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Traditional Japanese tea ceremony in Tokyo

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Last updated: 20 April, 2024

A classical expression of Japanese hospitality that can last for hours in its most elaborate form, the tea ceremony has been practised for centuries. Every aspect, from where the most important guest is seated to how the host wipes the utensils, has significance. Every movement is choreographed, and for kimono-dressed practitioners, the nuances take years to perfect.

Full versions (around 4 hours) are only for die-hards; shorter versions are available down to a mere 30 minutes, but the shorter it is, the less traditional. There are usually special options for children, and some will include sweet-making.

Even the shortest versions, though, are a great way to experience traditional Japanese culture and formality.

Who to go with: tour operators

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Maikoya Tea House Toyko

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Woman ladles tea into cup

Experience

This teahouse runs a variety of ceremonies, from a simple and casual 60-minute version to a 2-hour, kimono-clad version with sweet-making.

Adult price: £18

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 60-120 mins

When: On request

Freq: daily

Toko-an

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Toko-an

Experience

This traditional sukiya-style teahouse in the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, is a lovely setting for a short tea ceremony taster (30 minutes only). There are three ceremonial chambers, where guests are invited to watch their tea prepared.

Adult price: £15

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 30 minutes

When: On request

Freq: daily

Logistics

Price from: £20
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 13+
Frequency: Selected dates
When: On request
Duration: Up to 4 hours

Getting there & doing it

As a traveller, don’t stress, teahouses will lead first-timers through everything. You won’t be expected to follow each intricate rule – if cramp sets in from kneeling in the seiza position, nobody will be offended if you wriggle on the tatami.

Dress fairly conservatively, avoid strong perfume and remove jewellery that could damage the tea bowls, then follow the instructions as best you can.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

  • Kyoto

Only Tea Ceremony venue to win the Tripadvisor Travelers Choice Award four years in a row. KYOTO MAIKOYA relocated to an old machiya house registered Tangible Cultural Property by the local government. It is a historic townhouse where you can feel the real Japanese culture and enjoy the tea ceremony by gazing at two picturesque Japanese tea gardens. You will make Green tea (Matcha) in an ancient style tea ceremony room wearing Kimono. Kimono is prepared for both males and females. Learning about a country through cultural workshops and activities will give you a better understanding of our intricate history, valued social principals and holistic way of life.

Price ¥8,500

Min age 0

Rating 4.77 / 5 [536 ratings]

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  • Kyoto

We want your time with us to be a rich and enjoyable one, and to that end we encourage guests to not only participate but actively ask any questions they might have about Japan and tea ceremony. Our small team, fluent in English, are here to help make your time a memorable and authentic one. Tea ceremony is the perfect way to enjoy Japanese culture and experience a taste of Kyoto. Inclusivity is very important to us, and all are welcome. Chairs and tables are available for those that have difficulty sitting on the floor. All our sweets are vegan, nut free and gluten dress. Although we offer kimono rental, you do not need to wear kimono and please dress as you feel comfortable. Children are more than welcome. Feel free to take photos throughout the experience (please be mindful of other guests and please turn off the flash).

Price ¥3,500

Min age 0

Rating 4.77 / 5 [124 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Tokyo

This is an activity event for tourists visiting Japan to casually experience the essence of Japanese culture. In addition to watching and commenting on a Japanese dance show while enjoying matcha green tea and Japanese sweets, you can also try Japanese-style cosplay, calligraphy, origami, and more.

Price ¥11,000

Min age 6

Rating 4.93 / 5 [30 ratings]

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