The experience of sitting in a tatami mat room surrounded by a Japanese garden for a tea ceremony is often at the top of the list for visitors to Japan, but it’s also just a great way to relax for an afternoon. In-person experiences aren’t an option for everyone right now thanks to Covid-19. Luckily, there are still ways you can partake in a traditional tea ceremony without making the journey to the teahouse.
Sekai Chakai has taken its monthly tea ceremonies online, meaning anyone can enjoy the soothing surroundings of a traditional Japanese teahouse, along with learning the basics of how to enter a tea room and how to receive whisked matcha and confectionery provided by your host.
The ceremony is led by tea master Sokai Okada, who begins by explaining how the culture of tea ceremonies has evolved over time and how 2020 has become a turning point for the way modern tea ceremonies are conducted.
The virtual sessions are held over Zoom and you have the option of getting a tea kit with wagashi (traditional confectionery) sent to you in advance (¥3,500). Unfortunately, the tea kits can only be posted to addresses in Japan, but if you’re overseas, you can still join the ceremony with some tea of your own for just ¥1,500.
The sessions are primarily conducted in Japanese, but Okada, who regularly conducts international tea ceremonies for tourists, will also answer questions in English during the Q&A session at the end.
The next tea ceremony is scheduled to be held at 9am (JST) on Sunday, January 24 2021 and features koicha (dark green tea). Bookings can be made online (Japanese only).
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