Kosoan, the traditional Japanese tea house in the heart of Tokyo
Who says traditional teahouses are only found in Kyoto?
Located a stone's throw from Tokyo's gondolas, in the Jiyugaoka district, Kosoan is a charming little traditional tea house. With its Zen garden and its wooden architecture, it offers a relaxing and picturesque alternative to the trendy cafes around Meguro. An alternative that mainly appeals today to young women in the neighborhood, who come to chat while enjoying the view and the delicious traditional desserts offered by the house.
Immerse yourself in an ancient, almost forgotten Tokyo
Decorated with a small traditional garden where the maple trees turn red in autumn, Kosoan is a scene out of old Japan!
a UFO in the Jiyugakoa district.
Far from the trendy cafes in the area, the tea house has indeed bet on a very traditional style! A bias that has little effect, since the establishment seems straight out of a picture book of the last century.
- Read also: The Jiyugaoka district in Tokyo
Composed of three tatami rooms, the tea house will surely delight travelers looking for a forgotten Japan. Shoji doors and rooms opening onto the garden, shamisen on the kokeshi wall on the wooden furniture, the decoration of the place - a bit cliché - easily transports the café clientele to pre-war Tokyo.
A peaceful Tokyo a thousand miles from the contemporary hub makes Kosoan the perfect place to relax around a good cup of tea when you are passing through the Japanese capital.
A traditional menu that changes with the seasons
If the tea house alone is worth the detour, it is above all for its pastries that the young women of the neighborhood crowd every afternoon. Traditional pastries, delight both the palate and the eyes.
Anmitsu (red bean paste with fresh fruit, cubes of agar jelly, and vanilla ice cream), rice cakes, and Tokoroden (noodles made from agar jelly dipped in brown sugar syrup), desserts present on the Kosoan map all have a small particularity. And for good reason! Prepared with seasonal products, their appearance and flavors change according to the calendar!
A typically Japanese aesthetic rule that is also followed by the decoration of the tea room, which thus blends with the tones, sometimes warm and sometimes cold, reflected by the trees in the garden.
- Read also: Summer gastronomy
To compensate for the sweet notes of its menu, Kosoan usually accompanies its desserts with black tea. A tea that can also be exchanged for one of the many drinks that the house also offers, like matcha, which is available here in all its forms.
Whether served hot or cold, as a latte or cappuccino, matcha is truly the star of the establishment! Don't panic, however, if you're not a fan: Kosoan also offers coffees, strawberry lattes, and even amazake when the weather is right (sweet sake that is usually served hot in winter).
Charming and appetizing, the small traditional tea house of Jiyugaoka is therefore the ideal place to take a sweet break in the heart of Tokyo. A break that will not cost you that much, since the prices displayed are generally between 550 and 950 yen (between $6.25-10.25/5.50-9.50€).
Address, timetable & access
Timetablea few minutes walk from Jiyugaoka station (Tokyu-Toyoko, Tokyu-Oimachi lines)
Accessdaily from 11:00 am to 6:30 pm, closed on Wednesdays