PRIVATE Kimono Tea Ceremony Gion Kiyomizu – at the Registered Cultural Property
This is a private tea ceremony with Kimono for VIP guests.
There will be no one except you and your companion/s for the whole event! Please enjoy a premium tea ceremony experience in a Kyoto machiya, protected as a registered cultural property by the Japanese government.
KIMONO TEA CEREMONY MAIKOYA at GION KIYOMIZU
100, Rokurocho, Matsubara-dori Yamatooji Higashi iru, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
This building is a registered tangible cultural property in Japan.
An authentic Japanese tea ceremony is one of the many things to do in Kyoto! During the traditional tea ceremony at Maikoya, you will be wearing a kimono and tasting high-quality matcha in one of Japan’s Top Experiences for four consecutive years (2018-2022) and Traveler’s Choice Award winner according to TripAdvisor reviews.
- Children under 7 can not enter the tea ceremony venue.
Lasts approximately 90 – 120 minutes
Your appointment time is the starting time for kimono dressing. The tea ceremony is scheduled to start in about 30 minutes, but it depends on the situation. If you arrive late at appointment time, you can wear the kimono after the tea ceremony is over.
Traditional Tea Ceremony for VIP guests
Our award-winning tea ceremonies are not only enjoyable but also a comprehensive educational experience. Our expert tea master and host, and friendly staff will demonstrate the process during the tea ceremony while explaining the significance behind it the steps and the tools. You will get to learn about tea ceremony history, Kyoto, and tea ceremony etiquette.
During the tea ceremony, you will not only observe how to make matcha green tea but you will also be guided on the process of making your own by the tea master. You will be using high-quality matcha powder that will produce a brilliant cup of green matcha.
MAIKOYA is the only facility in Kyoto where you can experience real kimono and tea ceremony in the same place.
A selection of beautiful kimonos is available for you to choose from, and our staff will make sure you look your best for your unique Japanese experience. Ladies will be treated to get their hair done to match their kimono and traditional Japanese look!
You can take many photos by wearing an authentic kimono in the beautiful Japanese gardens of Maikoya. You can even wear your kimonos outside after your tea ceremony, and take a stroll down the historical Gion District.
The historical scenic townhouse
This VIP experience is held in a historic machiya that has been recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Culture as a Tangible Cultural Property and its tearoom is featured in Japanese textbooks as an exemplar. The traditional townhouse is located right by the world-famous Gion Geisha district and just a few minutes walk from Kiyomizu Temple and the picturesque Hokanji Pagoda , a.k.a. the icon of Kyoto. The house has 3 unique gardens and your tea ceremony will take place in a room surrounded by two spacious gardens on both sides. Everyone is welcome to take pictures in the tea room and the garden, along with our unique backdrops! After all, who wouldn’t want to preserve the memory of a cultural experience?
The foundations of Zen philosophy
You don’t even need to worry about the language barrier! All of our staff is fluent in English and can answer and explain anything about the ceremony. Asking questions during the tea ceremony is welcome.
Our staff will teach you about the foundations of Zen philosophy that have influenced the Japanese tea ceremony: Wa, Kei, Sei, Jaku, which translates into harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility.
You will also be sampling traditional Japanese sweets called wagashi, which will vary in flavors, shapes, and colors according to the season. Each experience at Maikoya is unique just by the snacks served at each session, not just by the personalization for each guest.
You can sit comfortably, in any appropriate way you prefer.
You don’t have to worry if you need to cancel or postpone your appointment with us.
What is a tea ceremony?
The Japanese tea ceremony, also known as sado, chado, or chanoyu, is a centuries-old tradition of preparing and serving powdered matcha green tea, stemming from the practice of Buddhism in China. This is a ritualistic way of making matcha, a type of powdered tea unique to Japan, which is made from dried tea leaves and produces a bright green color.
This is a rare treat for visitors who want to experience the true culture and essence of Japan!
Do you want to know more? Visit our blog for more information! Click here.
How is the tea ceremony performed at Maikoya?
The tea ceremony begins by being welcomed into the tea room by the host, also called the “teishu”, where the tools and utensils are laid out ready to be used for the ritual. While everyone is expected to sit on the tatami mats arranged on the floor, wooden chairs are provided for those who choose not to. Comfort is prioritized at Maikoya, so you are welcome to sit however you like!
The matcha is typically prepared in a quiet and calm environment, but guests are encouraged to ask questions and learn more about the ritual. If there are none, the host will explain the process from time to time, providing introductions and demonstrations so you can familiarize yourself with the tools and steps during the ceremony.
Tea ceremony tools and utensils are taken great care of, with the host wiping them gently with a silk cloth to make sure they are clean. Some of the items used in the ancient tradition are important artifacts that have been used for generations. After preparing the items, the host will carefully measure the matcha powder and hot water, demonstrating the step before teaching you the mesmerizing process of whipping the matcha until it creates a thick foam.
After the tea is prepared, you will get to taste the matcha and the product of your hard work! The matcha tasting and preparation is participated in by everyone in your group if you booked for multiple people.
It’s a feast to the eyes, to your ears, and mind when a person preparing the hot water. Listening as the water dancing against the hot cast iron. It’s like a river murmuring. Incense would be lit and the smoke travels across your eyes like a silver dragon flying across the sky. She paused briefly as she flexed her wrist signifying the end of cleansing the bamboo ladle. So beautiful and therapeutic to gaze at. Her every move freezes time, space in all dimensions. You forget all your earthly frivolous needs.
You can easily book a high demand tea ceremony experience online
Maikoya Kyoto is one of the best cultural experience providers in Japan. Our award-winning tea ceremony is in high demand, so make sure to book before all our slots are out! Be sure to book with us using the reservation window on the top of this page. An email confirmation will be sent to your email, including a set of directions and instructions on how to get to Maikoya Kyoto.
