This evening, I had to stop at three different department stores one after another to do some shopping. When I finished all these shopping, I felt quite exhausted. Honestly speaking, I don't feel like making a rush to the parking. Do I have to hurry back home? Then I heard some one whispering in my ear, "Gee, you look so awful with those bags. Why don't you take a rest? After all you will be tied up with a lot of housework right after you get home. Just ten-minute break won't hurt you. While listening to this voice, I've already looked around and found one nice coffee shop across the aisle., well, strictly speaking, a traditional Japanese pastry house called "Akafuku". I rushed to the shop and dashed to the table, then I was stopped by the clerk. "Get the meal ticket first, please." "Oh, the ticket." They make it a rule to have the customers pay in advance. Gee, she didn!t have a mercy on me to have a seat and get free from these bags. Eventually I had to put these bags on the floor to pay. " Two pieces of Akafuku on the plate with tea please."
They serve several tiny mochi named "Akafuku" (soft rice cake wrapped with smoothly pasted sweetened beans) on the plate with Japanese tea or green tea as shown in the picture. They have served them ever since 300 years before at the shop in Ise, Mie prefecture primarily for Ise Shrine visitors who walked all the way from different areas throughout the country on those days. Here people used to take a rest and feel happy about the safe arrival to Ise Shrine and after visiting the shrine, they used to drop by at the shop again to feel refreshed with some "Akafuku-mochi" before starting a long journey way back home on foot.
Well, time went by. Nowadays this "Akafuku" are loved especially by many women and visitors from other parts of Japan at the shops in many department stores. Apart from the story of visiting Ise Shrine, when I get exhausted from walking in the department stores and feel like to have a coffee break, dropping by at "Akafuku" is undoubtedly the right way to take a rest and get my enegy full again to play my role of housewife or whatever.
So I went home with a feeling of happiness. Happiness is having something sweet, maybe.