1. Best 5 Places to Enjoy Tea Ceremony in Kyoto

Best 5 Places to Enjoy Tea Ceremony in Kyoto

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Although participating in a tea ceremony is the perfect way to deepen your understanding when experiencing Japanese culture, it has been difficult for foreigners to experience it because of the language barrier. However, the surge in the increase of foreign tourists has contributed to more stores accommodating English speakers. In this article, we will be introducing stores that accommodate English speakers. We will also be sharing a comparison table that is ideal for choosing a store that suits your needs. We also summarized the knowledge you need to have before participating in a tea ceremony.

MAIKOYA Kimono Tea Ceremony, Downtown and GION Locations

Tea ceremony

 

MAIKOYA Kimono Tea Ceremony is the most popular tea ceremony venue in Kyoto and only tea ceremony venue in Japan that was included in  Tripadvisor’s nationwide Travelers Choice Award two years in a row. MAIKOYA is the only tea ceremony experience that is offered every hour in two convenient locations that includes the kimono wearing experience. Maikoya has two locations, one in the center of downtown Kyoto right next to Kawaramachi Station and one in the middle of GION, the traditional geisha district. At MAIKOYA,  visitors can wear a kimono, learn the culture and history of the ritual from the exhibitions and actually make their own tea led by the host. The hosts at MAIKOYA speak perfect English and the staff members are very friendly. There are many exhibitions and artifacts in the facility that explain the connection between the zen philosophy and tea ceremony. The tea ceremony with casual clothes cost 2400 JPY. If you’d like to wear a kimono and do the tea ceremony together it costs 5200 JPY. MAIKOYA allows guests to have a group tea sessions or PRIVATE TEA CEREMONY sessions in either of its locations anytime between 9 AM in the morning to 6:30 PM in the evening. For those who are interested in kimono, guests can walk outside or rent the kimono for the rest of the day. There is a small garden and some backdrops to take a picture at. Sometimes there is a live koto performance for guests to enjoy without any charge.  

Website:https://mai-ko.com/culture/tea-ceremony/

 

CAMELLIA Tea Ceremony in the traditional district of Kyoto

The highly-acclaimed, CAMELLIA Tea Ceremony won the Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2017 three years in a row and has won rave reviews from customers. CAMELLIA Tea Ceremony owns two tea rooms, one by Ryoanji Zen Temple (Camellia GARDEN) for a private tea ceremony experience and another on Ninenzaka near Kiyomizudera Temple that offers tea ceremonies for groups. After watching a tea ceremony performance explained in English, guests can try the process of making a beautiful foamy cappuccino-like green tea. Each session is 45 minutes, and the price for a group session is 2,000 yen for adults and 1,000 yen for children. Eight sessions are offered on a day that starts from 10:00 and end at 17:00. For a more luxurious experience, we recommend booking Camelia GARDEN. The price is 6,000 yen for 7 years old and older and is free for children 6 years old and under. Although the minimum party size is for two guests, the tea house accepts a single-guest service with 10,000 yen. Each session is 60 minutes and can be chosen from four sessions that start from 11:00 and end at 17:00. The gorgeous tea rooms and the prime location make it a perfect choice for those who want to have an authentic tea ceremony experience.

Website: https://www.tea-kyoto.com

Tea Ceremony Room Juan in the Gion area of Kyoto

Tea Ceremony Room Juan offers tea ceremony explained in English at an exquisite tearoom

surrounded by a petit Japanese garden for a great deal of only 2,000 yen. Driven by a passion to share the marvelous environment of the tea house, Tea Ceremony Room Juan is committed to sharing the traditional tea ceremony experience. You will be able to learn Japanese words and history related to the ceremony as well as and the steps in performing it. It even comes with a sweet that is given as a going away present. Sessions are offered from 11:00 until 17:00 and each runs for 50 minutes. Children until 14 years old can have a half-priced discount and children below 6 are free. It is located near Kyoto Station and is an excellent way for finishing off your travel with a great tea ceremony.

Website: http://www.tearoomjuan.com/

Japanese Tea Ceremony Experience in Kyoto En

As the name “En” (縁) suggests, Japanese Tea Ceremony Experience in Kyoto En takes pride in treasuring the relationships fostered through tea ceremony through offering introductory tea ceremony classes in English. The class includes a tea ceremony introduction, presentation, and offering an opportunity for guests to make powdered green tea on their own. It is open every day with no holidays, which is great for tourists. The group lesson which spans for 45 minutes is offered for 25,00 yen from 14:00 until 18:00. The private tea ceremony can be taken for 45,00 yen and runs from 13:00 until 19:00. Although the reservation starts with two people, it also accepts single-person reservations for 9,000 yen. It is only five minutes’ walk from Gion bus stop, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kyoto for being the place where maikos and geishas are trained and work. You can stop by for having a deeper cultural experience after entering the hidden world of maikos and geishas.

