Everything About Attending a Japanese Tea Ceremony

Entering the calm realm of a Japanese tea ceremony is like traveling in a time warp where every movement is made with grace and concentration. The Japanese tea ceremony, also known as “Chado” or “sado,” is a mesmerizing cultural experience that captures the spirit of Japanese hospitality, harmony, and respect. It is rooted in centuries-old customs.

We encourage you to explore the depths of the Japanese tea ceremony on this blog and learn the significant meaning behind each gesture and ritual. 

This blog will provide you with the knowledge you need to fully understand this ancient Japanese custom, whether you want to attend a tea ceremony in Japan or are simply drawn to its alluring charm.

Japanese Tea Ceremony & its Significance

The Japanese tea ceremony, sometimes referred to as “chado” or “sado,” is a long-standing custom that has great significance in Japanese culture. Matcha, a green tea powder, is prepared and served to visitors in this ritualized manner.

Zen Buddhism had a significant impact on the development of the tea ceremony, which began in Japan in the ninth century.

It developed as a way to build awareness, encourage spiritual development, and foster a sense of connection with nature.

The ceremony includes careful traditions and etiquette, where each action and gesture has a specific purpose.

The tea ceremony is an art form and contemplative practice in addition to being a social event. It invites participants to fully experience the present, taking in the surroundings’ beauty, the tea’s aroma, and the interactions between the host and guests. 

What are the core principles of the Tea Ceremony?

The four guiding principles of the Japanese tea ceremony are harmony (wa), respect (kei), purity (sei), and tranquility (jaku). 

These guiding principles inform every facet of the ceremony’s practice and are deeply ingrained in it. Here is a description of each rule:

Wa is the term used to describe the balance and sense of togetherness that permeate the tea ritual. It entails fostering a welcoming environment where the host and visitors can mingle and converse amicably and courteously.

The layout of the tea room, the placement of the serving pieces, and the participants’ gestures and movements are all in harmony. It emphasizes how crucial it is to strike a balance between oneself, others, and the environment.

The tea ceremony places a strong emphasis on respect (Kei), emphasizing the need of recognizing and appreciating one another.

Through their acts, words, and attitudes, the host and guests convey their respect for one another. Bowing, paying close attention, and praising the efforts and abilities of the tea master are all ways to show respect. 

In the tea ceremony, “purity” refers to both a mentally and physically clean body. It entails utilizing pure water and premium tea leaves, properly preparing the tea tools, and keeping the tea room tidy. Beyond the physical, purity also includes the individuals’ emotional and spiritual well-being.

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It inspires individuals to approach the tea ceremony with a clear head, putting aside external distractions in favor of simplicity and honesty.

Peace (Jaku): Peace symbolizes the atmosphere of calm and serenity fostered throughout the tea ceremony. It encourages people to practice mindfulness to achieve a sense of inner tranquility and tranquility. 

Describing Traditional tea rooms and their utensils 

The Japanese tea ceremony is performed in traditional tea rooms, also referred to as “chashitsu,” which are elegantly constructed settings. 

These spaces are painstakingly designed to evoke a sense of simplicity, tranquility, and harmony. T

The following is a description of conventional teahouses and the tools used during the tea ceremony:

Chashitsu (Tea Room)

Layout: Tea rooms are often quaint, tiny areas created to host a small number of guests. To create a cozy and peaceful atmosphere, they frequently have low ceilings and simple décor.

Tokonoma: An ikebana (seasonal flower arrangement) and a kakemono (scroll painting) are presented in a tokonoma, a little alcove inside the tea parlor. It raises the tea room’s aesthetic value and adds a touch of natural beauty.

Shoji and Fusuma: Shoji are translucent sliding doors constructed of washi paper and hardwood frames, whereas fusuma are sliding doors covered in paper or fabric. The configuration of the tea room and the lighting can be changed by opening or closing these doors.

Tea Utensils:

  • The chawan is a matcha preparation and drinking vessel made of ceramic or porcelain.
  • Matcha powder is measured and transferred from the tea caddy to the tea bowl using the chashaku, a bamboo scoop. It is a curved, simple, and attractive piece of kitchenware.
  • Matcha is whisked with a chasen (a bamboo whisk), which produces a frothy consistency. It contains delicate, thin tines that aid in properly combining hot water and powdered tea.
  • Matcha powder is kept in a small, closed container called a Natsume, often known as a tea caddy. It can be beautifully ornamented and is frequently made of lacquered wood. 

