Traditions Behind The Beautiful Japanese Tea Ceremony

Traditions Behind The Beautiful Japanese Tea Ceremony


Japan combines futuristic cities with captivating natural beauty. It is bathed in tradition and ritual, yet at times also thoroughly modern. From super fast bullet trains to the bright lights of Tokyo and the breathtaking rural areas to incredible Buddhist temples, it’s a destination rich in beauty, color, culture and kindness. One such tradition that is still practiced throughout Japan is the traditional tea ceremony. So let’s take a closer look at this enchanting ceremonial activity.

The Japanese Tea Ceremony is also known as Sado, Chanoyu or Ocha. The ritual also has the name of The Way Of Tea. It is a customary ritual that is based on the preparation and serving of Matcha. Matcha is a Japanese powdered green tea that has extraordinary health benefits. It is packed with antioxidants, is rich in chlorophyll and vitamins and is also a detoxifier.

The Ceremony
A traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony lasts for about four hours. The custom includes a meal and two servings of tea. The ceremony is not just about enjoying food and tea. It also focuses on the aesthetics behind the practice and attentiveness towards the host’s guests. If you are interested in practicing at home there are many beautiful ceramic bowls and Japanese teas and cups that you can buy to create an authentic experience. A host may have spent many years practicing the art of the ceremony, learning not just about tea but also art, poetry, calligraphy, and care. All efforts of the host are directed into giving the guest’s a pure and beautiful experience. But this is not an indulgent encounter. The focus is on humbling guests by allowing them to appreciate the beauty of simplicity.

The History Of The Tea Ceremony
Drinking green tea has been a ritual in Japan since the 4th century. It was in the 8th century that it was noted that the formal ceremony started to take place. A book called ‘Cha-Ching” was written by a Buddhist priest and taught how to prepare tea to the correct temperature and which vessels to use. This book was a huge influence on how the ceremony is still performed. There are now many other books also written about this fascinating custom.

Utensils Used In The Tea Ceremony
Great care is taken when choosing the correct utensils to use for this fascinating ritual. The Cha-ire caddy is used to prepare a thick tea called Koicha. A Chakin is used to clean the tea bowl after guests have used it. The Chakin is a linen or hemp cloth, and different ones are used depending on what type of tea is being consumed. A tea whisk is made from smoked, fresh or dried bamboo and is called a Chasen. Tea bowls are called Chawans and are the most crucial utensil for the ceremony. Shallow bowls are often used in the summer and deeper bowl in the winter when thicker tea is served. The Hishaku is the ladle and is bamboo and is used to scoop out the hot water from the iron pot and put it into the Chawan. And finally, the Yakan ( water pitcher) is used at the end of the ceremony to refill the cold water container and return it to its original state

Naomi Isted
Editor in Chief, Naomi Isted is known as The Ultimate Lifestylist to her readers and viewers. She is a TV Presenter and Columnist. Ranked in the Top 100 LFW Social Media Influencers AW14 & SS15, Brand Ambassador for Pears Soap UK. Her Celebrity beauty TV Series currently airs to 27million homes on Physique TV in UAE, previously on Wedding TV in the UK. She brings fashion and beauty advice to her readers and viewers on a daily basis. She is Fashion and Beauty Columnist for Herald Scotland and has a Fashion and Beauty Bridal Blog for HELLO. She can usually be found attending celebrity fashion and beauty events in and around London and sharing the latest fashion and beauty trends with her readers.

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