Ginkakuji temple tea garden and tea room for matcha green tea experience near philosopher's path walk. Backpacking Kyoto Japan travel blog

 

So if you want to drink matcha green tea when you’re in Japan, you can do so with a visit to the Ginkakuji Temple!

You’ll want to consider a trip to Ginkakuji Temple when you’re in Kyoto anyway, as this is a UNESCO world heritage site in Kyoto. It’s also right near the famous Philosopher’s Path.

 

So, if you’re looking to try out some tea that Kyoto is known for (that’s matcha tea), then you can conveniently drink some matcha at Ginkakuji!

 

For more convenient tea experiences, try the Nijo Castle teahouse if you’ll be visiting Nijo Castle, or the Okochi Sanso teahouse if you’ll be visiting the Arashiyama bamboo forest! You can get matcha green tea at both places.

 

 

Japanese language tip: TEMPLE

The ji in Ginkakuji means temple.

But you wouldn’t use ji on its own to talk about a temple in general. In this case, ji is used when attached to the name of the temple.

When speaking generally of a temple, you would call it tera or otera.

 

 

Ginkakuji Temple as part of a one day Kyoto itinerary

You can make a visit to the Ginkakuji Temple when you walk the Philosopher’s Path that includes temple visits as side trips:

You can start your day off by going from Kyoto station to Ginkakuji.

I also was in the area when I did the Daimonji-yama hike (the start of the trail is located right near Ginkakuji), and on that day I basically went from Fushimi Inari to Ginkakuji.

The Fushimi Inari shrine is another place in Kyoto that’s worth a visit with the thousands of torii gates that you can walk through!

 

 

Now…

On the Ginkakuji Temple grounds

 

Walking towards the tea room

So after you’ve entered the Ginkakuji Temple grounds

 

You’ll see the sand garden…

 

Ginkakuji temple tea garden - sand garden. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

…and see the temple itself…

 

Ginkakuji temple tea garden - Ginkakuji Temple, unesco world heritage site, with Japanese gardens. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

…and see some more Japanese gardens…

 

Ginkakuji temple tea garden - Japanese gardens. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

…and walk on the nature trail…

 

Ginkakuji temple tea garden - Nature trail with moss garden and bamboo. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

…and see the city views…

 

Ginkakuji temple tea garden - City views, temple views, sand garden views, from trail summit. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

…and then walk back down the trail…

 

And then you’ll start to come close to the “tea room”!

 

Ginkakuji temple tea garden - tea room and souvenir shop. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

This will be near the exit, and you probably won’t be able to miss it.

This is located in the same area as the souvenir shop.

 

 

So you’ve made it to the Ginkakuji tea room!

Ginkakuji temple tea garden and tea room for matcha green tea. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

Now you can order your matcha green tea!

 

Ginkakuji temple tea garden - green tea ticket. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

There’s indoor seating and there’s outdoor seating.

With the outdoor seating, you’ll be right next to some bamboo trees!

 

Ginkakuji temple tea garden - outdoor seating next to bamboo trees. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Ginkakuji temple tea garden - bamboo grove. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

The Okochi Sanso teahouse is another place you can drink matcha green tea with views of bamboo trees! The teahouse is located in Arashiyama so you can pair it with a visit to the famous Kyoto bamboo forest.

 

So once you’ve ordered your matcha, it’ll take a few minutes for it to be prepared.

Then when it comes out, you can enjoy your tea!

 

Ginkakuji temple tea garden and tea room for matcha green tea experience - matcha and Japanese sweets. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Ginkakuji temple tea garden and tea room for matcha green tea experience - matcha. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Ginkakuji temple tea garden and tea room for matcha green tea experience - Japanese sweets. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Ginkakuji temple tea garden - outdoor seating next to bamboo trees. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

How much does the matcha cost?

This tea experience costs 500 yen (US$5).

 

Ginkakuji temple tea garden and tea room for matcha green tea - how much price cost. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Ginkakuji temple tea garden and tea room for matcha green tea - how much price cost. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

Then once you’ve finished up your tea…

Off you go to exit the Ginkakuji temple grounds!

 

Ginkakuji temple tea garden - bamboo grove walk. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

Maybe to start the Philosopher’s Path?

 

Ginkakuji temple tea garden for matcha green tea experience with visit to see sand garden. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

HAPPY GINKAKUJI TEA ROOM VISIT!

 

Use this Kyoto tourist map to plan out your 5 days in Kyoto with Ginkakuji Temple!

 

 



More quick tips for planning your trip to Japan

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The super fast train in Japan
In general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it. But here's how to calculate it to be sure.

See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.

NEW way of buying individual shinkansen train tickets online!
I will start by saying I have NOT bought train tickets online this way (yet!) to verify this! (But it's on my list for my next trip to Japan!)

There's an online train ticket booking method that's popular for other parts of Asia, and they are just now branching out to Japan.

You can now buy train tickets online here for popular shinkansen train routes. (And some bus routes too.)

I've used this booking site for taking the train from Thailand to Malaysia, and it worked out well, so I would expect it to work out well in Japan too!

The thing is, though, that you need to pick up the physical train tickets in person.

So it won't be enough to just buy the tickets online. I had to do this in Bangkok for my train ticket - and it was easy! So again, I would think it'd be easy for Japan train tickets too.

Search for popular routes in Japan here. For example, Tokyo to Kyoto.

If you end up buying train tickets online this way, I would love to hear how it goes! Whether that's good, or if it came with some challenges!

Natural disasters in Japan
Unfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.

My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon.

See how much insurance costs for your trip.

Best travel guides for Japan
If you're at step 1 in your planning process, have a look at this Discover Japan book.

For "books" that won't take up space in your suitcase, see the best PDF guides.

See more of the best books for Japan trip planning.

Create your Japan itinerary


That's it for now!