Aside from being a huge city and the primary tourist destination in Japan, the city of Tokyo is also well known for its tea houses or tearooms as they are oftentimes referred to. The main focus of these facilities is the drinking of quality teas although their function will vary somewhat based on the different cultures in the city. In the Japanese culture, a tea house or tearoom may refer to a particular structure that has been designed and constructed to hold tea ceremonies.
The structure and more specifically the room in which the ceremony is conducted is called chashitsu. This architectural space is designed taking aesthetics and intellectual fulfillment into consideration. In Tokyo and throughout Japan, a tea house may also refer to a place where you can be entertained by a geisha. These tea houses are referred to as ochaya, the most notable of which is the Ichiriki Ochaya which is located in Kyoto, but Tokyo has some excellent ones to consider as well.
Although there are still some of the more traditional tea houses left in the city, the more modern coffee and tea shops have taken over the market and cater to a less traditional, younger crowd. The following are the more popular and recommended Tokyo tea shops:
Intro – classified as a Takadanobaba or jazz kissaten, the shop provides a relaxed atmosphere where you can listen to soft jazz while enjoying your tea. Intro is open daily between the hours of noon and midnight.
Hua Tai Cha So – one of the most popular shops in Tokyo, this establishment features a tea room and a retail tea shop where you can purchase tea brewing equipment as well as a wide assortment of different tea leaves. The shop is open from 10:30 a, until 8:00 pm every day of the week except Tuesdays when they close for the day.
Mariage Freres – this establishment features the largest assortment of teas with over 450 different varieties from all over the world. Additionally, the shop offers the tea aficionado a pleasant combination of atmosphere, elegance, and quality. Only the highest quality harvests are offered here. The shop is open every day from 10:30 am until 11:00 pm.
Fugetsudo – this is a great place to relax and watch the beautiful people of Tokyo strolling by. You can enjoy a big portion of kasutera and okawari ocha but make sure that you visit the wagashi counter before you leave. The shop is open from 11:30 am to 9:00 pm daily.
Mother Leaf – here you can experience aromatic brews of 5 different varieties of Sri Lankan teas in a peaceful, non-smoking environment. It is open daily from 11:30 am to 9:00 pm.
Hotels in Tokyo
Hotel Villa Fontaine UENO, Tokyo
The 3 star Hotel Villa Fontaine UENO is located in the Akihabara neighborhood, in the center of Tokyo.
Guest Rating: 8.8
Citadines Tokyo Shinjuku
This 3 star Hotel is located in the Shinjuku neighborhood, in the heart of Tokyo.
Guest Rating: 9
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