Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Backpacking Kyoto Japan travel blog

 

So if you want to visit a teahouse in Kyoto and try out some matcha green tea when you’re in Japan, you can do so with a visit to the Nijo Castle!

You’ll be able to make your own matcha tea straight from matcha powder.

You’ll want to highly consider a trip to Nijo Castle when you’re in Kyoto anyway, as this is one of the top UNESCO world heritage sites in Kyoto.

 

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Moat near teahouse. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

So, with a visit to Nijo Castle, you can also conveniently tick off the checkbox of making your own matcha too!

 

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

 

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Drinking matcha green tea at teahouse. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

Japanese language tip: CASTLE

You might also hear Nijo Castle being referred to as Nijo-jo Castle, or just Nijo-jo.

The attached jo means castle.

But you wouldn’t use jo on its own to talk about a castle in general. This is used when attached to the name of a castle.

On its own, you would call a castle shiro or oshiro.

 

 

The Nijo Castle teahouse as part of a one day Kyoto itinerary

I made a visit to the Nijo Castle teahouse with an unlimited one day Kyoto bus pass:

 

 

Now…

On the Nijo Castle grounds

 

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

Walking towards the teahouse

So after you’ve entered the Nijo Castle grounds and made it past the Kara-mon Gate…

 

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Kara-mon Gate. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

…and past the Ninomaru-goten Palace…

 

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Ninomaru-goten Palace. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

…and past the Ninomaru Garden…

 

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Ninomaru-goten Garden. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

You’ll start to come close to the teahouse!

 

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Sign to teahouse. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

You’ll likely see signs and you can make your way over as you walk along the castle moat.

 

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Moat near teahouse. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Walking path along moat near teahouse. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

So you’ve made it to the Waraku-an teahouse!

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Teahouse entry. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Teahouse entry. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

Now you can be seated and order your matcha!

 

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Food and drink at teahouse. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Making matcha with matcha powder. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Mixing matcha with whisk. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Matcha powder mixed. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

How do you make matcha?!

It’ll come with instructions so you can give it a go.

 

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Instructions for making matcha green tea. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

Or you can go for regular green tea too.

 

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Instructions for making green tea. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

Good luck, and happy drinking matcha as you sit back and relax!

 

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Garden near teahouse. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

How much does the matcha cost at the teahouse?

So this matcha cost 600 yen (US$5). (Green tea is the same price.)

You also have the option of ordering the matcha as a set that comes with small snacks for 1,200 yen (US$11).

 

 

Teahouse menu

The Nijo Castle teahouse can also just be a good place to rest a bit after walking around the castle grounds.

There’s a little bit of a variety to choose from if you want more than just tea.

 

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Teahouse food menu. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

Nijo Castle Teahouse, Kyoto. Walking path near teahouse. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

HAPPY NIJO CASTLE TEAHOUSE VISIT!

 

Use this Kyoto tourist map to plan out your 5 days in Kyoto with Nijo Castle!

 



More quick tips for planning your trip to Japan

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For more on planning your trip to Kyoto, see the 1-day, 2-day, and 5-day Kyoto itineraries. If you'll be in Kyoto in the spring, also see the 1-day cherry blossom photo walk.

Hotels in Kyoto
Search for deals on Kyoto hotels here.

For hostels across Japan, try this top backpacker's hostel chain.

Kyoto can also be a good place to stay at a Japanese-style ryokan, like this one. Or if you're on more of a budget, try this one.

Also use the map below to see more hotels in Kyoto!

Booking.com

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.

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

See an example of traveling by the fast train from Tokyo to Kyoto.

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!