In the late 1500s, a major craze swept the Japanese islands. Matcha tea was all the rage among samurai warriors, high level nobles, and lovers of a more refined existence. A new artform was coming into being in the form of the fabled Japanese tea ceremony. As the art of tea was codified and refined, it splintered into a number of schools that each offered their own version of the ceremony. There is no one "true" or "correct" ceremony that takes precedence over the others, but there is one special school of tea that KyoTours Japan wants to share with our guests...

The world Japanese tea is often misunderstood by foreign visitors. Why is the ceremony performed? Who is allowed to participate? What does it mean to be a guest invited by a host? How does one school of tea compare to others? KyoTours Japan is partnering with a special establishment of the warrior-style Enshu school to demystify the tea ceremony for you. Kyugetsu is a tea house run by a set of unique tea practitioners that will be your guides into the world of Japanese tea.

Tyas Sosen is the first and only Belgian practitioner of tea to reach the coveted position of fully accredited Japanese tea instructor. The fact that he chose to study the warrior-style ceremony makes his knowledge and expertise even that much more special. As a foreigner, Tyas is in a unique position to introduce overseas guests to the world of tea in fluent English and in a friendly, approachable style while maintaining an air of professionalism and tradition. In addition to being the founder of Kyugetsu tea house, Tyas also runs an online storefront selling only the finest organic leaf teas that he personally selects as he monitors the entire growing and cultivation process.

Working with Tyas for tea sessions is Stephen Soshun, another foreign resident who has chosen to devote his life to the practice of tea. Not only is Stephen a professor emeritus at Kansai University Osaka, he is the first non-Japanese citizen to reach the rank of Junior Assistant Grand Master of his school of tea. With Tyas and Stephen as your hosts, you'll be treated to a wealth of knowledge and experience that will leave you with the chance to say you've experienced something very special during your stay in Kyoto.

KyoTours Japan and Kyugetsu Tea House are working together to give foreign visitors this opportunity to experience something exceedingly special. You'll leave with a greater understanding of and appreciation for the tea ceremony and how such a refined art form can only exist in Japan. We guarantee that this is without a doubt the most authentic and deepest tea ceremony experience available to visitors that in Kyoto. Enjoy an experience that will pull back the veil of the mysterious tea ceremony and leave you both enlightened and delighted at the traditional refinement and personal passion that the ceremony celebrates.

This tea activity can easily be added on to our half day Kyoto Highlights Tour or Arashiyama Backroads Tour to give you a full day cultural experience.


An Exclusive Tea House

You'll be enjoying tea inside an authentic geisha townhouse in the quiet back streets of the Miyagawacho neighborhood. Houses like this are rarely open to visitors, so this is a special opportunity to get a glimpse into a world of refined elegance. Your host will take you on a brief tour of the building and tell the interesting tale of the woman for whom it was built as a gift.


A Special Matcha Tea

This is NOT the same matcha tea that you will drink at other tea ceremonies in Kyoto! The Enshu school focuses on a thick version of the drink that is unlike any other tea you've experienced. You'll never forget your first sip of this rarely-prepared concoction. There truly is no substitute for the magic that transpires behind the closed doors at this unique tea house. Vegan friendly!


An Exclusive Initiation to the Enshu School of Tea

  • Enter the tea room, learning the proper way for a guest to admire the environment and greet the host.
  • Cleanse your pallet with a cup of full-leaf tea and a deliciously moist wagashi sweet.
  • Enjoy a discussion on the warrior-style school of tea and what makes it so special.
  • Observe up close as your host demonstrates the proper way to prepare thick matcha tea.
  • Drink from a centuries-old tea bowl, and experience the rich taste of thick matcha tea for yourself.
  • Observe the tea utensils up close with a hands on explanation of each tool and its history.
  • Engage your hosts in an open Q&A about tea, traditional culture, and life as a foreigner in Japan.
  • Browse the selection of organic leaf tea and powdered matcha available for purchase.

Thick Matcha Tea Experience

Duration: approx. 90 minutes

Price: Upon request

This tea activity can easily be added on to our half day Kyoto Highlights Tour or Arashiyama Backroads Tour to give you a full day cultural experience.

References for appointments at the tea house are available if KyoTours Japan is unable to provide a tour on the requested day.

We feel so lucky to have had the opportunity of taking the tea ceremony workshop with Stephen and Tyas. Their knowledge and love for the tea ceremony as part of the Japanese culture is transmitted to you from the moment you walk in. They explain everything so that you can understand the reason for every move of the tea ceremony. The thick tea is a treat you will never forget and the place feels like taken from a movie set: just beautifully perfect.
— Pcabrer1, from Colombia via Trip Advisor


Additional information

  • Tea experiences may be only available on certain days.
  • Advanced reservations required.
  • Tea fees are payable in cash upon arrival at tea house.
  • Not recommended for children under age 16.
  • All tea is vegetarian friendly.
  • Guests are asked to wear white socks and comfortable clothing suitable for sitting on the floor. Jeans are not suggested.
  • Itinerary and availability subject to change due to seasonal changes in hours, special events, transportation delays, weather, or other factors. Guests will be kept informed of any itinerary changes as they occur on the day of the tour.
  • Please read our terms and conditions for more information before booking.

For more info on tea ceremony or to ask about adding this experience to your tour, please use the contact form below.

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