5 star rating: Highly Recommended 22 Reviews

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  • Location:Kyoto, Japan
  • Duration:Varies

Japanese Tea Ceremony with a Tea Master

Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony and learn the sophisticated philosophy behind serving a bowl of tea. You’ll have three options for this experience: a 1-hour tea ceremony in a machiya (traditional wooden building); a 1.5-hour tea ceremony and kimono-wearing lesson; or a 2.5-hour tea ceremony at the private home of a professional tea master. You’ll have a local guide with you to translate any questions you may have as you experience this fascinating aspect of Japanese culture.


  • 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)

Depending on the option you choose, you will either be picked up from your Kyoto city hotel and taken by subway or city bus to meet your tea instructor at their house, or you will meet your instructor at the machiya. For the tea ceremony, you will learn the proper way to sit, and observe how the instructor prepares the tea using matcha—a powdered green tea that dates back to the Tang Dynasty in China. In the 12th century, the monk Eisai brought the powdered tea to Japan.

When the tea is ready, you’ll sip the delicious brew and savor the traditional Japanese sweet that accompanies it. You can even try your hand at preparing the tea with the help of your instructor. Enjoy this quintessential part of Japanese culture that has been described as a formal social gathering, a meditative practice and a performance art.

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.

View additional info

Customer Reviews

Maria P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Beautiful hostess, loads of info. We highly recommend anyone travelling to Japan to do a Tea ceremony

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

My daughters and I were the only attendees for the tea ceremony that day. We learned a lot!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Awesome experience. We got to experience a real authentic ceremony and wear the kimonos. The staff was so helpful and kind. They explained any questions we had. It was a really great experience. i highly recommend this to anyone.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

This was the highlight of our trip. We had a lovely time and it was a very intimate setting. She was very knowledgeable and thorough during the ceremony.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

What a lovely way to pass an hour and half learning about the Japanese history of the tea ceremony. Our host was charming and very knowledgeable - we felt we honoured to spend time with her - and loved our kimonos !

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

The tour company offers a very good service value for money. They were very professional and adapted to our special needs. Our Tea Master was very kind and knowledgeable. I recommend it.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

This was exactly the experience we were looking for. From dressing in kimonos, to learning about the history and rituals of the tea ceremony, to experiencing the ceremony itself, it was perfect. My daughter stated that this was her favorite part of our entire trip. It was a great way to immerse ourselves in historical and traditional Japanese culture.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

Great tour! The host was incredible! Very funny as well! We loved it! Thank you very much!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

Fun to learn.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Amazing tour!!
Sensei Kimi was such a wonderful person! Had the best possible tea ceremony and Kimono experience! Absolutely a must try for everyone who wants to know Japanese culture

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Tour code: 5163KYO201


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