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Bikouen Tea House

Kyoto, Japan
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About Bikouen Tea House
Bikouen, a traditional Japanese Tea House which is located close to JR Kyoto station. Bikouen, founded in 1872, sells quality Uji tea and matcha. On the 2nd floor, there is a Japanese tea room where guests can experience the most authentic tea ceremony.
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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Bikouen Tea House
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Gumby_I_B wrote a review Feb 2020
Sydney25 contributions23 helpful votes
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This matcha tea ceremony was the best I experience in Japan. The ceremony was translated in English by Angela who was a thorough professional and very friendly and accommodating of my many questions. Her husband is the Samurai master and it is a delight to watch him perform this ancient tradition. I felt transported into a fascinating culture by his grace and movements. The sweets and food we were served was delicious and the matcha tea was like no other I had tasted. If you only experience one tea ceremony this is the one to try. It was recommended and organised by our hotel Sowaka in the Gion district. Five stars plus.
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Date of experience: November 2019
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Rick Hooghiemstra wrote a review Sep 2019
Purmerend, The Netherlands3 contributions
This was an amazing experience. It is a must do if you are in Kyoto. The Tea master is incredibly professional and a fifth generation master! His wife will explain the ceremony in perfect english.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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Mer21maid wrote a review Jul 2019
Copenhagen615 contributions241 helpful votes
We had a very good experience with the Bikouen Tea House. They are really highly professional. Everything was explained in nearly perfect English by a young woman in kimono, and the tea ceremony was performed by the Tea Master. We also got to make our own matcha all 4 of us. It was really a fascinating experience!
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Date of experience: July 2019
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Mark B wrote a review Apr 2019
Hong Kong, China8 contributions2 helpful votes
I was told that this place is the one and only place to see samurai-style tea ceremony in Kyoto. Out of curiosity we signed up for an one-hour tea ceremony session. We are not tea expert so we can't really tell the difference among all Japanese tea styles but that didn't undermine the overall experience at all. At the beginning, the host briefly explained the history of the Yabunouchi way of tea, and his assistant translated in English for us. There are a lot of subtle movements performed by the host, such as purifying the teaware in front of the guests, and pouring hot water to the tea bowl to warm it up. All were performed gracefully by the host. The tea itself is strong yet silky. You will be offered some very delicious sweet snacks before you drink the tea, which taste is absolutely lovely. The part I love the most is at the end the host would explain why certain teaware is used, and how the decoration in the tea room echoes the change of seasons. Thank you for such an educational yet entertaining experience.
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Date of experience: April 2019
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Rupao T wrote a review Apr 2019
New York City, New York9 contributions6 helpful votes
I am a tea lover and had been searching for a good place for tea tasting and seeing some authentic tea experience. I had tried a few places for tea in Kyoto and Osaka but most of them are not memorable, until I gave Bikouen a try. I randomly found it out on google. This teahouse is located in an alley very close to Nishihonganji Temple. It may take you a little bit time to locate it. Look for the red flag with three kanji characters (Uji Tea) flying at the entrance. This teahouse is run by a couple, so if there are a lot of customers you may have to wait a little bit to be served. We booked a tea ceremony to try both the thick tea and the thin tea. Unlike other tea experience I tried before (which usually only used the Japanese sweet bought in department stores), Bikouen used preservative-free namagashi (freshly made sweet). The taste is uber refreshing and it pairs very well with the thick tea, which is also of very high quality. We tried Tekisui tea. It's not cheap but really worth the money. The samurai style tea ceremony is beautifully demonstrated by the husband and passionately translated by the wife who will make sure you got the essence of the way of tea. If you wanna give Japanese tea ceremony a try, I highly recommend this one for it's authenticity and hospitality.
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Date of experience: April 2019
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