English Tea Ceremony Course for Foreign TouristsWorkshop Popular in Kyoto21 June 2016 - Tradition/Culture
A tea ceremony workshop near "Kinkaku-ji," or the Golden Pavilion, has been gaining popularity. It was started by Rie Kuranaka, a second-degree instructor of Urasenke school tea ceremony from Kita Ward, Kyoto, so that foreign tourists can experience tea ceremony. Since it opened last September, approximately 800 foreigners have visited it and learned about Japanese culture in the tea-ceremony house, while feeling the changes of seasons.
Kuranaka started the workshop in hopes that the increasing number of foreign tourists could enjoy authentic tea with a high regard for sense of the season. She emphasized the availability of English instruction, by posting advertisements on booking websites for trips and tourism in Asia, such as Voyagin, Viator, Veltra and others. She also distributed pamphlets to hotels and guest houses in Kyoto City.
Nowadays, tourists from Hong Kong, Singapore, the USA, France and other countries make reservations. Some foreigners drop in easily as it is located a one-minute walk from the entrance of the Golden Pavilion.
From the explanation of tea utensils to how to make "Usucha" or thin tea, Kuranaka gives all instructions in English. "Tanabata festival (star festival) tea ceremony" is being held until July 10. It is a tea ceremony party with a cooling sensation in which guests can enjoy the hospitality using tea bowls featuring bamboo blades and the Milky Way, along with other utensils. It costs 1,980 yen, which includes a cup of thin tea and a confection. Reservations required.
A couple from the USA visited the workshop on the final day of their four-day Kyoto sightseeing trip. They said, "This is the first time we had tea and it tasted better than we expected. It was nice to have the formal experience." Tea ceremony party workshops with seasonal features will continue to be held in the future. For more information, contact Tea Ceremony Koto at its mobile phone 090-9624-5164.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)