Private Zen Japanese Tea Ceremony Experience in Kyoto  |  Kyoto, Japan |  During my time in Kyoto, I went off the beaten path, to experience 400 years ago of Japan.  I took part of a Private Zen Japanese Tea Ceremony at a traditional Japanese house by renown Tea Master Sougo Kobayakawa. You may see all my photos and videos from my recent trip to Japan at my Instagram @carlosmeliablog 

So following the way of the Maikos, I left my hotel in Ponchoto District and venture off the beaten path to meet my Tea Master at the intimacy of a traditional Japanese house. So exciting.

Japanese Zen Tea Master Sougo Kobayakawa, came highly recommended to me, by my host and dear friend and colleague – Mary Nozu at Luxury Travel Japan, promising me a real Japanese Tea Experience. Sougo Kobayakawa, master of Zen tea ceremony, started his carrier in tea ceremony at the age of 13.  When he was 2 years old, he had drunk his very first matcha and since then he devoted his life to it. He is known for providing Chaji, the most authentic tea ceremony.

Our experience began over some traditional Japanese Sweets. Not only were they delicious but also beautiful to look at.

Tea Master Sougo Kobayakawa, says his guests say his matcha tastes totally different from others.  He attributes this, to his style of conducting his tea ceremonies, which not only are Temae (the general way of tea ceremony), but also the taste of matcha is always controlled by his Zen spirit. He focus on this skill, to make matcha taste better, influenced by his Zen awakening.

The Tea Ceremony took place at this lovely traditional Japanese House, which made all even more special.

The Tea Ceremony took approximately 2 hours. During this time I was lucky to taste several different types of Matcha from fine Koicha to Usucha.

Usucha is literally light tea and Koicha is strong or thick tea. The difference in thickness is due to the amount of matcha and water used in preparing matcha.

The other amusement of tea ceremony is beautiful antique tea wares. An Tea Master Sougo Kobayakawa, had beautiful ones. He believes guests cannot feel the real experience if antiques are not used.

Such an amazing way to experience the local Japanese culture and traditions by experience. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator –

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