A country of cultural contrasts, Japan is home to ancient temples and zen gardens, those peaceful and spiritual places that calm your spirit and heal your soul. You can shop through both bustling and bright shopping centers - some of the biggest and best in the world - or stroll through the hum of traditional markets where you can buy everything from fish for the evening meal, to pottery, clothing..even Japanese rice whiskey. From waterfalls to mountain peaks, Japan is a nature lover’s paradise with some of the most pristine natural scenery in the world. Cherry blossom season is one of our absolute favorites, as the bright pink aromatic blooms are a feast for your senses.
Japanese Tea Ceremony represents peace, harmony, tranquility and respect. Green tea began as a status symbol enjoyed by the warrior class, and has evolved into a Japanese mainstay. The ceremony itself is a clean and peaceful ritual that invites each guest to cleanse themselves of the day’s stress and focus on mindfulness, developing a sense of gratitude for each aspect of the ceremony, and to extend that appreciation to the host. It’s a beautiful and tranquil way to shed the anxieties of everyday living and reorient yourself to what’s important. Guests leave with their hunger and their minds sated and at peace.
The ceremony begins as the host bows to each guest, who then wash their hands and mouth with water in a basin, remove their shoes and enter the room where the ceremony has been prepared. It traditionally starts with a meal, often in several courses. Using ingredients found only in Japan, the cuisine is as stunning as the scenery. Commonly, sushi and sake are served, as well as kaiseki - traditional sweets that are small edible works of art. When that course concludes, guests take a small break while the room is swept, flowers are set out and the host prepares to serve the tea.
Guests return, wash again and are seated while they examine the items in the room. The ritual tea ceremony objects: a teapot, tea bowl, tea scoop and whisk, hold great significance to the host often having been passed down for generations. It’s important, then, for guests to pause a moment to admire the utensils. The objects are ritually cleaned in front of the guests. Guests bow to one another and the ceremony begins with a bowl of tea being gracefully handed to the first guest. They take a sip, compliment the host on the tea, and bow. They wipe the rim of the bowl and pass it to the next person. This process is repeated until the bowl returns to the host.
In the midst of a stress-inducing world at every turn, we invite you to embrace the philosophy of a Japanese Tea Ceremony and make it your own. Our Japanese Tea Party Guide shares how to recreate this ritual in your home. We encourage you to tap into your adventurous side by trying out the recipes. Let us know how it goes! Share pictures of your Japanese Tea Ceremony with us on our Facebook or Instagram pages - we’d love to celebrate and appreciate your efforts in our shared love of Japan. #JapaneseTeaParty
Download your free copy of the Japanese Tea Party Guide by clicking here or on the image below.