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Enjoy authentic tea and matcha sweets in Kyoto! Gion Tsujiri Store & Saryo Tsujiri Cafe

2023/05/31
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Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan, full of history and culture. Gion, in particular, is a hanamachi area where maiko (apprentice geisha) and geiko (apprentice maiko) come and go, and where many long-established shops stand side by side, offering a rich sense of old-fashioned elegance.

There, the Gion Tsujiri Gion Main Store, a specialty Uji tea store, and the Saryo Tsujiri Gion Main Store, a cafe specializing in Uji tea on the floor above it, have become so popular that people line up every day to get in.

 

Specializing in Uji tea, founded in the late Edo period(1603-1868 CE).

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“Gion Tsujiri” is one of the leading tea shops in Japan dealing in carefully selected Uji tea. The store has a long history, dating back to 1860 when Riemon Tsuji I and Tokujiro II founded the shop in Uji, Kyoto.

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After that, Tokusaburo Miyoshi, the third generation, opened a store in Taiwan, and in 1948, he opened a store in Gion, Kyoto, which became the current “Gion Tsujiri”.

Careful selection of tea leaves from hundreds of varieties for the preparation of the tea.

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What has remained unchanged since the company’s founding is its sincere commitment to Uji tea, which has a history of hundreds of years. Uji tea is the generic name for tea produced in four prefectures centering on Kyoto and finished and processed in Kyoto Prefecture, and is the leading tea brand in Japan. In order to deliver the most carefully selected Uji tea, the store determines the flavor lineage from among hundreds of varieties of tea leaves through a process called “Gougumi”.

Matcha is stone ground slowly and slowly

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There are various types of tea, such as sencha, hojicha, and genmaicha, but the tea most often used in sweets is matcha, which is powdered tea leaves.

The store’s matcha is ground slowly and deliberately on a stone mortar, which allows them to make only 40 grams per hour. The result is a tea that is rich in color, frothy, and has a deep flavor and umami (savory sweetness). The time and effort that goes into making this tea is what makes it a true Uji matcha.

Inside the store you can feel the culture and history of tea.

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The Gion main store, which was renovated in the spring of 2022, is a sophisticated space with a Japanese atmosphere and is full of innovations and tricks to make the culture of tea and the taste of Uji tea more familiar to customers.

As soon as you enter “Gion Tsujiri” on the first floor, what immediately catches your eye is an object of a chasen so large that it reaches the ceiling. A chasen is a tool used to mix matcha  in a tea bowl, and is indispensable in the tea ceremony. The walls are filled with “tea boxes” that were used to transport and store tea. It is a stylish interior with a sense of history.

The object of a chasen is a great photo spot! Taking pictures here is a must.

Pick up the popular products of Gion Tsujiri!

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Here are some of the most popular products from the lineup.

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A standard product of tea leaves packed in a cube box. In addition to the regular lineup of gyokuro, kabusecha, sencha, hojicha, genmaicha, and karigane, seasonal limited editions such as shincha are also available! With their cute, brightly colored packaging, they are sure to make great souvenirs.

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This “Issen Tea Bag 5 Kinds Assortment” is a tea bag type that allows you to enjoy tea easily. It contains an assortment of five popular teabags, and is recommended for those who want to try a variety of teas.

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Here are the most popular matcha confections. The “Tsujiri-no-Sato” is a rich green tea cream wrapped in a thinly baked rolled rice cracker, and the “Gion-no-Sato” is a white cream wrapped in a brightly colored green tea thinly baked rice cracker. The combination of the light and fluffy cream and the crunchy texture of the thinly baked rolled rice cracker, combined with the elegant sweetness of the matcha green tea, is exquisite! Not only single items, but also sets in which both types can be tasted are available.

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Tsujiri no Tsuki, a Japanese gaufrette with a rich matcha cream made from stone-ground Uji matcha, is an excellent choice.

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Gatobubu financier is a Japanese financier that combines rice flour and gyuhi to give it a chewy texture. There are two types, Uji green tea and hojicha green tea, both full of tea flavor.

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The rich taste and aroma of matcha green tea can be enjoyed in “matcha candy,” which is reasonably priced and makes a great little souvenir.

If you want to taste it now, check out the takeout items!

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The showcase in the store also has a number of takeout-ready sweets on standby.

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“Gokugoku-rei Matcha” is made with “matcha ice” that contains matcha green tea as it is. Enjoy the authentic flavor of matcha in a casual setting.

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The very popular “Matcha Soft” is a thick soft serve ice cream made from rich Uji green tea. For those who want to taste matcha to the fullest, we recommend the “Condensed Milk Matcha Soft”, which is topped with a generous amount of matcha condensed milk.

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For those who want to enjoy both green tea and matcha soft serve ice cream, we offer the “Special Green Tea Float,” which is made with our special thick green tea, matcha soft serve ice cream, and topped with matcha senbei! The lineup also includes the “Matcha Ore Float,” in which the green tea is replaced with matcha ore (green tea infused drink).

Limited edition products from season to season are also noted!

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In addition to the regular items, there are seasonal limited edition menus that express the four seasons in both taste and appearance! What kind of menu you can find depending on the season you visit is one of the things to look forward to.

Authentic sweets are also available for takeout!

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“Petit Parfait” is a new type of parfait that was created with the aim of creating the perfect sweet. It is a gem made by carefully layering carefully selected ingredients one layer at a time in pursuit of the ultimate compatibility with Uji tea. A rich harmony of harmony of Japanese taste!

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The “Matcha Warabimochi,” a plump warabimochi kneaded with plenty of green tea and topped with a generous amount of black mitsumoto and kinako (soybean flour), also has many fans.

A space for tea tasting is also available.

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At the far end of the store is a “tasting and concierge counter” where you can enjoy the special experience of having matcha tea brewed under the careful guidance of our professional staff.

You can choose a matcha bowl of your choice or try a variety of seasonal teas offered by “Gion Tsujiri”, so be sure to stop by!

Take a break at Saryo Tsujiri Gion Main Store, a cafe specializing in Uji tea

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If you need to take a breather, head to Saryo Tsujiri Gion Main Store, a cafe on the second floor that specializes in Uji tea.

The restaurant is full of the atmosphere typical of Gion, Kyoto, and offers a relaxing atmosphere.

The atmosphere of a tea specialty store with many tea whisks hanging on the walls is also a sight to behold.

You can't leave without trying their famous parfait!

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The specialty “Tokusen Tsujiri Parfait – Matcha Green Tea” is a gem that many people come here for. It is made with the finest and rarest Dainagon azuki beans, artisan handmade shiratama (white rice balls), matcha jelly cooked at a meticulously controlled temperature to preserve the flavor of matcha, and a unique blend of rich matcha ice cream. The rich variety of sweetness is carefully selected and served all at once, making it truly “sweet entertainment”.

The “Tokusen Tsujiri Parfait” also includes hojicha (roasted green tea), so you can share two kinds of parfait.

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Homemade “Warabimochi” is popular for take-out. It is served with a generous amount of Kuromitsu and soybean flour.

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There are many seasonal menu items such as “chilled Zenzai” and “Tsujiri ice” in summer and warm “Tsujiri Zenzai” in winter. You can enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime matcha sweet each season you visit.

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The menu list is available in English and Chinese as well as Japanese.

Gion Tsujiri and Saryo Tsujiri allow you to enjoy both Japanese tea culture and the finest sweets in one place. We hope you will visit them when you are in Gion, Kyoto!

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