Our final stop for the day was a traditional tea house, where we got to participate in a Japanese tea ceremony. The host follows a series of finely choreographed movements to prepare and serve Matcha (Japanese green tea) to their guests. There are different ceremonies for summer and winter, and tea utensils have to be placed in certain positions on the tatami mat. The host performs each movement mindfully, and the whole experience is akin to meditative practice. Japanese sweets are served with the tea to balance the strong matcha flavour.
These ceremonies are a true art form, and often incorporate other arts like preparing a traditional meal to serve to guests (called Kaiseki) and flower arrangement. It can take up to 10 years to become a proficient host.