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 AlbertaDevonian 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.
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
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.
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.
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 will not be able to offer this style in 2014, because construction for the Ozawa Pavilion expansion starts this year(Indoor tea ceremonies will not be affected). This expansion will provide a large room and deck for the ryurei style tea ceremony. We look forward to the expansion opening some time this summer (2015).
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 purcharer'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 Devonian Botanic Garden must be purchased separately at the garden's entrance.
In 2015 the Matsukaze Chanoyu Association will be hosting tea services on four separate dates. Please arrive at the Ozawa Pavillion 15 minutes for the start of the tea service.
May 3, 2015 - Kodomo no Hi (Children's Festival)
June 7, 2015 - Spring Festival
July 5, 2015
August 9, 2015
Matsukaze Chanoyu Association: firstname.lastname@example.org