Best shops for Japanese Black Tea in Japan

In recent years, domestically produced black tea (Japanese black tea), also known as “wakocha,” has been gaining significant attention in Japan. Black tea production is taking place across various regions in Japan, from Kyushu to Kansai, Shizuoka, and Kanto.
Specialty stores and cafes dedicated to Japanese black tea have been increasing nationwide. Tokyo and other regions throughout Japan now offer the opportunity to savor high-quality black tea.
In this article, we will introduce ten specialty stores and tea shops dedicated to Japanese black tea that have caught the attention of Japan’s tea enthusiasts. Each of these shops curates a diverse selection of black teas, carefully chosen from different regions across Japan, showcasing their unique characteristics.

1. Tea Room Yoshiki Handa

Tea Room Yoshiki Handa is a specialty store for domestically produced black tea (Japanese black tea) located in a tranquil residential area in Machiya, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo. The owner, Takanori Handa, previously worked at the French tea specialty store Mariage Frères before starting his own shop in July 2021.

Mr. Handa utilizes his extensive knowledge and experience in various black teas, acquired during his time at Mariage Frères, to introduce the charm of domestically produced black tea. The menu features five distinctive types of black tea that Mr. Handa discovered during his travels to different black tea-producing regions in Japan.

In addition to these selections, the tearoom also offers blends based on domestically produced black tea, such as Earl Grey, pan-fired tea, and roasted tea, allowing visitors to experience the depth and diversity of Japanese tea culture. While Tea Room Yoshiki Handa primarily focuses on single-origin teas from individual farms, Mr. Handa also offers his own original blends by combining several varieties of tea leaves.

The tearoom also sells around ten original sweets crafted by an in-house patissier. The showcase displays tarts, cakes, choux cream, and other seasonally inspired desserts, all made using fresh and seasonal fruits.

Details
Address: 3-6-1 Machiya, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-6770-3166
Opening hours:  11:30am-7pm
Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 
View Website

2. Sarutoriibara kissa-shistsu

Sarutoriibara kissashistsu is a specialty store for domestically produced black tea located in Koenji, Tokyo. They offer a wide selection of high-quality black teas from various regions in Japan, including Okinawa, Kumamoto, Nara, Aichi, Ibaraki, and more.

At this tearoom, they exclusively serve black teas made from pesticide-free and naturally cultivated tea leaves. They source around 30 different types of black tea from 12 producers. The teas are prepared in teapots, allowing visitors to savor each cup at their own pace without any rush. To add to the experience, they use precious antique teacups produced in Japan during the late Meiji to early Showa period.

The tearoom also offers delicious cakes like organic carrot cake and various seasonal treats that change regularly. They also have a meal menu that focuses on pesticide-free domestically produced ingredients, including dishes like okowa (Japanese sticky rice) and medicinal herb soups.
Visitors can purchase the Japanese black tea featured on the menu at the store. The tea is available in small packages containing 5 to 6 grams of tea leaves, which allows customers to buy several varieties and enjoy tasting them at home.

The interior of the shop is adorned with a distinctive green wall, creating an impressive atmosphere. Surrounded by a peaceful and serene ambiance, it is a perfect space to sit back, relax, and immerse oneself in the world of tea.

Details
Address: 2F 3-46-2 Koenji-Minami, Suginami-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-6383-2826
Opening hours: 12am-8pm
Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 
View Website

3. SANKODO

SANKODO is a tea cafe located just a 2-minute walk from Oizumi Gakuen Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line. Their theme is “Bringing the Everyday Joy of Japanese Black Tea to You,” and they offer a variety of Japanese black tea to their customers.

Their selection of Japanese black tea is carefully curated from various regions, including Shizuoka, Miyazaki, Kumamoto, Saga, and Kagoshima in Kyushu. They offer a wide range of menu options, including straight tea, milk tea, and Earl Grey, to cater to different preferences.
A must-try with their Japanese black tea is their homemade scones. They use fragrant Haru yo Koi, a wheat variety from Hokkaido, and bake them fresh every morning in the shop. 

Additionally, their Fruit Tea with Japanese Black Tea is highly recommended. It features a refreshing iced tea based on Japanese black tea of the Yamanami variety from Miyazaki, perfectly balanced with the sweetness and acidity of fruits.

The interior of the cafe has a calming atmosphere, with a gray-based color scheme. They offer spacious counter seats and table seating, providing a comfortable setting for enjoying tea time. You can also purchase the tea leaves on their menu at the shop. If you find a particular Japanese black tea that catches your interest, be sure to enjoy it at home as well.

Details
Address: Sanko Sangyo Building No.6, 1-37-2 Higashioizumi, Nerima-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-6904-5977
Opening hours:  10:30am-6pm
Closed on Mondays and Every other Tuesday 
View Website

4. Ringoya

Ringoya is a specialized tea cafe located in Nezu, Tokyo, where the atmosphere of the Showa era still lingers. It has become a beloved place known for offering a variety of black teas from different regions across Japan. Visitors to Ringoya can enjoy around 50 different types of domestically produced black tea. 

