9 Best Places to Buy Tea in Tokyo
by Samantha Cubbison | TRAVEL
Are you a tea fiend on the prowl for some Tokyo tea shops? Or are you a complete newbie looking to break a coffee habit and replace it with some world-renowned Japanese matcha tea? Either way, we’ve got a selection of the most authentic and creative blends, so you can get brewing. Most of these establishments carry more varieties than you can imagine, so with this list of the 9 best places to buy tea in Tokyo, and maybe a sample or two, you’ll be on your way to being a Japanese tea connoisseur in no time.
This Tokyo tea shop knows how to deliver, whether it’s a steaming bowl right to your lips or a tin of matcha to enjoy at home. The staff can assist you in finding your own personal flavor or the perfect teapot to complete your collection, and their menus are translated into English for your convenience. Their online store has an impressive range of tea and accessories in terms of both style and price. With an option for shopping outside of Japan, you can conveniently get your fix no matter where you may be.
Address: 1F Kokusai Bldg, 3-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo (see map)
Hours: 11am to 7pm, daily
Transport: 6 Minute walk from Hibiya Station
2. Uogashi Meicha
A quick hop from Ginza station is Uogashi Meicha, which provides both tasting and purchasing opportunities for tourists and locals alike. From matcha powder to whole-leaf ryokucha (green tea with roasted brown rice), you’re bound to find something you like. Tea talk can get confusing, but luckily there will be someone available to assist you in English. You can spend hours learning about all the different teas, or you can drink some on the cafe floor in content serenity. There is also a souvenir section with ceramics and Japanese tea goods to get the whole family sipping. Their online shop carries the same extensive menu, with prices ranging between ¥500 and ¥6,000 ($5-60).
Address: 5-5-6 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo (see map)
Hours: 11am to 7pm, daily
Transport: 2 Minute walk from Ginza Station
3. Fujie Sayo
This newly opened Tokyo tea house and restaurant allows you to try multiple samples of tea to accompany their refreshing speciality nori noodles. Their tea and food menus are in English, making it an easy place to navigate. The cafe is decorated with sleek wooden furniture and simplistic ceramics for you to enjoy a contemporary tea ceremony. All noodle sets come with tea and a Japanese sweet from Nihonbashi Nagato. The shop portion of Fujie Sayo contains beautifully packaged Yamamotoyama teas and some carefully curated teaware to complement their blends.
Address: 2-5-1 Nihonbashi, Chuo, Tokyo (see map)
Hours: 10am to 8pm, daily
Transport: 2 Minute walk from Nihombashi Station
Are you ready to do the Cha Cha for Chachanoma? If you love matcha (powdered green tea), then this is your cup. The matcha set is one of their most popular items, and includes a matcha-themed sweet with a hot whisked matcha. Their menu has English translations available, and most of the staff can speak English as well. While the food and tea items are traditional in presentation, the composition is heavily influenced by modern experimentation. After enjoying the tea of the day, a sweet set and the cozy atmosphere, you can pick up a bag of their house tea on the way out.
If you want to know more about Matcha, read these 10 Facts About Matcha You Didn’t Know!
Address: 5-13-14 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo (see map)
Hours: 11am to 7pm, daily
Transport: 9 Minute walk from Harajuku Station
5. Nakamura Tea Life Store
This place is great for those who are new to Japanese tea and don’t quite know how to get started. All the teas in the shop can be tasted to guarantee that you’ll love whatever you end up with. Nakamura Tea Life has all of their organic products imported from the Shizuoka Prefecture. Though this shop is small and quaint, they have all of the crowd-pleasers, like a rich-bodied sencha (whole leaf green tea) and fragrant hojicha (roasted green tea). There are English speakers available to help, and their entire lineup can be found with information in English on their website.
Address: 4-20-4 Kuramae, Taito, Tokyo (see map)
Hours: 12pm to 7pm, Tuesday through Sunday, closed Monday
Transport: 4 Minute walk from Kuramae Station
Ocharaka is a large, spacious establishment with plenty of high-quality tea options to choose from. They specialize in loose-leaf teas, with such flavorful blends like a roasted green tea complimented by pumpkin, sweet potato and chocolate, or a Japanese black tea with notes of caramel and spice. Their wares on average will cost you ¥1,000 ($9) for 40 grams, and they carry some reasonably priced gift sets for the tea-lover in your life. The interior is stylish, with brightly lit displays and glossy wooden benches to enjoy a steaming cup of tea or a small sweet treat after you browse.
Address: 2-2-1 Nihonbashi-Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (see map)
Hours: 10 am to 9 pm, daily
Transport: 3 Minute walk from Mitsukoshimae Station
7. Tokyo Saryo
Tokyo Saryo has taken the western hand-drip coffee brewing method and applied it to their tea serving process. With several glass coffee makers and a minimally designed dining area (composed of only a bar and a few stools), this trendy spot is perfect for those looking to stray from the ordinary. Each cup is blended perfectly to your liking, and their in-house menu has a visual guide as to how strong or mild the teas are, so it’s easy to find your perfect match. Tokyo Saryo also has some delicious and freshly sourced ochazuke (tea and rice porridge) worth trying, but it is highly recommended to make a reservation first. If you are taking your time with your meal, a sampler of refreshments and some small confectionary sweets can also be enjoyed for an extra ¥1,300 ($12)
Address: 1-34-15 Kamiuma, Setagaya, Tokyo (see map)
Hours: 11am to 8pm, daily
Transport: 7 Minute walk from Sangen-jaya Station
Shizu-Kokoro is a Japanese tea school, so get your pencils out and be prepared to take notes! (Just kidding.) The teachers here demonstrate the age-old Japanese tea ceremony and let you try your hand at it, too. Each lesson is unique, personal and taught at the pace of the learner. Tea ceremonies are very elaborate by design; there are important movement, technique and presentation rules to prepare and serve the tea, so it is helpful that the multiple steps are communicated in English. The ceremony comes complete with matcha and small wagashi (traditional Japanese confections) treats, as per custom. The class costs ¥4,000 ($36) per person, and is the perfect way for you and your group to become fluent in all things tea.
Address: 1-9-8 Nishi Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo (see map)
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 5:30pm. Closed Sunday and Monday
Transport: 10 Minute walk from Asakusa Station
With leaves stemming from Kakegawa, the tea at Maruyamanori is of the highest quality thanks to the harvesting conditions of the area. The Tsukiji branch offers a selection of pristine green tea along the walls of their bamboo ladened shop. If you’re looking for where to buy green tea in Tokyo, this is the answer, with its stock of five families of specialty green teas: matcha, hojicha, genmaicha (brown rice green tea), sencha and gyokuro (green tea grown under shade). Each tea has different notes and flavors, so despite all five being considered green tea, you can alternate between them for drastically different flavors. Employees are educated in all things green, and can assist you with your purchase in English. They have an English page on their website that includes the origin, taste and preparation method of each style, too. Their matcha is particularly well-priced; at only ¥700 ($6) for a tin, so what do you have to lose? If you’re in the Tsukiji area and jonesing for a caffeine fix, check it out!
Address: 4-7-5 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (see map)
Hours: 6:30am to 3pm, daily
Transport: 4 Minute walk from Tsukiji Station