Chanoyu! Attend a Japanese Tea Ceremony and Learn How To Do It Yourself
When visiting Japan, you can enjoy a Japanese tea ceremony and learn some of the practice yourself.
When visiting Japan, you can enjoy a Japanese tea ceremony—chanoyu, ちゃのゆ, 茶の湯—and learn how to do it yourself.
Tea Ceremony in Suburban Osaka
We attended a traditional-style ceremony in Shijōnawate City, a suburb of Osaka City in western Japan. The ceremony took place in a traditional house on tatami mats. You could sit on floor in a manner most comfortable to you—with your legs under you or off to one side.
Tea and the tea ceremony came to Japan in the 9th Century, imported by Japanese Buddhist monks returning home from China. Tea became popular with the aristocracy and later spread to everyone in Japan.
The ceremony developed for several centuries, at one time becoming very complex and extravagant. It took on its current calm simplicity in the 16th Century at the hands of Master Sen-no-Rikyu, who in turn learned from his sensei.
Tea Ceremony Values
The ceremony emphasizes respect for other people, gratitude and serenity protected from outside disturbances.
Can you really learn how to do a Japanese team ceremony yourself? Yes, with practice. In this one setting you can learn the basic concepts of how to do a tea ceremony. Observe the sensei. Watch how much matcha and water to use. Learn how to stir. Observe the placement of all things. Grace and calm permeate the entire ceremony. Those take time to develop. Japan has many school of tea ceremony style. Almost all of them find their roots with Master Sen-no-Rikyu.
Can do it. Relax, enjoy and do your best.
Tea Ceremony Photos
First you participate in the tea ceremony and then you practice it yourself.
You receive wagashi, a traditional Japanese confectionery.
You politely accept your tea.
The wagashi sits on your tatami mat. The tea is on the mat adjacent to you. After you finish drinking the tea, you place your empty cup on your mat.
Before you serve, your sensei demonstrates how much tea to include when you make it for your neighbor.
Your sensei shows the proper way to stir the tea.
You add the matcha to hot water using the chashaku, bamboo tea ladle.
You use a chasen to stir the tea as instructed by your sensei.
You set your chasen on the tray.
Your tea contains froth. You serve your neighbor who politely accepts.
The tea ceremony takes place in a traditional room with tatami mats.
The tea ceremony takes place in a traditional house.