The shop owner, Ms. Nakahara, who has experienced numerous types of black tea, carefully selects and arranges a wide array of Japanese black tea. Among them, you can find rare black tea from unusual production areas such as Nagano, Ehime, Tottori, and Okinawa. Currently, they have almost all the prefecture’s black tea available, with only a few exceptions like Hokkaido and Tohoku.

Inside the shop, you’ll find a delightful display of teacups that Ms. Nakahara has collected from various places. The collection includes European antiques as well as precious Noritake and Wedgwood pieces, making it a joy to observe. Customers can choose their favorite teacup from this collection to enjoy their black tea.

Ms. Nakahara warmly welcomes those who are new to black tea and are unfamiliar with it. If you have any questions about black tea, he will kindly provide guidance and explanations. Additionally, the cafe regularly hosts events where visitors can enjoy tasting different domestically produced black teas and participate in tea-tasting workshops.

Details
Address: 2-22-7, Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-5685-2456
Opening hours:  1pm-7pm
Closed on Thursdays and Fridays 
View Website

5. Aozuruchaho

Aozuruchaho is a specialized tea and teapot shop located near Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street in Yanaka, Tokyo. The shop is run by Florent Weugue, a Frenchman who became the first French-certified Japanese tea instructor.

The shop’s main feature is its focus on offering teas from single-origin, single-farm, and single-variety, referred to as single-origin tea. They have a rich selection of tea types, mainly centered around Japanese black tea and sencha. Their lineup includes pan-fired tea (Kamairi-cha), gyokuro, and various other teas from a wide range of regions, such as Saitama’s Sayama and Kyoto’s Uji, as well as mountainous areas in Shizuoka and various prefectures in Kyushu.

They carefully select tea with distinct characteristics, offering over 30 different varieties. You’ll find Japanese black tea, varieties like Izumi, Benifuuki, Benihikari, and many others in their black tea collection. The tea is available not only in 100g packages but also in smaller 40g packages, making it easy for those who are new to tea to make purchases with confidence.

Aozuruchaho is renowned for its extensive selection of teapots, among the best in Tokyo. They offer a wide variety of teapots, primarily from Aichi’s Tokoname-yaki and Mie’s Banko-yaki, made by different artists. The shop’s commitment to offering high-quality teas and teapots from various regions makes it a delightful destination for tea enthusiasts seeking unique and authentic Japanese tea experiences.

Details
Address: 3-14-6 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-5842-1315
Opening hours: 11am-5:30pm 
Closed on Wednesday 
View Website

6. Shinkoju

Shinkoju is a Japanese tea specialty shop located in Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture. To get there, you can take the Seibu Ikebukuro Line from Ikebukuro Station and arrive at Kotodai-Koen Station in about 30 minutes.

Opened in 2017, Shinkoju is a specialty shop that primarily focuses on offering tea varieties. The owner, Fumiki Kawaguchi, is an expert in tea varieties. He personally visits tea-producing regions all over Japan to carefully select tea directly from the producers for sale. Out of the estimated 120 or more tea varieties in Japan, the shop showcases around 60 to 70 varieties.

The shop’s selection includes a wide range of distinctive tea, with a focus on sencha, Japanese black tea, and pan-fired tea (kamairi-cha). They also offer their products in small quantity packages (3 to 20 grams of tea leaves). One interesting feature of the shop is that you can select any three tea you like from their plentiful lineup and purchase them for 1,000 yen. 

They also recommend a tasting set of three Japanese black tea varieties, Benifuuki, Minamisayaka, and Sayamamidori, which allows you to compare and enjoy their different flavors. Additionally, they sell a unique and fragrant Hojicha (Roasted tea) known as  Japanese black tea hojicha.
Shinkoju provides a wonderful opportunity for tea enthusiasts to explore and appreciate the diverse world of Japanese tea varieties.

Details
Address: 4-1-18 Kotesashi-machi, Tokorozawa-shi, Saitama
Phone: 04-2001-6465
Opening hours: 11am-6pm 
Closed on Wednesdays and Third Sunday of the month, National Holidays
View Website

7. Tea factory Joshun-en

Tea factory Joshun-en is an experiential tea cafe with an attached black tea factory located in Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture. The establishment opened its doors in 2020 after renovating a charming 90-year-old building.

Joshun-en has its tea plantation in Odawara and cultivates tea without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. They handle the entire tea-making process in-house and offer domestically produced black tea under the brand name Koyurugi Black Tea. The founder, Tomoya Ogura, has traveled to various tea-producing regions worldwide, including India and Sri Lanka, to gain experience and knowledge in tea production.

At Tea factory Joshun-en, they apply the expertise and insights acquired from these journeys to their tea-making process. Within the cafe, you can enjoy the carefully crafted Koyurugi Black Tea and other tea varieties offered by Mr. Ogura.

The cafe serves South Indian spice curry dishes alongside the teas. They offer several types of curry, such as Odawara Fish Curry and Bean Curry, complementing the tea-drinking experience. In addition to the cafe offerings, they sell tea leaves and tea bags of black tea and green tea at the shop.
Tea factory Joshun-en presents a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of domestically produced black tea while savoring delicious curry dishes in a cozy and historic setting.

