We visited a unique cafe in Omotesando that lets you whip up your own cup of matcha green tea—and have sweet cream-filled bread to go with it, too!

By now, it’s probably no secret that we’re quite fond of practically anything sweet or matcha-flavored. Well, that meant a particular cafe in the “Urasando Garden” facility which opened in Tokyo’s fashionable Omotesando district in March this year was bound to catch our attention.

The Urasando Garden is actually a collection of shops in a renovated traditional Japanese-style house, located on one of the back streets of Omotesando, hence its name Urasando, which substitutes the word “ura” (back) for “omote” (front). And we knew we had to make a visit when we found out that one of the cafes there, the Ujien Urasando Garden cafe, was offering matcha that you can prepare yourself!

▼ Here’s the Urasando Garden building which houses establishments such as sake, wine and incense shops. It’s located on a small back street, so it might be a little hard to find.


▼ The Ujien cafe is located on the first floor of the building. Ujien, the company that operates the cafe, is a well-established tea maker from Kyoto, so we were looking forward to some quality tea.


When we entered the cafe, the space, which included a bar-style counter was not very big, but the display of tea equipment and cans of their original tea made the atmosphere relaxed and comfortable.

▼ Their teas come in cute, artful packaging.


Taking a look at the menu, we saw that we could choose between the 650 yen (US$5.92) matcha and 800 yen ($7.29) matcha. For an additional 200 yen, we could also add our choice of a cream-filled bread, a cream and red bean paste-filled bread, or a Japanese-style sweet bun (manju). Naturally, we had to have a sweet with our matcha, so we ordered the cream-filled bread, which was recommended to us by the cafe staff. The cream filling in the bread we chose was houji-cha (roasted tea) flavored.


While waiting for our matcha, we first had the bread, which was served chilled.


We took a bite, and the cream inside was unbelievably soft and light, almost like whipped cream. The taste of the cream itself was not overly sweet, and the pleasant aroma and flavor of roasted tea gently filled our mouth.

Yes, the Kyoto tea maker did not disappoint in creating a roasted tea cream that tasted natural and elegant without being overpowering. We were also impressed that even though the bread was kept at a cold temperature, it was still soft and moist.

But now, it was time to try the matcha. Even if you’re not familiar with the process of preparing the deep green tea, you needn’t worry, as the staff will carefully explain the process to you.

▼ And you also get to choose the cup to have your matcha in, which adds to the fun!


▼ We were ready to whip up some matcha green tea!


After stirring the matcha with warm water, we were quite happy with the foamy results. Plus, it’s much more casual than being at a traditional tea house, and you don’t have to worry about knowing all the correct rules for having formal tea.


And you even get a bonus with your matcha—a piece of matcha and houjicha-flavored chocolate each! Although each piece of chocolate was small, the rich flavor made them more than satisfying. (Besides, we’d already had the cream-filled bread, so we weren’t going to need too much additional sugar!)


So, our overall impression was that the Ujien cafe is a great place to have quality matcha without the formalities and enjoy good Japanese tea in general. By the way, we heard that matcha soft-serve ice cream is also a popular item on their menu—we guess we’ll just have to come back for more!

If you want to relax over a nice cup of matcha while in Tokyo, this could be a place you may want to keep in mind!


Cafe information
Ujien Urasando Garden cafe/ 宇治園 裏参道ガーデン店
Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingu-mae, 4-15-6 Urasando Garden 1F
東京都渋谷区神宮前4-15-6 裏参道ガーデン 1F
Open 11 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Urasando Garden English website

Reference: Urasando Garden websiteUji-en website
Original Article and images: Yuko Sawano ©Pouch