Events / Events Outside Tokyo

Tea-lovers gather for Sencha-do

by Tai Kawabata

An event to enjoy Sencha-do (the way of green tea) will be held on Oct. 27 at the Mukojima Hyakkaen Botanical Garden in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward. The ceremony is more relaxed than an ordinary tea ceremony, allowing participants to enjoy tea and Japanese tradition in their regular clothes — so you can leave the kimono at home.

Sencha-do came from China in the early Edo Period (1603-1868). It features leaf tea, unlike the ordinary tea ceremony, in which powdered tea (matcha) is used. It first spread among literati, who enjoyed it on their outdoor excursions.

Sencha tea master Etsuko Yoshida will serve tea to guests during three sessions (3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.) in the garden’s Onari Zashiki Onari-no-ma tearoom. Tea leaves imported from Yame in Fukuoka Prefecture will be used and specially-made wagashi (Japanese cakes) will be served.

Entry is ¥3,500. For reservations, call (047) 372-1332. Mukojima Hyakkaen, 3-18-3 Higashi Mukojima, Sumida-ku (tel. [03] 3619-4997) is an 8-minute walk from Higashi Mukojima Station on the Tobu Isezaki Line and 13 minutes from Hikifune Station on the Keisei Oshiage Line. Entry to the garden is a further ¥150.