Gion Tokuya (Kyoto), Matcha bowl and traditional Japanese confectionary

Gion Tokuya

🍵 Popular Tea Room and Mochi Cakes in Hanamikoji

Kanpai's rating
Add to my favorite places
Already visited

Gion Tokuya is a restaurant serving traditional Japanese desserts located on Hanamikoji street in the south of Gion, one of Kyoto’s famous Geisha districts. Authentic and intimate, the place serves delicious typically Japanese confectionery, such as the gelatinous warabimochi, the kakigori shaved ice and the yakimochi rice cake to grill to taste.

Gion Tokuya’s 1rst floor is the ideal place to watch, incognito behind sudare bamboo shades, the comings and goings on Hanamikoji-dori, the famous maiko and geiko street in Kyoto. While giving an interesting vantage point on the very popular and touristic Gion district, this tea room is primarily a restaurant specialized in Japanese confectionery.

This address is highly recommended to taste the famous traditional deserts made with mochi (sweet glutinous rice cake) and matcha (powdered green tea). Gion Tokuya offers a delicious and typical experience of the authentic Kyoto, in an ancient machiya townhouse. Consequently, the stairs to reach the 56-seats restaurant room at the upper floor are quite steep and narrow.

There is usually a short waiting line in front of the tea house, as it is a place that both Japanese and foreign tourists like. Pick up a numbered ticket upon arrival at the entrance of the tea house and check-in into the line. Once you are seated, you’ll be served quickly.

Gion Tokuya (Kyoto), The restaurant and its waiting line

Warabimochi and yakimochi specialties

The menu (available in English) displays only traditional Japanese desserts, that are most of the time served with a green tea or a matcha bowl. Among the must-try desserts, you’ll find:

  • Warabimochi, Gion Tokuya’s specialty. It is a fresh and gelatinous dish made from bracken starch to either sprinkle with kinako, the torrified soy powder; or to coat with thick kuromitsu sugar. With a reputation of being low calory and filled with proteins, this dessert is a locals’ favorite as they enjoy its strong taste and its smooth and creamy texture.
  • Kuzumochi, similar to warabimochi but its recipe includes kuzu, a root plant growing in the Japanese mountains (especially in Yoshino), matcha and wasanbon cane sugar combined to produce glutinous bites.
  • Yakimochi, glutinous rice sticks to grill on a little barbecue at the table. Once grilled, the mochi are to be enjoyed wrapped in nori dried seaweed and dipped into soy sauce, or added to a zenzai red bean soup.
  • Kakigori 🍧, a summer dessert made with finely shaved ice on which various toppings are added, like green tea, anko red bean paste, shiratama glutinous rice, syrup, condensed milk or various seasonal fruits (strawberries, for example).

Gion Tokuya (Kyoto), Sencha tea and Yakimochi rice cakes to grill

Open in the afternoon only, Gion Tokuya is a good place for a dessert after lunch or for an afternoon snack and an authentic and typical break in the historical center of Kyoto. If the day’s fresh ingredients are sold out, the shop can close earlier or only serve part of its usual menu.

⬇️ Further down this page, discover our visit guide in Gion Tokuya and around.
By Kanpai Updated on May 31, 2024 Gion Tokuya