On January 8th, we opened our first concept store at 1216 Walnut St, just a short fifteen minute walk away from our original shop on Callowhill, Philadelphia. Designed by our owner and founder Kaz, the Rikumo concept store is about four times as big as our old place but still manages to hold the peaceful serenity our first shop was originally known for. Every inch of our concept store was built by entirely by us: at one point or another over the course of six months, every single employee at Rikumo was given a paintbrush, a wrench, or a drill and went to work. Staying true to our values of craftsmanship, creativity and communication, we've worked hard to make our new store not just to shop but to relax and spend some quiet moments. In the first month we've been open, our favorite part is all the new people we get to meet every day, and the stories they share with us of their trips to Japan or their obsession with tea. Today we take you on a tour of our new home.
Our tea bar is hosted by our knowledgeable staff, who will show you how to brew green tea to perfection and answer any questions you may have. From roasted hojicha to a flavorful asatsuyu, our bar has five flavors on rotation to sample and enjoy. Every cup is completely complimentary, and you're welcome to ask for seconds.
Against to the loud city streets, the quiet of 1216 Walnut feels as much of a refuge for us working inside as it does for our visitors. Wooden benches line the sides of the entrance, with juniper bonsai perched on the side and little stones paving the floor. A makeshift pond lies to the left, with sticks of fresh Binchotan charcoal settling into its depths. Built for quiet moments and quick breaks, the garden offers a small refuge from the busy city streets. We especially love how the sound of running water adds to the quiet, peaceful atmosphere.
With books on artists like On Kawara and zines from our favorite graphic artists, we've filled our shelves with some of the most important influences that inspire our work. From architecture to furniture design, contemporary art, and Japanese-Philadelphia relations, there's something for everyone. So grab a cup of tea on the house and start reading- everyone's welcome to stay as long as they want.
Taking up almost 1/3rd of the back, the knowledge zone is our favorite part of the store. With a long table and plenty of chairs, it's a place to take a class, listen to a lecture, or just sit with a book from our library. We're kicking off events starting this month, hosting workshops with local artists, films, and so much more. Up first: a free tea and chocolate tasting to teach you how to pair the perfect green tea with the perfect chocolate on February 24th. For more information and to register, see our Store Events page.
It’s an exciting time for us at Rikumo, and we can’t wait to share more. Follow our journey on Instagram at @rikumo, and come see us at 1216 Walnut St, Philadelphia!