Color autumn in Tokyo! Large-scale tea ceremony for enjoying the culture of Japanese tea
Aug 03, 2017

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture) are organizing Japanese traditional culture programs with the aim of introducing world-renowned Japanese traditional culture and performing arts at home and abroad and passing on the underlying “Japanese hospitality” to the next generations. As part of these projects, Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony 2017 will be held to encourage visitors to experience and become more familiar with Japanese traditional culture and performing arts.

A number of programs will be provided for both beginners and advanced level, including young people and foreigners, to enjoy and experience the “heart of Japanese culture” in accessible locations. The support in English is available some of the ceremonies.

Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony will take place over four days in total at two venues: on October 7 (Saturday) and 8 (Sunday) 2017 at Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum (Koganei City, Tokyo), which exhibits a number of buildings whose historical and cultural value is highly praised, and on October 21 (Saturday) and 22 (Sunday) at Hama-rikyu Gardens (Chuo-ku, Tokyo), where rich natural environment is appreciated in central Tokyo with easy access to the Ginza shopping district.

The entrance to Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum will be free during the event period, but is charged at Hama-rikyu Gardens. Admission to the tea ceremony event is charged separately. The Admission fees are 700 yen for indoor tea ceremonies and 300 yen for outdoor tea ceremony. “Ceremony workshop for children” costs 200 yen (In all ceremonies, tea and Japanese confectionery will be served. Tax is included with these fees.) The prior applications are necessary for all of the indoor ceremonies, except “Tea ceremony in English” that tickets are available at the venue on the day of the event.

Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony started in 2008 in the hope that foreigners and anyone unfamiliar with tea ceremony could casually enjoy tea culture. Held annually, this will be the 10th year. This large-scale tea ceremony where various schools of tea get together attracted about 23,800 visitors last year and a total of 178,000 in past years, to become widely known as an autumn institution in Tokyo.

«Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony»
Based on the historical event known as Kitano Grand Tea Ceremony, a large-scale tea ceremony Hideyoshi Toyotomi organized in Kitano Tenmangu, a Shinto shrine in Kyoto, in October 1587, where he set up more than 800 seats and served tea to all worshippers, Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony has been held annually since 2008, marking 10th year this time.

In both venues, an “Indoor tea ceremony” will be held for authentic tea ceremony (prior application is necessary), as well as an “Outdoor tea ceremony” to casually enjoy the fun of tea ceremony outdoors in greenery, and a “Tea ceremony for beginners” designed for beginners and foreigners are able to learn the basics of tea ceremony while making tea with two pairs.

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum offer “Tea ceremony in English,” where manners of tea ceremony are explained in English. Other programs available will be a “Tea ceremony workshop for children,” where elementary school children or younger can learn through experience. In the garden, dynamic performance "martial arts" and "jump rope" according to Japanese traditional songs. Stalls for foods and beverages are opened by the local Koganei City Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Programs provided in Hama-rikyu Gardens will include “Outdoor tea ceremony in English,” where manners of ceremony will be explained in English, and by the corporation of the Tokyo Metropolitan High School Cultural Federation; Tea Ceremony department, “Outdoor tea ceremony by high school students,” where high school students will serve tea. On the special stage, enjoy the talk show from a special guest, “Noh work shop,” “Shamisen,” and “ Kamikiri ” performances. In the garden, may purchase Japanese sweets and green tea, which serve at the ceremonies. For visit commemoration and SNS post photos, enjoy experience of the palanquin which used by common people in Edo-period.

«How to apply for tea ceremony»
Prior application is necessary to participate in an indoor tea ceremony held in either venue except for “Tea ceremony in English.”

Please apply either from the official website ( or by double postcard. Applications will be accepted from August 1 (Tuesday) to 31 (Thursday). Applications postmarked or received on August 31 are valid. In case of oversubscription, a drawing will be held. If the number of applicants falls under the capacity, or if cancellations occur on that day, tickets will be sold at the venues on the day of the event.

Venue outline
Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
30 historic buildings of high cultural value from Edo through the middle of Showa period have been relocated, restored, preserved, and exhibited in this outdoor museum. “House of Korekiyo Takahashi,” which is used as a tea ceremony venue, is the main building of the residence of Korekiyo Takahashi, who led Japanese politics from Meiji to early Showa period. The second floor was used as his study room and bedroom, where became the site of "2 • 26 incidents" of the Showa period 11 (1936).

Hama-rikyu Gardens
Hama-rikyu Gardens are representative of daimyo gardens built in the Edo period. They are the only gardens in Tokyo that have both Shio-iri-no ike, or a tidal pond, and two kamobas, or duck hunting grounds. The gardens serve as a familiar “urban oasis,” with a rich variety of seasonal flowers blooming within the view of nearby skyscrapers built in the Shiodome area where large-scale urban redevelopment projects have continued. Since these Japanese gardens have high historic and academic value, as well as value in art appreciation, they are designated as special places of scenic beauty and special historic sites, according to the Cultural Assets Preservation Act.

Inquiry regarding this press release
«General inquiry»
Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony Office 
Phone: 03-6426-0558 (weekdays 10:00-17:00)
Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony official website

«Press release inquiry»
PR Office of Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony
PR officers: Hiro Hishinuma (mobile: 080-3359-2780)

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution