I have been dreaming about Ippodo teas since I left Kyoto earlier this year. I was hence super excited to hear about their first teashop opening in Tokyo from my friend Alisa, and hurried to visit first thing.
Ippodo is a teahouse more than three centuries old. However, its first tearoom outside of Kyoto, the Kaboku Tearoom in the Marunouchi district in Tokyo, aims to bring a young edge to this old traditional tea brand with cute, almost whimsical packaging and clean, sleek lines in the form of dark, solid wood. Guests choose from a small selection of three different categories of teas, matcha, gyokuro (the finest and most expensive form of Japanese tea), sencha and bancha (often referred to as common tea), all of which contains three more kinds of teas within each plus a matching dessert for guests to choose from.
We ordered the o-buku-cha (literally, great happiness tea), a specialty tea drunk around New Year’s time, paired with a lovely, soft and fluffy dorayaki. The waitress patiently explained how to brew our tea and left us to play with the tea amongst ourselves. Ah… such fragrant tea!
I know not many of you would agree, but this was already worth my flight to Tokyo.
Ippodo Tokyo is at Kokusai Bldg. 1F 3-1-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo 100-0005
Store: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Kaboku Tearoom: 10:30 am to 6:30 pm ('last call' 6:00 pm)