• Location: Kyoto, Japan
  • Duration: Varies
From USD $ 37.33 View price calendar

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Experience the traditions of Japan with 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, or a 2.5-hour tea experience hosted in the home of a tea master. Your ceremony 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

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 three 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 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

Customer Reviews

Laura H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

I loved this tour on our trip to Japan. It was a fantastic experience, getting fitted into kimonos and enjoying the rituals of the tea ceremony. It was so interesting and informative. The ladies who taught us were so friendly and it felt very special to learn about this custom in Japan.

mlsalecker

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Excellent activity to do. Easy to understand and lovely people. Had a great time. Would highly recommend.

Amanda S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

This tea ceremony was perfect for learning about old Japanese traditions! It gave us a peak inside the history of Japan and the importance of tea in that history! Our guide was so sweet and knew all about matcha green tea. In this ceremony we learned my favorite saying of my whole trip: Ichigo Ichie

joydeshmukh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

My sister and I choose the option with a Kimono. If you have the time, I definitely recommend this adding that option to this experience. It was fantastic to learn about the Tea Ceremony and experience it while wearing traditional clothes. Also, our host was a very gracious, beautiful and talented host. She made the Tea Ceremony into a work of art. I highly recommend this experience!

Joseph M United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Couldn't recommend this trip enough. The friendliest staff with incredible English and we learnt so much about the origins of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. We took the option to dress up in the kimono which was well worth it as it made for some of the best photos of our trip.

Cassandra H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

This was a lovely experience. We dressed up in Kimono's and learnt about a traditional tea ceremony. We experienced the shortened version of the ceremony - approx 30 mins, as the full one is about 4 hours. Our host was lovely and warm, was very particular when dressing us with all the layers, plus does your hair, and then ushered us around the home to get the best pictures for us. Well worth embracing this experience. Unfortunately, you are allocated time, from the day you choose, so book this in first before planning your day.

sdean

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

This was super fun. It was a little bit difficult for my parents, at 66 years old, to do some of the things where we kneeled or stirred our own matcha but for everybody else-- it was pretty easy and the tea master was so sweet. We loved dressing in kimonos and learning about the whole ceremony.

Audre C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2017

Amazing! The hosts were extremely understanding - even though they didn't have to. We had terrible luck with this event: we had to cancel the ceremony on the day that we had initially agreed to have it due to an accident, and they agreed to postpone to the next day. Next day we ended up coming to the wrong location!! The hosts did not mind it and actually even paid for the taxi for us to get to the right location. The tea master was very pleasant, polite and informative. This is a MUST DO when in Japan, and I could not thank enough to the hosts for being so understanding considering our misfortunes. Thank you again, this has been one of the best highlights of our trip!

Nancy V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2017

This was a truly remarkable experience that I will hold in my heart forever. As a solo traveler, this was beyond my expectations with a wonderful guide meeting me at my hotel and taking me to the beautiful home of the incredibly lovely tea master, and her delightful mother. We had such a wondrous time together, it was like visiting friends from long ago. An experience to be treasured.

Ameena H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2017

I learned a lot about the Japanese Tea Ceremony tradition and was able to make the matcha green tea myself. It was a wonderful experience and it was also great to meet the other guests who were learning the craft as well. Our teachers allowed us to take photos so that we could capture the sacred experience.

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