Details
Address: 636 Itabashi, Odawara-shi, Kanagawa
Phone: 0465-20-4361
Opening hours: 11:30am-5pm 
Closed on Sundays and Mondays
View Website

8. Nigakunai Kocha

Nigakunai Kocha is a Japanese black tea specialty shop located in Shizuoka City. It is situated on the first floor of the department store PARCHE, which is directly connected to JR Shizuoka Station. The shop is operated by the young tea farmers’ group Green Eight, who are engaged in tea cultivation in the tea-producing area called Ryogouchi within Shizuoka City.

They sell Shizuoka-produced black tea meticulously crafted by Green Eight. Their lineup mainly consists of nine varieties of black tea with different cultivars and manufacturing methods. They offer a diverse range of products, catering to various tastes, including fruity, refreshing, and smoky flavors. Some of the items include black tea specially for cold brewing and black tea made from leaves aged for over two years.

A great feature of the shop is that they offer both loose-leaf and tea bag options for all their varieties. One of the popular choices among customers is black tea ”Sweet” which is the variety of Tsuyuhikari. The tea is known for its rich sweetness and gentle flavor. They also offer trial packs with two tea bags for customers to sample.

In addition to Japanese black tea, various drinks are available for takeaway. Their Japanese Black Tea Soft Serve Ice Cream” is also highly recommended, made using Japanese black tea as a key ingredient. Nigakunai Kocha provides a wonderful opportunity to savor a wide range of high-quality Japanese black teas produced by the dedicated tea farmers of Green Eight in Shizuoka.

Details
Address: JR Shizuoka Station Building Parche 1F Shokusaikan, 49 Kurogane-cho, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City
Opening hours: 9:30am-8pm 
Open seven days a week
View Website  

9. 7T+(Seven Tea Plus)

7T+ is a tea leaf retail store located in the Kawaramachi area of Kyoto. They offer a diverse selection of over 80 varieties of tea, with a focus on Japanese tea and Chinese tea.

The owner, Kenji Nakano, is a professional tea appraiser with certified credentials in Chinese tea. He has been involved in purchasing Chinese tea for 18 years. Additionally, he holds qualifications as a Japanese tea instructor and has been actively engaged in the Japanese tea industry.
Mr. Nakano personally visits tea-producing regions to curate a lineup of teas that he finds captivating. He classifies the teas into seven categories based on their production methods and unique characteristics, including green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea, and more.

Their selection of Japanese tea comes from various regions, including Kyoto, Shiga, Saga, Kumamoto, and Sayama, among others. They also offer a wide range of high-quality Japanese black tea. The shop provides Japanese oolong tea (domestically produced oolong style tea), kamairi-cha(pan-fired tea), among other varieties.
In the Chinese tea section, they offer fragrant and high-quality teas, including oolong tea, black tea, white tea, and Pu-erh tea. It is a recommended destination for those interested in exploring Chinese tea.

At the store, Mr.Nakano listens to customers’ preferences and recommends teas accordingly, making the tea selection process easy and comfortable even for those with limited knowledge about tea. 7T+ provides a wonderful opportunity to experience and appreciate a wide range of high-quality teas from both Japan and China in the vibrant city of Kyoto.

Details
Address: 73-1 Shioyacho, Ayakoji-dori, Tominokoji-higashiiru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City 
Phone: 075-708-7199
Opening hours: 11am-7pm
Closed on Thursdays
View Website 

10. Kigokoro

Kigokoro is a Japanese black tea specialty shop located in Minami Ward, Fukuoka City. The store is conveniently situated about an 8-minute walk from Takamiya Station on the Nishitetsu Tenjin Omuta Line.

They specialize in offering high-quality Japanese black tea. They carefully select tea from various regions, including Yame, a renowned tea-producing area in Fukuoka, as well as Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Saga in Kyushu, and Shizuoka. On display at the store, you can find about 40 distinctive teas with different flavors and aromas.

Their signature product is the popular black tea called Takamiya, which has maintained its popularity since the store’s opening in 2014. It is an original blend crafted to achieve a balance of aroma and sweetness using tea leaves from Yame, Fukuoka, and Kagoshima. Kigokoro also offers a variety of other teas, such as fruit teas with dried fruits like strawberries and mandarins infused in black tea, and flavored teas blending lemongrass and cherry blossoms, each enhancing the original flavors of the tea leaves and the added ingredients.

One appealing feature of the store is the opportunity to sample teas before purchasing. The staff serves the trial teas in teapots, allowing customers to savor the flavors thoughtfully.
If you can’t visit the physical store, you can also purchase their black teas through Kigokoro online shop. Be sure to check it out for a delightful tea-buying experience.

Details
Address:18-6 Tamagawa-cho, Minami-ku, Fukuoka city, Fukuoka
Phone: 092-555-8020
Opening hours: 10am-6pm 
Closed on Sundays
View Website

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