Scrapbook of a Future Nobleman

Jikoin: The Tea Ceremony Temple

Jikoin, Nara, Japan

About a 45-minute train ride from central Nara is the temple of Jikoin. Sited at the top of a hill, this temple was founded around the time of the unification of Japan by a nobleman interested in spreading the ideas of the tea ceremony. Because of this, most of the temple is devoted to tea rooms, and the hondo is sort of placed out of the way. The main room (seen above) looks out over the valley below, originally filled with rice fields, and by removing all of the screens theshakkeilandscape can truly enter the building.

We spent a few hours here, starting with a tea ceremony and moving on to do some watercolors. Since this was one of the earliest places to use the tea ceremony, the school relies less on the ritual aspects and much more on the enjoyment. Everyone is seated in the room, and a server comes out to give everyone a small cup of matcha, a thick, bitter green tea, and a small, sweet snack. The idea is that you take a bite of the sweet and then a sip of the tea. I found it pretty delicious and am looking for a place to buymatchahere in the States.

More photos below.

Jikoin, Nara, Japan

Jikoin, Nara, Japan

Jikoin, Nara, Japan

Jikoin, Nara, Japan

Jikoin, Nara, Japan

Jikoin, Nara, Japan

Jikoin, Nara, Japan

Jikoin, Nara, Japan

Jikoin, Nara, Japan

Jikoin, Nara, Japan