An Overview of Japanese Tea Houses

The tea ceremonies in Japan is a cultural activity where ceremonial preparation and presentation are involved in serving tea in accordance with a strict protocol and where one expresses sentimentality to connect and reflect. These are usually done inside a tea house called ‘chashitsu‘ – a simple wooden structure specifically built for tea ceremonies.

A small Japanese tea house is only consist of two rooms called the ‘mizuya‘, where the tea, food, and snacks are prepared. The other is the main room where the tea is served. Other tea houses may contain several tea rooms of different sizes and styles and can be found in various places nowadays, like private homes, hotels, commercial areas, etc. The floor of the house has a ‘tatami‘ mat which is used in several ways in the tea house. There’s also a Zen Japanese garden called ‘roji‘ or ‘dewy ground‘ that consists of stepping stones, shrubs, lanterns and bamboo fences which is located in the front of the house itself. Some of the tea houses even has a small door referred to as ‘nijiri-guchi‘, where one has to crawl in order to pass through. Other common interior parts of the house are the small windows and the Japanese shoji sliding doors which is made with wood and translucent Japanese paper.

The place can be small but the interior is very spacious due to the fact that you cannot find other furniture inside except for the things that are required for tea preparations. Other things that you can find inside a tea house are the calligraphies or the hanging scrolls. They may contain famous sayings, poems, phrases correlated to teas or descriptions of beautiful places. You can also find a ‘chabana‘ or a plain style of flower arrangement inside the tea house. They are particularly selected based on the season or occasion of the gathering. A ‘tokonoma‘ (an indented decoration space) and an ‘irori‘ (a traditional Japanese fireplace) can also be found inside a tea house.

Tea ceremonies are a more genteel version of tea parties, where spirituality and simplicity are the main aspect. It’s also famous or a popular experience for both locals and foreign people where it has been a one-of-a-kind experience for anyone who loves to explore the culture and for everyone that loves tea.

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