TOKYO GRAND TEA CEREMONY IMAGE Of particular interest to JT readers are events designed to instruct English-speakers about the cultural background and details of the famously complex tea ceremony.
At noon and 2 p.m. on both days, 40-minute participatory demonstrations will be held. Visitors will be able to savor the slightly bitter taste of matcha powdered tea and sample sweets prepared by some of Tokyo's best-known wagashi (Japanese sweets) makers.
The number of participants for each demonstration is limited to the first 25 people who collect a ticket at the entrance to the gardens from 11:30 a.m. for the noon sessions and from 1:30 p.m. for the 2 p.m. session. For the general public, there will be a total of 12 indoor tea-ceremony sessions, each lasting about 40 minutes, at the Nakajima-no-Ochaya (Nakajima Teahouse) and the Hobai-tei (Hobai House) on both Saturday and Sunday, and another 25 sessions at five outdoor venues on each day, too.
For those who prefer their matcha tea with a little more spice, from 1:30 p.m. each day there will be what the tea ceremony's Web site describes as a "flamboyant dance of geisha" from Asakusa.
Entrance to Hamarikyu Gardens, close to Hamamatsu Station on the JR Yamanote Line, costs ¥300. Fees for participating in the tea ceremonies are ¥300-¥500. The festival runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.
For more details, visit: http://www.tokyodaichakai.jp/