What are the steps involved in preparing matcha tea?

Preparing matcha tea in the Japanese tea ceremony involves a series of deliberate steps that ensure the tea is properly whisked and served. 

Here’s an explanation of the steps involved in preparing matcha tea:

Gathering the Utensils:

  • Collect the necessary utensils: chawan (tea bowl), Chasen (tea whisk), chashaku (tea scoop), Natsume (tea caddy), and a small sieve (optional).
  • Place them in front of you, ready for use.

Warming the Chawan:

  • Pour hot water into the chawan to warm it.
  • Swirl the hot water gently in the bowl.
  • Pour out the water and dry the chawan with a clean cloth.

Preparing the Matcha:

  • Using the chashaku, measure about two scoops (approximately 2 grams) of matcha powder and place it into the chawan.
  • If desired, sift the matcha powder through a small sieve to remove any lumps.

Adding Hot Water:

  • Pour a small amount of hot water (approximately 70-80°C) into the chawan, covering the matcha powder.
  • Hold the chasen with your dominant hand and use your other hand to stabilize the chawan.
  • Begin whisking the matcha and hot water in a rapid back-and-forth motion, creating an “M” or “W” shape, until the tea becomes frothy and smooth.

Whisking the Matcha:

  • Continue whisking with gentle pressure, ensuring all the matcha powder is fully dissolved and the froth becomes consistent and velvety.
  • Avoid hitting the sides or bottom of the chawan with the chase.

Presenting the Tea:

  • Rotate the chawan to present the best side of the bowl to the guest.
  • Place the chawan in front of the guest with a slight bow, using both hands.

Receiving and Drinking the Tea:

  • The guest should receive the tea bowl with their right hand and place it on the left palm.
  • Rotate the bowl slightly to show appreciation to the host before taking a sip.
  • Drink the matcha in three or four sips, appreciating the flavor and texture.

Completing the Tea Ceremony:

  • After finishing the tea, use the chasen to gently whisk any remaining tea sediments settled at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Return the bowl to the host with a slight bow, using both hands.
  • Express gratitude to the host for the tea and the experience.

7 Things to Know about Japanese Tea Ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony is a powerful cultural statement in addition to a method for making and consuming tea. It exhibits Japanese aesthetics, ideas, and principles of harmony, simplicity, and beauty.

Origins and Philosophy: Zen Buddhism played a significant role in the tea ceremony’s development, which began in Japan in the ninth century. Harmony (wa), respect (kei), purity (sei), and tranquility (jaku) are among the values it reflects.

Tea ritual Masters: Skilled tea masters teach and pass down the skill of the tea ritual down the centuries. These masters spend years honing their abilities and understanding.

Traditional Tea Rooms: “Chashitsu,” or unique tea rooms, are where tea ceremonies are frequently held. Simple, private, and sparsely decorated, these apartments are frequently encircled by a tranquil garden.

Tea tools: The tea bowl (chawan), tea scoop (chashaku), tea whisk (chasen), and tea caddy (Natsume) are just a few of the tools used in the tea ceremony. These tools have cultural importance and are frequently expertly constructed.

Matcha Tea: Matcha, a powdered form of green tea, is the tea used in the Japanese tea ritual. To make matcha, hot water, and powdered tea are whisked together until frothy. The finished product is then presented to visitors in a communal bowl.

Customs: The tea ceremony adheres to a system of customs and etiquette, with each gesture and action being carefully orchestrated. It is required of guests to behave appropriately and to respect the host and other participants.

Attention concentration: The tea ceremony is a contemplative practice that promotes attention and being fully present at the moment. It is encouraged for participants to take in the aesthetics of the settings, the flavor of the tea, and the interactions between the host and visitors.

Tea Ceremony Seasons: The tea ceremony is affected by the changing seasons. Depending on the season, different utensils, decorations, and even tea varieties may be employed.


The Japanese tea ceremony is practiced according to some different schools or traditions, each with its distinctive methods and philosophies.

The Japanese tea ceremony is a powerful cultural statement in addition to a method for making and consuming tea. It exhibits Japanese aesthetics, ideas, and principles of harmony, simplicity, and beauty.

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