By Fabienne Hofer-Uji
From 1895 to 1945 Taiwan had been placed under Japanese colonial rule. In contrast to Japan’s second colony Korea (1911-1945), Japanese culture and language are very popular among Taiwanese from various generations. The reasons for these contrasting attitudes towards Japan numerous and complex, and evaluated differently by historians.
Nevertheless, three major historical periods can be discerned, which profoundly impacted the Taiwanese and Korean positions. First of all, attention has to be paid to the respective political and ethnical situation before the colonial period. Second, Japanese colonial policy in the two countries presented significant differences. Finally, the disparate political and social development during the post-war period were also very influential.
As for Taiwan, disappointed hopes in the Kuomintang, as well as political suppression of oppositions members by the nationalist government, known as “white terror”, led to a reevaluation of the colonial past, and thus, to a certain nostalgic perception.
Due to different situations before, during and after Japanese colonial rule, attitudes towards Japan in Taiwan and Korea are very contrasting.
Today, Japanese animes, mangas and electronic devices are very popular in Taiwan. Aside from Japan’s pop culture and technology, sweets – especially tasty treats with Matcha flavor – are also highly appreciated. In order to satisfy his client’s demanding tastes, the Japanese owner of Machikaka gets his Matcha green tea directly from the traditional cultivation area around Kyoto.
As the name of the café suggests, everything is set on Matcha. Machikaka offers literally anything in Matcha flavor ranging from waffles, ice cream, layer cake, cheesecake, 200% Matcha cheesecake (!), as well as the obligatory Matcha Latte. With their pronounced green tea taste and their fancy presentation, all these sweets are not only culinary seductions, but also real eye-candies.
At Machikaka you can not only enjoy a whole bunch of Matcha flavored treats, but also many other traditional Japanese confectionary, as atsuki-beans, shiratama (white glutinous rice balls), sesame latte, hôjicha latte, hôjicha ice cream, nutty brown sugar ice cream, and last but not least sakura cheesecake. This creamy cheesecake is delicately decorated with a tiny cherry blossom. As sakura is not available during winter, you have to try it, if you visit the café during February/March and mid-October.
I hope this article triggered your interest in Taiwan and Machikaka‘s Japanese treats.
Opening Hours: Tue – Sun, 11:30 – 21:30
Station: Nanjing Fuxing, Exit 3 (ca. 1 Minute)
Price: 320 – 380 NT ($$)
Literatur: Taiwan: A New History (A. Murray, East Gate Books)