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Tea Ceremony in Nara

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Bangkok, Thailand
posts: 8
Tea Ceremony in Nara

Has anyone here been to Jikoin Temple in Nara? How is it there? I'm interested in their Tea Ceremony. Do I need to make a reservation?

If there are other better places for tea ceremony, please do let me know.

Thank you!

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara, Kamikochi
posts: 6,812
reviews: 1
1. Re: Tea Ceremony in Nara

Wow, how did you come upon Jikoin, I wonder? That (locally) well-known place (mostly) for its garden is located about 20min drive away from where I live, yet after all these years I've been here I have never had occasion to set my foot there, sadly. Yes, its large signpost and road sign catch my eye anytime I drive around here. Though not in boonies, Jikoin will be hard locating if you walk/bus it from the nearest JR railroad station: Yamato Koizumi. So you'd be better off taking a cab from there. FYI, one thing you don't find written in their English page that is stated clearly in the Japanese one is, the duration of your visit is only 40min, and that includes time for your perk: macha&sweets servings.

See: 4travel.jp/domestic/…

See tiny sweets? They are rakugans, sweet gingered stuffs. The views from inside the shoin drawing room is not quite unlike a hidden gem's in Kyoto, Shisendo. (No they don't offer tea to guests in there. ;))

This is not done in a tea ceremony style, so am not at all sure if you like it.., but there's a macha cafe on Sanjo Street (main drag in central Nara), called Kyoshoan, who may probably be able to initiate you into macha-brewing if contacted beforehand:

http://www.kyousyouan.com/howto_blend

Edited: 3:08 pm, June 04, 2013
Bangkok, Thailand
posts: 8
2. Re: Tea Ceremony in Nara

Hi Shot!

That temple is the only one I found that does Tea Ceremonies in Nara. Perhaps I'm not looking hard enough, heh, but google barely helps.

This is the website I saw:

http://www1.kcn.ne.jp/~jikoin/English-top.html

Wish they offered a map but I did read from some site that I can also reach the temple by bus 97 or 98. I'll be coming in from Kintetsu Nara Station, would that be any easier?

As for your other suggestion, I'll definitely consider that! Although I'm a bit more biased to a more authentic experience (not that I'm a trusted source of authenticity, but..).

Thank you for your help! Appreciate it :)

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara, Kamikochi
posts: 6,812
reviews: 1
3. Re: Tea Ceremony in Nara

I advise not taking a bus from Kintetsu Nara Station: the boulevard is almost always congested and takes by far longer going through than you expect. You'd be better off using Kintetsu Koriyama Station as a gateway to Jikoin if you need to ride Kintetsu Railroad Line. Yet the bus runs from it are fewer, compared to those from JR Yamato Koizumi Station. If it's all right with you, then you'd be better off switching to JR so you can go to JR Yamato Koizumi. FYI, the cab fare from there will be 700-800yens, so a cab ride might be a better option depending on the size of your group.

Edited: 2:56 am, June 05, 2013
Bangkok, Thailand
posts: 8
4. Re: Tea Ceremony in Nara

Thank you Shot!

Will definitely consider taking a cab from Koizumi Station. Do you think I'll need to call them for reservation? I'll be coming in autumn, kind of worried there'd be too much crowd.

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara, Kamikochi
posts: 6,812
reviews: 1
5. Re: Tea Ceremony in Nara

Right outside its East Exit are bus and taxi stands; I believe taxis will be waiting there at any time of the day, so no need for reservation. There's a long and uphill road for the approach, but the traffic is light, compared to others around here. Not really sure, but for fall foliage, people usually gravitate to a major site like Deer Park or Horyuji, so I wouldn't be surprised if Jikoin had been attracting by far fewer tourists on the day of your visit. No worries.

posts: 22
6. Re: Tea Ceremony in Nara

I don't know if you location is limited to Nara...

I personally liked Nakamura Tokichi's program in Uji, where you get to mince the leaves by yourself and then they serve you two rounds, both heavy and light.

http://www.tokichi.jp/tenpo/hikicha.php

In Kyoto you have more choices. Fukujuen's experience on 5th floor includes both the ceremony (one bowl of light cha) and a 101 tutorial for beginners, if you don't mind the room is inside of a modern building, the design is quite zen. They also serve you around of very good houji tea after the session.

Both can be done in English.

As for Jikoin, yes please make a reservation if possible. Some tea masters will prepare materials better to suit your preference/needs.

7. Re: Tea Ceremony in Nara

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