We arrived at Uji station at 10h50 and pretty much sprinted across the street to Nakamura tea shop to find that people were already waiting in line (the shop opens at 11h). In a city famous for tea, the most famous tea shop in town is a hell of a busy place. Is it worth the run? You bet!
Uji is a quiet town located just outside of Kyoto, it’s still technically Kyoto, but it feels like the countryside.
Most people go there to visit Byodoin, it’s the temple on the 10 yen coin, but it’s also famous for its very high quality tea. If there is one place you want to visit to sample the finest green tea until your bladder burst, Uji is that place.
Nakamura Tokichi Honten has been in business since 1859 and their main branch is a beautiful building on the main street of Uji. It’s pretty much a straight shot from the train station. Just look for the curtain with the big circle with a cross in it. Nakamura has a second address near the river and Byodoin, but this one is the original shop.
I ordered cold matcha soba for which the store is famous for. The taste of matcha is very subtile, it’s more of a coloring thing.
The rice was also sprinkled with tea powder. You get the idea, in Uji, there is tea in everything.
My wife ordered the hot matcha udon soup.
The soup broth was outstanding and the noodle way finer than the usual udon.
Both set came with a matcha jelly and mochi.
The tiny dessert wasn’t enough, so we ordered matcha and hojicha ice cream.
The matcha ice cream has a very intense taste, something rarely found in Japan.
The hojicha icecream has a milder taste. Hojicha or roasted tea is also served at Nakamura and it’s bloody delicious.
Hojicha has less cafeine than regular tea and some special bancha and hojicha are good for children.
Nakamura Tokichi Honten combines traditional Japanese architecture with a modern coffee built into one of the old manufacturing area.
If you go to Uji, Nakamura is a great place to try some of the finest sweet in a very peaceful setting.
Sit down, enjoy the view from the Japanese garden and slowly but surely get a tad bit fatter.
Nakamura Tokichi Honten