In 2018, the Kyoto-based Japanese tea specialty store, YUGEN opened its doors with the concept of “Bringing Traditional Japan Closer.” The store quickly gained attention as a casual teahouse where one could indulge in authentic matcha in a relaxed setting.
Fast forward to January 2022, YUGEN underwent a relocation from its former spot in Kyoto’s bustling Kawaramachi district to a new location near the serene Kyoto Imperial Palace, captivating tea enthusiasts once again with its grand reopening and revitalized atmosphere.
The spotlight shines on YUGEN’s new four-story establishment, which underwent a complete renovation, resulting in an ambiance that exudes refined uniqueness. The ground floor unveils a space where visitors can fully immerse themselves in the universe of Japanese tea that YUGEN meticulously crafts.
Single-origin sencha with a unique flavor
Founder and owner, Tadayuki Sudo, emphasizes, “Our goal is to provide a platform for individuals to explore the profound depths of the tea experience.” And true to his vision, YUGEN presents an impressive array of tea selections, inviting patrons to uncover the intricate layers of Japanese tea culture. The menu boasts an assortment of teas, with a primary focus on varieties sourced from Kyoto.
Noteworthy is the collection of single-origin sencha, a highlight that showcases tea leaves cultivated in specific farms, each with its distinct characteristics.
Kaiseki-style sweet for tea
At YUGEN, tea is thoughtfully complemented with sweets. The crafting of these delectable treats is overseen by a team well-versed in the art, having honed their skills at renowned kaiseki restaurants and traditional confectioneries. Infusing elements reminiscent of the meticulous kaiseki cuisine, the team has curated a range of signature sweets that harmoniously enhance the delicate flavors of Japanese tea.
The ground floor of YUGEN not only hosts tea sessions but also features a retail corner offering a curated selection of teas, including sencha, matcha, and an assortment of tea-related accessories.
Stylish space combining tradition and modernity
Venturing up to the second floor, tea enthusiasts are welcomed into an elegantly appointed tea room. This space serves as the backdrop for a variety of events, from authentic tea ceremonies to immersive workshops like kintsugi, where the art of golden joinery is explored.
On the third floor, an artful gallery space beckons visitors with the motto, “Infusing Beauty into Everyday Life.” Showcasing an array of exquisite pieces from talented artists and craftsmen hailing from diverse corners of Japan, the gallery embodies the spirit of YUGEN in its dedication to celebrating both heritage and innovation.
Tadayuki Sudo shares his aspirations, stating, “YUGEN aspires to be the catalyst that introduces people to the wonders of Japanese tea.” For those eager to experience the allure of YUGEN—a haven that seamlessly weaves tradition and evolution—it’s an invitation to step inside, explore, and encounter the essence of Japan’s rich tea culture.
Address: 146 Kameya-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Opening hours: 11am-6pm
Open seven days a week