Located in the heart of Kyoto, in one of the busiest street of Kyoto lies a small shop with an adjacent Tea House called: Hello Kitty Saryo (はろうきてぃ茶寮
). This traditional Japanese tea house isn't a normal tea house, but is designed completely with a Hello Kitty vibe, where guests can enjoy the iconic Sanrio Character while also enjoying Japanese culture.
I happen to come across this tea house by chance when it had just opened its doors. And since I love Hello! Kitty and I love quirky Japanese experiences, so a Hello Kitty tea house was the perfect place for me to have an afternoon tea break.
The tea house is designed with soothing colors, namely a neutral cream color and some touches of light pink and natural wood stuctures. On the walls you will find Japanese inspired Hello Kitty wallpaper, with a kimono dressed hello kitty at Kinkakuji for example. On the other side of the tea house there is a big window, which gives you a very nice sight over the garden, which has some subtle references to Hello Kitty as well. Just search for the hello kitty shrine in the garden... Inside the tea house you will also find some huge Hello Kitty plushies, so that even if you are alone, you can be accompanied by a huge hello kitty plushie to make you feel less lonely. (Or simply because you like to take a picture with the plushie!).
So, now let's talk about the food. The menu is entirely in Japanese, but with limited Japanese or even with pointing your order on the menu to the waitress you will be able to get the food you want. The pictures in the menu are very detailed and should make your choice a lot easier. Expect a lot of cute food and difficulty choosing the cutest dish of them all.
The food is absolutely delicious and created with a lot of craftmanship. Expect to pay a little extra for presentation though. (You are in a Hello Kitty specialized tea house after all!) I found the prices charged to be extremely reasonable. (expect to pay around 1200 yen for a full meal, 700 yen for a cup of tea and another 800 yen for a small appetizer like a cake to go with the tea).
(1 tip: The hello kitty green tea is a green tea WITH milk! I wasn't a big fan of the tea with the milk; I prefer natural, but it was still good. So keep this in mind!)
One more comment, if you did not yet settle your love for hello kitty enough, please visit the bathroom of the Tea House. The bathroom, completed with hello kitty bow mirror and pink sinks you will emerge yourself in another Hello Kitty heaven!
So, in conclusion, if you are in Kyoto and you are looking for a unique place to have an afternoon tea or an early dinner, this is the place for you!
Hello Kitty fans... Be aware! You will love this place and feel a strong urge to come back once you have visited this place once! AND because there is a hello kitty store just next to the tea house, make sure not to overspend !!!
Hello Kitty Saryo
Opening hours: 10:30-18:00
Address: 362-22-2, Masuya-cho, Higashi-yama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto