Shokin-tei is located in the west of Kyoto. This tea house is located in the Katsura Rikyu Imperial Villa, which is one of Japan’s most important national treasures. Shokin-tei is the most important out of the four tea houses at this imperial villa. This tea house is also known because it has a very unique blue and white checker pattern on the sliding door and tokonoma of the first room.
This building has unique architecture, with the north, east, south, and west views, each having its own look. Also the entrance of the tea house is very small, meaning that you would not be able to carry a sword into the tea house, guaranteeing peaceful meeting. Although in order to visit Katsura Rikyu Imperial Villa where the tea house is located, you must first apply to visit at the Kunaicho (Imperial Household Office).
Hours for tours can be irregular, but it often has tours on weekdays from 10am to 3pm and is closed on weekends and holidays, just make sure to apply to visit before going. It takes around 30min to get to Katsura Rikyu Imperial Villa where the tea house is located from Kyoto Station.
Shoka-tei is one of the most fascinating architectural buildings in Japan. From each corner you can see different perspective. It is a great place to enjoy cherry blossoms in spring and summer as well. Moreover, in autumn you can see the reflection of moon in the lake and enjoy a beautiful and picturesque scenery of the hill with the trees.
There is one more window from where you can see the pond. It reminds bottom of a sailing boat. Therefore, visitors who observe the pond have impression of sailing on a boat.
If you need some additional information, check out Shokin-tei’s official website.
Here you can find Shokin-tei location and hours.
For the best tea ceremony experience in Kyoto with a historic atmosphere, please check out Maikoya Tea Ceremony.
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