あおあお4号 特集「汽車が走る町」
aoao vol.4

駅前の月イチ朝茶会


「毎月15日の朝、穴吹駅前でお菓子とお茶がもらえるんだって」そんな噂を耳にし、徳島駅から始発に乗って、穴吹へ。コトコト汽車に揺られること約1時間。途中の駅から続々と乗ってきた高校生たちとともに穴吹駅の小さな駅舎を抜けると、白い法被を着た男性が「おはよう!お菓子食べていってよ」と、元気な声でお出迎え。駅前の広場には毛氈を敷いた椅子が並べられ、白いテントの前にはあっという間に行列ができた。「あじさい餅です。どうぞ」と手渡され、思わずにんまり受け取った。

穴吹駅前にある和菓子店「日乃出本店」が、この「朝茶会」をはじめたのは2010年9月から。以来、お盆を除いた毎月15日には一度も欠かすことなく、朝7時から1時間、駅を利用する高校生や近所の人たちに季節のお菓子とお茶をお接待している。

ENGLISH
Monthly morning tea service in front of a train station

“Some tea and sweets are served in the morning of the 15th of each month.” Hearing that information, I took the first train from Tokushima to go to Anabuki Train Station. It took about one hour. I got off the train and went out of the small station building with many high school students who had got on the train from each station. We all were welcomed by a man in a white happi coat, saying “Good morning! Please enjoy our sweets!” Benches covered with red felt carpets were nicely arranged in the station square. In front of a white tent, people had formed a line in an instant. “This is named Ajisai-mochi (hydrangea flower-shaped sweet). Please enjoy it!” I received the Japanese sweet, smilingly.

Hinode Head Store, a Japanese sweets store located in front of Anabuki Station, started this morning event in September 2010. Since then, they have never failed to hold the event on the 15th of each month, except August when Bon Festival is held in Japan, from 7 o’clock in the morning for one hour. Seasonal Japanese sweets have been provided to high school students who use the train station and people in the neighborhood


時代の流れとともにマイカーが普及し、吉野川の対岸に高速道路ができると、かつて交通の要所であった穴吹駅前も人通りが減った。「うちの店は穴吹の町や駅を利用する人たちによって育てられてきました。地域に育てていただいた和菓子店として、これからはもっとこちらから歩み寄っていくことが大事だなと感じました」と、駅前の朝茶会をはじめたきっかけを話してくれた西川弘祐さんは、この春4代目社長に就任したばかり。楽しそうに和菓子を頬張る高校生たちを眺めながら「最初は恥ずかしがって、なかなか立ち寄ってくれなかったんですよ」と4年前のことを懐かしく振り返る。

「穴吹駅前が楽しい思い出として記憶に残ってくれたらうれしい」と、西川さん。「ごちそうさま!」と学校へ向かう生徒たちを「いってらっしゃい!」と笑顔で見送っていた。

ENGLISH
As time passed, many people started to have their own cars and an express way was built on the other side of the Yoshino River. Since then, the number of people walking around Anabuki Station, which was once the center of transportation, has decreased. “Thanks to people who used Anabuki Station or came to the down town of Anabuki, our store has grown. As our store have been raised by such local people here, I now think that we have to make more efforts to build a closer relationship with them,” said Mr. Kousuke Nishikawa, who talked about how the tea service event started to us. He just assumed the presidency as the fourth generation of the store’s ownership this spring. “At first, students were so shy that they didn’t stop to drink some tea.” He looked back the first tea service event held four years ago with an air of nostalgia, watching high school students enjoying eating sweets.

“I am happy if they can have a good memory of this Anabuki Station square,” he added. The students then said to him, “Thank you for the tea and sweet. They were so delicious!” and headed for their school. He sent students away with a big smile, saying, “Have a nice day!”

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