Tea and Japan go hand in hand - the beverage has a long history here, and there are plenty of ways to connect with tea culture across the country. If you're planning a visit to Tokyo and you're a bit of a tea aficionado, here are five ways you can enjoy tea in different ways without even having to leave the city limits.

A modern tea sampling experience: Tokyo Saryo

Tokyo Saryo is located in the Sangenjaya area of the city, and it brings some modern flair to the traditional tea house experience. The most popular option with their customers is the opportunity to compare and contrast two types of tea, which is priced at 1300 yen. You can choose from various tea brews across the country, which are both prepared at 70 degrees Celsius (for sweet and umami flavors), 80 degrees Celsius (for bitter flavors), and then your favorite of the two is prepared genmaicha style, where roasted rice grains are added. It's a fun experience in ultra chic, minimalist surroundings.

Tea Sampling at Tokyo Saryo
Tea Sampling at Tokyo Saryo

Ultra-rich green tea gelato: Nanaya

If you're after your green tea fix in the form of a sweet treat, look no further than Nanaya Aoyama. The cafe is home to seven different levels of matcha-flavored gelato, including the world's strongest matcha gelato. They've also got a hojicha (roasted green tea) variety if you want to give your palate an alternate tea-flavored choice.

Nanaya Aoyama is your place for matcha gelato
Nanaya Aoyama is your place for matcha gelato (Photo: Aleksa Diaz)

A traditional teahouse: Kosoan

This little gem in Jiyugaoka is a must if you enjoy traditional Japanese aesthetics when you savor your matcha. From the outside you'd be forgiven for thinking Kosoan was a residential house, and once you step inside you'll feel miles away from the hustle and bustle of the Tokyo metropolitan area. Pair your matcha with a seasonal wagashi (a traditional Japanese sweet), soak up the charming atmosphere, and be sure to check out some of the fun traditional items on display before you leave.

Matcha and wagashi at Kosoan
Matcha and wagashi at Kosoan

Tea-themed desserts: Chaya 1899 Tea Cafe

If you really want to indulge that sweet tooth, pencil in a visit to Chaya 1899. Here, you're able to customize the strength of your matcha latte to meet your personal preference, and then enjoy it alongside some tea-themed desserts. You'll find tea breads, cakes, matcha brownies, and matcha dorayaki to name a few. Their full menu can be found online here if you want to take a peek at their offerings before your visit.

Tea-inspired sweets? Yes please!
Tea-inspired sweets? Yes please! (Photo: Celine Ong)

A tea-inspired stay: Hotel 1899

If you really want to go all-in with the tea theme, why not stay at a hotel that centers itself around it? After all, you're probably going to need a break after all that eating and drinking! Hotel 1899 has 35 rooms that draw inspiration from traditional tea houses, with earthy tones, wooden accents, and even lamps in the shape of bamboo whisks! You'll be welcomed with tea as soon as you arrive, too - what could be better?

Enjoy a tea themed stay, and be welcomed with tea right upon arrival!
Enjoy a tea themed stay, and be welcomed with tea right upon arrival! (Photo: Sarah Koh)