Monday, November 5, 2012

Looking for a tea ceremony in Kyoto

I browsed about tea ceremonies in Kyoto to find out if there was any that I could attend during my trip there.  Disappointingly, I could not find much reliable sources.  But, I discovered some blogs mentioning about them.  There appear to be monthly tea ceremonies held at some of the small temples in Daitokuji often every 28th of a month.  (Daitokuji is a famous and large temple that consists with a number of small temples.)  If a temple is holding a tea ceremony, there seem to be a sign on the entrance gate that says “在釜”.  Anyway, I’m surprised to learn that there is not much information online about tea ceremonies in Kyoto. 

I could not tell how formal the ceremonies will be.  You might need an appointment or to wear kimono.  One blog writer says that he was a tourist there and doesn’t know much about tea ceremonies.  But, he didn’t have any problems joining one.  On the other hand, some other people say that the ceremony is pretty formal and you have to wear kimono.  Humm.  I just wanted to casually join a ceremony during my Kyoto trip.  So, I decided to just go to Daitokuji and look for the sign “在釜”.  If I’m lucky, I’ll get to join one.  If I’m not, I will just have sightseeing on the beautiful gardens in Daitokuji.

Have you ever tried attending a tea ceremony in Kyoto?  How did you find the information ahead?  Do you think I could join one in Kyoto?  I’ll talk about it on the next entry.

This is Sanmon at Daitokuji.  It is said that the statue of Rikyu displayed in this Sanmon can be one of the causes of Rikyu’s seppuku execution. 


  1. Now I am waiting in suspense =P I also wouldn't know how to find a tea ceremony, unless I had a friend in Japan arrange one for me, so this is interesting!

    Also, could you go in to see the statue of Rikyu? I have only read about it, but never seen pictures!

    1. Without much information, we just went there and looked of a tea ceremony. It was kind of risky but also fun.

      I don’t know if Sanmon is open for tourists. I just passed by Sanmon, and didn’t get in. I’ve just googled for the image of the statue, but I didn’t find it. This webpage ( ) shows the photo of the statue in Sanmon today. It doesn’t seem to be the exact one from that age. The actual one may not exist anymore.

  2. Ah. Thank you for looking for the picture for me!