PAPER & TEA recommends: Our favorite spots in Japan

Our tea experts embarked on an adventure, traveling back to the origins and delving deep into the captivating land of the rising sun: JAPAN. Our mission was to explore the country's cultural treasures while unraveling the connection between Japan and tea. We didn't just visit our long-standing tea partners and their flourishing gardens; we also immersed ourselves head over heels in cultural customs, delectable cuisine, and hidden gems of Japan. Now, we want to share our highlights with you – perhaps it will ignite in you the desire to follow the call of the rising sun. So, if Japan and tea are on your travel bucket list, our 14 tips could be just right for you. Enjoy the discovery!

Let's Start in Lively Tokyo

1. Best Modern Tea House

Tokyo Saryo

This unique Japanese tea house offers a modern atmosphere and an even more distinctive approach to tea preparation. They've developed a special dripper to brew high-quality Senchas from various regions across Japan, crafted from different cultivars. Reservations can be made through their website, but beware – it only opens on Saturdays, and a reservation is a must.

2. Best Matcha Latte

Matcha Stand Maruni

 Nestled among the alleys of Tsukiji Fish Market, Maruni is the go-to spot for indulging in the finest Matcha Latte. All preparations are hand-whisked. In addition to the already popular Matcha Latte, don't miss out on the roasted version, Hojicha Latte.

3. Best Shopping Mall

Miyashita Park

Yes, that's right – a park in the heart of Shibuya, or at least, that's what you'll find on the rooftop of Miyashita Park. For those seeking the latest trends, there are hundreds of shops to stroll through and draw inspiration from.

4. Best Shopping Street

Jingumae Street 

Just a few steps from the famous Omotesando Avenue, this street is less crowded. But it is still filled with cool stores, cozy cafes, and art galleries.

5. Best Sunset

Odaiba Seaside Park

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking view of the Tokyo skyline right by the beach – an experience considered one of Tokyo's best sunset spots.

6. Best Exhibition

TeamLab Planet Tokyo

An experience you won't forget – a sensory journey, a play of lights and illusions suitable for all ages. Don't forget to get a ticket beforehand.

Experience Breathtaking Nature in Kagoshima

7. Best Landscape

Sakurajima Volcano

In just twenty minutes, the ferry from Kagoshima takes you to Sakurajima Island, home to Japan's most active volcano. A breathtaking landscape forged by fire.

Learn All About Japanese Tea in Wazuka 

8. Best Tea Tour

Obubu Tea Estate

Tea tourism is growing in Japan, but nobody does it better than our dear friends at Obubu Tea Estate, located in the hills of the Wazuka area. They offer daily tours where you can learn all about Japanese teas, visit their tea plantations and factories, and enjoy a delicious vegetarian lunch.

Next stop: Nara

9. Best Restaurant

Wa Yamamura

Japan is one of the countries with the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, and we were delighted by this family-run one. The highest expression of Kaiseki-style food. Here's the Michelin Guide recommendation.

10. Best Animal Moment

 Nara Park

Are you an animal lover? Then Nara Park will be your favorite place. It's full of deer walking freely, waiting for someone to give them something to eat. But watch out, these sweet deer might get a little feisty sometimes. 

Kyoto: Where Culture Meets Culinary Delights

 11. Best Temple

 Fushimi Inari Shrine

It's hard to choose one since everywhere you go in Japan, you seem to find a different temple. Yet we truly enjoyed walking through thousands of red torii gates and making it to the top of this Shinto temple.

12. Best Classical Tea House

 Ippodo Tea House

This family-owned business has been selling the finest Japanese teas for almost three centuries. Their main store in Kyoto also has a tea house where you can enjoy everything from Senchas to Gyokuros or even watch your matcha being whisked right under your nose.

13. Best Coffee House

Weekenders Coffee

As we know, you all fancy a good cup of coffee now and then: our favorite coffee house was Weekenders Coffee. Don't forget to check out their roastery - cool vibes and good coffee; what more do you need?

 14. Best Tea Ceremony

Koto Tea Ceremony

Koto, an excellent hostess, will welcome you to her tea room and guide you through the steps of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. You will even have the chance to learn how to make matcha yourself.