Explore the many ways to savor Japanese tea
ReleaseJanuary 14, 2022
Here we introduce must-visit spots where Japanese tea lovers can enjoy their favorite beverage in more ways than one!
〈Eating〉dan dan cafë
From this cafe, you can view the verdant tea plantations of Ishitera, an iconic landscape in the town of Wazuka. The name “dan dan” refers to the terraced tea fields and also means “thank you” in the Izumo (Shimane Prefecture) dialect. “Dan dan” also means “slowly but surely.” The name reflects the owner’s aspiration that the cafe will grow in both quality and reputation.
The cafe’s wooden interior exudes warmth and the large windows give an air of openness. From the counter along the windows, you can have a front-row view of the luscious landscape of the tea plantations.
The cafe offers a variety of lunch items, beverages, and desserts. We recommend the gelato prepared with matcha or hojicha (roasted green tea) from Wazuka, milk from Uemura Farm in Nara Prefecture, as well as seasonal fruits. The regular or strong matcha gelato is not too sweet and has a rich flavor; you will find it hard to stop eating it.
You will be happy and full after your hand-prepared lunch with Wazuka Tea drinks and desserts, while taking in the panoramic views. Enjoy Wazuka’s total tea-time experience!
Hours: 10:00 AM-4:00 PM (for the latest updates, visit their social media platforms)
As there are a limited number of servings available for lunch each day, make a reservation at least a day before going.
Closed: Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Address: 1-1 Higashitani, Ishitera, Wazuka-cho, Soraku County, Kyoto
Access: 10 minutes by bus from Kamo Station (JR)
A Japanese tea shop with the concept of “reconstructing Japanese culture in the modern age,” Hachiya features not only individually brewed Japanese tea but also carbonated cold teas, lattés, smoothies, and other novel ways to drink tea. From the traditional to the innovative, you’re sure to find your favorite tea beverage. They also serve onigiri (rice balls) and anmitsu (jelly dessert) specially made to complement Japanese tea.
Address: 3-2-10 Sendagaya, Shibuya City, Tokyo
Access: 2-minute walk from Kita-sando Station (Subway), 8-minute walk from Harajuku Station (JR)
〈Accommodation〉enu to enu
Ms. Noriko of the Kita family, which has operated a tea plantation in Wazuka for generations, began this guesthouse after renovating their traditional farmer’s house to showcase the many features of Japanese tea. Limited to one group per night, Noriko shares her love of tea with the guests. You can immerse yourself in tea lore with the beverage itself, food that utilizes tea leaves, and the bath supplied with tea face packs and tea scrubs. You can even go tea-harvesting and tour the tea fields for an additional fee.
Address: 30 Naka-Sugadani, Wazuka-cho, Soraku County, Kyoto
Access: 20 minutes by bus from Kamo Station (JR)
A farmhouse surrounded by tea fields, Blodge Lodge is a bed and breakfast run by an American-Japanese couple, Michael and Ikuko. The guest rooms are on the ground floor of their house; you will be warmly welcomed and made to feel at home.
The welcoming drink is of course Wazuka Tea. We enjoyed the hojicha brewed by Ikuko. The tea leaves harvested locally were freshly roasted in the morning. It was very fragrant and delicious.
About 90 percent of Blodge Lodge’s guests are from overseas and the owners offer various experiences for tea lovers such as Japanese tea tasting and tea ceremony workshops.
Blodge Lodge also offers cooking classes. Choose your own menu and make it with the help of the owners. The most requested recipes are Japanese dishes such as yellowtail teriyaki and traditional deep-fried chicken. Sharing the meal that you prepared with them will become a special memory of your stay in Japan.
Michael and Ikuko moved to Wazuka Town in 2015. They will share with you the beauties of Wazuka from their point of view as new locals. Ikuko’s specially brewed Wazuka Tea and their hospitality will make you feel like a part of the family. If you are a Japanese tea lover, Blodge Lodge is the perfect place to stay.
Address: 37 Naka-Kokyo, Wazuka-cho, Soraku County, Kyoto
Access: 15 minutes by bus from Kamo Station (JR)
*The information herein is as of Novermber 2021.
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