Indulging on a tea ceremony in Tokyo with a kimono is an absolute must, especially for first time visitors. With its nostalgic atmosphere and fascinating traditions, a tea ceremony in Tokyo is like taking a step back to Japan’s ancient past from a futuristic era. Moreover, it gives you a deep and beautiful insight into the beguiling Japanese culture.
Wondering where to go in Tokyo for a good old tea ceremony? Well, guess what? We’ve rounded up some of best places for a meaningful and memorable tea ceremony in Tokyo, Japan.
They don’t call Maikoyo as the ultimate spot for a tea ceremony in Tokyo for nothing. Praised endlessly by Tripadvisor users, it is the only spot in the downtown area where you can watch a tea ceremony in Tokyo while wearing a kimono. Furthermore, Maikoya lets you create your own tea using a traditional Japanese tea whisk.
Not only is it the most famous house for a tea ceremony in Tokyo, but it’s also beloved throughout the country. In fact, it offers tea ceremony experiences in Kobe, Osaka ad Kyoto.
At Maikoya, guests have the option to don a traditional kimono with the help from the staff. Furthermore, it lets you learn the ritual’s history and culture, and actually create your own Japanese tea led and guided by the host. For those who can’t sit on the floor, the teahouse also allows guests to sit on the chair.
Location-wise, Maikoya is more convenient as compared to the other tea houses in Tokyo. After all, it’s less than 12 minutes away from the JR Shinjuku station and about three to four minutes from the Higashi Shinjuku station.
As for Maikoya’s staff, they are pretty fluent in English and are so friendly. They will greet you with enthusiasm, the moment you arrive at the entrance. And, they will make sure you’re extremely comfortable during the entire time.
If you opt to wear a kimono, the staff will thoroughly explain the kimono’s cultural aspects, like why it’s only one-sized and why it has sleeves.
One of the things that make Maikoya a standout is that guests can literally walk outside wearing the kimonos and snap tons of pictures after the tea ceremony in Tokyo. And, there are plenty of cool traditional photo backgrounds within the facility.
The tea house accepts private session requests, walk-ins and same day reservations. Guests without online reservations, however, may have to wait a bit.
- Location: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 2 Chome−19−15 ９F
- Contact number: +81 3-6273-8818
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: mai-ko.com
- Opening hours: 09:30 AM to 07:00 PM
- Rate: JPY 2,400 for regular and JPY 5,200 with a hairdo and kimono
2. Hisui Tokyo
For culture vultures, no trip to Japan’s dynamic capital is complete without a visit to Hisui Tokyo. Known as a cultural school, Hisui teaches a variety of Japanese crafts and martial arts to visitors and locals alike. In addition, the school has an online store for battojutsu. Of course, it also offers the timeless tea ceremony in Tokyo. Although a bit expensive, their tea ceremony experience is great. Price for a tea ceremony in Tokyo at Hisui is JPY 10,000.
- Location: 4 Chome-3-13 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
- Contact number: +81 3-3562-7575
- Website: en.hisui-tokyo.com
- Opening hours: 11:00 AM to 08:30 PM from Thursdays to Tuesdays (closed on Wednesdays)
- Rate: JPY 10,000
While it doesn’t technically offer tea ceremonies, it nonetheless is an excellent place to sample Japanese sweets and tea. Here, you’ll be given a bowl of tea as well as a piece of paper on how to make it. Set wondrously in Hamarikyu Gardens, Nakajima is essentially a café, meaning there’s no traditional tea room with tea ceremonies and alcove.
On the bright side, the gardens also serve fresh seasonal Japanese sweets and fresh matcha. We definitely recommend this place for travelers who want to sample Japanese cold or hot tea beverages after exploring a traditional tea house.
To make things even better, the gardens are a sight to bid, especially during the seasonal plum blossoms and cherry blossoms. And, did we mention that this spacious garden is historic and once was a property of a samurai lord?
- Location: Japan, 〒104-0046 Tokyo, 中央区Hamarikyuteien, １−1, 浜離宮恩賜庭園
- Contact number: +81 3-3541-0200a
- Opening hours: 09:00 AM to 04:30 PM daily
- Rate: JPY 300 to get inside the gardens and JPY 700 for a tea bowl without the ceremony
Hisui and Chazen are similar in a lot of ways. Both offer English tea ceremony in Tokyo at a quintessential tatami room, both are in Ginza, both venues are on the 5th floor and both are relatively expensive. The difference is that Chazen is managed by an experienced lady tea host while Hisuian is run by a gentleman who’s an expert in martial arts.
