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Said to originate from Saidai-ji Temple in Nara Prefecture, Ochamori is a special tea ceremony that involves drinking powdered green tea from a massive bowl (often the size of a person's head). The ceremony is said to have begun at the temple when the Buddhist Monk Eison would serve tea presented for the Hachiman Shrine to the local people for roughly 800 years. Because tea was only enjoyed by aristocrats at the time, this act from Eison was considered quite generous. Unfortunately, the common folk did not have traditional tea bowls, so they would use whatever pots or pans they had.
The tea ceremony has evolved since and now uses special, large bowls around 50 cm in diameter for everyone to drink from. The massive size and weight aren't easy to navigate, so don't be shy when people are helping you bring the bowl to your mouth. Ochamori translates to the ceremony of large tea bowls and brings smiles and laughter as everyone takes their turn with the massive bowls.
Interested in trying the Ochamori tea ceremony in addition to the Kyoto tea ceremony on our best-selling line of Japan tours? Customize your vacation with our affordable range of add-on's and day trips to include the Ochamori tea ceremony and any other experience you were hoping to try in Japan!
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