The tradition of the Japanese Tea Ceremony dates back to the year 900 A.D. But that is young compared to the mountains surrounding Takayama, and the influence they have had on this lovely city over several centuries. Naturally, the tea ceremony sessions you can find here are also in tune with nature. Visit any one of the following for a precise, delicate experience from the deepest niches of time.
1. Nobata Tea Shop
At a Nobata Tea Shop ceremony, you will learn all the ups and downs of this ancient tradition. At first glance the motions like how to bow, the opening and closing of sliding doors, the proper way to sit, seem so simple. But in accordance with Japanese custom, they are tutored in a whole new way. Oh, and of course, you will partake in the wonderful tea.
Access: 15-minute by walk from Takayama Station
Hours: 3 times per month, from 13:30-18:00
Closed: Reserve ahead for tea times
Website (with map): https://en.activityjapan.com/publish/plan/16275
Price: 2500 JPY per person
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2. Tea Ceremony Museum
Attend your tea ceremony in a museum where myriad ancient tea bowls, some dating back to the year 1500, are on display. Not that you need to worry about having your tea mixed in one of these bowls! In the tea arbor or ceremony room, the ritual takes place using bowls crafted by the most skilled potters of today.
Access: 10 minutes by car from Takayama Station
Closed: Closed Wednesday from November to March
Price: Adults 800 JPY per person; Children 500 JPY per child
3. Hidatei Hanaougi
Hidatei Hanaougi Hotel in Takayama features a tea room with chairs, so guests who prefer not to take the ceremony on their knees can partake in a slightly more modern experience. This room is also special for a local story that goes: A Japanese Zelkova tree has been buried on the site for thousands of years, having been destroyed in an ancient eruption of Mount Chokai.
Access: 7-minute drive from Takayama Station
Hours: 2 PM-11 PM
Closed: After 11 PM
Price: 52,393 JPY per standard room, per night
In visiting Takayama you may find it as quaint and charming as the tea ceremonies themselves. And you would be right. The peaceful atmosphere from its many tea rooms seems to flow right into the streets, beckoning pedestrians with a friendly hand. Today that hand seeks to guide you. Follow and be well pleased.
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