Experience Traditional Tea Ceremony at YANESEN, Offering a Variety of Plans for Sightseeing!

Experience Traditional Tea Ceremony at YANESEN, Offering a Variety of Plans for Sightseeing!

Yanesen includes the initials of the names of three places in Taito-ku—Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi—and it collectively means those three. This area is spotlighted because there remains the atmosphere of an old Japanese town.

The tourist information and culture centre YANESEN at Yanesen introduces tour guides and gives support to experience Japanese traditional culture to tourists from abroad. You can try shodo (calligraphy) and suibokuga (drawing) with fude (brush) and sumi (ink), ikebana (flower arrangement), kimono (traditional clothing), and more. This time, Kumiko Funayama, Ai Matsumoto, and Hikari Shiina experienced sado (tea ceremony)!

We came to a room of a building like an old house, a little way away from the YANESEN centre. We entered a small room measuring 4.5 tatami mats (7.5 square meters) on our knees with our hands on the floor, taking our shoes off.

Sado is a Japanese traditional tea ceremony. Therefore, there are a lot of customs and manners. But you don’t have to worry about it because the teacher kindly tells people with no knowledge how to do it, just like the three girls.

Here is how to taste matcha (tea) and wagashi (sweets):

First, you have matcha.
1. You wait in silence for the matcha to be served.
2. Before you have the matcha, you say, “Excuse me for going before you,” to the next person and the next person smiles.
3. Take the bowl with your right hand and hold it with your left hand. Then you say, “Thank you for making the tea,” in appreciation and turn the bowl twice to make the design face outward.
4. After having the tea, the next person takes the same steps.

Next, you have wagashi. The wagashi available in winter was nerikiri, a kind of wagashi with Japanese apricot flowers and anko (sweetened bean paste).
1. Express your appreciation.
2. Eat the wagashi with chopsticks.
3. If you can’t eat them all, cover them with a kaishi (paper napkin) and put them aside or into your pocket.

It is important in sado to be considerate and thank the other people in the ceremony. It looked difficult for the three girls at first, but they acquired the skills at last and enjoyed matcha and wagashi.

Visit the tourist information and culture centre YANESEN, which offers many kinds of plans to see the attractive town of Yanesen, to find the best sightseeing plan for you.

Tourist information and culture centre YANESEN
Address: 3-13-7, Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Nippori, Sendagi
Telephone: 03-3828-7878
URL: http://www.ti-yanesen.jp/en/

Source: Tokyo Girls' Update
Source article written by Shoichiro Mori
Translated by Morishi~
Photos by kobadog

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