Ippodo's origins date back three centuries to the year 1717, when Rihei Watanabe established a shop called Omiya to sell tea and ceramics. In 1846, the shop was renamed Ippodo, which literally means “preserve one.” The name came from Prince Yamashina, who enjoyed Ippodo tea and wanted the shop to preserve one tradition: providing high quality tea. Ippodo continues to adapt as times change, but has remained devoted to high quality Japanese tea ever since.
Ihei Watanabe from Omi (present-day Shiga) establishes a shop called Omiya to sell tea and ceramics near the Imperial Palace in Kyoto.
The name Ippodo is bestowed upon the shop by Prince Yamashina.
The shop is destroyed by fire during the Hamaguri Gomon Incident, but it is rebuilt at its present location.
Mainly exports tea to the United States. Customers are trading merchants living in Kobe. (Comes up with idea of using wooden boxes lined with tin for shipping at a time when most tea is shipped in ceramic jars or crocks.)
Shop changes focus from exporting tea to domestic retail.
Ippodo employee Yojiro Sado develops a new type of tea, Uji-Shimizu.
First in-store Ippodo shop opens at Hanshin department store in Umeda, Osaka. (Sells 100 g bags at a time when most tea is sold in 400 g bags.)
Ippodo is incorporated as Ippodo Tea Co, Ltd.
Kaboku Tearoom opens at the main store in Kyoto.
Full-scale launch of Japanese tea workshops.
Tokyo Marunouchi Store opens.
Ippodo Tea, New York opens.
Ippodo USA & Canada Online Shop opens.
Japanese tea does more than simply quench your thirst. It can calm you and restore a sense of peace. Taking a break to prepare and enjoy Japanese tea by yourself or with a friend may seem trivial, but it makes your everyday life richer and more fulfilling. Japanese tea is at its best when bought in small amounts and consumed soon after opening. To give as many customers as possible the opportunity to obtain high quality tea at a convenient location, Ippodo tea is now available at over one hundred stores throughout Japan.
An invitation to have tea together can sound like music to the ears. Suggesting “time for tea” works well in all sorts of situations—for a refreshing change of pace, or to just chat or catch up with old friends. It’s a time to rest and unwind while enjoying properly brewed Japanese tea. Come and savor this special time at our tearoom at the main store in Kyoto or our Tokyo Marunouchi Store.
Even one slight change to how Japanese tea is prepared can alter the way it tastes. Workshops held every month teach the appeal and allure of Japanese tea. Learn the basics of how to prepare it, as well as various ways to incorporate Japanese tea into your life.
- Company name
- Ippodo Tea Co., Ltd.
- April 1964
- Masakazu Watanabe
- Head Office
52 Tokiwagi-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0915 Google Maps
- 10 million yen
- Processing, manufacture and sale of premium Japanese green tea from Kyoto.
- Main customers
- Department stores throughout Japan