Tea ceremony for everyone! Workshops with English interpretation, Sat. Nov. 17


The “Kōka” teahouse, an Important Cultural Property, is beautifully situated within the garden of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum.

Tea ceremony made approachable! Learn about the history and aesthetics of the Japanese tea ceremony, and how you can bring the tea ceremony into your own life. right now, without lessons or a teahouse or all the special utensils.  At the same time you can experience an authentic tea ceremony in a historic teahouse within a beautiful Japanese garden, just as the fall colors are beginning to turn.  Details and sign ups here on the museum website.

Location: “Kōka” Teahouse, in the garden of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

Hosts: tea masters from the Urasenke School of Tea, one of the three historical households directly descended from the 16th century tea master Sen no Rikyū. They are “the real deal” but their focus is on making tea ceremony something anyone can do. I’ll be there to provide English interpretation.


The garden is beautiful in all seasons. It was recently restored, after a closure of several years.

Capacity:  15 people per session, for 2 sessions (one in the morning, one in the afternoon) for a total of 30 lucky folks.  (Reservations will be closed as soon as a session reaches capacity). Based on past experience, I expect both to fill up quickly so if you’d like to attend please don’t delay in signing up.)

Fee: 3,000 yen per person (includes a serving of “usucha” tea and a traditional sweet, and a beautiful tea whisk handmade in Kyoto to take with you so you can enjoy matcha tea at home. You will also need to purchase either garden admission (200 yen) or regular museum admission (1,200 yen), which gives you access to the museum, the current exhibition and the gardens. You’ll be able to see all the splendor that is the former Prince Asaka Residence as well as the current exhibition about exoticism in Art Deco.


I attended a version of this workshop  in October so I’d be able to interpret.  I really enjoyed it and thought it worthwhile. It gave me ideas about how I can bring tea-ceremony aesthetics into my own life, at home.


The mood is casual. Photography is allowed and questions encouraged. You don’t have to sit on your knees — everyone is invited to sit cross-legged or with their legs to the side, and to stand up and stretch if needed.

Now that it’s been de-mystified, you can be sure I’ll be whisking up my own matcha at home now. Everyone gets a tea whisk, handmade in Kyoto, to take home.


I am happy to have a tea whisk of my very own. Now that it’s all been de-mystified, you can be sure I’ll be whisking up my own matcha at home now.






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