When it comes to planning a trip to Japan, experiencing a traditional tea ceremony is often high on the list of things to experience for many foreign visitors. In the tea ceremony, known as “chanoyu” or “sado,” the host (referred to as the “teishu”) prepares and serves tea to the guests in a meticulous and elegant manner.
The tea ceremony involves not only the proper way to prepare and serve tea but also specific etiquette for the guests, including how to sit and drink the tea gracefully. It is much more than simply drinking tea; it is a comprehensive experience that encompasses the entire setting. The decorations in the alcove, the arrangement of flowers, and the selection of tea utensils are all carefully chosen by the host, considering the relationship between the host and guests and the season of the year.
In essence, the tea ceremony is a harmonious and refined art form that can be summed up in the Japanese phrase “ichi-go-ichi-e” which translates, roughly, to “each moment can never be repeated”. The tea ceremony celebrates the spirit of hospitality, mindfulness, and the appreciation of nature’s beauty. It is an opportunity to fully immerse oneself in the aesthetics, traditions, and spirit of Japan.
In Nara there is a unique temple where the entire grounds are designed as a collection of tea rooms, and these remarkable buildings have survived to this day, making it a rarity among Japanese temples.
Located just about 15 minutes by car from the world-famous Horyuji Temple, renowned for being the oldest wooden building in the world, is the Jikoin Temple. Stepping through its main gate, you’ll feel as if you’ve traveled back in time about 300 years. Surrounded by lush greenery and walking on stone-paved paths, you’ll find it hard to believe that just moments ago, you were walking on asphalt.
At Jikoin, the architecture and design create an atmosphere reminiscent of centuries past. The temple’s unique feature lies in its numerous tea rooms, each with its own charm and serenity. As you explore the temple grounds, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the tranquil ambiance of traditional tea rooms in a beautiful natural setting.
Visiting the “Shoin,” an Important Cultural Property, treats you to a serene tea experience. Amidst picturesque gardens, the art of tea exudes genuine hospitality the Japanese are famous for. The humble beauty of Shoin serves to connect you with Japan’s traditional spirit through the simple act of sharing tea. You’ll leave with deep contentment and appreciation for this exceptional opportunity to embrace Japan’s traditional culture.
This special tea ceremony experience designed for foreign visitors to Japan is conducted by a knowledgeable “teishu” hostess. The hostess will be dressed in a traditional kimono and provide various explanations about the art of tea while serving you directly. For those interested, there will be an opportunity to experience the art of tea ceremony firsthand by learning how to prepare tea for yourself.
Jikkoin Temple considers the enjoyment of tea to be of utmost importance, which is why they offer this unique tea ceremony experience. Participants are free to savor the tea and immerse themselves in the tranquil atmosphere of the ceremony.
For anyone planning to experience the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, we highly recommend visiting Jikoin Temple for an authentic and unforgettable tea experience.
Open : 9:00AM-5:00PM
Address : 865 Koizumicho, Yamato Koriyama
Access 15-minute walk from JR Yamato Koizumi Station
Admission fee :1000JPY per person
Payment: Cash only
Tea ceremony experience: Please contact KANSAI NARA Treasure Travel via inquiry form