Kyoto’s tea ceremonies are truly a must-try and one of the best experiences you’ll ever have in your lifetime. After all, Kyoto is Japan’s cultural capital and home to a trio of primary tea ceremony schools. Whether you’re admiring the autumn foliage or the cherry blooms, the tea-drinking ritual in Japan’s ancient capital is a memorable and fascinating experience.

8 Outstanding English Kyoto Tea Ceremonies

Japanese tea ceremony, I am Corona

One of the most popular experiences to try in Kyoto is a tea ceremony experience. A rich blend of spirituality with culinary artistry it’s meditative, focused, and a centerpiece of the city’s culture. If you are in Kyoto, you can’t miss the opportunity to experience a tea ceremony. Here’s a guide to some highlights and an overview of what you need to know about Kyoto’s tea ceremony culture.

Want to experience this wondrous Japanese tradition in English? Then, check out these amazing locations for tea ceremonies in Kyoto, Japan.

 

1. Maikoya Kyoto Kimono Tea Ceremony

Maikoya Kyoto Kimono Tea Ceremony

Maikoya Kyoto Kimono Tea Ceremony

There’s absolutely no better place to experience an English tea ceremony in Kyoto than Maikoya. Rated as the top tea ceremony in Kyoto, guests of Maikoya will get to learn the ritual’s history and culture while wearing an authentic kimono. As their hosts, not only are they extremely friendly, but they speak fluent English a well.

To top it all off, they offer an array of cultural activities that can be paired with your Kyoto tea ceremony, such as, calligraphy and origami lessons, and even Gion walking tours. You can even have a tea ceremony with a real-life maiko (geisha apprentice) here. 

Maikoya Kyoto Kimono Tea ceremony

Address: 565-4 Nakanocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8042, Japan (map)

Website: mai-ko.com

Hours: Monday – Sunday 9AM–7PM

Phone: +81756065303

 

2. Tea Ceremony Koto

You’ll get to savor green tea leaves in Japan served with sweet wagashi at this Kyoto store. They follow the Urasenke style, which changes the future and based on the country’s season. Additionally, the owner speaks English fairly well and will make you feel at home. But, compared to other spots for Kyoto tea ceremonies, it’s a little pricey.

Tea ceremony Koto

Address: Japan, 〒603-8377 Kyoto, Kita Ward, Kinugasanishi Goshonouchicho, 37 (map)

Website: teaceremony-kyoto.com

Hours: Monday – Sunday 10AM–5:30PM

Phone: +819096245164

 

3. Camellia Flower

Camellia is located perfectly near Ninenzaka, which is a renowned district for most visitors of the Kiyomizudera Temple. The area’s traditional streets exude an old Japanese feel, but it may be a little difficult to spot the place because it’s located on the street’s dead end. As their guest, they will let you create your own tea. Camellia also offers the option to join the Kyoto tea ceremonies while wearing a kimono at a different location.

Camellia Flower

Address: 349-12 Masuyacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0826, Japan (map)

Website: tea-kyoto.com

Hours: Monday – Sunday 10AM–6PM

Phone: +81755253238

 

4. Tea Ceremony Juan

The lead host, Masumi-san, has been, for over 3 years, conducting Kyoto tea ceremonies. The Tea ceremony explanations have been done properly oftentimes by just the host or sometimes with a translator. Booking a Tea ceremony here is somewhat difficult since you need to use a Paypal account or reach out to them via phone. There are discounts for those traveling in Kyoto with kids.

Tea ceremony Juan

Address: 556, Gojo-sagaru, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8119, Japan (map)

Website: teaceremonyjuan.co

Hours: Monday – Friday 11AM–6PM; Saturday – Sunday closed

Phone: +819011384480

 

5. En Tea Ceremony

Located less than 10 minutes from the Yasaka Shrine, this brown house offers Kyoto tea ceremonies every day. En Tea Ceremony has a pretty convenient location and their pricing is reasonable and okay. On the low side, it doesn’t provide a ton of explanations of the traditions of the Kyoto tea ceremonies.

En Tea Ceremony

Address: 272 Matsubaracho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0063, Japan (map)

Website: teaceremonyen.com

Hours: Monday – Sunday 10AM–7PM

Phone: 08037822706

 

6. Ran Hotei

Ran Hotei is a decent tea ceremony spot that practices the more laid-back ryurei style, which uses chairs and tables instead of sitting on the floor. In addition, it has a full-on café with bagels, homemade curry, coffee and teas. It’s not a bag place, especially if you’re looking for something a little more than a wagashi sweet and a cup of matcha.

Ran Hotei

Address: 64 Kamikawaracho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8374, Japan (map)

Website: ranhotei.com

Hours: Monday – Wednesday 11:30AM–8PM; Thursday closed; Friday 11:30AM–11PM; Saturday – Sunday 11AM–8PM

Phone: +81758010790

 

7. Taiho-an

Conveniently located across Byodoi-in temple, Taihon-an is a decent little teahouse managed by the Uji City Government. It offers a match as well as other traditional Japanese sweets. You may experience their tea ceremony, but you’ll have to book at least 3 days in advance.

