Ryuoen Chaho is a Japanese tea specialty store situated near Kyoto City Hall. It was founded in 1875 and offers matcha that is officially recognized by the heads of the three major schools of the Japanese tea ceremony: Ura-senke, Omote-senke, and Mushanokoji-senke.
The raw material for matcha, known as tencha, is meticulously cultivated from Uji’s tea gardens to ensure the finest quality. The matcha is ground using a traditional stone mill at the back of the shop, and it’s sold using the same style of measuring and selling that has been maintained since the shop’s founding. It’s said that some customers even bring their own tea canisters to have matcha packed for them.
At Ryuoen Chaho, they offer a variety of tea ranging from matcha to everyday sencha and even gift-worthy gyokuro.
One particular recommendation is the kari-gane houjicha, made by roasting the stems of the tea plant. “Kaetsu 香悦” is a lightly roasted version of kari-gane houjicha, known for its elegant flavor and aroma. The packaging featuring bird-and-beast caricatures adds to its charm.
Ryuoen Chaho is a timeless shop that has gained trust for its sincere attitude toward tea and customers. It is a store that cannot be missed when looking for Japanese tea in Kyoto City.
Address: 690 Chojiya-cho, Nijo-dori Gokomachi Nishiiru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Opening hours: 9am-6pm
Closed on Sundays