The 7 Top Places for Matcha in Tokyo: The Real Japanese Flavor

by Akane - Japan Local Guide

Matcha is a popular flavor enjoyed by the Japanese people. The word “Matcha” actually has two meanings. One is a powdered form of steamed green tea leaves. This is what is used to flavor things like ice cream or sweets, and even salt, which by the way is delicious if sprinkled on “tempura.” The other meaning is a thick and mildly bitter tea made by frothing the matcha powder with hot water. This “matcha” tea is only provided in places like tea houses and at tea ceremonies, so there are a lot of local Japanese people who’ve never tried it, especially the younger generation. It’s something they might try during sightseeing just like the foreign tourists visiting Japan. 


The 7 Top Places for Matcha in Tokyo: The Real Japanese Flavor

Top 7 Places to Drink Matcha in Tokyo

There are many places in Tokyo where you can try Matcha tea. They might not perform tea ceremonies, but they do provide a cup of authentic Matcha tea with a Japanese sweet to go along with it. And you can experience this under 1,000 yen. Below are 7 beautiful places in Tokyo where you can try Matcha tea.

 

Rikugien Garden

Rikugien Garden was built around the year 1700. It is a Japanese garden with a pond in the middle and a walkway that goes around it. The garden is said to represent 88 scenes from famous Japanese poems. It’s especially beautiful during autumn when the leaves change colors. The tea house’s name is Fukiage Chaya, and their matcha tea set cost around 600 yen.

 

Address: 6-16-3 Honkomagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0021 (map)

Access: a 10 minute walk from Komagome Station on the JR Yamanote line or the Namboku subway line

Hours: 9 am to 5 pm (last entry 4:30 pm) *Open until 9 pm during the autumn leaves and cherry blossoms illumination event.

Closed: From Dec. 29 to Jan. 1

Entrance fee: 300 yen

 

Hamarikyu Garden

Hamarikyu Garden is sandwiched between Tokyo bay on one side and the skyscrapers of the Shiodome area on the other. It’s located in a very convenient place, so you can easily stop by whilst sightseeing in the city. There’s also a riverboat departing from the dock in the garden that will take you up the river to Asakusa, another famous sightseeing spot. It was originally built as a feudal lord’s residence and a place for duck hunting in the early 17th century so you’ll find some duck hunting blinds on the grounds. Later, it was changed into a traditional Japanese garden and imperial villa, before being granted to the prefecture of Tokyo as a park. It’s a unique park with a pond connected to the bay, so the water level changes with the tide. The “Nakanoshima Chaya” is located in the middle of the pond. And the matcha tea set is around 700 yen.

 

Address: 1-1 Hamarikyu Teien, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0046 (map)

Access: A 7 minute walk from Shiodome Station on the Yurikamome Monorail, or a 12 minute walk from JR Shimbashi Station

Hours: 9 am to 5 pm (last entry 4:30 pm) 

Closed: From Dec. 29 to Jan. 1

Entrance fee: 300 yen

 

Former Iwasaki House Garden 

This is a residence built in the Meiji era by Josiah Condor, a British architect invited to Japan in 1877. The design of the building mixes western and Japanese styles, and is one of the few remaining buildings designed by this architect. It was once the estate for the family which established the now world famous company Mitsubishi. Now it is one third its original size and there is a western style building, a Japanese style building, and a billiard hall. Inside one of the large rooms in the Japanese style building, there is a tea room where you can enjoy matcha tea and other sweets. The matcha tea set is around 500 yen.

 

Address: 1-3-45 Ikenohata, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0008 (map)

Access: A 3 minute walk from Yushima station on the Chiyoda Line

Hours: 9 am to 5 pm (last entry 4:30 pm) 

Closed: From Dec. 29 to Jan. 1 

Entrance fee: 400 yen.

 

Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen Park is an oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle of Shinjuku. It’s a large park especially famous as a place to see the cherry blossoms in the spring, but it’s also a place the people of the metropolis can take a breath and relax amidst the greenery. In this spacious park, there are lawns, a greenhouse, and even a traditional Japanese garden. Within the group of plum trees stands a wooden tea house. There you can enjoy the matcha tea set for about 700 yen.

 

Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0014 (map)

Access: A 8 minute walk from Shinjuku Sanchome station on the Fukutoshin, Marunouchi, Shinjuku subway lines, or a 15 minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station.

Hours: 9 am to 4:30 pm during winter and 7 pm during summer (Tea house hours: 10 am to 5 pm)

Closed: Every Monday (if Monday is a holiday then the following day) and from Dec. 29 to Jan. 1  

Entrance fee: 500 yen

 

Former Furukawa House Garden 

This beautiful western style building built in the Taisho Era has both a western style garden and a traditional Japanese garden. The house was built by the British architect, Josiah Condor, who also designed the aforementioned Former Iwasaki House. The symmetrical western style garden on the slopes are covered with roses when they bloom. The Japanese garden is located on the lower part of the grounds. There’s a tea house where you can quietly enjoy a cup of matcha tea for about 500 yen. It’s quite beautiful, especially when the autumn leaves turn a bright auburn or golden color.

 

Address: 1-27-39 Nishigahara, Kita-ku, Tokyo 114-0024 (map)

Access: a 7 minute walk from Kami-Nakazato Station on the JR Keihin Tohoku line or Nishigahara Station on the Namboku Subway line

Hours:  Hours: 9 am to 5 pm (last entry 4:30 pm)  (Tea house hours: 11 am to 4 pm) 

Closed: From Dec. 29 to Jan. 1

Entrance fee: 150 yen

 

Yamamoto-tei 

This was the former residence of the president of a local company. It was built in the late Taisho to early Showa period which is about 100 years ago. It is a traditional Japanese house of that time, incorporating some western styles into the architecture. The garden of this house was ranked 3rd in the country in 2016 by “Sukiya Living,” an American journal featuring traditional Japanese gardens. Enjoy a cup of matcha tea (600 yen) while enjoying the view of the garden and imagine yourself back in the early Showa era.

