Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience

Located in the stylish neighbourhood of Minami-Aoyama in Tokyo, the Sakurai Tea Experience offers a modern take on the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, combining it with the craft of mixology. This spot is ideal for tea lovers and those searching for a unique experience, as it serves a wide variety of tea-infused drinks, including cocktails and spirits. The main attraction is watching a skilled tea master prepare your drink with meticulous attention to detail.

The Sakurai Tea Experience also has a tearoom where you can savour high-quality gyokuro, freshly roasted teas, and tea-infused sake, complemented by traditional Japanese sweets. This place is a gem for anyone interested in experiencing a contemporary interpretation of Japan’s tea culture.

As a tea aficionado, I recently visited the Sakurai Tea Experience during my Tokyo itinerary, and it was a fantastic experience. I visited for the evening bar time tea course and opted for infused cocktails and traditional sweets. For anyone who enjoys tea and is looking for a unique experience in Tokyo, this place is definitely worth checking out.

About Sakurai Tea Experience

Roasting tea at Sakurai Japanese tea experience

The vision behind this extraordinary venue stems from its founder, Shinya Sakurai, who previously managed the esteemed Japanese restaurant Yakumo Saryo and the confectionery shop Higashiya (which specialises in wagashi and it’s located in Ginza). Striking out on his own in 2014, he first opened the Sakurai Tea Experience with the aim of elevating the stature of Japanese tea and pioneering new ways to enjoy it. The store sells a curated selection of teas from around the world, in-house roasted teas, and seasonal blends featuring domestically sourced natural ingredients.

The Sakurai Tea Experience is far more than a mere retail outlet for pre-packaged teas. It’s an immersive bar where you can relish freshly whisked matcha, partake in artisanal tea-infused cocktails, and savour exquisite teas accompanied by traditional wagashi sweets. Take a seat at the SABO (8 seats at the counter) and watch it all unfold right in front of your eyes.

The Sakurai Tea Experience – Day time

The day time menu is available weekdays between 11:00 – 19:00. The day time Sakurai Tea Experience is all about teas rather than liqueurs.

You can order a tea course which includes Gyokuro, Blended tea, Hojicha, Matcha, Wagashi, or you can choose your favourite tea and the staff will brew up to 3 cups of tea for you. If you are after something a little stronger, go for their Tea and Liqueur Course which includes Gyokuro, Blended tea, four Tea Liqueurs varieties and Wagashi.

Want to pick the most interesting liquers from the menu? You can. You have 18 different types of tea made using different methods, each infused with a matching liquor. I recommend the Sencha Gin, the Sannenbancha Gin and the Genmaicha Whisky.

Teas and tea pots at sakurai tea experience

The Sakurai Tea Experience – Bar time

As daylight fades into evening in Tokyo, the Sakurai Tea Experience undergoes a transformation into a nocturnal haven for cocktail enthusiasts. Between the hours of 19:00 and 23:00 (with last orders taken at 22:00), you get to enter the fascinating world of liqueurs, where tea infused cocktails take the stage.

The courses from the day menu are still available to purchase, but it’s the cocktails that usually beckon after dark. You will find signature cocktails like Gyokuro Martini made with Vodka/Gyokuro/Lillet Blanc or Hojicha Toddy made with Sweet Potato Shochu/Hojicha/Rose/Cinnamon.

Beautiful spirit and syrup bottles at Sakurai tea experience

There are also 13 different cocktails to pick from, each with a delicious mixture of tea infused spirits including gin, whiskey, tequila, rum, or vodka.

Please note that for the Bar time Sakurai Tea Experience, after 7:00 PM, a 500 yen cover charge will be charged for each person.

Our Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience

The instant we stepped into the Sakurai Tea Experience, we were greeted by an intoxicating aroma of tea. Directly ahead, a tea master was carefully roasting leaves. We were promptly escorted to the counter, where we were given a menu, an oshibori towel, and a small serving of chilled green tea as refreshment.

Cool and relaxing vibe at Sakurai traditional Japanese tea experience

The vibe

The counter is home to eight comfy wooden chairs, all with back support and cushioned seats for that extra touch of comfort. We’re on the 5th floor here, and the tea room opens up to a fantastic display of Tokyo’s buildings. It’s especially magical when the sun sets and the city lights come on. Right at the counter, you’ll see tea utensils, including a steaming Japanese Chagama and a bamboo water ladle.

