I planned a couple activities for our first day in Kyoto. Our first stop was Tea Room Ju-An to learn about the Japanese Tea Ceremony and the traditional way to make and drink matcha tea.
In the midst of the busy streets of Kyoto, we stepped into a quiet and relaxing Japanese garden with a koi pond and the tea room.
There are six group sessions daily and you can see the times on their website. Each ceremony has a maximum of 6-7 visitors. I booked a private session for me and my sister.
We entered the simple tatami room of the chashitsu (Japanese tea room) where our nice host Masumi taught us everything about the tea ceremony and demonstrated how to make and drink the tea.
I underestimated just how much goes into a traditional tea ceremony. After Masumi did her demonstration, we had an opportunity to make the tea ourselves.
Wagashi (Japanese confections) are usually served with the tea and made into shapes from nature such as flowers, fruit and leaves, and include seasonal ingredients. The sweets enhance the taste of the tea.
It’s important to whisk the matcha powder and water until it’s smooth and frothy.
The tea bowls come in a variety of sizes and styles. The best bowls are handmade and many are extremely valuble. Wait, you paid how much for that bowl?!
There are certain ways to hold the tea bowl and you must rotate it to avoid drinking from its front.
We were officially Japanese Tea Ceremony certified! Masumi even emailed us our certificates with our names and picture a few days later.
We had a lovely experience learning about the Japanese tea ceremony. Masumi was a great host and very informative. I highly recommend Ju-An Tea Room if you’re in Kyoto. It’s one of the few places where you can experience the Japanese Tea Ceremony in a genuine and truly authentic Japanese tea room.
The other experience I booked for our first night in Kyoto was a unique private dinner. I couldn’t wait!
Tea Room Ju-An
508 Shiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
Kyoto Prefecture 600-8212, Japan