Tokyo. Thank you for sharing this.

Justine — 07 September at 10:27AM

Hi Sun, Thanks for your comment. I’m happy to be able to share Baishinka with you. It really is the whole package. Hope you can visit it one day :)

stephanie — 14 September at 02:38PM

lovely lovely! and how i’d love the quiet time! thank you for sharing …

Lala Ema — 14 September at 07:40PM

What an amazing place and a fabulous find ! To think it’s in the heart of Tokyo….it looks beautifully serene and the packaging is supremely gorgeous. Thank you for sharing !

Justine — 30 September at 04:50PM

Stephanie and Lala Ema – My pleasure. Thanks for your comments :)

Cookie — 23 December at 03:20PM

Just returned from Japan this afternoon. My final “significant meal” in Tokyo was at Baishinka which has jumped to the top of my list of most memorably beautiful food experiences. Ever. So few experiences touch each and every sense in such an exquisite, sophisticated, subtle, beautiful, delicious way. Simply out of this world.

Justine — 06 January at 09:06AM

Cookie, that’s so wonderful. I’m happy you could experience it. Thank you for letting me know! It is a very special and memorable place indeed. x

car wreck — 27 October at 12:33AM

I think they are used for adding drops of water to an inkstone, maybe? Yet another thing to add to my wishlist. Ooooh how the list grows!

Ella — 22 July at 10:55PM

I know this is a really old post, but I’m currently going through your archives because I’ve FINALLY booked a trip to Tokyo! I scrolled to the bottom of this and just saw my comment. How funny. I’m SO excited that I’m going. The time has finally come! Thanks for all these Tokyo tips. I’m scribbling furiously in my notebook now!

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