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Kyo-Hayashiya: Tokyo's Rich Matcha with a Rich History!

Kyo-Hayashiya: Tokyo's Rich Matcha with a Rich History!

Date published: 16 February 2018
Last updated: 1 June 2020

Welcome to Kyo-Hayashiya, a green tea specialty store that boasts a history of more than 260 years! Moreover, it is said to be Tokyo’s birthplace of matcha parfait and even nowadays, it’s a top spot to stop by if you want to get your hands on affordable matcha sweets, both traditional and modern. Plenty of original and limited creations wait to welcome you to Japan’s world of green tea!

A Hidden Matcha Gem That’s Hard to Find

Kyo-Hayashiya has several shops in Tokyo, but today, we’re taking you to the direct factory sale store in Harumi, a neighborhood close to Tsukishima Station on the Toei Oedo Line. From there, it’s just a 10-minute walk via Exit No. 10 to fresh matcha goodies sold at bargain prices!

After leaving the station, turn left and pass the Tsukishima Kumin Center. Then turn left again at the second traffic light. There aren’t any building that would serve as landmarks, so be careful not to walk too far! Continue straight and you’ll see the river. The shop is right after crossing the bridge.

Look for a shop called “Skymart Harumi” just after the bridge, it should be right in front of you. As you enter the back of the building, go to the second floor and look out for signs with the characters 京はやしや.

Matcha Products With a 260-Year History – at Bargain Prices!

Matcha Products With a 260-Year History – at Bargain Prices!

Kyo-Hayashiya was founded in 1753 as a Kanazawa retailer of the high-grade Uji green tea. Back then, matcha served a ceremonial use in the tea ceremony. From there, the store’s 5th-generation shopkeeper came up with the idea to create matcha milk, adding sweetness to the relatively bitter tea and thus making it easier to drink, under the motto of “letting people enjoy it lightheartedly.” After that, the shop created a matcha parfait that everyone was absolutely crazy for in 1969, making Kyo-Hayashiya a pioneer of modern matcha sweets and desserts. The main shop in Kyoto Sanjo has become a major tourist spot and long lines can be seen there every single day.

The much humbler store in Tokyo’s Harumi, open since 2009, doesn’t only let you get your hands on these famous matcha products, it’s also a direct factory sale and hence boasts amazing prices and limited goods available only at this location.

The display case showcases the Matcha Cake Roll (1,500 yen), the Hannari (Elegant) Cheesecake (1,600 yen), the Matcha Cheesecake (1,500 yen), and the seasonal Parfait (500 yen). All taxes are included in the prices – if it was another store, you'd have to pay an extra 8% consumption tax.

The Ever-Popular Warabimochi: Try the Mini Size, Available Only Here!

The Ever-Popular Warabimochi: Try the Mini Size, Available Only Here!

Kyo-Hayashiya’s ever-popular item is warabimochi, or bracken-starch dumplings. At all other stores, you’ll have to buy them in a box of 10 (972 yen), which seems a lot if you’ve never had this peculiar kind of dumpling before and simply want to give it a try. The Harumi location offers a box of 5, half size (500 yen), perfect for a little adventure into the world of traditional Japanese sweets. If you like them, you can always buy more.

However, these delicious mochi only have a shelf life of one single day because they’re entirely handmade and without any added preservatives. We recommend enjoying them after a long day of sightseeing at your hotel or in a park!

The Matcha Warabimochi boast a rich green tea flavor and are only subtly sweet, which is exactly what makes them so outstandingly tasty. Brown sugar syrup and matcha-infused roasted soybean flour are part of the box as well, so fancy them up in whichever way you like best.

The wonderfully chewy texture and rich taste might just make this traditional green tea delight one of your new sweets favorites! The Matcha Warabimochi are so popular, Kyo-Hanashiya sells them on a first come, first served base. If you absolutely want to get your hands on them, we recommend making a reservation by phone.

Kyo-Hanashiya’s Super Popular Matcha Cake Roll: a Matter of Luck!

Kyo-Hanashiya’s Super Popular Matcha Cake Roll: a Matter of Luck!

Another absolute must-try is the five slices of Matcha Cake Roll, tightly wrapped in aluminum foil to preserve the flavor and keep the cake fresh. This is a rare sight, however, as this package of 5 slices is only sold when there are enough end cuts of a whole matcha cake roll.

We call them “end cuts” but of course, these cake slices are nice and proper. All ready to eat, this treat makes for a wonderful sweet snack!

The stone-ground green tea powder is skillfully kneaded into the moist dough, engulfing a mellow cream that’ll melt right on your tongue. Unfortunately, this cake can’t be reserved in advance, you simply need to rely on luck!

Soymilk Pudding and More: Special Discounts Up to 70%!

Soymilk Pudding and More: Special Discounts Up to 70%!

Just left of Kyo-Hayashiya’s entrance is a section with discount items – their expiry date is approaching, so the shop sells them for ridiculously low prices! For example, cookies that usually cost 500 yen are down to 300 yen (40%), soymilk pudding drops to 100 yen from 300 yen (66%), and black warabi mochi now only cost 80 yen per piece instead of 300 (73%). Again, all prices include tax!

Kyo-Hayashiya Harumi offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the rich world of matcha sweets for very affordable prices. Limited items and small sizes make this gourmet adventure even more fun! The shop isn’t open on the weekend, but you should definitely plan to stop by if you’re in the area and a fan of sweets – especially green tea sweets! Make sure to stay curious and try different things to find your favorite!

  • Kyo-Hanashiya Harumi
    京はやしや 晴海直売所
    • Address 1-6 Harumi, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0053
    • Hours: 11:00 – 6:30 p.m.
      Closed: Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays

Written by: Mikiko

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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