Nakaoen

Since 1873

About Nakaoen


About Nakaoen
The Nakaoen tea store has a long history and is one of the oldest in Wazuka. It was established in the 6th year of the Meiji period (1873). Six generations of the Nakao family have been running this shop and a tea farm in Wazuka, starting with Nakao Rokuzaemon, followed by Rokuzaemon II, Rokuzaemon III, Rokuzaemon IV, Masayoshi, and the current head of the shop, Mr. Nakao Takanobu, to be passed down to his children.

Almost every family in Wazuka and the surrounding region of Uji has a long history of rice or tea farming, and most of them are related with each other and to the tea dynasties in the neighboring prefectures. Young generations grow up surrounded by farming, processing and trading routine, drinking superb tea every day and gaining deep knowledge about every aspect of the tea business. Tea culture is a big part of everyday life in Wazuka. Nakao family is no exception. Before establishing the tea store, the previous generations have been living on tea farming since the very start of tea cultivation in the Kyoto Uji region.

In our day Nakaoen sells fine teas retail and wholesale, is present on Rakuten and Amazon, has international customers, owns a tea estate located in two walking minutes from the shop and a tea processing factory. It is in touch with all local farmers, which counts not only for tea. Every morning the farmers from Wazuka bring fresh vegetables and fruits, herbs and home-made pickles to the shop, where most of it gets sold within one working day. Many local suppliers visit Nakaoen every day. They take a seat an the antique table made of sakura wood and enjoy a small talk with the owner, Mr. Nakao, a certified Japanese tea instructor, is brewing tea for the guests. The shop is open every day from 8AM to 6PM. Take a chance to visit the shop when you come you to Japan.

The Different Types of Tea


Aracha

Aracha

Aracha means "crude tea“ in Japanese. It is fully processed green tea, but the leaves are not sorted.

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Funmatsu-ryokucha

Funmatsu-ryokucha

Funmatsu-cha means "powdered tea“ in Japanese. It is made from pulverized Sencha or Hōjicha (roasted green tea).

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Genmaicha

Genmaicha

Genmaicha is a Japanese tea specialty made from green tea leaves and roasted rice. Usually this type of tea is made from Bancha leaves

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Gyokuro

Gyokuro

Gyokuro means "precious dew“ in Japanese. This tea is characterized by deep, bright green color of the cup, sweet flavor and taste, very low astringency and a rich, round aftertaste.

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Hōjicha

Hōjicha

Hōjicha is roasted green tea. It is usually produced from Bancha leaves from the late Summer picking, thicker and bigger than Sencha.

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Karigane

Karigane

Karigane or Kukicha is a Japanese name for tea with highest content of stems. After the production of Aracha, the leaves are sorted into loose leaves (Sencha) and stems (Kukicha).

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Kōcha

Kōcha

Kōcha or Wakōcha means "black tea“ or, specifically, "Japanese black tea“. The most tea plant varieties in Japan are used to produce green tea, so black tea is considered rare and uncommon.

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Konacha

Konacha

Konacha means "flour tea“ in Japanese. Konacha is made from broken tea leaves and small dust-like leaf particles that are left after the tea processing.

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Matcha

Matcha

Matcha is a brilliant green, sweet and aromatic green tea powder, used for tea ceremony, as well as for different drinks and sweets.

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Sencha

Sencha

Sencha is the most common and widely known type of Japanese green tea. Sencha is steamed green tea made from the finest young leaves.

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Tea Leaves Inspection and Brewing Workshops


Tea Leaves Inspection and Brewing Workshops
In the tea leaves inspection workshop, we will teach you how to tell the differences between low and high quality tea. This course includes analyzing leaves, colors and smells of different types of Japanese tea.

In the brewing workshop, you will learn how to prepare and serve tea without damaging the leaves, so you can preserve all its good properties and flavors.

Takanobu Nakao will be your instructor. He owns a Japanese Tea Instructor certification. Mr. Nakao is really passionate about Japanese tea and wants to share his knowledge with people from all over the world.

You do not need any previous experiences or skills to participate in these workshops, they are open to everyone. Both courses last one to two hours. The tea leaves inspection workshop costs ¥800 per person, and the brewing workshop cost ¥1,000 per person and includes tasting of 3 varieties of tea (sensha, gyokuro, matcha). You can make a reservation or ask any questions by sending an email to info@nakaoen.com

Rakuten and Amazon


We are selling tea from Wazuka, including our own tea estate, and from the entire Kyoto Uji region on Rakuten and Amazon.

