In the Ginza district of Tokyo, you can find a surprising number of places that are not aligned with the frenzied goings-on of a big city. Is sound impossible? I am speaking of attending an old-time, traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. This delicate custom, dating back 1100 years, seeks to retrieve peace of mind for the harried traveler and a balance of the spirit for one plagued with worry. Read on to discover how you too might achieve that long-deserved feeling of rest.
1. Ginza Chazen
The Chazen tea ceremony room hides its tranquility and charm behind the austere facade of a metropolitan building in downtown Ginza. You will feel transported to another world when you visit the passion project of Rie Takeda, who has over 30 years’ experience with conducting tea ceremonies. Do yourself a favor while in Ginza and pay this place a visit.
Access: Ginza Ishikawa Building 5F, 4-12-17 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo-to 104-0061
Hours: Use inquiry form on the website for this information
Closed: Use inquiry form on the website for this information
Website (with map): http://www.chazen-co.jp/
Price: With Kimono, 6,800 JPY per adult
2. Happo-en Gardens
Most recently the Happo-en Gardens have been used for wedding parties and banquets, but the park does feature a tea room where you can learn about the ancient custom of Japanese tea ceremonies and even sip from a bowl of green tea. The gardens date back to the 17th century and are decorated with 100-year-old bonsai trees.
Access: A mere 16 minutes from Ginza
Hours: 10 AM-10 PM
Closed: New Years holiday
Website (with map): http://www.japanesegardens.jp/gardens/secret/happo-en.php
Price: 2100 JPY per person (though admission to the park is free)
The gardens are a 16-minute ride from Ginza
Price is 2100 JPY per person
3. Tea Ceremony in Ginza
It is already well known that a tea ceremony is one of the best ways to experience Japan. This particular offering shows you why. A certified teacher guides you through the entire process, adhering to the most time-honored style of what makes a tea ceremony so special. Sip matcha tea (green tea) from a beautiful hand-crafted bowl, and afterward, learn how to make the beverage yourself.
Access: 7th Floor, New Ginza Building No.6 5-5-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku,
Hours: 10:00-18:00 Monday-Friday
Price: 182.16 USD
4. So-shu an
A tea ceremony that is especially friendly to tourists. A trained tea master is here to answer any and all of your questions about the tradition, as well as guide you through the delicate process of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Oh and as always, you will find the tea room a cozy and relaxing place to spend time.
Access: 10 minutes away from downtown Ginza
Hours: Inquire when making reservations
Closed: Inquire when making reservations
Website (with map): https://www.ti-yanesen.jp/experience/sado
Price: 8,800 JPY per person; 2 people discount is 5,800 JPY per person
A Japanese Tea Ceremony was once used as a way to welcome high profile travelers from China. Today it is more of a means to escape the craziness of life, if only for a short while. As you journey through the hectic world of the present, don’t neglect an occasional look back at the past, and have a deep breath, a smile, a slow-down of the heart rate. And of course, a nice, hot cup of tea.
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