We visited this place in November 2019, prior to Covid-19. Do check for pandemic-related updates and precautions before making your visit.
What do you get when you combine a nearly thousand years old drink with a hip, modern setting and the allure of social media pictures? You get Matcha Republic!
Wandering somewhat aimlessly around Uji, Kyoto and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of shops touting variations of matcha in the hometown of this marvellous, historic drink, Matcha Republic’s minimalist white storefront called out to me from the myriad traditional stores brimming with packets upon packets of matcha powder.
With various matcha drinks sold in attractive packages (think boba cups and perfume-shaped bottles), it’s clear that Matcha Republic is tailored towards the younger crowd. The pre-bottled drink has reportedly sold over 1.5 million units online.
If ever there was a brand that should win an award for branding and social media savviness, it’s good to be these guys. Aside from using numbers as the names of their flavours (like a certain luxury perfume brand), Matcha Republic also sells a No. 6 Bubble Matcha Latte (¥620) that actually requires customers to follow them on Instagram in order to purchase it. Talk about setting up yourself for social media domination!
Taste-wise, I would say it’s pretty decent, and on the milkier side. You also get a clear plastic bag to make you feel hipster chic as you strut through Uji.
If you’re looking for something fun and unique to try in Uji, Matcha Republic is worth checking out. They’ve since added more desserts like castellas and panna cotta so you can snack to your heart’s content on top of enjoying their matcha-based brews!
Address: Myoraku-26-2 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021
Nearest Station: Uji Station
Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm daily