Simple Guide on Tea in Kyoto

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)
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 is 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.

Address: Japan, 〒604-8057 Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, 錦小路上る梅屋町501 (map)
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)
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)
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)
Hours: Monday - Friday 10AM–5:30PM; Saturday, Sunday 10AM–6:00PM
Phone: +81774227800


Top five places to enjoy tea in Kyoto

1. Kouroan

Kouroan Kouroan, 山北浩司

Kouroan honcha is a Japanese tea store next to Daitokuji. 
Roan out of Kouroan means good tea. In order to make the best tea, the owner has its own farm and committed to using pesticide-free tea leaves. Not only green tea but also they are producing high-quality sencha, a kind of Ryokucha. Kouroan honcha also provides experience such as grinding tea and tea ceremony. 

Address: 17-1 Murasakino Daitokujicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, 603-8231, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday, Thursday - Sunday 9AM–5PM; Tuesday, Wednesday closed
Phone: +81754940677


2. Ippodo Tea Room Kaboku

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

Ippodo, one of the oldest tea shops in Kyoto, is not only selling tea but they have a tearoom to enjoy different kinds of tea. In order to let many more people know good tea, they also lecture customers on how to make good tea from a teapot. Around 300 years ago, Watanabe Ribei, who was from Omi in Shiga prefecture opened a store selling tea, tea tools as well as pottery. Their reputation rapidly spread by word of mouth and finally, a relative of the emperor acknowledged its quality and ordered them to only dedicated to selling tea products.
Ippodo Tea Room Kaboku

Address: 51, Tokiwagicho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-0915, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday - Sunday 9AM–6PM
Phone: +81752114018


3. Gion Tsujiri Gion Main Store

Gion Tsujiri Gion Main Store Gion Tsujiri Gion Main Store, もっち

You can always see a long queue in Gion Tsujiri, a famous shop dedicated to only Uji tea. Eat-in and take away is available for a variety of matcha products, such as green tea, ice cream, and so on.
In 1860, Tsujiri Uemon started a tea store in Uji. The third owner, Miyoshi Tokuzaburo expanded his business into Taiwan. Uji tea and U-ron tea were very famous among Taiwanese people. After retreating from Taiwan due to WWⅡ, The fourth owner, Miyoshi Masao opened a store in Gion. Gion attracts a lot of people as they have Yasaka Shrine. His wife thought that Gion is a great location for selling tea products to those visiting the shrine. After the fifth owner opened Charyo Tsujiri, it became popular among Maiko or Geiko san. Nowadays, it was loved by people both inside and outside of Japan.
Gion Tsujiri Gion Main Store

Address: 573-3 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0074, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday - Friday 11AM–5PM; Saturday, Sunday 10:30AM–6PM
Phone: +81755612257


4. Nakamura Tokichi Main Store 

Nakamura Tokichi Uji Main Store Nakamura Tōkichi Head Shop, 中村藤吉 宇治本店

Nakamura Tokichi is one of the most famous green tea product companies in Kyoto. Their main store located on the way to Byo-do-in is always crowded with tourists. Not only you can try green tea sweets, but also you can enjoy a light lunch. Additionally, you can buy a lot of green tea sweet products which are right next to the cafe.
Nakamura Tokichi Uji Main Store

Address: Japan, 〒611-0021 Kyoto, Uji, Ichiban−10 (map)
Hours: Monday - Friday 10AM–5:30PM; Saturday, Sunday 10AM–6:00PM
Phone: +81774227800


5. Ito Kyuemon Main Store

Ito Kyuemon Main Store Ito Kyuemon Main Store, きのこ

Ito Kyuemon is one of the oldest and well known green tea sellers in Uji. The history goes back to the Edo era, which is about more than 400 years ago. Since then, they have been committed to producing high-quality tea. Not only standard sweets using matcha, but also they have unique products such as matcha sake, matcha curry, etc. They opened the first foreign branch in Taiwan and their tea has been enjoyed by Taiwanese people. 
Ito Kyuemon Main Store

Address: 579番地1F Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8216, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday - Friday 1–5:30PM; Saturday, Sunday 10:30AM–5:30PM
Phone: +81774227800


Top seven places to enjoy matcha in temples in Kyoto

1. Sanzenin Ohara Area

Originally a Buddhist monk, Saicho built Sanzenin at Hieizan Toudo in Shiga prefecture. During the Meiji era, it was moved to Ohara, Sakyo ward in Kyoto. There are two beautiful gardens inside of the temple.
You can enjoy looking at an impressive garden while having delicious green tea and sweets. In fall, you can observe the contrast between moss green carpet and autumn leaves.
Sanzenin Ohara Area

Address: 540 Ohararaikoincho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 601-1242, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday - Sunday 9AM–5PM
Phone: +81757442531


2. Hosenin Ohara Area

Hosen-in Temple Hosen-in Temple, Hidamari 0308

Hosenin is located a bit away from Sanzenin, famous for what is called ”picture frame garden”. You can enjoy a breathtaking view from inside of the building. Inside the temple, there is a newly built garden called “Hourakuen”. Rakuen means paradise in English. They are expressing the world of Shinto and Buddhism using nature such as stones, flowers, and sands. There are also 700 years old’s a pine tree in the garden, recognized as a natural monument of Kyoto city.
Hosenin Ohara Area

Address: 187 Oharashorinincho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 601-1241, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday - Sunday 9AM–5PM
Phone: +81757442409


3. Shorenin Monzeki Higashiyama Area

Shōren-in Monzeki Shōren-in Monzeki, 五十嵐賢一

When Saicho, known as the founder of Tendai religion, a sector of Buddhism, built a temple, he made several houses for monks. Shorenin was one of them. During the Heian era which is about more than 800 years ago, the emperor Toba embraced the religion. Shorenin was officially recognized as Monzekigiin. Monzekigiin is a temple where a chief priest is a relative of the Imperial family. That is why it is regarded as a prestigious temple. In contrast with its historical background, once you enter the temple, you can see the contemporary colorful drawing in fusuma, a Japanese sliding door. In both spring and fall, you can enjoy walking in an illuminated garden, which is also worth visiting. 
Shorenin Monzeki Higashiyama Area

Address: 69-1 Awadaguchi Sanjobocho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0035, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday - Sunday 9AM–4:30PM
Phone: +81755612345


4. Nanzenji Higashiyama Area

Nanzen-ji Temple Nanzen-ji Temple, David Sun

Around 710 years ago,  Mukanfumon built this temple. Nanzenji is known as one of the zen temples. Furthermore, it is known as the first Chokuganji in Japan. Chokuganji is a temple built with the hope of protection of a country as well as the prosperity of the imperial family. Indeed, during the time, Genkou, located in current Mongolia, attempted to invade Japan. However, it is said that the emperor at the time can overcome the difficulty by praying for God and accumulating good deeds at the temple.
Sanmon, the entrance gate is called Tenkaryumon. The view seen from the second floor of the Sanmon is impressive enough to appear in one of the famous works of Kabuki, a Japanese play. It is also registered as a national important cultural property.
Nanzenji Higashiyama Area

Address: Japan, 〒606-8435 Kyoto, Sakyo Ward, Nanzenji Fukuchicho, 86 (map)
Hours: Monday - Sunday 8:45AM–5PM
Phone: +81757710365


5. Myoshinji Taizoin Kinkakuji Area

Taizō-in Taizō-in, Hiroto Okada

Around 600 years ago, Muinsouinzenshi built Myoshinji Taizo-in. At the time, Shogunete, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu oppressed the temple as the doctrine of the religion was different from those of what the government-supported. As Muinsouinzenshi had accumulated carma, he was asked to become a chef monk Daitokuji. Nevertheless, he stuck to his belief and never allowed himself to get along with a person in a position of authority for his entire life. 
One of the best parts of this temple would be ”Motonobu's garden". As the name suggests, the garden was created by a famous artist in the Muromachi era, Kanou Motonobu.
This is one of the most extinguished Karesansui gardens. Karesansui garden is the one depicting the wave using sand and stone. ”Motonobu's garden is recognized as "Special Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site.
Myoshinji Taizoin Kinkakuji Area

Address: Japan, 〒616-8035 Kyoto, Ukyo Ward, Hanazonomyoshinjicho, 35 (map)
Hours: Monday - Sunday 9AM–5PM
Phone: +81754632855


6. Torinin Kinkakuji Area

Kinkaku-ji Kinkaku-ji, 濱本徳也

In 1531, famous Samurai, Hosokawa Ujitsuna built this temple for his father. Tourin-in is famous for having Sal trees, which originated in India. Sal tree is one of the three sacred flowers in Buddhism. It is believed that the Buddha reached enlightenment and died between twin sal trees. This tree also appears in a Heike clan. It is a story representing the uncertainty of life.
Torinin Kinkakuji Area

Address: 1 Kinkakujicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, 603-8361, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday - Sunday 9AM–5PM
Phone: +81754610013


7. Jizoin Kinkakuji Area

Jizo-in Temple Jizo-in Temple, Nana W

In 1367, Hosokawa Yoriyuki invited Sukyo Zenshi as a chief priest and built the temple.  This temple is called the bamboo temple in order words as the temple is covered by bamboo forests. The garden is called “jurokurakan no niwa”. Juroku means sixteen in Japanese. Rakan is a shortened word of  Arahan, arhat in Sanskri. It means the person who reached enlightenment. Therefore, jurokurakan indicates 16 superior apprentices of Buddha.
Jizoin Kinkakuji Area

Address: 23 Yamadakitanocho, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, 615-8285, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday - Sunday 9AM–4:30PM
Phone: +81753813417