Experience Japanese Tea Ceremony The Halal Way.  The tea ceremony in Japan has been popular for the past several centuries. Especially in the beginning, we participated in some of the tea ceremonies held in various parts of the country. However, being a Muslim, we we were always concerned whether the sweets offered during the tea were actually halal. Please always confirm the ingredients of the sweet they offer you before you eat as in most of the cases, it may have alcohol.

In the following lines, we try explain the history of the tea ceremony and other related details.

The Japanese society is a perplexing mix of modernism and traditional culture.  Japanese tea ceremony (Cha-no-yu) is one such tradition which continues from olden times to this modern day. The ceremony  is also called “Sadou” or “Chadou”. It helps people enjoy tea with a calm feeling due to the unique philosophy and procedures involved in preparing it.

Nowadays, many venues in the country offer the chance for people to try and experience the Japanese tea ceremony, for example in tea rooms in Japanese hotels, Japanese sweet shops, at events and tea ceremony workshops for foreign visitors and Japanese.

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. Tea ceremony arose as one of the methods to practice it, and greatly influence 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.

A variety of venues in Japan offer the chance 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.

Some facilities that offer tea ceremony experiences do not require reservation in advamnce. Just show up on the spot and, they will let you in happily. Here are some of the facilities that offer tea ceremony experiences.

In this culture center a tea ceremony is offered at a Japanese tea room with English guidance. Reservation is not required. It is located in the old part of the town where old wooden houses and shops still remain so you can also enjoy taking a stroll in the vicinity.

Seiseian, located at the seventh floor of the Garden Tower holds Japanese Tea Ceremonies from 11:00am to 4:00pm every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

Tea Ceremony Experience Course comes with a piece of seasonal Japanese sweets. Tea Ceremonies are offered from 12:30pm to 4:30pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Reservation is required for a group of five people or more.

Tea Ceremony Experience in Ginza is offered in English and Chinese. Prior reservation is recommended but you can take part if there is still vacancy on the day you contact them. The place is situated in the central part of Ginza next to the Kabuki-za theater, and Tsukiji fish market and Hamarikyu Gardens are also close-by.

You can casually take part in a tea ceremony experience at Miyoshien chaho in casual clothing. Reservation is required by the day before the ceremony. Access the website below or e-mail ([email protected]) in English.

Chanoyu Experience at Urasenke Chado Tradition is offered with a “Ryu-rei” style using a desk and a chair. Beginners and children are welcome. It is offered at 10:00am, 11:00am, 1:00pm, 2:00pm and 3:00pm daily. Prior reservation is required.

Tea ceremony is a popular activity which offers a valuable opportunity to experience Japanese culture. It is offered at various locations in Japan other than Tokyo and Kyoto as well. Let’s try and experience Japanese tea ceremony!

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