Experience a Japanese Tea Ceremony for yourself

 Photo by Cassandra Scheideman

The Matsukaze Chanoyu Association is a group focused on the practice of the Japanese Tea Ceremony.  We are based at the beautiful Ozawa Pavilion at the Kurimoto Japanese Garden, one of the display gardens at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden.

This group was founded in January 1995 by a few people who were interested in learning tea ceremony together, in the authentic Japanese setting of the Ozawa Pavilion. “Matsukaze” means ‘wind in the pines’ – in the quiet of the tearoom, the sound of water in the kettle is similar to hearing wind in the pines.

Members of the Matsukaze Chanoyu Association meet each month from September to April, to practice chanoyu at the Ozawa Pavilion. We enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the Pavilion and the Garden views, and feel far away from the usual bustle of daily life.

In 1999, the group began Tea Offerings for visitors to the Garden. This program continues each year, during the summer season (May – August), and is a unique opportunity for guests to participate in the sharing of Tea.

Tea Ceremony Class and Prospective Member Orientation

Matsukaze Chanoyu Association is holding a session for anyone interested in becoming a member of our group and learning the art of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. We will go over some of the basics, including how to be a guest in a ceremony, an overview of roles that people have during each ceremony, as well as background on our group. Anyone who expresses an interest to continue as a member and take monthly lessons with the group will be given more information at that time.

Please note that all of our group's practices and events are held at the Ozawa Pavilion at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden (previously known as the Devonian Botanic Garden), and there is no public transportation available to the garden at any point during the year.

Accessibility note: Prospective members should note that we primarily operate out of a traditional style tea house with seating directly on tatami flooring. All of our members need to be able to sit in a kneeling position for approx 20 minutes at a time. Members are also expected to be generally available for most of the four spring and summer demonstration days we host at the garden each year, as this secures our use of this fantastic facility during the rest of the year.

Date: Sunday, April 29th, 2018
Location: Ozawa Pavilion, University of Alberta Botanic Garden (no public transit access available)
Cost: $10/person
Application deadline: April 6th, 2018
Session capacity: 5-10 people
Please email us at matsukaze.tea@gmail.com to register or for more information.

Cha no yu - The Art of the Japanese Tea Ceremony

Cha No Yu (literally, hot water for tea) is the Japanese art of making and sharing tea. It began in the 15th century, and is described as “not an amusement, nor a technique either, but an enjoyment of enlightened satisfaction”. According to the Urasenke Foundation, “chanoyu is a synthesis of arts that gives expression to many aspects of Japanese Culture. A simple bowl of tea, served with a respectful heart and received with gratitude, satisfies both physical and spiritual thirst”.

The tea served in Chanoyu is a special green tea called Matcha. It is a fine powder which is whisked in hot water. This tea is served after a Japanese sweet (wagashi), as the flavors of the sweet and the tea complement and enhance each other. 

Tea Ceremony Styles

Ro Style

During the winter months, traditionally from November to April, the sunken hearth (ro) is used for the tea ceremony.  This service is performed in the small tearoom (about 3 meters square) at the Ozawa Pavilion and the doors of the room are kept closed.  The heat from the kettle warms the room, creating a cozy and intimate atmosphere.  Guests sit on the tatami mat floor in the traditional Japanese manner.

Furo Style

During the summer months, traditionally from May to October, a brazier (furo) is used for the tea ceremony.  This service is performed in the large tatami room at the Ozawa Pavilion.  Some guests may sit on the tatami mat floor, while others may choose to sit on chairs in the adjoining room.  It is a nice way to see the traditional ceremony while being comfortably seated.

Ryurei Style

The tea is prepared by a host who is seated at a special table. The guests are also seated on chairs. This is a more modern approach to the tea ceremony, but the essence of chanoyu remains the same. The Matsukaze Chanoyu Association is please to be hosting ryurei style ceremonies in the new Ozawa Pavilion expansion. This expansion was specifically designed with this style of tea ceremony in mind.  

Hina Matsuri Tea Ceremony

Photo by Cassandra Scheideman


Tickets for the tea services at the Kurimoto Japanese Garden can be purchased online.   Tickets will be available online up until the day before the tea service.  Any remaining tickets  will be available for purchase at the Ozawa Pavilion on a first-come, first-served basis, starting at 10 am the day of the tea ceremony.   Services generally sell out so it is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance.  Tickets will be held under purchaser's name and available at the Ozawa pavillion the day of the tea service.

Please note that admission to the Gardens is not included with the tea service.  Tickets for entry to the University of Alberta Botanic Garden must be purchased separately at the garden's entrance.  

In 2017 the Matsukaze Chanoyu Association will be hosting tea services on four separate dates.  Please arrive at the Ozawa Pavillion 15 minutes before the start of the tea service.  Keep in mind that it can take several minutes to reach the Ozawa Pavillion from the entrance of the Botanic Garden.


Matsukaze Chanoyu Association: matsukaze.tea@gmail.com