Afternoon tea: Tokyo top picks

Spend a couple of lazy hours over fancy brews and sweets
Afternoon tea in Tokyo | Time Out Tokyo
In the mood for afternoon tea? Tokyo favourite Mandarin Oriental delivers
By Time Out Tokyo Editors |
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The centuries-old English tradition of afternoon tea is alive and well in Tokyo, where city hotels are constantly working to one-up each other with ever more luxurious servings. Especially popular with the capital's ladies of leisure, these sets generally come with an extensive sweets selection including goodies like cakes, scones, small sandwiches and the like, of course in addition to the high-quality brews. Here are our top 20 picks of hotel lounges, cafés and restaurants catering to those looking to add a hint of style to their weekend afternoon or impress visiting friends and family.

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Restaurants

Shangri-La Hotel: The Lobby Lounge

icon-location-pin Marunouchi

Complete with live piano music, the atmosphere at this 28th-floor spot in the heart of the city is worth savouring. Until the end of May, you can enjoy their Floral Afternoon Tea, a mouth-watering mix of flower-inspired sweets and pistachio cream puffs with chocolate ladybirds. Combine your organic tea or coffee with three different kinds of sandwiches. Refills are free, so take your time and enjoy the view.
When? 12noon-5.30pm (weekends and hols from 1pm)
How much? ¥4,300 (plus tax and service)

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Restaurants

Strings by InterContinental: The Dining Room

icon-location-pin Shinagawa
If you’re looking for an originally Japanese, seasonally changing afternoon tea offering, visit the Strings by InterContinental in Shinagawa. Up to the end of May, you can enjoy spring-filled desserts like sakura cherry pound cake and matcha cake rolls, served in three-tiered Arita ware ceramic globes. The set also includes a sakura-flavoured scone and mini sandwiches, as well as six kinds of TWG tea and French pressed coffee.
When? 2.30pm-5.30pm
How much? ¥4,000 (plus tax and service)
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Restaurants, Cafés

Hotel Chinzanso: Le Jardin

icon-location-pin Mejirodai

The Chinzanso's third-floor lounge provides great views of the hotel's gorgeous Japanese-style garden. Stop by for classic English afternoon tea, produced in collaboration with famed perfume brand Annick Goutal and featuring a variety of finger foods and three types of scones – including vanilla, peach and classic plain. You can choose from more than 20 kinds of tea, all with free refills.
When? 12noon-6pm
How much? ¥3,800 (plus service)

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Restaurants, Brasseries

Grand Hyatt: The French Kitchen

icon-location-pin Roppongi
If you’re looking for reasonably priced afternoon tea, look no further than the Grand Hyatt. Through September, the hotel collaborates with French tea brand Janat, offering an apple-themed mix complete with Janat's kitty symbols. The variety of desserts includes apple tarts and daily cakes – a strange combination, perhaps, but the cat designs, terrace seats and Janat apple tea actually go together rather nicely.
When? 2.30pm-5.30pm
How much? ¥3,000 (plus tax and service)
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Restaurants

Mandarin Oriental: Oriental Lounge

icon-location-pin Nihonbashi
The top-floor lounge at Nihonbashi's Mandarin Oriental provides spectacular city views, along with an afternoon tea set complete with scones, sandwiches and a wide variety of seasonal petits fours. The sweets aren’t too sweet, so you won’t feel guilty even after finishing all three tiers. 20 kinds of coffee and tea are available, all with free refills – they don't call it 'Legendary Afternoon Tea' for nothing. Prefer a lighter lunch? You can also order à la carte.
When? 12noon-5.30pm
How much? Weekdays ¥4,200, weekends ¥4,800 (plus tax and service)
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Hotels, Luxury hotels

Park Hyatt: The Peak Lounge

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

Enjoy this traditional English-style afternoon tea in the beautifully lit, sunny atrium on the 41st floor of the Park Hyatt. The set includes unlimited mini-sweets and finger foods, as well as seasonal scones that come in flavours like lavender. It also comes with a bottomless tea selection – a full 25 different flavours are available.
When? 2pm-5pm (from 12noon on weekends and holidays)
How much? ¥5,000

