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Osaka | 6.5h
A Trip to Osaka, the History of the Tea Ceremony!

Feel the tradition in Zen temples and old tea houses, and learn about modern tea culture.

Sakai is a city accessible by train from Osaka in about 30 minutes. Historically, the city developed as a shipping hub, and it grew into a trading city with China and Europe. It was also known as the "East Venice" at the time.
Tea is an essential part of the charm of Sakai, a city with such a long history.

Sakai is the birthplace of Sen no Rikyu, the man who developed the famous tea ceremony as part of Japan's traditional culture. There are many tea houses located all over the city. Also, numerous shops are selling tea leaves, utensils, and Japanese sweets, which are indispensable for the tea ceremony. Sen no Rikyu was active more than 400 years ago, but his influence is still immeasurable today.

This tour focuses on the life and achievements of Sen no Rikyu and traces the origins of the Japanese tea ceremony and tea culture. It also introduces you to the way tea is enjoyed in Japan today.

First, you will visit a museum with an exhibition on Sen no Rikyu, where you will learn about the man himself and his unique aesthetic sensibility. Then, visit a temple with a connection to the history of the tea ceremony, where you can admire the beautiful Karesansui garden and feel the Buddhist spirit that tea ceremony and Zen share.
You will also have the opportunity to experience the tea ceremony by actually tasting matcha tea and practicing tea ceremony etiquette, and stop by a tea lunch spot where you can enjoy the charm of tea in all its glory.

This tour will surely make you fall in love with Japanese tea even more.


・You can taste Sakai's unique tea sweets and professionally prepared matcha tea at the Sakai City Tea House Shinan and Obaian.
・You can visit Nanshuji Temple, with its beautiful dry landscape garden (Karesansui), to feel the connection between Zen and tea ceremony culture.
・You can try Matcha, Hojicha, and other tea-based dishes at Saryo Tsuboichi Tea Main Store Sakai Honkan.
・Tea experts will teach you essential knowledge about tea, such as the differences in taste depending on the production method and the importance of freshness of tea leaves at Matsukura Tea Shop.
・You will visit Honke Kojima, a Japanese confectionery with a history of almost 500 years, where you can buy Japanese sweets.
・You can learn about the history of the tea ceremony and the people who made it a great success at Sakai Risho no Mori.
・You can get a feel for traditional Sakai Machiya life and learn about the history at the Machiya History Museum Yamaguchi Residence.


Sakai Risho no Mori
This cultural facility promotes the historical and cultural attractions of Sakai. You can learn about the origins and achievements of Sen no Rikyu, the great master of the tea ceremony born in Sakai, and uncover the history and culture of the tea ceremony.
Honke Kojima (Sweet House Kojima)
Honke Kojima is a 490-year-old confectioner. Products are made on the same day and do not contain any additives, but have a long shelf life for fresh confectionery. The confectionery has been handed down through the ages using a secret method handed down from one generation to the next, making it an ideal souvenir.
Matsukura Tea Shop
Matsukura Tea Shop is a long-established teahouse founded in 1818. It has a strong commitment to keeping its tea leaves fresh and uses a variety of innovations. The tea leaves of Matsukura Chasho are popular as souvenirs, having been used in temples, tea ceremonies, and on many other occasions.
Saryo Tsuboichi Tea Store
Relaxation and harmony is the theme of this shop, created by a teahouse founded in Sakai in 1850. The shop combines a café space reminiscent of a 'city house' with a sales space offering a wide range of products, from everyday teas to gifts. Lunches and parfaits full of tea are popular.
Sakai Municipal Machiya Historical Museum Yamaguchi Residence
This is one of the few surviving early Edo townhouses in Japan and is designated as a National Important Cultural Property. It is said that the Sakai people were extravagant, and this building is one of the remnants of such extravagance. Visitors can get a taste of the atmosphere of Sakai in the Edo period when the city flourished with guns, knives, and textiles.
Nanshuji Temple
Nanshuji Temple is a temple of the Daitokuji school of the Rinzai sect, founded in 1557. The temple grounds include a Karesansui (dry landscape garden) designated as a national place of scenic beauty, a Buddhist hall, gate and Chinese gate designated as important cultural properties, a memorial tower for the Senke lineage, and Jisso-an, a tea ceremony room favored by Rikyu. The temple is also home to the legend that Tokugawa Ieyasu was enshrined here after he fell to the blade of Goto Matabei.
Daisen Park Japanese Garden
The Daisen Park Japanese Garden was created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the city's foundation and is a traditional Japanese garden with a built-up area and a forested garden. Sakai has played an important role as a landing place for continental culture since ancient times, and this Japanese garden was designed to depict the relationship between the city of Sakai and China against the backdrop of this history. Enjoy the unique atmosphere of this garden, which can only be found here in Japan.
Sakai City Tea House Shinan and Obaian
The tea rooms are both relocated tea rooms that were used. In the garden between the two tearooms is the nine-story pagoda of the former Jodoji Temple, a designated National Important Cultural Property. You can also enjoy Matcha at Shinan. Experience first-hand the tea ceremony that Sen no Rikyu perfected.
Mozu Kofun Tumulus
The Mozu Kofun Tumulus Group is a group of tombs of kings in the ancient Japan. The visitor center nearby is a facility that conveys the values and attractions of this World Heritage Site. It includes a theatre where you can experience the magnificence of the tumuli through 8K aerial footage and the sale of tumulus goods.


・The tour end location is different from the meeting point. If you wish to change the end location, please consult with your tour guide.
・We will be walking a lot, so please wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
・Please understand that tour spots might be changed to alternative spots in case of temporary closure.
・Some of the spots we will visit on the day do not accept credit cards. Please remember to bring cash.

Safety Measures

Expenses Not Included

Tour price INCLUDES:
Guide fee, Insurance
Tour price EXCLUDES:
Transportation, Entrance fee, Meals, Souvenirs, Other experience fees.
 (Approximate minimum cash requirement: 1,700 yen / person)

Meeting Point

Nankai Sakai Station

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