More than a well-loved companion to rice! Pickled plums are the star of this stand-up umeboshi restaurant (TOKYO Solamachi 4F)
Many Japanese consider umeboshi (pickled plum) as a staple companion to rice. If you’ve ever eaten one, recalling its sourness might be enough to make your mouth pucker. However, umeboshi flavors range from sour to sweet, and there are a multitude of different kinds.
In TOKYO Solamachi at the base of TOKYO SKYTREE℠ is “TACHIGUI UMEBOSHI YA,” a “stand-up umeboshi restaurant” that pursues the perfect pairings of umeboshi and tea. The restaurant originated as an elusive pop-up event occasionally held throughout the country, but it opened in 2020 as an actual store inside TOKYO Solamachi.
I am Nanami. I used to be a tour conductor for overseas tours. With my experience of more than 40 visits abroad, I am going to introduce interesting and exciting aspects of Japan to non-Japanese. I love outdoor activities. Recently, I am indulging in “solo activities,” where people enjoy time alone.
Umeboshi are known for their sour and salty taste. But this umeboshi restaurant offers 16 types of umeboshi, from the mildly sour Shirara to less commonly found kinds soaked in kimchi and olive oil.
*Some umeboshi may be out of stock, so please contact the store for details.
The minimum order asked of guests is a single umeboshi. A popular menu item is the “Umeboshi and Tea Set,” which pairs your preferred umeboshi with green tea. Behind the counter are 16 types of umeboshi in jars, showcasing familiarly colored plums to those more vivid. The menu lineup organizes the umeboshi with the sourest on the right, allowing you to choose according to your preference.
My personal favorite is the “smoked umeboshi.” It perfectly blends the sweetness of honey and the sourness of the plum. The smoky aroma fills your mouth with just one bite. It is also great with a drink.
For a light meal, I also recommend the ume chazuke (tea poured over rice and pickled plums). Of course, you can choose the umeboshi you would like as a topping for the dish. Contemplating your options, such as spicy peppers pickled umeboshi and kelp umeboshi, is all part of the fun.
Their taste testing set is also an excellent way to try out three umeboshi of your choice.
This time I had Sugita ume, smoked ume, and kimchi ume (pictured from right to left).
The TOKYO Solamachi store has also begun offering tea sake. The roasted sake is a comforting touch after savoring the sour umeboshi.
Once you’ve found your favorite umeboshi, you can buy them as souvenirs. They make excellent gifts or personal souvenirs for when you want to try the different flavors at home.
With the “Umeboshi Karuta” (Japanese card matching game), each umeboshi is placed inside an individual capsule. It’s a souvenir item created after customers wished to try just one of their preferred umeboshi. You can purchase as many or as few as you want!
The restaurant’s official Instagram site introduces each umeboshi’s characteristic in a chart. Visit their page to find one you’d like to try: https://www.instagram.com/tachiguiumeboshiya/
TACHIGUI UMEBOSHI YA
Address: TOKYO Solamachi 4F, 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Access: Oshiage Station/Direct access from Tokyo Skytree Station
Official Website: https://tachigui-ume.jp/
*The information herein is as of October 2021.