One of the largest barriers for newcomers to tea ceremony is having to sit on a tatami mat with their legs folded under them. That is at least one of my distinct memories from my first tea ceremony. After about 10 minutes, the pain in my knees and ankles gradually worsened until, well, circulation was significantly cut and all I could feel was a slightly painful tingle. It is the traditional way of sitting for a tea ceremony, but unfortunately it can be difficult for some newcomers to the art. That is why some teachers decide to meet their students half way. By moving the practice to a table top and chairs, students can focus on elements of tea ceremony more important than sitting. Students can learn about the flow, the utensils, and the heart and mind of cha-no-yu. They can learn how the season is reflected in the utensils, decorations, and sweets. They can focus on appreciating the beauty of these items, and the efforts the host must have gone through to prepare them. Doing all this, in a painless way none the less, helps ensure that everyone has a nice time together. Nara is home to some of the most famous pottery and tea whisks in Japan, and produces lots of tea in its rolling hills, so its connection with tea ceremony goes back to the art’s beginnings. Perhaps one of the ways of keeping this tradition alive and well is to make it more accessible for newcomers, and we have a program that takes a step in that direction. Music Cafe Anges in Kashihara City offers participants the chance to learn about tea ceremony and whisk a bowl themselves in the comfort of a table and a chair. Participants don’t just learn about the process, but also the philosophy of this ancient art. With tea produced in Nara and traditional sweets from a popular local shop, it is a chance to comfortably experience a tea ceremony unique to this place and this time. If you are interested, please check the link below.