Taiho-an

Address: Togawa-2 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021, Japan (map)

Website: kyoto-matcha-maiko.com

Hours: Monday – Sunday 10AM–4PM

Phone: +81774233334

 

8. Ichiriki Chaya

Ichiriki-tei

Ichiriki-tei, nanda koreha

Ichiriki Chaya is one of the most famous and historic ochaya, or tea houses, in Kyoto. It’s positioned on the doorstep of Hanami Koji Lane in Gion, and is where Kyoto’s geisha entertain their guests. 

The teahouse was established over three centuries ago, and is most famous because the leader of the 47 Ronin (Japan’s most famous samurai tale), Oishi Kuranosuke, spent several nights here. It was also featured in Arthur Golden’s book Memoirs of a Geisha. Do be aware though this is an exclusive and high-end establishment that is invitation only. 

Ichiriki Chaya

Address: 4 Chome-42-14 Senzoku, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0031, Japan (map)

Website: y-ichiriki.com

Hours: Monday – Sunday 9AM–12AM

Phone: +8133875880

 

Tea Ceremony at Temples

Did you know that in addition to proper formal tea ceremonies, many temples offer simple, stripped-down tea ceremonies in which they will serve you a Japanese-style sweet with a bowl of matcha? 

These temple ceremonies will usually be served looking over a picturesque garden, and the typical price for such an experience is a bargain 500 yen. Two highlight destinations in Kyoto include Nanzen-ji Temple and Shoren-in Temple.

 

Where to buy tea in Kyoto

If you have the craving to take what you learned during your tea ceremony experience back home then here are some places to pick up all the tools and matcha you need to become a tea ceremony master.

 

1. Ippodo Tea Kyoto Main Store

Ippodo Tea Kyoto Main Store

Ippodo Tea Kyoto Main Store, 一保堂茶舗 京都本店

This is a store that has been in the business since the year 1717 and is much loved throughout Japan. It has a connection to a huge variety and supply of tea leaves. Guests are welcome to taste the different teas to pick out which one they want to take home. 

Ippodo Tea Kyoto

Address: 52番地 Tokiwagicho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-0915, Japan (map)

Website: ippodo-tea.co.jp

Hours: Monday – Sunday 10AM–5PM

Phone: +81752114018

 

2. Yamadashiya

Yamadashiya

Yamadashiya, RyanA Lin

Located at the lively Nishiki Food Market, which is known as the Kitchen of Kyoto, this a Japanese tea specialty store that sells fresh, fragrant tea leaves by the gram. 

Their most popular-selling product would include the freshly roasted bancha (green tea put over a strong fire), which attracts customers thanks to its delicious aroma. Be sure to spend a little time exploring the offerings as the variety they have here (and its quality) is sublime.

Yamadashiya

Address: Japan, 〒604-8057 Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, 錦小路上る梅屋町501 (map)

Website: yamadasi.free.makeshop.jp

Hours: Monday – Tuesday 10AM–6PM; Wednesday – Thursday closed; Friday – Sunday 10AM–6PM

Phone: +81752235272

 

3. Fukujuen Kyoto Main Branch

Fukujuen Kyoto Main Store

Fukujuen Kyoto Main Store, 福寿園 京都本店

In business since 1790, Fukujuen is a popular store with a lot to offer. As well as an excellent tea to purchase, here they also launched an event where you may experience how to brew delicious matcha under the supervision of an instructor. Also, if you reserve ahead of time, you may be able to secure an English speaking instructor.

This store offers original matcha green tea that you may find only here, which if you show your passport, you may purchase tax-free.

Fukujuen Kyoto Main Branch

Address: Japan, 〒600-8005 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, 富小路角 (map)

Website: fukujuen-kyotohonten.com

Hours: Monday – Tuesday 11AM–6PM; Wednesday closed; Thursday – Sunday 11AM–6PM

Phone: +81752212920

 

4. Kanbayashi Shunsho Main Store

Kanbayashi Shunsho Main Store is a branch with a history of 450 years! It handles and sells blends of specially-selected tea leaves from all over the country, with Kyoto-made ones as the focus. It’s traditional Kyoto tea culture at its finest.

Kanbayashi Shunsho Main Store

Address: Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8555, Japan (map)

Website: shunsho.co.jp

Hours: Monday – Sunday 10AM–8PM

Phone: +81753526547

 

5.  Nakamura Tokichi Uji Main Store

Nakamura Tokichi Uji Main Store

Nakamura Tōkichi Head Shop, 中村藤吉 宇治本店

The first owner of Nakamurafujiyoshi’s father, Rokubei was born as a son of a sheet and metal maker. However, he was adopted and became a thatcher. After he moved to Uji, he met a famous tea master, Hoshino Shouji. After Hoshino died, Rokubei took over his position. Finally, the second son of Rokubei became a tea manufacturer and started his own business as Nakamura Fujiyoshi. Located near Uji station, they renovated a factory and created a cafe where people can enjoy their original sweets. 

Nakamura Tokichi Uji Main Store

Address: Japan, 〒611-0021 Kyoto, Uji, Ichiban−10 (map)

Website: tokichi.jp

Hours: Monday – Friday 10AM–5:30PM; Saturday, Sunday 10AM–6:00PM

Phone: +81774227800

 

I recommend  Kimono Tea Ceremony MAIKOYA. It is the best tea ceremony according to Tripadvisor and Google reviews.

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