Japanese Tea Ceremony

Last week I was incredibly lucky to take part in a formal Japanese Tea Ceremony at the Japanese Embassy in Helsinki.

Thin tea presentation

We participated in both a thin tea ceremony and a very beautiful and formal thick tea ceremony. But my favorite was actually the incense ceremony.

Incense Ceremony

The incense ceremony is called Kōdō (Way of the Fragrance) and like a tea ceremony, much attention is paid to the delicate and myriad tools as well as to the complex choreography of preparation. The woman leading the ceremony instructed us that we aren’t supposed to ‘smell’ the incense, we are supposed to ‘listen’ to it. She carefully showed us the breathing pattern for ‘listening’ to the incense.

The whole thing was a pretty magical experience.

Thick Tea Ceremony

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