This is one of Kyoto’s best tea stores. Its wide variety of teas come from Uji, south of Kyoto, Japan’s best tea-growing region. Ippo-do (originally named Omiya) was founded in 1715, and moved to its current location (Nijo-kita, Teramachi-dori, Nakagyo-ku, not far from Kyoto City Hall) in 1864.

Fluttering black curtains hide an old-fashioned interior. Antique tea jars with green and orange labels line the shelves. Attentive clerks offer tea samples and measure orders on ancient scales. Ippo-do sells more than 30 types of matcha; labels indicate names of tea masters who prefer each tea.

Matcha should be used within two weeks of purchase, but Ippo-do and other tea stores also sell longer-lasting teas in leaf form: gyokuro (sweet, fragrant, from the plant’s top leaves), sencha (mildly astringent, brewed with warm water, often served to guests in Japan), bancha (coarser leaves, most common variety) and hojicha (lightly roasted blend of bancha and sencha ). Available at Ippo-do in dozens of varieties, packaged in decorative canisters, these are ideal gifts.



This establishment has been producing fine teas for over 300 years. They have repeatedly won first prize at the Japanese National Tea Competition.


Gion Tsujiri

They started manufacturing and selling Uji green tea in 1860. They offer western style parfaits using matcha in a cafe as well as pure teas. 



The main building is on Shijo Street, the downtown area in Kyoto. They have a French Cuisine restaurant using matcha on the 3rd floor of the main building, and on the 2nd floor a light meal. You will be served a cold-water-brewed Kabusecha, a premium Japanese tea on the 2nd floor. 


Tea Ceremony Utensils

One of the most essential tools for enjoying matcha is the chasen, a whisk made of bamboo that helps you to separate any clumps of powder. Making a thick koicha, a paste like consistency enjoyed with the highest grades of matcha, becomes easier with a chasen. The whisk allows you to create the froth of thin usucha (what is most commonly promoted as a matcha drink).

Most chasen are actually made in China now, with only a handful of craftsmen in Japan making only very high quality chasen. The higher the prong number, the easier it is to make froth but anything written “80” and higher is not actually an exact number. Use a lower numbered chasen to show off your whisking skill.

The tea ceremony’s special utensils, including chawan (tea bowls), chasen (bamboo whisks), chaki (lacquered tea caddies), chashaku (tea scoops), kama (iron teakettles) and other items are beautiful objects, hand-crafted by artisans working with traditional techniques and materials.




This is the largest shop in Kyoto offering a wide arrangement of both tea ceremony and flower arranging utensils. There are no antiques.

MAP: http://www.kyoto-zuiun.com/english_map.html


Located near the Urasenke Center, has been selling tea utensils since 1847. Most items are collectible works of art. Prices for beautiful tea bowls start at about $35; museum-quality tea bowls sell for $10,000 and up. Lacquered tea containers cost $40 and up; a set of tiny wooden forks used for tea cakes costs $10.


Both tea and tea ceremony utensils are sold here. Matcha and sencha are sold by the gram (about 65 cents and up), and there is a fine assortment of moderately priced tea bowls, whisks and kettles.