Message from the President
In Japan there are many phrases and sayings related to tea. Japanese tea represents Japanese culture, which has been passed down by Japanese people historically and traditionally closely related and influenced to lifestyles of Japanese people.
Today, serving tea in a teapot at home or at work is becoming less and consumption of green tea is decreasing. Thus, we are committed to ensuring high quality tea and developing tea products that matches to modern lifestyle, according to our corporate identity “Revival of green tea culture” and ”Creating and providing culture and space related to green tea” Chikiriya Tea Shop founded in 1854, blending original flavour, aroma and colour from raw tea leaves selected from best farmers.
Chikiriya Saryo (Café and Restaurant) at Shijo-Karasuma, serving cuisine and providing a space using tea as key material.
With this two sides of the same coin of Chikiriya, it is our mission and hope for a life with tea to bring relaxation of the mind as well as contributing to the health of people.
Chikiriya Co., Ltd
Chikiriya founded in 1854 was established by Kakubei AKIYAMA the 5th, a dealer at the branch shop of Chikichi, a long established kimono shop in Kyoto, when he began selling tea produced in Yamashiro, Kyoto Prefecture.
The brand name Chikiriya has a long history of more than 450 years dated back to the 1550’s. In the late 18th Century 60 shops existed using the same name Chikiriya. From one of the Chikiriya family Chikichi was separated and given permission of sharing the goodwill from one of the Chikiriya shops. Kakubei, AKIYAMA who apprenticed to Chikichi from early childhood, began making and selling Buddhist vestments in 1756 under Chikichi brand in Sanjo Koromodana. In 1854, Kakubei AKIYAMA the 5th, started new business and established Chikirya Chaten (tea shop), which is our origin.
In the Taisho Era (1912-1926; the reign of the Emperor Yoshihito), Chikiriya Chaten had its own tea garden in Kihata, Uji, Kyoto Prefecture. According to a document dated in 1926, only 3 tea retailers managed its own tea plantation, which was very rare at those times. It is assumed that the tea produced at those times was mostly Sencha, which is most widely drunken Japanese tea still today.
The Chikiriya Crest
Chikiriya family, the oldest merchant family in Kyoto has its origin from Nishimura clan, said to be a descendant of Fujiwara no Fuhito or posthumous name Tankai Ko (659–720). Nishimura clan who was miyadaiku (shrine/temple carpenter) participated in the construction of Nanto Ichijo-In Temple. In 1136 the first On-Matsuri, a festival held at Wakamiya-Jinja Shrine, which stands in the precincts of the Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine in Nara, was organized. The Nishimura family made a wooden stand for placing offerings of flowers, called Chikirihana Dai (Chikiri flower stands) or just Chikiridai (Chikiri stands) and said to have continued down to centuries. The crest 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.