You can find our Rakuten shop here: https://global.rakuten.com/en/store/nakaoenchaho/

Click here for our Amazon shop: Amazon Shop 


Rakuten and Amazon

Takenoko Cafe Menu


Internship in Japan


Do you love tea and want to do an internship in Japan with us? You are welcome in Nakaoen! We are looking for interns who can understand everyday conversations in Japanese since most of our staff members cannot speak English. With us, you will get:

- an experience in tea production and business, 

- a deep knowledge about Japanese teas and brewing, 

- a chance to accomplish your personal projects, 

- field trips to other farming areas and cultural highlights, 

- a certificate of accomplished tea or tea trade internship. 

We are open to all kinds of skills. Duties and options can go from helping in the tea shop, posting on our social media, creating events, and any other projects in adequacy with both our company and your goals. For more information about the internship, please send us an email to info@nakaoen.com and let's talk about the details!

For those who can, we recommend to come to Japan and do the internship with the status of "Temporary Visitor" which allows to stay in Japan up to 90 days only with a passport. For those who cannot come with this status, we can submit an application for the Certificate of Eligibility, necessary for you to request the "Cultural activities" Visa (non-profit work or internship). The obtaining of the certificate usually takes between one and three months.

Directions to the Shop and Cafe


Some information about the directions:
-Ticket machines are available in all stations and have an English menu.
-Always keep the ticket you bought at your departure station for the next train connections and to exit the station at your destination.
-The boards with train directions will change from Japanese to English regularly, and if you need any help, there will be train staff members in every station.
-To go to Kamo Station, make sure you are boarding a Rapid train which is faster and cost the same price as the Regular train.
-If you want to pay by cash when riding the bus 66, make sure to have enough coins or ¥1,000 bills (¥5,000 and higher bills are not accepted).
-The bus 66 is rotating only once per hour, so be careful about the timing. The schedule of the bus 66 is visible in Apple maps but not in Google maps.

From Ōsaka Station (大阪駅) (or Tennoji Station (天王寺駅)) to Kamo Station (加茂駅):
-In Osaka Station, buy a ticket to Kamo Station for ¥970 or use your transportation card (Suica, Pasmo). You can also start from Tennoji Station and it will cost you ¥950.
-Then, go to the JR Osaka Loop Line and take the Yamatoji Rapid Train for Kamo Station.
-When you arrive to Kamo Station, take the exit on your right (West exit) and look for the bus stop number 66.
-(Information for the bus 66 from Kamo Station to Higashi-wazuka is described below).
Total cost including the bus fare : ¥1,480 to ¥1,500

From Kyōto Station (京都駅) to Kamo Station (加茂駅) :
-In Kyoto Station, buy a ticket to Kamo Station for ¥760 or use your transportation card (Suica, Pasmo).
-Then, go to the JR Nara Line and take the Rapid Miyakoji Train for Kizu Station.
-In Kizu Station, get off of the train and take the JR Yamatoji Rapid Train to Kamo Station.
-When you arrive to Kamo Station, take the exit on your right (West exit) and look for the bus stop number 66.
-(Information for the bus 66 from Kamo Station to Higashi-wazuka is described below).
Total cost including the bus fare : ¥1,290

From Nara Station (奈良駅) to Kamo Station (加茂駅):
-In Nara Station, buy a ticket to Kamo Station for ¥240 or use your transportation card (Suica, Pasmo).
-Then, go to the JR Yamatoji Line and take the Yamatoji Rapid Train to Kamo Station.
-When you arrive in Kamo Station, take the exit on your right (West exit) and look for the bus stop number 66.
-(Information for the bus 66 from Kamo Station to Higashi-wazuka is described below).
Total cost including the bus fare : ¥770

Riding the bus 66 from Kamo Station (加茂駅) to Higashi-wazuka bus stop (東和束):
-The bus stop 66 is located right at the West exit of Kamo Station.
-Get in the bus from the back door, and either take a small white ticket, or put your transportation card on the card reader.
-Push the Stop button when you see "Higashi-wazuka" (東和束) written on the screen in front of the bus next to the driver. The bus stop name is sometimes only written in Japanese. The station before "Higashi-wazuka" (東和束) is called "Wazuka-Shōgakkō" (和束小学校).
-Get off of the bus from the front door and pay either by coins that you put in a box with the small white ticket or with your transportation card that you should put on a second card reader next to the driver. The bus ride to Higashi-wazuka stop will cost you ¥530. Nakaoen shop and Takenoko cafe are just next to the Higashi-wazuka stop. Cross the street, and you have arrived!


Contact us


  • 〒619-1201 京都府相楽郡和束町園大塚3
  • Ōtsuka-3 Sono, Wazuka, Sōraku-gun, Kyoto 619-1201