The Japanese tea ceremony (Cha-no-yu), which is also called “Sadou” or “Chadou”, is one of the traditional Japanese cultural activities that help people enjoy tea with a calm feeling due to the unique philosophy and procedures involved.
Japanese philosophy and tea ceremony
The custom of drinking tea in Japan is said to have been spread after Zen monk Eisai brought tea back from China in the late 12th century.
The Chinese people at the time had a custom of drinking “Matcha” as a Zen ceremony. Matcha is a type of green tea which is made by grinding tea leaves to powder using a hand mill. Matcha tea is prepared by dissolving Matcha powder with hot water instead of infusing tea leaves in hot water. Eisai brought back tea along with the custom of drinking tea as a Zen ceremony. The custom of drinking Matcha tea developed as one of Zen ceremonies, and was eventually established as “Cha-no-yu” by Sen-no-rikyu in the late 15th century. The concept of Zen is based on maintaining the order of the state of one’s mind and training to realize such state.
Where to experience the tea ceremony
When you visit Japan, we recommend that you try and experience Japanese tea ceremony. You can start off by simply tasting Matcha tea. You may easily find one at a cafe in the airport. You may also find Japanese tea ceremony service at a hotel. There is an increasing number of facilities that offer opportunities for foreign visitors to experience Japanese tea ceremony with English guidance, so if you are interested, inquire at information counters.