A dark room with a low wooden counter in the foreground has a long, thin plate with five sweets delicately placed atop. In the background a dark vase sits in the shadows with a refined floral arrangement
Mitomi, offers an exceptional setting for its sweets. The store, designed by Koyori, is a sophisticated space where the minimalist dark walls and copper counter allow the focus to be drawn to the simple display of daily offerings from the kitchen - five perfectly placed seasonal monaka.

Based on the concept of "good things in Japan," Mitomi - a wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) store in Osaka, lovingly creates their monaka (sweets consisting of wafers filled with sweet bean paste) according to the season. Using the freshest ingredients that change depending on what nature provides, their sweets have been perfected to be the ideal accompaniment for a selection of curated leaf teas, which they pour in store and sell to be enjoyed at home.

The exterior of Mitomi is a dark entryway highlighted with only a noren (store curtain) and no doors, imparting an openness that is typical of Osaka. The floor, walls, and ceiling all use black mortar, and the screens leading to the rear kitchen and register counter provide a counterpoint through their use of copper sheeting. Copper was chosen as a nod to traditional tea ceremony, with its use in tea utensils being commonplace, but also for its ageing process - acquiring depth over time, embodying the hope that this sheet will soon settle into place, along with the store in the surrounding neighbourhood.

In traditional tea ceremony, tea utensils were chosen so that no one item stood out from the rest, allowing the tea itself to shine through. Here, the furniture, which is predominantly antique, carved from Japanese horse chestnut adding a warmth to the dark walls, has also been chosen with this in mind. Each item does not draw the eye within the small space, but defers to the monaka sitting on the counter, allowing their beauty to be the focus of attention. The deliberately low ceiling mimics that of a traditional tea house, though the modern design embodies the owner’s desire for people of all ages and walks of life to enjoy their delicacies in a refined yet approachable space, which is seen in the lines of neighbourhood children who gather when the store opens, holding in their hands a few coins to swap for Mitomi’s tasty treats.

Mitomi proffers traditional tea moments adapted to our modern way of life -less formal than tea ceremony, but nonetheless refined. The attention to detail is obvious in every aspect of the store and in both the appearance and taste of their tiny works of culinary art.

Image courtesy of Mitomi
Image courtesy of Mitomi
Image courtesy of Mitomi
Image courtesy of Mitomi
Staff Writer