Translated by Tomoka Aono
Learn about Japan's Tea Culture at Ochadokoro Tomaya in Kitsuki, Oita
Written by Norihisa Hasegawa
Kitsuki, Oita prefecture, is a popular destination for international visitors because you can take a walk in Japanese traditional clothing in the city. A must visit place here is Ochadokoro Tomaya, a tea shop that has been here for 280 years!
Experience Tea Ceremony at 280 Year Old Japanese Tea Shop
In Kitsuki, Oita prefecture, the quaint old streetscape from the Edo period still remains. It’s getting popular with visitors to walk in the streets wearing Japanese traditional clothing as they sightsee in this history-rich area.
If you want to experience Japanese tea ceremony while wearing Japanese clothing, Ochadokoro Tomaya is the place for you.
Ochadokoro Tomaya has been a specialty shop for Japanese tea since its establishment 280 years ago. Today the shop has various kinds of tea including high-grade ones for gifts and affordable ones for personal/daily use. More and more international visitors come to buy Japanese tea at Tomaya as souvenirs of their trip to Japan.
A Museum-like Shop Filled with Antiques
Look inside the shop. It looks almost as though you’ve stepped into a tea museum, as there are so many different old chaki (茶器, bowls and containers for tea ceremony) on display here.
Some of them are still used while others are just for display.
According to the owner, the pots in the shop are 200 years old. These antiques sit in the shop so naturally, creating a charming atmosphere!
In Japan, people traditionally changed their tatami and fusuma (sliding door) each summer and winter to adjust the humidity and temperature of their homes. Ochadokoro Tomaya continues this tradition today; cool breezes refresh this room in the summer, while a gentle warmth fills the tearoom in the winter.
Let’s Drink Japanese Tea in a Room Filled with History
You can not only buy Japanese tea but also drink fresh Japanese tea in the shop. Why not stop by and enjoy matcha green tea and mid-ranked sencha green tea in this historical specialty shop?
Experience Japanese Tea Ceremony
If you order the matcha set (540 yen), you can experience a Japanese tea ceremony.
You can learn how to make Japanese tea using equipment prepared by them. You will quickly learn how difficult it is to make good Japanese tea with tiny bubbles.
Don’t worry though. The owner, Ms. Imamura, will give you gentle instructions, so you can make good Japanese tea once you get the knack.
Savor Matcha Green Tea Made by You
It is nice to have tea in the shop, but it’s also nice to enjoy the tea while sitting on a chair in front of the shop and gazing at the beautiful streetscape of Kitsuki. A cup of matcha green tea made by yourself is full of flavor and meaning, and it will become an exceptional experience! The matcha green tea set comes with original rakugan (Japanese traditional sweets).
Come to Taste Japanese Green Tea!
You should visit Ochadokoro Tomaya to experience tea ceremony as you make your way through the historical streetscape of Kitsuki in kimono or yukata. And green tea that you have made yourself will taste even better than you expect!
It’s also fun to enjoy conversations about Japanese tea with the owner, Ms. Imamura. Enjoy your time at the lovely Ochadokoro Tomaya!