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Nakamura Tokichi (Main Store) 中村藤吉本店
Address: 10, Ichiban Uji , Uji-shi, Kyoto / 京都府宇治市宇治壱番十番地
Hours: [Tea Shop] 10:00am-6:00pm [Cafe] 11:00am-6:00pm
Price: [Set Meal] ¥980-1,100 [Desserts] ¥720-800
Uji, a tranquil and charming town 30 minutes outside of Kyoto, is known for having the best green tea in all of Japan. Among the many tea roasters and sellers, 150-year-old Nakamura Tokichi is especially well-known not just for serving excellent tea, but also a range of tea-flavored desserts that will delight even those who are not in the habit of tea drinking.
Nakamura Main Store
Cute little things in the garden
Brightly colored table mats
For lunch, we ordered a set of tea soba and a set of tea udon, each also including a bowl of seaweed-seasoned rice, pickles, and a cup of tea jelly dessert. The tea flavor was almost indiscernible and the noodles, while decent in flavor, are not really a destination in themselves. The miniature dessert, on the other hand, was a delightful cup of tea jelly, sweet red bean paste, and glutinous rice ball. I was absolutely convinced that I had to try their full-size desserts before I leave Uji.
Tokichi Udon Set 藤吉うどんセット¥980
Tea Soba Set 茶蕎麦セット¥1,180
Being too full from the meal, we decided to stroll around Uji before heading to back to Nakamura for more desserts. After visiting Byodoin Temple, Ujigami Shrine, and Uji River, we happened to pass by the Byodoin store of Nakamura. Dessert time!
Tea Jelly (Matcha & Roasted Green Tea) 生茶ゼリイ (抹茶, ほうじ茶) ¥1,180
So of course we went on to order full-sized desserts. The first one we tried is modestly named “tea jelly” but was in fact so much more than that: 3 scoops of gloriously rich tea-flavored ice-cream, pieces of quivering tea jelly, chewy glutinous rice balls, and a bed of rice crispies at the bottom offering a nice texture contrast. Though the dessert usually only comes in one flavor of ice-cream – either matcha tea (green color) or roasted green tea (brown color) – the waitress gave me both flavors upon request.
Chiffon Cake ( (Matcha & Roasted Green Tea) シフォンケーキ (抹茶, ほうじ茶)
We also tried the chiffon cakes, which were light and fluffy in the most heavenly way. Better yet, they came with a cup of soft-served ice-cream also topping a bed of rice crispies. Perfect!
View of Uji River from the Byodoin store
Byodoin store exterior
Beautiful Kyoto December sky
When in Kyoto, do yourself a favor and visit Nakamura Tokichi. You will not be disappointed.
Nakamura Tokichi Byodoin 中村藤吉平等院店
Address: 5-1 Renge Uji, Uji-shi Kyoto / 京都府宇治市宇治蓮華5-1
Hours: [Weekdays] 10:00am-4:00pm [Weekends] 10:00am-5:00pm