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Restaurants

Andaz: Andaz Tavern

icon-location-pin Toranomon
Gaze out over the Imperial Garden and the Skytree while enjoying afternoon tea highlighted by the Andaz's signature bite-size éclairs. On the top tier you’ll see lollipop foie gras, while freshly baked scones with seasonal jam and clotted cream can be found below. You can share the snack stand, which is officially for one person, while drinks cost an extra ¥1,500.
When? 2pm-6pm
How much? ¥3,900 (plus tax and service)
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Bars and pubs, Hotel bars

Imperial Hotel: Imperial Lounge Aqua

icon-location-pin Hibiya
Look out over Hibiya Park while feasting on this classic set that includes a small appetiser and soup, in addition to goodies like freshly baked scones, chocolates and other colourful pastries. The drink menu features 20 choices, including tea blends served only at the Imperial Hotel, and all drinks are freely refillable.
When? 11.30am-6pm
How much? ¥4,320 (plus tax and service)
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Restaurants

The Peninsula: The Lobby

icon-location-pin Hibiya

The majestic chandeliers add an additional touch of style to this traditional afternoon tea setting. The tea stand features homemade organic scones with their original clotted cream, sandwiches, and petits fours made with seasonal ingredients, while around 20 tea flavours are available with free refills.
When? 2.30pm-5pm
How much? ¥3,900 (plus service)

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Restaurants

Aman: The Lounge by Aman

icon-location-pin Otemachi
Aman offers a sleek, black-themed afternoon tea set with both savoury treats and seasonal sweets, updated every two months. Their lounge boasts floor-to-ceiling glass windows through which you can admire the spectacular Tokyo skyline while listening to the tunes of a koto harp.
When? 11.30am-9.30pm (last entry 7pm)
How much? ¥4,600, ¥5,800 with a non-alcoholic cocktail, ¥6,800 with champagne (plus service)
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westin AT
Restaurants

The Westin: The Lounge

icon-location-pin Ebisu

Look out over the lush garden while enjoying the Westin's 'classical' afternoon tea, offered only on weekends at the Lounge. Pastry chef Kazuo Suzuki's sweet relishes include mini-sandwiches, freshly baked scones and a variety of desserts, all very neatly plated. The drink selection features ten different kinds of herbal and standard English teas, as well as several varieties of coffee. Refills are free here too. For the third session of the day (5pm-7pm), a glass of sparkling wine is included.
When? Weekends (three rounds of two hours each from 12noon, last orders 30 mins before end time)
How much? ¥4,500

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regency AT
Restaurants, Italian

Hyatt Regency: Caffè

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

Unlike your typical afternoon tea purveyor, the Hyatt Regency brings you a plateful of seasonally themed desserts at their all-day dining restaurant. Prepared by Hirokazu Sato, the hotel’s renowned pastry chef who used to practise his craft at Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki in Paris, it's offered plate by plate – like a course meal ranging from amuse to coffee with petits fours. Free refills for tea and coffee are included, while a savoury waffle plate will be introduced from May.
When? 2.30pm-5pm
How much? ¥3,300 (plus service)

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IC Bay japanese
Restaurants

InterContinental Tokyo Bay: New York Lounge

icon-location-pin Takeshiba

Indulge in health-conscious, seasonal afternoon tea on the InterContinental lounge's massive luxury sofa. Take your pick of either a classical British stand or Japanese-style tiered food boxes. The latter come with sakuramochi and a parfait featuring black sesame ice cream. We also like the veg smoothie soup prepared by the hotel’s French chef.
When? 11am-10pm (last orders 8pm)
How much? Weekdays ¥3,333, weekends ¥3,833 (plus tax and service)

