Choshoan Tea Room
The sound of trickling water and the serene smiles of kimono-clad tea masters greet visitors to Choshoan tea rooms. Despite its unlikely location on the seventh floor of modernist Hotel Okura, the small but perfectly formed green-walled space offers a slice of zen serenity in the heart of the city.
Windows overlook a roof garden with weeping cherry trees and carefully manicured matsu pines. Tea masters guide visitors through the origami-like intricacies of the tea ceremony – from purifying hands with a wooden ladle and calligraphy scroll appreciation to whisking the vivid green matcha tea into a froth and the number of sips in which it is to be consumed.
The main space has been westernized so shoes need not be removed and guests can be seated at a low seating rather than on the floor. However, it is also home to an authentic tatami mat room, complete with calligraphy scroll and flower arrangement, where shoes can be slipped off and tea ceremony unfolds.