 

Address: 7-19-13 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo 125-0052 (map)

Access: a 8 minute walk from Shibamata station on the Keisei Dentetsu Kanamachi line 

Hours: 9 am to 5 pm (open during New Year holidays)

Closed: every 3rd Tuesday of the month (if Tuesday is a holiday, then the following day) and from the 3rd Tuesday to Thursday of December

Entrance fee: 100 yen

 

Showa-no-ie 

This traditional Japanese house with a western style annex is now a photograph studio and cafe. You can enjoy looking at the finer details of the architecture of the early Showa period. You’ll find that it’s not exactly 100% Japanese nor western. It’s an intricate mix of both. The cafe provides a view of the garden from every seat. It’s a relaxing way to enjoy a cup of matcha tea. 

 

Address: 2-5-10 Nishi-Hokima, Adachi-ku, Tokyo 121-0128 (map)

Access: a 15 minute walk from Takenotsuka Station (east exit) on the Tobu Skytree line 

Hours: Tuesday to Friday 11:30 am to 6 pm (last order before 5:30 pm)

Closed: Saturday, Sunday, Monday and other random days

 

Shops where you can buy Matcha Powder in Tokyo 

 

The 7 Top Places for Matcha in Tokyo: The Real Japanese Flavor

 

Below are some shops selling some of the best matcha powder in Japan. You can also buy green tea leaves while you’re at it. It’s a great gift for yourself since you can bring it home and enjoy matcha tea back home in your own country, though the taste may differ back home according to the difference in water used to make the tea. All of the shops below are in very convenient areas of Tokyo so you can easily stop buy whilst sightseeing.

 

Ito Ryuoen 

  • Nihonbashi Takashimaya Department Store (2-4-1 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-8265) 10:30 am to 7:30 pm 
  • Shinjuku Takashimaya (5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-8580) 10am to 8 pm

 

Ippodo 

  • Kokusai Bldg. 1F, Marunouchi Nakadori, 3-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 460-0002 (11am to 7 pm)

 

Tsujiri 

  • SIX B2, 6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061 (10:30am to 8:30 pm)

 

Matcha Flavored Snacks

 

The 7 Top Places for Matcha in Tokyo: The Real Japanese Flavor

 

There are many types of matcha flavored snacks in Japan. The following are only a small example of these snacks. They make great souvenirs to pass out to friends and family back home. and some can be bought at discount stores like “Don Quijote” or your regular supermarket. Other types are sold in gift shops at large stations, like Tokyo Station or the food floor of department stores. You can also try to look in convenience stores for matcha flavored snacks. Some of the snacks below are only sold during a limited time of year, so you won’t be able to buy it all year long. But you’re sure to find some kind of snack somewhere that is matcha flavored because matcha is a favorite among the Japanese people. The names of the matcha flavored sweets and snacks below are only a mere fraction of the types of matcha snacks made in Japan.

 

  • KitKat 
  • Tirol Choco Matcha Mochi
  • Meiji Meltykiss Green Tea
  • Pocky Matcha
  • Kitte Chococo Kaoru Matcha
  • Tokyo Banana Matcha Cake

 
The 7 Top Places for Matcha in Tokyo: The Real Japanese Flavor

 

If you’re thinking of going to try authentic matcha tea or go find some matcha snacks in Tokyo, you should try one of our customizable tours. TripleLights provides a service of matching customers with the best tour and guide for them. The guides create their own tours  so all of the tours are unique and many of them have a general itinerary but can be customized by request. You can communicate directly with the guide to convey your requests or ask questions, for example which tea house can be incorporated into the tour, before actually booking a tour.

 

Also, if you don’t find the perfect tour on the list of tours, you can get request a tour by listing what you’d like to see or eat or so on, for example going to one or more of the tea houses above, or going to a discount store to buy matcha flavored snacks. All of the guides will be able to see requests like this and the ones that are available on the date you’d like a tour will suggest a tour itinerary, customized just for you. Compare what several guides suggest and see which one looks to be the best tour for you. This way you can create your own customized tour for however long you’d like.

 

Most of the tours are walking tours, created so that you can use the public transportation system while sightseeing and experience getting around the city by the massive train system. It’s also an experience that will give you insight on how the local people move around during their daily lives. However, there is also the option of hiring a private car. This is an option that people with disabilities or elderly people who aren’t able to walk for several hours find to be helpful. Catching a taxi during your tour is also fine, but if you want to have a car for the whole day, hiring one is more convenient than trying to find a taxi every time you move to another spot.

 

You can also look at the guides’ profile videos to see what kind of person they are and see the reviews they got from other customers. This is an important step in choosing a tour which you usually aren’t offered at other tour agencies. You usually find out what the guide looks or sounds like on the day of the tour. But having an idea of what your guide will be like beforehand will prepare you for your tour and ensure that you have a great day with them. Choose the perfect guide and enjoy a tour in Tokyo while trying a cup of authentic matcha tea and some matcha snacks.

 

Recommended Blogs:

Where are the best Japanese Tea Ceremony in Tokyo to Try and Experience

Japanese Tea: Where to Buy and Drink it

Japanese Tea Ceremony in Tokyo - How to find a real traditional experience

7 days in Tokyo - What to do, where to go, itinerary ideas and more

How Long Should You Spend in Tokyo?

 

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