5 Famous Japanese Green Tea Shops with History in Kyoto

Do you know Japan’s 3 best green tea leaves? Actually, their tea production areas are “Uji (宇治)”, “Shizuoka (静岡)”, and “Sayama (狭山)”.

Among these, Uji is the name of a city in Kyoto, and its specialty “Uji-Cha (宇治茶: Uji Tea)” refers to green tea leaves that are harvested in Kyoto, Nara, Shiga, and Mie Prefectures and finished in Kyoto with methods originating from Kyoto’s Uji area.

It is said that the origin of Uji-Cha dates back to about 800 years ago, and with centuries of history, unique tea culture has developed in the historic city Kyoto, where today there are many green tea shops with a long history.

Out of those shops in Kyoto, today I will introduce 5 especially famous Japanese green tea shops, in which high-grade green tea leaves recommended as souvenirs and gifts, such as “Matcha (抹茶)” and “Gyokuro (玉露)”, can be bought.

Ippodo Chaho (一保堂茶舗)

Ippodo ChahoImage: Wikipedia

Ippodo Chaho is a long-established green tea shop founded in 1717 in the city of Kyoto. Since the name of this shop was granted by a member of the Imperial Family “Yamashinanomiya-Ke (山階宮家)” in 1846, Ippodo Chaho is considered one of the most prestigious tea shops in Japan.

Shop Information: Ippodo Chaho (一保堂茶舗)

  • Address: 52 Tokiwagi-Cho, Nakagyo-Ku Ward, Kyoto (MAP)
  • Open through the week: 9:00 am to 18:00 pm

Ryuouen Chaho (柳桜園茶舗)

Ryuouen ChahoImage: kyoto.graphic.co.jp

Ryuouen Chaho is a tea shop opened in 1875 and is especially renowned for its Matcha green tea leaves. In fact, their Matcha leaves have been favored by famous schools of tea ceremony, such as “San-Senke (三千家)”, since its foundation. Another recommendation of this tea shop is the roasted green tea featuring its deep taste and outstandingly fragrant aroma called “Karigane Hojicha (かりがねほうじ茶)”.

Shop Information: Ryuouen Chaho (柳桜園茶舗)

  • Address: 690 Nishiiruchoujiya-Cho, Nijo-Dori-Gokomachi, Nakagyo-Ku Ward, Kyoto (MAP)
  • Open: 9:00 am to 18:00 pm
  • Closed: Sundays

Takemura Gyokusuien Honpo (竹村玉翠園本舗)

Takemura Gyokusuien HompoImage: leafkyoto.net

Takemura Gyokusuien Honpo is a green tea shop that has been in business since 1914 and is renowned for its Uji-Cha leaves. Especially, the tea shop is particular about the Uji tea leaves harvested in Kyoto. In addition to green tea leaves, Takemura Gyokusuien Honpo is also popular for their sweets, like “Ujikin Ice Monaka (宇治金アイスモナカ)” and Matcha soft-serve ice cream, which have been occasionally featured by the media.

Shop Information: Takemura Gyokusuien Honpo (竹村玉翠園本舗)

  • Address: 13 Shogoinsanno-Cho, Sakyo-Ku Ward, Kyoto (MAP)
  • Open: 9:00 am to 19:00 pm
  • Closed: Sundays

Marukyu Koyamaen (丸久小山園)

Marukyu KoyamaenImage: getnews.jp

Founded about 300 years ago in the Uji region of Kyoto, Marukyu Koyamaen is especially renowned for its Uji-Cha leaves. In fact, the green tea leaves have been honored with famous awards many times in the National Tea Fair, and the flavor and quality of the tea are highly regarded.

Shop Information: Marukyu Koyamaen (丸久小山園)

  • Address: Nishigawa, Nishinotouin-Dori, Oike-Sagaru, Nakagyo-Ku Ward, Kyoto (MAP)
  • Open: 9:30 am to 18:00 pm
  • Closed: Wednesdays

Kanbayashi Shunsho Honten (上林春松本店)

Kanbayashi Shunsho HontenImage: ayataka.jp

Kanbayashi Shunsho Honten, located in the city of Uji, is a very famous green tea shop with about 450 years of history. It is said that the old tea shop had many connections with famous historical characters. In modern times, the shop is carrying various products ranging from luxurious green tea leaves to inexpensive ones.

Shop Information: Kanbayashi Shunsho Honten (上林春松本店)

  • Address: 38 Ujimyoraku, Uji, Kyoto Pref. (MAP)
  • Open: 9:00 am to 18:00 pm


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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