Train Line: Yamanote, Ginza, Fukutoshin, Denentoshin and Hanzomon Lines.
Features: 100% Smoke Free
Menu Language: English and Japanese
Hours: 10am – 9pm
Address: 〒150-8509, 東京都渋谷区渋谷2丁目21-1 渋谷ヒカリエ ShinQs店, 5F ShinQs Lifestyle フロア
5th Floor / ShinQs Lifestyle Floor, Shibuya Hikarie ShinQs, 2-21-1 Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-8509
Map: View on GoogleMaps
Directions: Zen Kashoin is located within the brand new shopping complex, Shibuya Hikarie ShinQs on the 5th floor. This new building is just outside the East Exit of Shibuya Station and is quite easy to find once out of the station (literally just across the road). Take extra care to use the correct exit though as using one of the many others can lead to a lot of frustration and wandering around.
Zen Kashoin is a fresh new take on the traditional Japanese teahouse that aims to offer an authentic Japanese tea experience within a modern context. There is a great selection of Japanese teas to choose from, all presented in their raw form (i.e. no tea bags or reheated tea here) as well as coffee and Western teas for those customers with different tastes.
Most drinks will set you back between 750 and 850 yen which may seem a bit pricey when initially compared to other cafes but most of the teas here are served in a teapot which contains several cups worth of tea and the staff are more than happy to add more hot water to your pot which gives you even more value for your money.
If you feel like something to eat or are simply curious about Japanese food, I highly recommend choosing one of the many sets available which contain your choice of drink and (depending on the set) a variety of different cakes and biscuits to sample. Some are more traditional than others such as the dumplings while others are more of an example of how Japan has adapted Western cuisine to it’s own culture such as the macha cakes. Together they offer a great experience of both old and new Japan for a very affordable price (between 1200 and 1600 yen) that should appeal to those who live in Japan as well as those who are visiting from abroad.
The fusion of old and new continues with the teahouse’s interior design which expresses a hip modern city feel with the clean seating, window views of Shibuya Station and open space while at the same time showing off a deep respect for history with some fantastic Japanese inspired wall pieces and displays of traditional tea ceremony tools.
Something I really loved was the photographic displays of the much larger original Zen Kashoin in Kyoto in the small shop near the entrance which looks absolutely beautiful and is now at the top of my list of places to see there during my next trip to Kyoto.
While the original teahouse in Kyoto seems to be more of a traditional experience, this Shibuya branch offers a perfect blend of the old and new in one of Tokyo’s busiest suburbs.