Matsuzuen Chaho is a specialty store for Sayama tea located in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture. Situated near the bustling Kawagoe Ichiban-gai Shopping Street, the shop boasts a charming atmosphere with its traditional Kura-style building, attracting many tourists.
Sayama tea speciality store with 150 years of history
Established in the 3rd year of the Meiji era (1872), Matsuzuen chaho has a rich history of 150 years. The shop is currently run by the 5th generation owner, Ms. Kimiko Matsuzu, and her granddaughter, Ms. Yuria Matsumoto, who is set to become the 6th generation owner.
Yuria Matsumoto, the 6th generation owner, was previously working as a nursery school teacher in Tokyo. However, in the spring of 2022, she decided to resign from her job and take over the family business, determined to preserve Matsuzuen Chaho with its long-standing history and traditions. Stepping into the role of a tea merchant, she embarked on a new journey.
Selling Sayama tea with the individuality of the producer
At Matsuzuen chaho, they primarily sell Sayama tea produced in Saitama, including tea from Kawagoe City, Iruma City, and Sayama City. They offer a selection of high-quality teas sourced from trusted producers such as Miyano-en, Onobun-seichajo, Ozawa-seicha, and Chitose-en.
Their signature product is the original blended Sayama tea called “Kawagoeji.” This tea combines sencha with stem tea and undergoes a strong roasting process known as “Sayama hiire(Roast）,” resulting in a unique aroma and richness.
For half a century, Ms. Kimiko Matsuzu, the 5th generation owner, carefully preserved her exclusive blend for “Kawagoeji,” which Yuria Matsumoto has now inherited and continues to perfect with utmost dedication.
Additionally, they sell “Kawagoecha,” a sencha blended with tea leaves grown in tea plantations within Kawagoe City.
At the tea stand within the shop, they offer daily recommendations for tea for customers to enjoy on the spot. When visiting Kawagoe as a tourist, you can easily drop by and savor Sayama tea at your leisure.
In addition to tea, the shop also offers a wide variety of teapots and tea utensils. They also have an array of cakes, cookies, and furikake (rice seasoning) made using Sayama tea.
Revitalizing Kawagoe City with tea
As a born and raised local in Kawagoe, Yuria Matsumoto, the 6th generation owner, has a deep affection for her hometown. She operates the shop with a strong connection to the local community, collaborating with wagashi (Japanese confectionery) shops, greengrocers, and restaurants. These collaborations give rise to original menus and products featuring tea. This proactive approach to cross-industry collaborations using tea helps invigorate the town.
For instance, in collaboration with “PIZZERIA ROCCO,” a local pizza shop, they developed tea that pairs well with pizza, contributing to the town’s revitalization by creating new opportunities.
In 2023, Yuria Matsumoto obtained the qualification of a Japanese tea instructor. In 2022, she participated in the En-cha Championship, a contest for tea preparation, demonstrating her enthusiastic efforts as a tea preparer and educator. She continuously promotes the allure of Japanese tea and Sayama tea in various ways.
Address: 10-3 Renjaku-cho, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
Opening hours: 10am-5pm
Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday