Horii Shichimeien is a well-established Japanese tea specialty store founded in 1879 located in Uji, Kyoto. They manage the entire process from tea cultivation to production and sales, offering a variety of high-quality Uji teas including matcha, gyokuro, and sencha.
During the Muromachi period, there were seven tea gardens designated as “Uji Shichimeien,” officially recognized by the third shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. Among these gardens, Horii Shichimeien owns the only surviving tea garden, “Oku no Yama Tea Garden,” which played a crucial role in the development of Uji tea. They continue to cultivate tea in this historic garden.
Their flagship product, the matcha “Narisatono,” took 20 years to develop from the tea leaves of this historic garden. It’s a premium matcha known for its rich aroma and smooth flavor. Additionally, their gyokuro “Oku no Yama” is also born from the “Oku no Yama Tea Garden.” It offers the characteristic rich fragrance and intense sweetness of gyokuro.
Horii Shichimeien had a significant influence on the history of tencha (raw material for matcha) production. The third generation, Chojiro, initiated the mechanization of tencha processing, which was previously done manually. In 1924, he devised the “Horii-style Tencha Manufacturing Machine.” This tencha processing machine greatly contributed to the improvement of tencha quality, laying the foundation for modern tencha production. It’s said that all tencha processing machines in Japan today follow the Horii-style.
The current sixth-generation owner, Chotaro Horii, passionately carries on the tradition of tea-making while preserving the historic tea garden. Horii Shichimeien is a place where you can experience the history and tradition of Uji tea. It’s a must-visit when exploring Uji’s tea culture.
Address: 84 Uji myoraku, Uji City, Kyoto
Opening hours: 8:30am-5:30pm
Open seven days a week