When I write about traditional culture here in Matsue, I try to show some amount of nuanced appreciation for the aesthetics and history involved.

Sometimes, however, I just need to be a squealing fangirl for pretty things.

Please allow me to indulge a bit in this entry about a local wagashi shop called Tachibana, located off the southeastern banks of Lake Shinji, very close to the scientifically determined best sunset viewing spot (made obvious by the theater-like steps from which large crowds of people gather to admire the free show), a short stroll further south from the Shimane Art Museum. I had gone there after work one fine Tuesday to go see the Atelier Mourlot and 20th Century Lithography in Paris exhibition, and stopped many times a long the way to attempt to capture Lake Shinji’s late afternoon soft, glittery hues on my phone. A hopeless venture, really.





Upon arriving at the museum, I remembered that it is closed on Tuesdays. Oops.

I wandered around a bit, thought I might check out a restaurant in that area for dinner and then catch the sunset before going home, but I couldn’t spot the interesting looking restaurants I thought I had seen from car windows before. I found myself at Tachibana instead, and it was my second time there. I had been there before earlier this past January for this year’s Hatsugama (first tea ceremony of the new year) in the tea ceremony space upstairs. I was already charmed by this entrance way then in the middle of winter:

But being busy with the ceremony, I didn’t even notice this entry way.

Or this area facing the lake.

I’m glad no one was out there at the time so that they didn’t overhear my squeal of excitement, or exclamation of admiration, or whatever the sound that came out of me was. Forget restaurants, I decided. I was getting some sweets instead and I’d just backtrack to a combini for dinner.

Lately I’m a big fan of jellies (think gelatin, not jam) and yokan, as these aren’t too filling, they’re refreshing in hot and humid weather, and they last a long time so I can purchase them spontaneously but wait to enjoy them until later. That said, there were quite a few to choose from so I went back and forth for a long time before eventually deciding on a brown sugar yokan with kinako (roasted soybean flour–more appetizing than it sounds) topping, and a tomato and peach jelly. As suspected I wasn’t a big fan of tomato as a sweet when I tried it a week later, but the brown sugar yokan was the perfect amount of sweetness when I just needed a light pick-me-up. I would said I’d get it again, but the yokan served in little bamboo-model containers also looked tempting…

Speaking of tempting, I had to keep myself from squealing with delight over everything on display in there, much less splurge on all the other sweets on display as well. After making my I-sort-of-kept-myself-under-control-by-only-buying-two purchase, I asked the lady at the counter if I could take pictures, and when she said yes, I allowed myself to go a little crazier.

Ahem. Please excuse my excitement, but…

LOOK AT ALL THESE BEAUTIFUL NAMAGASHIIIII!!!!!!! I was so tempted to get one of those clear ones to hold up against the sunset scenery!!

And speaking of sunset scenery, look! THEY ALREADY MADE MATSUE SCENERY IN EDIBLE FORM!!!

And look! LOOK!! There are so-o-o-o-o-o many adorable higashi here!!


There are even MORE displays of sweets over here, and–what are those on the wall beyond them? Oh no, they don’t just sell sweet things here, they sell silk things too!! Too much aesthetic, ah, I can’t handle it!!

And right behind you, look, look! EVEN MORE SWEETS—and ceramics, kyaaaa!

I need to calm down. Well, I could certainly do so in the cafe space right there, but what sweet would I even choose to enjoy with some tea there? No, Buri-chan, resist, resist! You already made your purchase, get out of there! You still want to catch the sunset back at the art museum. Ah, but I suppose the view from these windows would be just as—no, Buri-chan, go, go! Get out of there!

I did talk myself out of staying there too long and indulging in wagashi all by myself. It’s not as if I don’t have a history of indulging in sweets all by myself when I’m out and about, but I’d like to avoid doing that too often. Besides the whole saving money and not eating too much sugar stuff, it’s such a waste to eat wagashi all by yourself too often. They’re meant to be a conversation piece. They’re made such that you enjoy them the presense of other people, to observe and appreciate them, and discuss their timeliness as a way of enjoying the moment with the company you have in that very moment.

Wagashi are best squealed about in company. Though we are divided by time and space, thanks for enjoying these with me to the limited extended that the virtual world allows and squealing with me in spirit.

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