Afternoon tea is a quintessentially British tradition; sipping on tea, eating tiny sandwiches and sweet treats, and of course the clotted cream and jam scones—however you pronounce it. This mealtime is loved by many around the world and has created a space for pastry chefs to channel their creativity and experimental flair.
"High tea" is a term traditionally used to differentiate between the type of tea service and seating arrangements. Nowadays "high tea" has taken on a more modern meaning, linking the "high" to the luxury components of the usually indulgent British afternoon tea.
Want to learn more about Japanese tea? Check out these tea farm tours in Japan or read our guide to the different types of Japanese tea!
Tokyo's Best Afternoon Tea Spots
The allure of afternoon tea is very much alive in Tokyo, with many of the luxury hotels adding their own flair, competing with one another for the top spot. The best places for afternoon tea in Tokyo boast great views across the capital city and these five-star hotels are the perfect backdrop for this delicious tea-time treat. With award-winning pastry chefs, luxury brand collaborations, and a focus on exquisite seasonal ingredients, Tokyo really takes the crown for the most creative and skillful afternoon tea creations.
If you want a taste of luxury afternoon tea in Tokyo, here are my top three spots to satiate your cravings.
- The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon
- Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi
- Aman Tokyo
1. The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon
One of the newest hotspots in Tokyo offering a collaboration of luxury design, evocative dining experiences, and sophisticated afternoon tea. Placed 31 floors above the city, Edition has certainly created a name for itself, with arguably one of the best views of the capital's skyline. Expansive views of Tokyo Tower and Odaiba Bay leave you floating above the city in this enchanting oasis. A sea of green botanicals create intimate spaces for guests, adding an essence of mystery as soon as you step out of the elevator.
Start this fantastic afternoon tea experience with a selection of free-flowing seasonal teas including Pear Tree Green, Rose Royal, and Merci Mille Fois all served hot or iced, as well as a range of selected coffees.
Following shortly after is your tower of sweet and savory delights. Stand-out bites included the green pea castella and truffle, crème brûlée with hazelnut cookie, and lemon tart with a whipped ganache and Edition branded chocolate ring—classic flavors elevated with innovative skill.
Edition’s afternoon tea set changes throughout the seasons as well as incorporates luxury fashion into some of their collaboration menus, most recently Belgian luxury leather brand La Maison Delvaux. For an even more magical experience, book a seat at Edition’s "Twilight" afternoon tea and enjoy the sunset behind Tokyo Tower.
2. Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi
Four Seasons Otemachi houses the most elegant views in Tokyo, with the Imperial Palace on its doorstep; and on a clear day, you have views of iconic Mt. Fuji on the horizon. Located 39 floors above the city’s most prominent financial district, Four Seasons Otemachi provides a space of modern luxury with a fresh twist, combining Japanese and French elements to create a contemporary take on high tea. The interior is sophisticated and open, with a vibrant color palette of orange and gold warming up The Lounge.
The afternoon tea menu is carefully curated by award-winning executive pastry chef Yusuke Aoki and the Four Seasons in-house wagashi artist to create an afternoon tea menu with ingenious takes on familiar flavors. The focus is on ever-changing seasonality, and specialized tea sommeliers are on hand to produce a truly special experience. Our afternoon tea was based around the prized Japanese strawberry. Highlights included the strawberry yuzu tartlet, smoked salmon sandwich with wasabi sour cream and a strawberry crunch, and the strawberry ravioli with lobster, mikan, and green tea cream. The flavors were so well-balanced and worked harmoniously with one another.
3. Aman Tokyo
Aman Tokyo is the first of the Aman properties to be placed in an urban environment, in the heart of Otemachi’s financial district. Head to the 33rd floor and step out into Aman Tokyo’s spectacular lobby; 30-meter high ceilings open up the space and the reflective water pond makes it feel even bigger. Zen rock gardens, traditional ikebana flower displays, and scenic views over the Imperial Palace and Mt. Fuji create a purely serene atmosphere. Inspired by minimalist Japanese design, an elegant monochromatic hue sweeps across the hotel, with washi paper lining the ceiling, designed to resemble the inside of a shoji paper lantern.
Aman Tokyo provides an iconic afternoon tea experience in Tokyo, prepared by executive pastry chef Miyagawa Yoshihisa, and served with high-quality premium teas by The Ronnefeldt Company. Select the finest treats from the Aman afternoon tea "trunk," which are then served on a three-tier platter with fresh fruit, chocolate, and savory bites.
Strawberry choux buns, chocolate cream eclairs, and warm lemon scones were personal highlights. A luxury high tea experience with delectable treats served in a world-class environment.
Visit these three locations for different types of afternoon teas and sample their indulgent tea sets while immersed in the elegance of Japanese design. Afternoon tea in Tokyo is an extravagant way to spend your afternoon in the city, made even better by the refined setting of a luxury five-star hotel. Delve into the best high tea Tokyo has to offer and feast on the carefully crafted delights at these luxurious hotels.
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