Website: http://www.teaceremonyen.com/

Kyoto Sightseeing/Kimono | Tea Ceremony Experience KOTO

Tea Ceremony Experience KOTO sets itself apart from all other tea ceremonies offered in English as you can also make traditional Japanese flower arrangement called ikebana, in addition to origami, and wearing kimono. Group tea ceremonies that run for 45 minutes is offered for 2,700 yen and a private lesson for the same amount of time is 5,400 yen. The most luxurious plan is the Private tea ceremony +Kimono wearing + Ikebana plan offered for 12,000 yen that spans for 120 minutes which is taught by a master who is qualified in all aspects of the Japanese culture, tea ceremony, kimono, and ikebana. It is 1-minute away from Kinkakuji-Michi city bus stop on foot. In addition to a 10:00 – 11:00 ikebana slot, the classes are offered from 11:45 – 17:30.

Website: http://teaceremony-kyoto.com/

Comparison Table of English-Speaking Tea Ceremonies in Kyoto

Maikoya Camellia Juan En KOTO
Group 2,400yen(casual) 3,000yen 2,800yen 2,500yen 2,700yen
Private 12,000yen 6,000~12,000yen 4,500yen 12,000yen
Nearby location Gion, Pontocho Kiyomizu Temple, Ryoanji Temple Kyoto station Yasaka Shrine Kinkakuji Temple

Please use this comparison table to select a tea ceremony according to where you stay, tourist destinations, and desired pricing.

Basic Information about Tea Ceremony 

Tea is considered to have brought to Japan around the 8th century, as a result of sending official delegates to China and incorporating its advanced culture. In the 12th century, a monk called Eisai created a new processing method which he learned in China of mixing powder green tea. However, it was Sen no Rikyu that established the way of tea, tea ceremony as we know it today. Sen no Rikyu spread the tea ceremony of appreciating beauty hidden in simplicity by using plain utensils and pursuing beauty that is born from the incomplete.

How to Drink Tea during Tea Ceremony

When the tea is served, bow once and bow again before drinking the tea. The front of the teacup is facing the guest, which often has designs printed on it. Take the teacup without moving your left hand and place the thumb of your right hand on the rim of the teacup and turn it twice in a clockwise direction. Be careful that your mouth does not touch the designs or patterns as it goes against the mannerisms. Then, drink the tea in two or three sips. If possible, try to finish drinking it in three and a half sips. When drinking the tea, make a slurping noise. After finish drinking, turn the teacup counterclockwise so the front of the teacup will come towards your direction. Put the teacup down with your right hand. Appreciate the teacup, then hold it again and look it at the design and colors. Put the teacup outside of the tatami and lightly bow.

 

Average pricing and lesson time of Tea Ceremonies in Kyoto

Most tea ceremonies offered in English spans for 45 minutes with a price of 2,000-3,000 yen per person for groups. For private lessons, it may cost around 4,500-13,000 yen as it may include different options such as wearing a kimono.

Attire when Participating in Tea Ceremonies

Lastly, it is important to know the right attire when attending the tea ceremony. Wearing white sox is a must as you will be taken off your shoes when entering the tearoom. The white sox serve as a substitute of the traditional tabi. Although there are no strict rules in clothing, try to wear modest clothing and avoid miniskirts or pants that are too tight as you will be sitting down for a long time.

For passionate fans of Japanese tea culture, we recommend watching this video to deepen your knowledge about the world of tea. 

Even foreigners can now have access to Geisha and Maiko

We are proud to offer an excellent opportunity for foreign visitors to Kyoto to meet and interact directly with Geisha, at an exceptional price, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 6 pm to 8 pm. This tour includes dinner, an English guide, watching a traditional dance performance, and be able to play a unique game with the Geisha.
Are you curious about this tour? Check the detailed information, and make an online reservation now to meet an authentic Japanese Geisha in Kyoto!

 

Make an online reservation to have a precious time with Geisha!

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Masaya Osada

Born and raised in Kyoto. I love traveling. The more I was exposed to foreign culture, the more I realized how fascinating Kyoto is. This is why I am writing this English article for you to make your trip in Kyoto much more enjoyable!

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