Hi,I’m Keiko from Osaka!
Tea ceremony, or sometimes referred to as the way of tea, is more than just drinking a cup of deep green, frothy matcha (powdered green tea).
It is a spiritual art itself and it represents the Japanese hospitality at its best.
The Japanese tea ceremony has a heavy influence from Zen Buddhism.
The graceful movements of the host of the tea ceremony, the minimalist tearoom set-up, arts inside the room, the choice of the sweets, everything has a meaning.
Participating in a tea ceremony is a great way to look deep inside the hearts and minds of the Japanese.
Let me introduce you to 5 best places where you can enjoy “the way of tea” in Kyoto!
Top 5 Best Places for Tea Ceremony in Kyoto!
1.MAIKOYAMaikoya offers the place where you can experience the tea ceremony with a real geisha.
The English fluent host will give you the background of the tea ceremony, history and the meaning of the rituals.
Besides from the tea ceremony with geisha, there are various opportunities to learn about tea ceremony at Maikoya.
From the basic course to the one you can participate in a ceremony wearing a kimono.
This is a great opportunity for you to experience a tea ceremony fitting to your schedule and interest.
The basic one coats around 2,400yen.
Maikoya can be accessed via Hankyu Kawaramavhi station.
Please refer to this article about my geisha tea ceremony experiences.
2.Taiho-an in Uji/宇治の対鳳庵It is in Uji city that the Japanese tea was believed to be first cultivated.
Uji remains to be the best producer of the premium green tea today.
Located conveniently across the World Heritage Site, Byodo-in temple, Taiho-an is a nice little teahouse operated by the City Government of Uji.
It offers matcha along with the Japanese traditional sweats for ¥500 only.
You can also have the tea ceremony for ¥1,200 though you need to reserve 3 days in advance.
Tea is served at a table and chair setting, so you don’t have to worry about being uncomfortable on the tatami mat, if that is your concern.
Tickets must be purchased at the Tourism Information Center, which stands right next to the Taiho-an.
For further information, please refer to the brochure of Taiho-an.
Here is a video of Taiho-an:
3.“En” in Gion/茶道体験スペースEn“En” is a small Japanese style teahouse located in Gion.
At En, you can experience the Japanese tea ceremony in the traditional setting in the Japanese tatami room, where the kimono-attired host will explain the culture, etiquette of the Japanese tea ceremony.
The ceremony starts at every hour between 14:00 and 18:00 and priced at ¥2,500 per person.
You can also request for a private tea ceremony to enjoy the serenity and deeper learning.
The private service is available starting at 2 persons (¥4,500 per person).
En is located right next to Chion-in Temple in a small alley, accessible by City Bus #206 (a short walk from Chion-in Mae).
Reservation is recommended.
4.Tea Ceremony Ju-An/茶室 聚庵The Tea Ceremony Juan offers the only authentic and Zen-consecrated Japanese tea ceremony in a small tea room with a traditional Japanese garden.
You can experience the tea ceremony, accompanied with the sweets between 11am and 17:00pm,
The hostess is very knowledgeable,she explains the history and significance of Japanese tea ceremony in fluent English.
You can observe the rituals and the culture of the Japanese tea ceremony while being comfortably seated.
The tea ceremony is available at 2,000yen per person and you need to reserve in advance.
5.Camellia in Ninenzaka and Ryoan-ji Temple Areas/茶道体験 カメリアLocated right off the major tourist spot of Ninenzaka near Kiyomizu temple, Camellia offers a sense of peace and tranquility away from the mass waves of tourists outside.
You can join in a group tea ceremony, where the bilingual host articulately shares the history and the culture of the Japanese tea ceremony.
After the orientation, you get to observe the host performs the ceremony, which will be followed by your own trial of making matcha tea.
The ceremony is available at every hour between 10:00 to 17:00 and costs 2,000yen per person.
The unique feature here is that they have a partnership with the kimono rental shop, Yume Kyoto, where you can rent a Kimono for the tea ceremony at a discounted price.
Camellia also offers the private ceremony for those who prefer to enjoy the ceremony in the comfort of your own group, which costs 6,000 yen per person (2 pax min).
The private tea ceremony is offered at a different location, where the teahouse has a nice Japanese garden, located near Ryoanji temple.
AfterwordsTea ceremony is one of the best way to experience Japanese culture.
My favorite tea ceremony place is Taiho-an in Uji-city.
It’s not famous among foreign tourists,but you can experience authentic tea ceremony at a reasonable price.
You should drop by there if you visit Byodoin temple.
I hope you enjoy the tea ceremony in Kyoto!
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