Our objective was to determine whether the consumption of green tea, coffee, or black tea influences the incidence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in older people. We conducted a population-based prospective study with Japanese residents aged >60 years from Nakajima, Japan (the Nakajima Project). Participants received an evaluation of cognitive function and blood tests. The consumption of green tea, coffee, and black tea was also evaluated at baseline. Of 723 participants with normal cognitive function at a baseline survey (2007-2008), 490 completed the follow up survey in 2011-2013. The incidence of dementia during the follow-up period (mean ± SD: 4.9 ± 0.9 years) was 5.3%, and that of MCI was 13.1%. The multiple-adjusted odds ratio for the incidence of overall cognitive decline (dementia or MCI) was 0.32 (95% CI: 0.16-0.64) among individuals who consumed green tea every day and 0.47 (95% CI: 0.25-0.86) among those who consumed green tea 1-6 days per week compared with individuals who did not consume green tea at all. The multiple-adjusted odds ratio for the incidence of dementia was 0.26 (95% CI: 0.06-1.06) among individuals who consumed green tea every day compared with those who did not consume green tea at all. No association was found between coffee or black tea consumption and the incidence of dementia or MCI. Our results indicate that green tea consumption is significantly associated with reduced risk of cognitive decline, even after adjustment for possible confounding factors.