The Japanese Tea Ceremony

Today I challenged the Japanese tea ceremony with my American friends. It is one of our traditions, and I guess most of foreigners who want to come to Japan are interested in it.

Here is a link about the Japanese tea ceremony.

To tell you the truth, I have any knowledge about the Japanese tea ceremony because I’ve never learned about it. Since I was younger, I haven’t liked both the tea ceremony and the Japanese flower arrangement because I don’t like wearing kimono. Right now I’m regretting about it because I can’t explain anything about them.

I knew that when we had the tea ceremony, both of my friends were very nerves. They had no clue about manors of the tea ceremony. Even though they asked me how to do, I also had no idea about it. All I could say was follow to other people doing.

Our tea ceremony was very traditional activity. It has long history. In ancient days there were tearooms in upper class people’s houses. It was hobby for them. In modern days the tea ceremony is almost for women, but in old days it was for men. When you visit samurai’s house, you can look at tea rooms in their houses. Modern Japanese people also have their tearooms in their house if they are interested in the tea ceremony.

In our case, we went to a Japanese garden in Fukui. Today’s our plan was wearing Japanese armors, but it didn’t work. Only every Saturday afternoon we can wear Japanese armors. Therefore, we changed our plan. In same place we also can wear samurai costume. When my American friends wore the costume, I couldn’t help laughing at them. I really would like to visit there on Saturday again to try to wear Japanese armors with them.

In the garden we have a historical building. There is a tearoom in the building, and we can have a ceremony. Three or four women wearing kimono served us a cup of Japanese green tea and a Japanese sweet. The sweet looked very pretty. It looked like a Japanese fruit called “kaki”. I guess it is called persimmon in English. We ate it first and then we drank a cup of Japanese green tea. While we were waiting for the service, we could observe how to make green tea. A woman wearing kimono using tea materials called “chadougu” and made us a cup of tea. We really enjoyed looking at a lovely Japanese garden while we were drinking a cup of Japanese tea.

I really think it was a good experience for my American friends. I hope both of them could understand a part of our traditions.

If you would like to try to have the tea ceremony in Japan, you should go to Japanese gardens. In major places like Kyoto and Nara the cost of tea ceremony is kind of expensive. In our case, we can take both a Japanese sweet and a cup of green tea for only 500 yens. Of course, we can view a very lovely Japanese garden.

Here is a link of my blog about the Japanese garden. If you are intersted in it, please read the entry.


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