Chazen is situated next to the well-known Kabukiza kabuki theater, making the location even more interesting. If you’re in Ginza and looking to take a break from its restless energy, you definitely need a little tea ceremony in Tokyo at this venue.
- Location: Japan, 〒104-0061 Tokyo, Chuo City, 12, 銀座4丁目12-17銀座石川ビル5Ｆ 銀座（ginza） 駅 徒歩3分 東京 駅( tokyo station )
- Contact number: +81 3-6264-0690
- Opening hours: 10:00 AM to 07:00 PM daily
- Rate: JPY 3,500 (without kimono)
Shizu Kokoro is not far from Nadeshiko and is quite close to Asakusa. Unlike other venues on this list, Shizu Kokoro focuses solely on providing a tea ceremony in Tokyo. So, there’s no kimono or any other activities within the facility. The venue is managed by Mrs. Haneishi, a tea master who studied the art and runs a 90-minute tea ceremony class in Tokyo. As an added bonus, the facility has a gift shop where you can score some cool Japanese crafts.
- Location: 1 Chome-9-8 Nishiasakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0035, Japan
- Contact number: +81 3-5830-3449
- Website: shizukokoro.com
- Opening hours: 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM From Tuesdays to Saturdays (Closed on Sundays and Mondays)
- Rate: JPY 4,100 (no kimono)
No list of the best venues for tea tasting in Tokyo is complete without the inclusion of Happoen. Located near Sangakuji, this Tokyo spot offers tea tasting every day. There are tea ceremonies, obviously, but you need to book a minimum of two guests at least two months in advance. Even though this tea ceremony in Tokyo is available on weekdays only, the venue has a relaxing atmosphere and a gorgeous garden.
- Location: 1 Chome-1-1 Shirokanedai, Minato City, Tokyo 108-0071, Japan
- Contact number: +81 3-3443-3111
- Website: happo-en.com
- Opening hours: 10:00 AM to 08:30 PM from Mondays to Fridays. 09:00 AM to 08:30 PM on weekends
- Rate: JPY 8,640
Nadeshiko, in a traditional sense, refers to the elegant women of Japan. The venue is in Asakusa and near the celebrated oldest temple in the city, Sensoji temple, which draws more than three million visitors a year. Even though it’s on the ground floor, the venue looks a bit more like a kimono rental shop instead of a tea house. Actually, their tea ceremony in Tokyo is a bonus or an additional service they provide. The place, by the way, is just a 5-minute stroll from the Asakusa train station and is closed during winter.
- Location: Japan, 〒111-0032 Tokyo, Taito City, Asakusa, 2 Chome−7−24 2階 ぱんだカフェ茶の花
- Contact number: +81 3-3842-8756
- Opening hours: 12:00 to 04:00 PM on Mondays, 11:00 AM to 04:00 PM on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturday. Closed on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundaus
- Rate: JPY 2,700 and JPY 5,000 with kimono
What’s a Japanese tea ceremony?
It’s basically the traditional Japanese way of preparing and drinking fresh ground tea leaves, which normally happens in a specialized tearoom and has a few complex rules. The guest and host, for the most part, rarely talk throughout the session, meaning it’s practically meditative.
Are there available tea ceremonies in Japanese gardens?
There are a few Tokyo tea ceremony gardens available. But, most of them don’t host sessions for tea ceremony in Tokyo every day. Most of these tea ceremonies in Tokyo, are private sessions conducted in English. Not to mention, they usually first timers.
Shinjuku’s Maikoya has private ceremonies in tea gardens for honeymooners, team building events and group activities if you request it via email.
How long does it usually last?
A casual tea ceremony style mostly lasts about 45 minutes. A formal ceremony with some kaiseki meal can last for four hours.
What’s the main goal of a tea ceremony in Tokyo or other places in Japan?
It’s to create a bond between the guest and host as well as to have a peaceful mind amid the bustling daily lives.
How do I act when having a tea ceremony in Tokyo?
Remain silent, forget every materialistic thought you have, and don’t check your watch or phone. Drink around three to four sips of green tea and slurp on the final sip to show that it’s delicious and you’ve literally enjoyed it. And, don’t forget to heed the instructions from your host. While wearing a kimono is essential, travelers are excused. Additionally, you may sit on a tatami room chair if you’re unable to sit on your knees.
All in all, all tea rooms in Tokyo have its pros and cons. Each one of them offers a unique experience that will surely spice up your Tokyo travel itinerary. But, if you have to pick one, opt for Maikoya in Shinjuku. From its proficient English-speaking staff to its delicious fresh matcha, it has all the ingredients for a memorable tea ceremony in Tokyo, Japan.
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