Japanese Tea Houses: Culture, Tradition & Architecture
Japan has a rich history of varied cultures, traditions, and heritage. A Japanese tea house is widely popular across the whole country. These tea houses are the symbol of spiritual purification, one will come out with a calm mind from it. Also, the tea that these tea rooms provide is great in taste.
Today, we have brought this post to make you know what are these tea rooms, what is its significance and what does their architecture consists of. So, get excite to gather some new information today.
Let us start with its description first.
What is the Japanese Tea House?
It is a place for tea ceremony gatherings. Known as chashitsu in Japanese, it displays the rich tradition of the country and is carry out for long years. People can gather in this tea room and can have tea together and forget their worries, feel the connection with nature and just enjoy the tea drinking moment.
History and Overview
Zen monks brought the tradition of cultivating tea from China to Japan during the very early Kamakura period that took place between 1185-1333. Then, the tradition of drinking tea got very popular and got spread across the whole of Japan.
The tea ceremony in the tea rooms was also start by the Zen monks. So, one can see that this tradition is very old and is carry out currently in modern times as well.
Zen monks believe in simplicity and peacefulness so the tea rooms were construct in such a way that they have simple and limit materials use inside them. Also, the style was rustic in olden times. Japanese people love nature and so one can witness the natural touch in these tea rooms as well.
In modern times, though creativity and innovativeness are add to the construction of these houses, the tradition of making it simple, connect with nature such that people can have peace of mind is not lost.
How is it Architecture?
The structure of the tea house is refer to as the Sukiya-zukuri and it reveals the true Japanese architectural design and style. To build it, numerous highly skill workers are need like a carpenter, a tatami maker, gardener and many more
There are two rooms inside it. One is the kitchen or call mizuya in Japan where the host will store the materials and prepare the tea and snacks. The second room is the main room where people are going to sit and have tea.
These houses are mostly construct in the gardens of private homes, on the grounds of museums, parks, and temples. Shoji windows, sliding wooden doors, tatami mat floors, and a tokonoma alcove are there inside a typical traditional tea room. Usually, it is seen that the total size of the chashitsu is 4.5 tatami mats.
8.2 square meters is the usual and standard size of a traditional chashitsu. The room size is measure by the number of tatami mats covering the floor. Traditional tea rooms are construct more from natural elements like bamboo, straws, wood, and vines.
The houses that are a construct of less than four and a half tatami mats are call “Koma” and the ones with more than that are calling Hiroma.
Tea House Garden
There are tea gardens in most of the chashitsued where the tea is cultivate. This tea garden is calling Roji. A tea garden outside the tea room is good to have as there will be no hurdles of bringing the tea leaves to the place. Tea leaves are growing in the garden outside so one can easily get it whenever one needs it.
Once you step in the garden, you will feel relax and peaceful seeing the plants and trees. Being with nature makes you forget all your worries. Guests will traverse on the path that is made from the stepping stones in the garden and then wash their hands at the stone basin and then enter the tea room.
Nijiri-guchi is a small entranceway through which guests are going to enter the tea room. The specialty or the importance of this entryway is that everyone has to leave their status, position or title outside of the tea room and become just a common man.
People will get detach from the outside world, leave their day-to-day thoughts outside and just be in the moment and enjoy drinking tea. It is a very pure and clean place and so one has to purify oneself before entering the room. Washing hands at the basin are mandatory and forgetting one’s title and thoughts is also mandatory.
It provides not only a calm and relax experience drinking tea but it is also a place for an energy booster. One will be a different person altogether when he comes outside of the room, his mind will be at peace for sure.
So, here was a detail overview of the Japanese tea room. I hope you got an idea of it. When you plan a visit to Japan then don’t forget to have the experience of drinking tea in this tranquil and worldly Asian tea houses, you will have a great experience for sure!