Things to do near Maikoya Kyoto
Kiyomizudera Temple: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan and the most visited tourist spot in Kyoto, located near the Yasaka Shrine and the Gion District.
Fushimi Inari Shrine: As Kyoto’s most important shrine, this site is one of the most photographed spots in Japan, with a thousand red Shinto shrines neatly lined up to form a torii tunnel.
Rokuon-ji Temple (Kinkakuji): Also known as the Golden Pavilion, or the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is an extravagant three-story Zen temple with its top two floors completely covered by gold.
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest: The bamboo grove is one of the most famous sites in Kyoto, being home to the intimidating beauty of towering bamboo trees all along the winding paths.
Iwatayama Monkey Park: Also referred to as Arashiyama Monkey Park, this nature reserve is home to wild Macaque monkeys.
Nijo Castle: This former imperial castle is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, and served as the residence of the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu during the Edo Period. Among its attractions is a plum and cherry orchard that is highly sought after during the spring and autumn seasons.
The Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto: This is one of the leading samurai museums in Japan. The historical museum offers a variety of experiences that make for a more exciting educational trip, and Maikoya offers package experiences that combine it with a tea ceremony!
Nishiki Market: The Nishiki Market is the perfect destination to add to your itinerary and try out all the local snacks and delicacies in the area! You can also visit the popular Shijo-dori shopping district right across from it.
Teramachi Shopping Arcade: The Teramachi arcade is an upscale and picturesque street filled with a variety of art galleries, books, clothing and accessory shops, and even religious items – the perfect place to look for a souvenir to take home!
Kyoto Imperial Palace: The former Imperial residence is surrounded by the vast Kyoto Imperial Park, along with beautiful gardens. English guided tours are available on-site, and you can simply take a walk from our tea house to get there.
Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion): Modeled after the Golden Pavilion, the Ginkakuji is the center of contemporary art and culture in Higashiya. You can find artifacts and other displays with relevance to the tea ceremony, noh theater, poetry, landscaping, and architecture.
Sanjusangendo (Rengeo-in): This historic wooden temple holds the record as Japan’s longest wooden structure, and serves as a home to 1001 human-sized statues of the goddess Kannon.
Ryoanji: The former Fujiwara estate “The Temple of the Dragon at Peace” is home to the most famous Zen rock garden in Japan. There is also an art gallery on-site, as well as a park with a small pond and various walking trails. This is also a good place to try Yudofu, a Kyoto specialty tofu.
What is Sado or the Japanese tea ceremony?
The Japanese tea ceremony is preparing, serving, and drinking tea in a ritualistic and ceremonial way.
What to do during the tea ceremony?
The host will be guiding you through the ritual and instruct you on what to do.
How long does a tea ceremony last?
This particular package can last from 90 minutes up to 2 hours, but others can reach up to 4 hours. You can read more about it on our site!
Who is served during the tea ceremony?
In the past, it used to only be practiced by elite zen monks, noble warlords, and the aristocracy. Today, anyone who is interested can observe the tea ceremony and participate as guests during events or at specialized establishments like the Maikoya.
Where is the Japanese tea ceremony held?
This tea ceremony is held at Maikoya Kyoto Teahouse in Gion District near Gion Shijo Station. Tea ceremonies are usually held in tea houses, tea rooms, and Japanese tea gardens.
When did the Japanese tea ceremony start? Who invented it?
The Japanese tea ceremony originated in China, brought into Japan by Buddhist monks. Sen no Rikyu was considered the father of the tea ceremony, practicing the precursor to the present-day tea ceremony.
Why is the Japanese tea ceremony important?
The tea ceremony embodies the culture and sophistication of Japanese tradition, showing clearly the multiple steps it takes to make a single cup of tea. This practice was widely observed among the elite in old Japanese societies and aristocracy.
Where to have a tea ceremony?
Maikoya Kyoto holds its tea ceremonies in a traditional tea room and townhouse in the Gion District! Maikoya offers an authentic tea ceremony from three locations in Kyoto, Tokyo, and Osaka.
About the Tea Ceremony
The Japanese tea ceremony, much like any traditional rituals in the country is composed of a number of steps and preparation, as well as manners and etiquette–although modern practices aren’t as strict in this aspect.
The tea ceremony is a centuries-old practice that is highly influenced by traditional Japanese practices and has influenced modern society in return. The experience of the tea ceremony differs according to the level of the participant. For example, a more experienced guest would bring paper fans to the ritual and have the endurance to sit on their knees the whole time.
The tea ceremony, however, did not originate in Japan and is not uniquely Japanese. This practice is shared with China as “art of the tea” and Korea as “etiquette for tea” or “tea rite”. All three variations are connected together by Zen Buddhism and the spiritual process of the preparation and presentation of the tea.
But what sets apart the Japanese tea ceremony from its cultural siblings? Sado, Chanoyu, or Ocha has been refined by Sen no Rikyu, who is considered as the father of the Japanese tea ceremony. Besides being an aesthetic art form and performance, the chanoyu is widely practiced using matcha, a type of powdered tea that produces a bright green beverage.
Maikoya is one of the leading cultural experience providers in Japan, with three branches located in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. We’ve topped TripAdvisor’s list for Japan’s Top Experiences for three consecutive years.
Our tea ceremonies are consistently led by experienced hosts and tea masters that are well-versed with the tea ceremony and are capable of teaching even beginners.
Besides tea ceremonies, Maikoya Tokyo also hosts tours, workshops, and various classes for everyone who wants to learn about Tokyo, local food and attractions, and Japanese culture.