Updated: February 07, 2019
0 Bookmark

Tea Ceremony in Tokyo - Where to Experience It

The ancient Japanese tradition that turns tea preparation into art continues to attract thousands of tourists every year. Here's where to experience it with tea masters!

Feel free to follow favy!
teaceremony2

The History

The Japanese tea ceremony, or chanoyu (茶の湯), is dated back to the 9th century, when the Buddhist monk Eichu (永忠) brought it back from China.
The ceremony, also called The Way of Tea, revolves around the preparation and presentation of matcha (抹茶), powdered green tea.
Over the centuries, the ceremony evolved to become an art form, heavily influenced by Buddhism philosophy, and wabi-sabi aesthetic.

The scholar Okakura Kakuzō (1862–1913) sums up the idea beautifully in his 1906 "Book of Tea":

"It (Teaism) insulates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life."

The Ceremony

tea_ceremony3
Tokonoma alcove with kakemono scroll and ikebana.
The ceremony is traditionally held in a tatami room with a tokonoma alcove with a kakemono scroll that usually symbolizes the season and may feature well-known sayings, particularly those associated with Buddhism, poems, descriptions of famous places, or words or phrases associated with tea.

A flower arrangement, or ikebana, is also indispensable. It should give the viewer the same impression that those flowers naturally would if they were still growing outdoors, in nature.
Besides the preparation and serving of the tea, the practice is also accompanied by a light kaiseki meal and a small wagashi sweet.
The entire ceremony might take up to 4 hours.
teaceremony4
Tea and wagashi sweet.
The use of a kimono is also intrinsic to the ceremony. Since all movements are thought of during the preparation and presentation, the kimono is essential to perform the prescribed motions properly.
The guests may wear a kimono or western formal wear.
teaceremony5
Tea ceremony hosts wearing Kimono.

Where to Go

As an important cultural practice, the tea ceremony can be experienced in various locations in Tokyo.
Here are some great options to immerse yourself into this ancient Zen ritual.

Chazen

Located in the posh neighborhood of Ginza, Chazen offers its guests an authentic tea ceremony with wagashi sweets.
Although located inside an urban building, the flawlessly decorated space is incredibly silent, allowing you to completely immerse yourself in the peaceful experience.
The host has been a master for over 30 years and can explain all the procedures in English or Chinese.
Guests also have the chance to prepare their own cup of tea.

Warakuan Tea House

The Warakuan tea house is on the Inokashira line, a 5-6 minute walk from Komabatodaimae Station, in a quiet residential area.
The tea master's house has a delightful garden covered in beautiful moss, and the sound of water flowing will take you a world away from the city's restlessness.
The ceremony is hosted by the master and his family and lasts about 3 hours.

Nadeshiko Kimono Tea Ceremony

If you feel like full-on traditional, try Nadeshiko Kimono Tea Ceremony!
Nadeshiko is primarily a kimono rental shop, but they also offer a complete tea ceremony with wagashi sweets.
Not only will you learn all about the ritual, but you'll also learn how to put on a beautiful silk kimono.

Nakajima-no-Ochaya

Nakajima-no-Ochaya is located inside the beautiful Hamarikyu Garden that dates back to the 16th century.
For a more relaxed and accessible experience, here you will make your own tea. Instructors are available to assist you with any doubts, but this is a DIY ceremony!
Enjoy the view while you prepare your own matcha tea!

Suntory Museum of Art

The Suntory Museum of Art’s, besides exhibiting a vast collection of Japanese arts and crafts, offers an authentic Japanese Tea Ceremony. The traditional room is constructed using original materials from the museum’s founding in 1961.
It's the perfect day-time tour if you're visiting Tokyo!

Sakurai

The tea master Shinya Sakurai has extensively traveled throughout Japan for 14 years in hopes of finding the best teas before opening his own tea house.
You can book a Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience, in which the master will serve various kinds of tea and you can also get to taste the roasted tea leaves.
A memorable experience!

Restaurants Mentioned in this Article

    Show More...
    lubranco

    Trending Posts

    1

    Ginza Bairin - Ginza, Tokyo : Heavenly, Traditional Katsudon That You Need To Try!

    2

    Biting Into a Pound of Steak! All the Meat You Can Dream of at Nikubaru Gaburi in Shibuya, Tokyo

    3

    Love it or Hate it: How to Eat Natto!

    4

    A Tuna Carving Party In a Club With House Music?? Only in Tokyo!

    5

    "Rishotan Shosaikan" In Kinshicho, Tokyo: Chewy Rice Noodles In A Succulent, Rich Stew Made With Cubed Pieces Of Meat!

    More Trending Posts

    Recommended For You!

    1

    Want To Try Local Japanese Tempura And Soba Noodles?

    favy
    2

    BLUSTA, All-You-Can-Eat Affordable Yakiniku In Hakodate, Hokkaido!

    favy
    3

    Ton Shabu Hide: Delectable Shabu Shabu In Kyoto!

    favy
    4

    Re:Dine GINZA an Innovative Restaurant With a Money Exchange System For Foreign Currencies

    favy
    5

    re:Dine GINZA Serves Umami-Filled Ramen in Ginza, Tokyo

    favy

    Featured Posts

    Halal Restaurants In Japan!

    Things to do in Japan in all regions!

    Exploring Yokocho Alleys: a Guide to the Back Streets!

    More Features

    Events

    Hadaka Masturi: Japan's Big "Naked Festival"

    Feb 16, Sat

    Starbucks' New Sakura Line-Up For 2019!

    Feb 15, Fri ~ Mar 19, Tue

    Tokamachi Snow Festival: Astounding Snow Festival In Niigata!

    Feb 15, Fri ~ Feb 17, Sun

    Yokote Kamakura Festival: An Ancient Festival Of Snow-Houses Built For The God Of Water

    Feb 14, Thu ~ Feb 16, Sat

    Otaru Snow Light Path Festival: Japan's Most Beautiful Winter Candle Light Festival

    Feb 08, Fri ~ Feb 17, Sun

    Trending Tags