Private tea ceremony in Kyoto

The tea ceremony, known as Cha no Yu, is one of the most famous and fundamental rituals in traditional Japanese culture, and in this experience you will meet with an expert instructor for an initiation into this ancient art, followed by a relaxing cup of tea with Japanese sweetmeats.

What to expect during a private tea ceremony...

The Japanese tea ceremony goes much deeper than brewing the perfect cuppa - it is deeply intertwined with Zen Buddhism, since (according to legend) a 9th century Chinese writer and herbalist called Lu Yu wrote a poetic treatise that elevated the pursuit of high quality tea to lofty spiritual heights.

The concise work details ideal ways to grow and brew excellent tea, and from it grew an epicurean ritual tradition that is hard to match. This experience will see you taken to a traditional machiya (Japanese townhouse) where you will meet a tea master - a professional instructor who is expert in the tea ceremony - so you can learn the secrets of this legendary ritual.

In Japan, ceremonial tea brewing involves a sequence of distinct gestures - each has its own meaning, and, with the help of your personal translator, your tea master will help you understand these movements.

You’ll be given deeper knowledge of the history of a plant we almost always take for granted, and an understanding of the relationship between tea, the ceremony, and Zen Buddhist philosophy. On a practical level, you’ll be shown how to identify good quality dry tea, and how to prepare it in the manner that brings out its best qualities.

The tea ceremony masterclass won’t just be a demonstration; you’ll be making the tea yourself. Even if material souvenirs aren’t your thing, this is certainly an experience with lasting effects - you don’t throw a teabag into a mug quite so casually after you’ve made tea in such a mindful fashion; although you probably won’t be performing ritual gestures over a cup of Teapigs, your daily brews do become more of a genuine time out.

Once you’ve tried your hand at making tea, you can enjoy your tea master’s expert brew, which will be accompanied with traditional Japanese sweets.

Location: A traditional machiya, Kyoto

Duration: 2 hours

Accommodation: your choice of Kyoto accommodation

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We say...

'Of all the Japanese traditions, this is one of the most ancient and famous, and once you’ve tried it you realise why it’s so enduring - elegant and relaxing, meditative and energising, the tea ceremony experience could easily benefit you for a lifetime.'

Important to note...

Please advise your guide of any food intolerances, as the sweets may contain gluten or dairy.

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