Take Part in a Japanese Tea Ceremony in Kyoto

Shanghai may have the lights and Tokyo may have the fast growing fever but you will be hard pressed to find something as reserved and pretty as Kyoto. Under the sweet breath of the cherry blossom this well preserved city has thrived, you can still glimpse echoes of the traditional way of life with the glitter of the golden pavilion, the colored silk kimonos rustling in the breeze and the pale faced geishas shuffling through the streets beneath the shade of the parasol.

Japanese Tea Ceremony in Kyoto 1

Gion is the epicenter of the geisha way of life, bright little tea houses steam with delicate cups and the flash of red lips leave you feeling as though walking through a dream. This is the place to immerse yourself in the centuries old tradition of the Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Japanese Tea Ceremony in Kyoto 2

Image Courtesy: flickr.com/JennyHones

Camellia is a popular choice, exuding every breath of measured calm you could wish for despite the flashing bulbs of curious tourists that seem to stream in the streets outside. With the tea shop being so close to the Kiyomizu Temple you can spend a little time wandering around the verandah and gazing down into the emerald scooped basin of old Kyoto.

Kneeling on the matt, watching the well-dressed geisha lovingly wash the utensils, feeling the weight lift away as every second is slowed down, and knowing that this practice is as ancient as it is special is a truly humbling experience. From the graceful swan like bows to spooning the loose leaves into the cup, you can be sure that no movement is done without thought, patience and cultural significance.

Japanese Tea Ceremony in Kyoto 3

Image Courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org/renfieldkuroda

The art of tea is something to be revered and when sat across from the ashen faced geisha, with flowers in her hair and silk prints on her gown you cannot help but get swept up in this serous rite of passage.

Top Image Courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org/MShades

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes is a seasoned writer and an avid surfer with continuously itchy feet and a love of the finer things in life. After traveling through the continent with a touring band, living in Paris, Amsterdam and under the Auroras Borealis, she is now in Bulgaria where she attempts to piece together her first poetry collection.
Jodie Oakes