As for the room’s design, it’s minimalistic but with a nod to traditional materials. You’ll find a mix of textures like copper, wood, glass, and ceramics. Put them all together, and you get an ambiance and vibe that feels both welcoming and high-class.

The menu

We had our reservation for 19:30 so we arrived in time for the bar menu. While we were tempted to try the liquor course, we decided to have two cocktails each instead. Just a quick note that the menu is seasonal. We arrived for the autumn menu which had specific cocktails and types of wagashi on it. You might have different spirits and cocktails when you decide to visit. We love that Japan is all about seasonality.

We ordered the Signature Gin Tonic for my husband with No.1 Sencha Gin/Tonic water/Soda. We also got the Sannenbancha Gin/Sansho/Lime.

My cocktail was short, but it definitely won. It was delicious and punchy, full of flavour. Sansho is a Japanese type of pepper and combined with the green tea infused gin, it was absolute glory.

On the second course, Greg ordered a Goishicha Tequila with Crème de Cassis de Dijon and I ordered a Genmaicha Whisky with matcha. On this round, I loved my cocktail most, whereas Greg loved his. It was love at first sip. We also got some wagashi each, which perfectly complemented our drinks.

While waiting to pay the bill, we were offered a complementary course of freshly roasted hojicha as a thank you for our custom.

The bill

The Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience is a high-end bar, and a destination for those seeking a unique tea journey. While the drink prices are on the higher end by Tokyo standards, they’re actually quite reasonable when stacked up against similar experiences in international cities like London or New York.

For 4 cocktails, two wagashi, and our cover charge, our total bill came to just under 9500 yen which is roughly $63 or £52.

More wagashi at Sakurai tea experience

Tips and Recommendations

  • Timing Matters: If your main goal is to experience the tea course, aim to arrive during daytime hours to dodge the cover charge.
  • Book Ahead: The bar time is popular and with only eight seats at the counter, reservations are highly recommended.
  • Consult the Experts: If you’re unsure what to order, don’t hesitate to chat with the tea masters. They can personalize your experience based on your taste preferences.
  • Open Your Palate: Don’t assume you won’t like a drink based on its components. For instance, even if you’re not a whiskey fan, you might find the tea-infused whiskey with matcha to be a revelation. It really worked for me.
  • Dress the Part: This is a high-end spot, so smart casual attire is advisable.
  • Photography Etiquette: Feel free to take photos, but please be respectful of others’ privacy and avoid capturing other patrons in your shots.
  • Mind Your Volume: The atmosphere is intimate, so while you don’t have to whisper, keeping your conversation at a moderate volume is appreciated.
  • Savour the Show: Take a moment to watch the tea masters in action. Their meticulous and theatrical preparation is part of what makes this experience special. And this is ultimately what you pay a premium for.
  • Take a Piece Home: If a particular tea captures your heart, consider purchasing some to enjoy later as a delightful souvenir.

Practical Information


The Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience is located on the 5th floor of the Spiral shopping centre in Minami-aoyama Minato-ku, Tokyo. You can use Google maps for easiest access and directions.

Opening Hours

Monday – Friday: 11 AM–11 PM
Weekends: 11 AM–8 PM

Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience

スパイラルビル 5F, 5-chōme-6-23 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan

📞 Contact

🚉 Closest Station (Directions)

Omote-Sando Station

🕥 Opening Hours

Monday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Thursday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Friday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Saturday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the Sakurai tea Experience cost?

The tea course with Gyokuro, blended tea, roasted tea, Matcha, Japanese sweets costs ¥5,220〜, whereas the liquor tea course with Gyokuro/Blended Tea/ Four Tea Liqueurs varieties/Wagashi costs ¥6,230〜. Individual teas and cocktails start from ¥1,620〜

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Cory from You Could Travel entering Senso-ji in Tokyo, Japan

Cory Varga – Cory is a published travel writer and award-winning photographer. She travels full time with her husband and is passionate about creating in-depth travel guides. Cory published her first book on Japanese customs and manners because she’s obsessed with everything Japan. She has visited hundreds of destinations and has lived in 7 different countries. Cory is multilingual and an alumna from The University of Manchester.


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