Our History|歴史


Opening of a clothing shop in Kyoto by the founder of the "Chikiriya Kichiemon" family
Founding of Chikiriya Tea House
Opening of Chikiriya Tea plantation, in Uji-Kohata
Chikiriya Osaka store opened in Umeda
Established as "Chikiriya Tea Shop Co."
Started business with Hanshin Department Store Umeda Main Store in Osaka
Started business with Kyoto Co-op supermarket chain
Started business with Japan Co-op super market chain (JCCU)
Building of Shizuoka factory
Shizuoka Factory certified as a JAS organic factory
Shizuoka Factory acquired ISO 9001 (Quality Management System) certification
"Chikiriya Tea Shop Co." changed its name to "Chikiriya Co."
Renewal of the Chikiriya Store in "Hanshin Department Store Umeda Main Store" in Osaka

Launch of the global online shop : https://kyo-chikiriya.shop


The origin

The name Chikiriya originated in the 16th century with the establishment of the famous merchant family Chikiriya Kichiemon in Kyoto, and the opening of their clothing shop (called "Chikichi") in Koromonotanacho (west area of Sanjo Muromachi).

The history of Chikiriya tea house itself started in the 19th century, with Kakubei AKIYAMA the 5th, a member of this family. In 1854, he founded his own shop in Kyoto under the name Chikiriya and started selling Uji Sencha (Japanese tea from Kyoto prefecture) along side the Kimono from his family business.

Chikiriya tea house, Kakubei AKIYAMA the 6th


Following the success of the tea business, his successor, Kakubei AKIYAMA the 6th, transform Chikiriya into an exclusive tea house "Chikiriya Chaten".


By the end of 19th century, Chikiriya tea house grow quickly becoming a prominent actors in the tea association of Kyoto and the local associative life.


At the beginning of the 20th century, sales expanded to all Japan and shipment by truck from the main building in Kyoto become regular sight.

Chikirya shop, beginning of 20th century

Tea plantation

In 1910, Chikiriya aquired its own tea plantation in Uji with a factory to produced mainly Gyokuro and Matcha.

Chikiriya tea plantation - beginning of 20th century

During the harvesting season, early may, women will be hired to picked the tea buds while men will worked in the factory to steam the leaves or grind them.

Chikiriya was one of the only 3 tea house to possess its own tea plantation, up until the second world war. Following the end of the war, a large land reform was implemented by the government which resulted in the lost of the plantation's ownership.


Post war rebirth

Following the war and the lost of its tea plantation along most of its sales network, Chikiriya restarted its business in Kyoto and started to expand again in Kansai area, opening franchise shops in Osaka and Kobe.

In 1957, Chikiriya brand entered the famous Umeda Hanshin department store in Osaka. And few years later, Chikiriya successfully started selling through the CO-OP supermarket chain, first in Kyoto area from 1964, then country wide in 1976.

To follow with the huge increase in demand that those success generated, Chikiriya build it's own factory for blending and conditioning in 1988. The factory has been certified for Organic production (JAS Organic) since 2001 and ISO 9001 (Quality Management System) since 2006, ensuring the highest quality of all our in-house teas.

Nowadays, Chikiriya remained true to its long cultural tradition and is committed to let people discover the culture of ancient Kyoto through the best of its Japanese tea.


Chikiriya logo

The Chikiriya family is a descendant of the Nishimura clan who was a family of shrine and temple carpenters.

Started from the first occurrence in 1136, it is said that, each year, the Nishimura clan would make an offering for the Kasuga Wakamiya Onmatsuri (Kasuga Shrine Festival). The offering was a wooden stand for placing flowers, called Chikirihana Dai (Chikiri flower stands) or just Chikiridai (Chikiri stands).


Chikiriya logo

The logo of Chikiriya is designed from the shape of this Chikiridai viewed directly from above.

Inside the 3 octagons small plants motifs are decorated such as tachibana (mandarin), wisteria, pine and bamboo.



Local initiative

Gion Festival: Recovery of the Takayama matsuri float.

As part of the Gion festival, there used to be a matsuri float called Takayama in Koromonotanacho, where Chikiriya's head office is located. Takayama was damaged by a heavy wind and rain during the festival in 1826, and could not be paraded after that.

In addition, the three sacred dolls were destroyed by the fire that ravaged part of Kyoto during the the Hamaguri Gate Rebellion (Kinmon Incident) in 1864. Only their heads and hands were recovered from the ashes. They are dressed in simple costumes and continue to be displayed at the meeting place in Koromonotanacho during the Gion Festival.

As a member of the Takayama Preservation Foundation, Chikiriya is supporting the reconstruction of the main Takayama matsuri float, for its participation to the Yamaboko processions of 2022 Gion Festival.