Elegant Tea Ceremony at Warakuan Teahouse in Tokyo

Overall Rating

4.334.33 / 5

Reviews

3 reviews (Post a review)

I enjoyed delightful tea

Reviewed by: Nyasha, 2015/01/16

Though both of us were completely new to the tea ceremony, we decided to participate to learn the basics, just in case we are asked to join a formal event. This ceremony was held a 5 minute walk from Komabatodaimae Station. There was very much an “at-home style”, with that impression strengthened by the renovations that were ongoing.

After a short explanation of the activities, we were then taught the proper usage of the 'tsukubai', a stone wash basin, and the manner of entry into the tea house itself.

No matter the questions we asked, detailed and informative answers were very forthcoming. The differences between the 'koicha' and 'usucha', the tools of the tea ceremony, sweets, etiquette... After learning all of this, I feel that I'll never be embarrassed at a lack of knowledge at any other tea ceremony I join.

Both the tea and the sweets were delicious! From start to finish, we sat in a calm and dignified atmosphere.


That said, I can not recommend this tour if you want a very formal experience. Instead, this felt like a wonderful visit to the house of a friend. If are looking for a chance to learn about the basics of tea, this is highly recommended.
We were given a paper with tea ceremony terminology. If there was one thing more I could want from this, it would be a guide to the basics of the tea ceremony, including specialized vocabulary, that I could take home with me and read.
Also, the expected tour time was much shorter than what we spent there, as we enjoyed a fantastic conversation with the teacher and his wife. I was also able to take a commemorative photo, for which I'm grateful.

The decor of the tea house, draped in seasonal flowers and the tools of the ceremony, was a sign of high quality, I felt. If you think of this as just a chance to eat sweets and drink tea, the price seems quite high, but as a chance to study traditional culture, it is very reasonable.

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Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:N/A
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Thank you for the lovely time!

Reviewed by: Fijikaru Mama, 2015/01/16

While during my trips I had often tried simple 'matcha and a sweet'-types of tea ceremony, it never really gave me great satisfaction. When I found this activity (with Review Rebates too!) I booked it immediately.

The Warakuan tea house is on the Inokashira line, a 5~6 minute walk from Komabatodaimae Station, in a quiet residential area.

When they opened the door there was a wonderful smell of flowers, coming from a large vase. The tea master, his wife and daughter welcomed me with a cup of cherry blossom tea. We chatted, and I relaxed immediately.

At the sound of the bell I was led to the tea room, stopping at a little stone fountain to wash my hands (they even left a towel there for me). The garden is covered in beautiful moss, and the sound of water flowing takes you a world away from the residential area it is actually located in.

After entering the tea room, perfumed with incense, I got to see all the beautiful tea ceremony utensils. While explaining the utensils and ceremony, I was served a sweet and then the thick tea. The contrast of sweet and bitter was perfect. A true moment of bliss!

Next was the 'thin' tea. Since it was close to Christmas, the tea master selected cute snowman and snow inspired decor and sweets,which I thought was a nice touch. We chatted for a while, and it was a a truly a refined experience. The art of tea actually touches on ikebana, calligraphy, art and proper manners, I feel like I learned so much.

I am so glad to have taken part in this experience, thank you so much and please continue promoting this part of Japanese culture!

Just one thing: while I had a really wonderful experience, the price may be a bit scary for people less familiar with tea ceremony?

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Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:N/A
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A trip into a different world

Reviewed by: TakeTake, 2015/01/16

Less than 10 minutes from Shibuya station, we entered a totally different world.

The garden was more compact than I expected, but the lovely moss made for a perfectly Japanese atmosphere. The tea master, who likes to collect antiques, kindly explained about all the various tools used in the tea ceremony. Although I was unfamiliar with them, it was really interesting. A lot of my preconceptions about the specifics of the tea ceremony, like using monotone utensils or the degree of the strict manners, proved to be wrong. It was cool to learn more about this world.

I took part in the Review Rebate campaign, and was a little worried about what exactly what the 'thin' tea would be. Once there, the master explained the difference, and I excited to try them both.

The 'thick' tea took me aback at first, because it looked like the deep green of a still pond! I was a bit hesitant, but after the first sip was pleasantly surprised. The tea was not at all overly strong or bitter, in fact it has a sweet aftertaste.

While it may be a bit pricey, this kind of experience was truly authentic and one of a kind.

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Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:N/A
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