Yotsuiro Biyori

Yotsuiro Biyori

Our story takes place in Japanese Style Tea House “Rokuhoudou” which is quite popular due to the great efforts of Sui (shop manager in charge of tea), Gre (in charge of Latte Art), Tsubaki (in charge of desserts) and Tokitaka (in charge of the food). Not only do the excel in hospitality for their customers, but they also help out with their worries from time to time. A series of endearing stories that take place in this heartful restaurant. Who will be their customers today?

Rokuhoudou is a tea house just out of the way of all the hustle and bustle, surrounded by bamboo and other trees that you could almost miss it. Customers are lured in by its quaintness and the friendly staff and are pleasantly surprise to find the food and drink to be completely out of this world.

Sui is the shop manager, having inherited Rokuhoudou from his grandfather after he retired, and between the four of them they are learning to adapt and expand their business, whether this is learning to adapt and expand their business, whether this is learning to negotiate with difficult new tea suppliers or pushing themselves to succeed in new business landscapes and upgrading their skillsets.

Even though it seems like things are very busy, one of the things I enjoy most about Yotsuiro Biyori is the slow and leisurely pace. Customers come and go, enjoying the relaxed atmosphere, sipping a soothing tea and delighting at the creative dessert dreamt up by the pâtissier Tsubaki.

Due to the general laid-back feel of the tea house, it;s natural that the guys are a little hesitant about exploring new ventures that may be anything but, such as going to food exhibitions and coping with the demand, high-pressure and coverage involved in such an even (including Tsubaki getting over his insecurity of people watching him whilst he’s in the kitchen).

There’s also a feeling about Rokuhoudou that could be seen to some people as ‘cute boys doing bute things’, to an extent. It’s not moe drawings of girls, but there is something rather bishounen about them all – their traditional dress, their hair, the way they have close-ups when they smile… it’s positively dreamy at times, when you combine this with the delicious-looking food they offer to their customers.

There was an episode where Kinako, the tea house’s resident cat, stumbles upon a lost kitten. When Sui realises that there is a second cat, he positively melts (because this kitten has been drawn to be the cutest thing possible), and so the Rokuhoudou guys must try and find the owner by sharing flyers with all of their customers. In the meantime, the kitten and Kinako form a bond and everyone is obviously sad to see the kitten go when its owner is discovered. The whole episode is absolutely adorable and I was engrossed. Though there wasn’t a lot that happened here, it held my attention from beginning to end with its winning combination of good-looking men, animals and food. It’s like an anime trifecta for me.

Everything is soothing and beautifully drawn. Nothing seems to be rushed when it comes to Rokuhoudou. Even when everyone’s working hard in the kitchen and serving customers, things just seem to have a national flow to them. It’s a lot different to the stress and drama of Food Wars and has more of a Sweetness & Lightning feel to things. But despite the leisurely pace, the plot is still moving. We are seeing Rokuhoudou getting inventive with their menu, promoting themselves to a wider audience and engaging with their customers and making their visits so special that they have no choice but to make a return visit.

Yotsuiro Biyori may end up being one of my forerunners for this season already. It’s a visual feast in every sense of the word and I’m looking forward to what else it has in store, particularly when it comes to Sui’s mysterious brother…