Teatime treats by the tracks
No journey on the (rail)road is complete without an ekiben—packed meals bought at the station. You might even say it’s one of most fun things about traveling.
For many Yokohama residents, a longtime ekiben favorite is Kiyoken’s shumai bento, with its yellow wrapping and specialty shumai pork dumplings, delicious even at room temperature.
Born in Yokohama, Kiyoken has its main branch can be found in the very heart of the city: Yokohama Station. Although Kiyokoen is known mainly for its shumai, here you’ll find three different restaurants, each serving different cuisine: Chinese restaurant Kakyu, Italian restaurant Il Saggio, and Middle Eastern bazaar-themed beer restaurant Alibaba.
If you’re simply looking for a place to enjoy an afternoon dessert—or are in a very English mood and want to engage in elegant tea drinking—head to Kiyoken’s tea salon, The Arboretum.
Connoisseurs not easily satisfied with the average Earl Grey or Darjeeling need not worry; The Arboretum offers 27 varieties of tea, which you can pair with a sandwich, cake, or scones. The salon has a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere with cozy seating, feeling almost like a hotel lounge.
For the sweet-toothed, the cake set (¥1,000) allows you to select your cake of choice from a tray of equally delicious-looking pastries. The caramel cheesecake has a light, mousse-like consistency, and comes topped with flakes of cheese-flavored biscuits that add a nice crunchy texture to the cake.
For those feeling especially fancy, there are the afternoon tea sets, which come with small cakes, sandwiches, and other sweet and savory mini-foods served on a tiered stand. If you really want to treat yourself, you can order the Premium Afternoon Tea Set (¥2,050, limited to 20 sets a day), while the Afternoon Tea Set (¥1,450, limited to 50 sets a day) still lets you experience an elegant tea break on a reasonable budget.
The offerings found in these sets change every month. The Afternoon Tea Set comes with a caramel brownie cake, mango pudding, momochacha (green tea pudding with sweet potato and tapioca), a scone, bacon and gnocchi in a creamy white sauce, and sandwiches.
The Arboretum is a great, relaxing place to spend some time sipping tea in true English fashion.
If you’re stopping by before a trip on the train, make sure to grab a shumai bento before you head on your way, and you’ll be set!
Open 10am-9pm. 2-13-12 Takashima, Nishi-ku, Yokohama. Nearest station: Yokohama. Tel: 045-441-8765. www.kiyoken.com