A Tea Lover’s Guide to Tokyo

Near Tokyo Midtown, around the corner from both the Issey Miyake and Comme des Garçons stores, the two-story Super A Market boasts a fun, colorful, and international collection of clothing, beauty products, and accessories. Past the embroidered sweaters, textured jackets, and designer jeans lies a collection of teaware to match the ethos of the store, including ceramic mugs from Moroccan brand LRNCE, known for its sunny colors and broad paint strokes.

The making of wagashi, the sweet confection that accompanies Japanese green tea, is itself an art form. The preparation, which involves bean paste, rice, and sweet potatoes, pre-dates Western cooking methods. Right across the street from Super A Market is this contemporary wagashi shop, designed by Shinichiro Ogata’s studio Simplicity and devoted entirely to the craft. Shop for seasonal wagashi to accompany a cup of tea on-site, or take some home as a delicious gift.

The stark white walls, cement floor, and enormous front-facing window of Syuoro in Ueno, just a few blocks away from Norm Teahouse, give a hint of the minimalist objects to be found inside. If you’re looking specifically for kitchen accents to elevate your tea routine at home—brass tea caddies, linen napkins, silverware, teapots, and glass vessels—this is the place.


Upstairs from Buvette’s Tokyo outpost and across the street from a Godzilla statue, sits this collection of shops offering objects from magazines to clothing to vintage teaware. Head all the way upstairs to The Cabinet of Curiosities and pick up an art book to read while drinking tea at home.

Though somewhat out of the way in the wealthy Shirokane neighborhood, this immaculate, gallery-like shop is worth a detour for French and Japanese teaware such as matcha bowls and glass teapots, alongside custom minimal clothing. As we entered the store, we were greeted by a man in a striking charcoal jumpsuit offering tea and cookies. The one-of-a-kind wooden furniture, like a farmhouse table that somehow had a delicate quality, alone warrants a visit from interior design enthusiasts.

At the shop and studio space for artist and clothing designer AAWAA, sip cups of smoky iced tea as you shop for modern updates of traditional silhouettes rendered in natural dyes and fabrics sourced in Japan, and exquisite deerskin accessories. The space also hosts pop-up exhibitions, such as a recent one of the ceramist Takashi Ichikawa, whose tea utensils and vessels are carved from clay collected from an ancient lake, Lake Biwa, in Shiga, where he lives.

The gardens of the Nezu Museum. 

Photo: Maria Geyman