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Restaurants

Hotel New Otani: Garden Lounge

icon-location-pin Kioicho
Boasting spectacular views of the hotel's Japanese garden, the New Otani's most popular restaurant now also serves afternoon tea. Alongside the familiar dessert buffet, you'll find a variety of cakes and scones. Grand chef Shinsuke Nakajima adds a Japanese touch to the classic English set-up, serving up sandwiches and scones made with original twelve-grain rice flour, plus seven kinds of pastries presented on a three-tier cake stand.
When? 3pm-6pm (weekends and hols from 1.30pm)
How much? ¥6,200 (plus tax and service)
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15
China Blue

Conrad: China Blue

Who said afternoon tea sets should be dominated by sweets? The Conrad’s China Blue offers dim sum afternoon tea on weekdays, serving up three varieties of savoury steamed dumplings and even a bowl of spicy noodles. Chef Albert Tse’s creations incorporate influences from Chinese herbal medicine to keep you healthy, while the subtle presentation is sure to satisfy your eyes. You’ll also get to pick your favourite from a range of Chinese teas, including blooming tea, white tea and pu-erh.

When? 2pm-4pm
How much? From ¥3,800 (plus tax and service)

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cerulean AT 2016
Bars and pubs, Hotel bars

Cerulean Tower Tokyu: Bello Visto

icon-location-pin Shibuya

In addition to the Zabo lounge's popular afternoon tea, the Cerulean Tower has started to offer a limited serving at the 40th-floor Bello Visto. This one features a quiche, shrimp cocktail, marinated salmon, sandwiches, scones and a variety of sweets, while more than 20 kinds of tea and coffee are available with free refills. The bar waives its table fee for tea time, but you can choose to pay the price (¥1,188) anyway in exchange for a glass of champagne. There are only five pairs of this set available per day, so reservations are essential.
When? Weekdays 4pm-7pm, weekends from 1.30pm (two hours)
How much? ¥3,800

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Ritz-carlton AT 2016
Restaurants

The Ritz-Carlton: The Lobby Lounge & Bar

icon-location-pin Roppongi

Feel the heart of the city at this 45th-floor space, where the standard Heavenly Tea set comes with superb lemon scones and a seasonal menu. On weekends, the resident 'tea master' serves his signature brew. Also, this spot offers a set for kids (12 years and younger), inviting you to enjoy an elegant tea moment with the young 'uns.
When? 12noon-5pm
How much? From ¥4,200 (plus tax and service)

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hilton AT 2016
Hotels

Hilton: Zatta (Tsunohazu)

icon-location-pin Nishi-Shinjuku

The Hilton's renowned dessert buffet is always a worthy choice, but this refined tea set – served at the sophisticated lounge on the second floor – isn't to be missed either. Alongside classic treats like mini sandwiches and scones, it features several kinds of desserts, themed on strawberries until May 22 and taking on an Alice In Wonderland appearance (pictured) for summer.
When? 2.30pm-6pm
How much? ¥3,500 (plus tax and service)

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four seasons AT 2016
Restaurants, French

Four Seasons at Marunouchi: Motif Restaurant & Bar

icon-location-pin Marunouchi

Marunouchi's Four Seasons caters to finger food fans with its extensive selection of mini-bites that includes highlights like a small wagyu beef burger and truffle popcorn with cumin and parmesan chips. 30 kinds of drinks, including hot chocolate, are available with free refills, while champagne or sparkling wine costs an additional ¥1,000.
When? 2.30pm-5pm
How much? ¥4,000 (plus tax and service)

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palace AT 2016
Hotels

Palace Hotel: The Palace Lounge

icon-location-pin Otemachi

If it's a Japanese-style, seasonal afternoon tea experience you're looking for, there's no place better than the Palace. Up to the end of May, the hotel is offering a spring-themed tea set, with smoked salmon and asparagus sandwiches lined up right next to inarizushi rolls and wagashi sweets made with seasonal ingredients. Their strawberry-filled desserts are another highlight, but don't forget the free refills of either coffee, English tea or Chinese tea, with the latter available in 20 different flavours. 
When? 1pm-4.30pm (weekends from 2pm)
How much? ¥4,000 (plus tax and service), ¥5,800 with champagne

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