One of the charms of Japan, is the fact that many activities can be made into beautiful ceremonies. This includes making beautiful matcha tea. For many foreigners, it is very intriguing to be able to watch these ceremonies, but many are put off by the language barrier. But, fear not! If you are in Kyoto, there is a fantastic tea ceremony you can watch, entirely in English!
Camellia Tea Ceremony is located on a beautiful and historic street in Kiyomizu Temple, so it’s easy to fit it into your sightseeing. The staff here speak excellent English, so you can feel comfortable throughout the experience! The ceremony is held in a traditional Japanese tea room, complete with tatami floor, and sliding rice paper doors! Before the ceremony begins, the host can tell you all about the different styles of tea ceremony, as well as answer any questions you may have about the process. She is very easy to talk to, and happy to answer anything you might want to know!
When visiting the tea house, you will have the chance to witness a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, from a very talented tea master. The ceremony is very detailed, and graceful. When asked, the tea master told us that the whole ceremony has a total of 74 individual steps, all in just a few minutes! To many foreigners, the movements remind them of ballet dance, mostly because of the grace with which they are performed.
Next, it’s your turn! Everyone is given a bowl, a stirrer, a Japanese sweet confection, and some bright green matcha powder. The host adds some hot water to your powder, and now it’s time to stir. You have to move the stirrer in a very specific way, because you want to make your tea nice and frothy – just like a cappuccino! The host will come and help you get started so you know what to do, and when you’ve got a nice level of froth, it’s time to drink! Matcha tea actually has a very high caffeine content, but is very tasty and creamy when prepared. You can also enjoy your sweet with your tea to really enjoy the experience!
Open 10:00-18:00 every day. Tea ceremonies start every hour, on the hour.