Experience the traditions of Japan as you enjoy a 1-, 1.5- or 2.5-hour tea ceremony in Kyoto and learn the origins of this ancient practice. Choose from one of three different tea ceremony options, including a 1-hour session hosted in a machiya, (typical wooden house) a 1.5-hour ceremony complete with kimono dress-up or a 2.5-hour tea experience hosted in the home of a professional tea master. Your tea ceremony excursion includes a guide, who will provide translation, and if you select the 2.5 experience, round-trip transportation from your hotel.

Highlights

  • Private tea ceremony with option for kimono lesson or tea ceremony in a private Kyoto home
  • Understand the meaning behind the ritualized art of preparing and serving tea
  • Learn the correct way to wear a kimono and try one on yourself! (if option chosen)
  • Spend time at your tea instructor’s traditional home (if option chosen)
  • Ask questions of the tea master with the guide there to translate for you
  • Try making a cup of tea after watching the master’s preparations, with help as needed

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

The tea tastes amazing when served in an authentic tea cup. And sitting in a traditional Kyoto house makes you feel like you have entered another era!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Japanese Tea Ceremony with a Tea Master

Kama (iron pot) and Hisyaku (bamboo ladle)

Explore the lineage of ancient Japan during this excursion offering 3 different tea ceremonies in the legendary city of Kyoto. Depending on the experience you select you’ll have the chance to enjoy a typical ceremony, try on a Japanese kimono and in the case of the 2.5-hour experience, get an up-close-and-personal demonstration of the entire tea-making process from a Japanese master.

Your tea ceremony experience will vary depending on the option you select. For the 2.5-hour option, you’ll be picked up from your Kyoto hotel, while in the other two tour choices you’ll make your own way by public transport or taxi to meet your instructor at their home or machiya.

Over the course of your ceremony experience you’ll witness the methodical steps behind Japanese tea preparation. Receive a lesson in proper sitting posture, and then observe your instructor as they prepare the tea from matcha, a powdered tea mixture used since the 12th century when the Japanese monk named Eisai introduced the mixture from China.

When your brew is ready, enjoy the delicate nuances of its earthy flavor, and sample a sweet snack that is typically consumed alongside the drink. You’ll also have the chance to get an in-depth lesson on the correct preparation of this celebrated drink, a refreshment that is half meditation, half performance art.

For full details on the differences between the three ceremonies, review the itineraries below.

View additional info

Itinerary

1-Hour Tea Ceremony
If you choose to participate in the tea ceremony at the machiya, you will be shown into a tearoom. The tea master will explain the tea ceremony to you and show you the proper way to sit, and then you will go through the ceremony together.

1.5-Hour Tea Ceremony with Kimono
Learn to dress in the kimono before you begin your tea ceremony at the machiya. Donning a kimono correctly can be a tricky business, but your teacher will be there to help you!

Tea Ceremony at the Home of a Tea Master
If you have chosen the option at the private home of a professional tea master, your guide meets you in the lobby of your hotel to take public transport with you to the private home of the tea master. Along the way, your guide shares Kyoto’s history and the importance of the tea ceremony in Japanese culture.

When you arrive at the home of your instructor, the tea master, you’ll be welcomed in and have time for introductions before you enter the room designated for the tea ceremony. As the instructor explains the history of tea and shows you the utensils used in the ceremony, your guide will translate any questions that you may have. Then your tea master will begin the ceremony—a choreographed art that requires years of study to master.

After the tea ceremony in the private home, you will have time to relax and chat with your instructor and guide, asking any further questions. When you have finished, your guide will return you to your Kyoto hotel via the subway or city bus.

Click on "View Additional Info" for machiya house location.

Customer Reviews

jason h

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

didn't know what to expect, but had and amazing experience with Tea Master Seiko She was wonderfully hilarious. Learned a lot about the customs, culture, and intricate details of making tea properly. Did not know that there was a lot of meaning attributed to a simple task of making tea. From demonstration, to having you experience it yourself. It was a pure highlight of my trip.

Milena P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

It was wonderful experience with a kimono wearing and explanation about the meaning and traditions for tea ceremony.

Adrienne M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Sitting on your knees on a tatami mat is not the most comfortable, but a small price to pay for participating in a tea ceremony. It as fascinating to learn how each movement has meaning and Kaori was beautiful to watch. Take the opportunity like I did to make a cup of tea. Definately worth it.

Marise L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Highly recommend this tour. The people were very helpful and lovely. My daughter and I had a fantastic time

Samantha R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

This tour was absolutely amazing! Seiko-san was very knowledgeable about the history of Tea Ceremony in Japan and we learned a lot! My fiance and I have wanted to go to Japan for a long time and this experience was 100 worthwhile. We were even able to try making our own tea! The entire staff was kind and generous - we felt like we were visiting lifelong friends! I highly suggest this tour to get a taste of real historical Japanese culture to appreciate the society as a whole - it is amazing how much tea ceremonies impacted history and Japanese politics. We plan to go back when we return to Japan in the future!

Kristen B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Our host was the best!! She made the whole experience great. We loved every minute of it. She should get a raise!

esdok

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Nice experience . Place is very near imperial palace . Easy to find.

Alison I

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

It was a totally awesome activity. My adult children was quite unimpressed when first hearing about doing this, but when they were immersed in the activity they really enjoyed every aspect of the program. I was impressed by the knowledge and ease in which the instructor was able to communicate with us and how welcoming and helpful the staff was with us. Great program and will plan to do the cooking class when visiting Kyoto again.

Rachael S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

We had a fantastic time during the Tea Ceremony with Kimono. I was feeling sick and our host made sure I was comfortable at all times. She spoke fantastic English which made the ceremony even better. It was a great authentic cultural experience which I would recommend to all.

JOSE MARIA M Andorra

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

it was, simply, a spiritual and peaceful experience. The Tea master was very sympathetic with us and showed a great skill on the Tea Ceremony Art

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Tour code: 5163KYO201

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