Are you in Tokyo and want to experience the experience of an authentic Japanese teahouse?
In the heart of the Japanese Hamarikyu Gardens there is a small pond, in which is a tiny island … on which is housed a beautiful traditional tea-house! And here, you have the opportunity to enjoy authentic Japanese matcha tea in a beautiful tranquil natural environment away from the chaos of the gray megas of the city.
Nakajima-no-ochaya is one of the city’s many traditional teapots, famous for its prime location and views of the beautiful Hamarikyu Japanese gardens and the surrounding skyscrapers. This beautiful ground floor building dating back to 1704 takes you to other seasons with its traditional architecture and interior decoration. When Sogun and the Japanese Emperors were permanent patrons enjoying the endless tranquility of this beautiful landscape.
The teapot was renovated in 1983 and is now linked to the garden with wooden bridges. The longest is 118 meters long. and is made of “hinoki”, Japanese cypress wood. We went through a smaller wooden bridge from the back of the island. As you arrive at the entrance, you must take your shoes, placing them in a wooden boot and enter a wooden ground floor with two rooms with huge windows and a large wooden balcony.
The decor is simple and purely traditional Japanese with stunning views of the gardens from any room you choose. The floor is paved with woven rugs and around it, with red corridors on which the visitor must sit. Everything inside is delicate and crystal clear! The tea is served in a tray placed on the rugs.
We ordered cold matcha tea, which served us in huge mugs of ice cubes, along with two traditional sweets and two small wooden knives, which we had to cut the sweets and eat before we drank the tea! Why before? Because this is the traditional Japanese ritual. And to live this experience you should first read the instructions that give you along with tea: how to cut the cake, how to catch the mug, that will drink the drink … all there are rules which should Follow if you want to feel Japanese even for a while!
So when we enjoyed our cold tea in an idyllic setting, we went out onto the wooden terrace to take pictures. At that point you should wear slippers to get out as barefoot circulators only indoors. On the veranda you can also sit and enjoy your tea if weather conditions permit (when we went we unfortunately could not be reached due to excessive heat).
The experience was really unique and we paid only 500 ¥ / person (about 4 €, price 2012). Then we left in the opposite direction and passing the large wooden bridge, enjoying the last view of this beautiful landscape, we continued our walk through the gardens.
** Access to the gardens is from Shiodome Metro (7 ‘walk) and Shimbashi (10’ walk). More information can be found on the official website of the gardens
AUTHOR: Trips of our Life.
SPECIAL THANKS TO travelvibe.eu, tripsofourlife.com