In the heart of Kyoto’s most visited tourists areas sits an oasis of peace, quiet and ancient tradition at the Maikoya Tea Ceremony.
A tea ceremony can be explained in one simple phrase: ichigoichie. Ichigoichie means ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ which is certainly true for our entire tea ceremony experience. The Japanese belive that every moment is unique and only occurs once which is why every encounter must be deeply treasured and cherished. A tea ceremony is not necessarily about the taste, it is about the experience and enjoying that this moment in time will never happen again.
From the moment I arrived to the Maikoya Tea Ceremony Kyoto, I felt like a royal guest. Once you’ve been checked in, you are escorted to a changing room where the magic truly begins to happen.
First, you are required to change your street clothes into a set of the kimino undergarments which include a special collared t-shirt and long shorts. Once you’ve changed into your undergarments, it’s time to pick your kimono. There are plenty of beautiful options and once you’ve selected the perfect one, it’s time to get dressed!
The kind and helpful women at the Maikoya Tea Ceremony experience are there to fully dress you in the traditional kimono fashion. Once you’ve been properly dressed in the kimono, it’s time for a hair makeover!
After you’re dressed, beautified and ready to go, you’re able to head on out to meet your friends or partner to take some proper photos in their beautiful sets.
Once everyone in your group is dressed and ready for tea, you’re escorted upstairs into a traditional tea ceremony room where the tranquility truly begins.
In this room, there is no video recording, quiet voices and mostly listening to the instructions of your host. We were lead through a beautiful ceremony by our host. She explained the history behind tea ceremonies, the meaning and the importance.
We took turns being served hot water where we then made our own tea, which is tradition. We were taught the proper way to taste and drink the tea as well as to bow in respect of our host.
We enjoyed the green matcha tea as a group and were saddened when our experience was over. Getting a glimpse into such a special tradition of the Japanese people was so special and we will truly cherish this memory for years to come.
If you’re in Kyoto and looking for a unique experience, check out Maikoya Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. It is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity!