Afternoon Tea with a View: Nippondaira Hotel in Shizuoka, Japan

Mount Fuji is the pinnacle of Japan. On the clearest of days, you’re lucky if you can spot it all the way from Tokyo. With its snowcapped tip and its perfect shape.. I’d say it’s truly picturesque.

Nippondaira Hotel in Shimizu offers an up close view of the majestic Mount Fuji. To appreciate it for an extended amount of time in a comfortable, seated position, I suggest taking advantage of the hotel’s afternoon tea set. I wish afternoon tea were more of a thing in the USA. It’s relaxing, it’s fun, and it involves both food AND tea! What could be better?

When I went to enjoy some afternoon tea, Nippondaira Hotel offered their seasonal Sakura Afternoon Tea Set. It cost $35 for the set, which two people share. The set came with three tiers of plates and a pot of tea. We chose hot tea, because you’re also able to get iced, and though it wasn’t a huge pot, it was really all we needed.

We were seated right in front of the huge windows. Unfortunately for me, Mount Fuji could not be seen the day I went because of the grey cloud looming overhead. Always always check the weather when you do weather dependent activities!

The bottom plate housed the light sandwiches, which were the perfect salty balance to the sweets above it. The sandwich variations were simple, but they worked. I personally enjoyed the tuna sandwich the most. The tomato, cucumber and cream cheese sandwich was refreshing and added a nice crunch. The meat (salami?) and cheese sandwich was the most tasty, and was a bit different from the sandwiches you’re most likely to run into in Japan.

These sandwiches were accompanied by a small bowl of tsukemono style pickled vegetables. I was a bit turned off by the thought of this, but they tasted so much better than I expected! I ended up finishing this off. It wasn’t as sour and bitter as it normally would be, and I’d eat it a lot more if it always had this flavor~

The middle plate definitely showcased the Sakura theme the most. The marzipan sakura clad tart was a magical creation. The dollop of cream melted in your mouth immediately, which softened and flavored the crunchy tart under it. The strawberry shortcake was that of typical Japanese fashion. Light, airy, and not too sweet. I didn’t find this cake more spectacular than any other strawberry shortcake I’ve had, but it was still good nonetheless.

I loved the scones because I don’t often get to have them, and I am a sucker for buttering them up. Sorry jam lovers, I very much prefer the butter over the jam. I still find it delicious though! The strawberries are a nice ending touch to this place because really, who can resist Japan grown strawberries? No one. The answer is no one.

The very top plate offered a strange mix of treats. Unfortunately I can’t report back on the fruit cake because I avoided it, unsure of whether there was any nut product in it (I have allergies!). The cookies were a nice balance because I was missing something crunchy in this set. Also, who doesn’t like cookies? I found the sakura panna cotta entirely lovely! Its flavor wasn’t too strong, only slightly cherry blossom hinted, but I could have indulged in way more of this. After the tart, this was my favorite part of the set. The pickled vegetables are actually a very close third place!

Honestly, I would do this again. It’s one of the most affordable afternoon teas I’ve seen, though not to say that I’m well traversed in the tea world. It was so relaxing yet fun! The food was delicious, and the company along with the beautiful view made it even better. Hopefully those of you who go get the full experience with the beautiful view of Mount Fuji in the distance. Until next time!

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