One, two, tea! This private tea ceremony is my favorite Kyoto activity! We spent the whole afternoon at Ryoanji area in Kyoto – went to see the Ryoanji temple, put on our yukatas, and enjoyed the afternoon tea ceremony at Camellia.
Camellia Tea Ceremony has 2 locations in Kyoto – one is Camellia Flower, located at the Higashiyama Ward, and then Camellia Garden, where we had ours, is just across the Ryoanji Temple.
They only hold private tea ceremonies in Camellia Garden. It’s pricier than the group ceremony package but we decided to give it a go since we would like to have a more intimate experience.
We were warmly welcomed by Maya, our designated tea master, and she thoroughly discussed to us the history of tea ceremony, the preparations, and the whole process.
Before the actual tea ceremony, Maya served us traditional Japanese sweets.
This is where the tea ceremony was held. During the ceremony, guests are encouraged to refrain from making any noise and focus on the sounds of the pouring of water and whisking of tea.
The whole process started with Maya preparing the utensils we will be needing, followed by her making the tea for us.
We learned the right etiquette on how to be a guest in a tea ceremony – bowing, turning of tea cups, how to drink the tea itself, and how to compliment the host by slurping the last sip of tea from the cup.
After finishing our teas made by Maya, we were then given the chance to make our own matcha teas! We made a thicker version of what Maya served earlier – a matcha cappucino tea which is a lot more foamy.
Bonus, I got to use a tea cup with a dog paw print. This tea cup is only used when it’s the year of the dog!
We really had a great time during the whole tea ceremony. It’s a very calming, very relaxing experience. I really recommend trying out this activity in Kyoto and the tea ceremony at Camellia really exceeded our expectations.
For bookings, you can visit their website at https://www.tea-kyoto.com.