The tea ceremony lies at the heart of Japanese culture, and attending one is a wonderful way to deepen your appreciation of Japan’s history, culture, and lifestyle. This experience takes place in one of Kyoto’s traditional wooden townhouses, a machiya, complete with sliding paper washi doors and tatami mat flooring. The tea ceremony ritual dates back to the 12th century, when Buddhist monks began preparing and presenting matcha green tea in religious ceremonies. It was later adopted by the samurai as part of their mission to bring a concentrated level of awareness to everyday activities. There is a definite controlled meditative element to the ceremony, which is based on harmony, respect, purity, and tranquillity. During the 45 minute experience, in addition to the tea ceremony demonstration, the kimono-clad instructor will guide you through how to prepare your own bowl of matcha, which you will enjoy with a traditional Japanese sweet, wagashi.

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