Japan is famous for many things, but their Tea Ceremony is full of history and tradition and is something that we will be experiencing on our trips to this beautiful country.
The Japanese tea ceremony is called Chanoyu, Sado or simply Ocha in Japanese. It is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea, called Matcha, together with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea. Matcha 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. Preparing tea in this ceremony means pouring all one’s attention into the predefined movements. The whole process is not about drinking tea, but is about aesthetics, preparing a bowl of tea from one’s heart. The host of the ceremony always considers the guests with every movement and gesture. Even the placement of the tea utensils is considered from the guests view point (angle), especially the main guests called the Shokyaku.
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. Eisai brought back tea to Japan 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. Tea ceremony arose as one of the methods to practice it, and greatly influenced Japanese life arts including architecture, gardening, drawing, cuisine, flower arrangement, calligraphy and serving dish. The concept of Zen is deeply rooted in the Japanese people’s esthetics.
Watch the video below to give you a taste of what you could experience of a Colouricious holiday to Japan.
If you would to experience and take part in a Tea Ceremony as well as explore the rich traditions, crafts and culture of Japan then our two trips in 2018 would be a perfect way for you to do this. Click on the buttons below to read about each holiday and to reserve your place.