Nestled within various climates of North America, a collection of hidden gems awaits discovery – 20 exquisite Japanese tea houses and gardens that transport visitors across continents and through time. These quiet gathering places stand as bridges between cultures, offering a glimpse into Japan’s heritage while harmoniously thriving in the heart of America. Join us as we unveil their stories below.

1. Anderson Japanese Gardens Tea House

 

Anderson Japanese Gardens Tea House

Photo curtesy of Anderson Japanese Gardens

 

The Anderson Japanese Gardens, inspired by John and Linda Anderson’s fascination with Japanese culture, began development in 1978 under the guidance of Hoichi Kurisu. This picturesque garden in Rockford, Illinois, features three designated tea ceremony locations: the Guest House, Tea House, and Gazebo. The Anderson Japanese Gardens Tea Study Group, led by Kimiko Gunji, Professor Emeritus of Japanese Arts & Culture, gathers to learn and practice the traditional Japanese art of chado, or the way of tea, in the authentic sukiya-style Guest House.

For visitors seeking tranquility, the Moss Garden offers velvety greenery for introspection, while the Tea Garden, surrounded by lush foliage, provides the perfect setting for relaxing tea gatherings. The landscape includes a 16th-century-style Guest House, Teahouse, and Machiai, showcasing Kurisu’s remarkable design with authentic Sukiya-style architecture crafted by master carpenters from Tokyo.

 

2. Kashintei: Portland Japanese Garden’s Tea House & Garden

Kashintei Portland Japanese Garden’s Tea House & Garden

Photo Curtesy of Jit Lim

 

The Portland Japanese Garden, renowned for being one of the most exceptional Japanese gardens outside of Japan, features a captivating tea garden and a notable tea house named “Kashintei,” meaning “Flower-Heart Room.” The tea garden consists of both an inner and outer section connected by a stone pathway. Within this serene space, visitors can find a traditional waiting area (machiai) and a water basin with a rare and unique water harp (suikinkutsu) for the customary cleansing of hands and mouths, setting the stage for a focused and present tea experience.

Kashintei Tea House, situated in the northeastern part of the garden, was meticulously constructed in Japan by the Kajima Construction Company and subsequently reassembled at the Portland Japanese Garden in 1968. Adhering to the customary measurement of four-and-a-half tatami mats, the tea house is divided into various rooms, including the anteroom, sitting room, and alcove. While upholding its authenticity, the Tea House stands out with a demonstration-centric design, featuring unique elements such as shoji papered doors, a slate floor, and outer sliding doors. These elements make it exceptionally well-suited for hosting both tea demonstrations as well as traditional tea gatherings amidst the garden’s tranquil backdrop.

 

3. The North Alabama Japanese Garden with Japanese Tea House

The North Alabama Japanese Garden with Japanese Tea House

Photo curtesy of usatoday.com and Dyrt Camper – Cassandra C

 

The North Alabama Japanese Garden and Japanese Tea House stands as a testament to the passion of Robert Black, who began it as a hobby garden with his children in 1988. Initially an overlooked part of the Monte Sano State Park, the garden was transformed with the addition of a charming Tea House in 1991, radiating an authentic Japanese essence. The garden spans one acre and boasts captivating features like a koi pond, a cascading waterfall, a stone bridge (a copy of a bridge in Neko, Japan), lanterns, stone pathways, and a dry garden.

But at its heart lies a stunning open air Japanese tea house, crafted in Japan and transported to Huntsville. The all-wood tea house features a traditional thatched roof, sliding doors, and an open veranda. Inside visitors can partake in traditional tea ceremonies which a local tea group holds regularly. The garden remains a labor of love, tended by dedicated volunteers and the Japanese community who continuously work together to enhance its beauty with a diverse array of native Japanese flora, including azaleas, Japanese maples, and bamboo.

 

4. Niko-an: Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden Tea House

Niko-an: Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden Tea House

Photo Curtesy of Orientations Magazine and Deanie Nyman

 

The highlight of the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden is an authentic twelve tatami mat teahouse named Niko-an, meaning Abode at Two Ponds. Originally built in Japan to exacting specifications by Kinzuchi Fujii, the teahouse was later disassembled and shipped to Los Angeles for reassembly. Despite the original teahouse burning down in 1981, it has been meticulously rebuilt. Thanks to the efforts of landscape architect Dr. Takeo Uesugi and the current owners, Jim and Connie Haddad, the teahouse was restored in accordance with Kinzuchi’s original plans and photographs, making it a significant part of the garden’s recent history.

 

5. Descanso Gardens Japanese Garden Tea House

Descanso Gardens Japanese Garden Tea House

Photo Curtesy of Ken Wolter

 

Designed by modernist architecture pioneer, Whitney Smith, the tea house at Descanso Gardens is a stunningly beautiful focal point in their Japanese garden section. This unique structure represents a fusion of Japanese and Western culture, creating a captivating blend of styles. The open-air redwood tea house is surrounded by an enchanting landscape of azaleas, camellias, and a dry garden, providing a serene and picturesque setting for enjoying nature. Remarkably, the structure was constructed without nails using traditional Japanese joinery techniques. One of the tea house’s signature elements is its custom-made blue ceramic tile roof, sourced from Nara, Japan. This distinctive roof adds to the teahouse’s charm and uniqueness, making it a standout feature of the garden.

 

6. Musoan Tea House at the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix

NAJGA Musoan Tea House at the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix

Photo Curtesy of the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix

 

The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix features a serene Tea Garden and Tea House created as a gift from the Phoenix sister city of Himeji to experience Japanese culture and create bonds between the two countries. The Himeji Gardening and Construction Contractors Association, formed for the specific purpose of designing and constructing the Garden, extensively visited the site, assessed soil and climatic conditions, selected stones, and meticulously supervised construction details for an authentic tea garden and tea house in the middle of the Sonorant desert.

Completed in 1996, the Musoan Tea House, named by Hounsai Sen Genshitsu, a direct descendant of Sen No Rikyu, symbolized a dream for the future. The tea garden boasts a tsukubai, machiai, nijiriguchi, stone paths, and engawa, while the tea house features a wrap around engawa, two tokonoma, two tea rooms, and a traditional hearth. Tankokai tea group has practiced the Way of Tea in the Urasenke style at the Musoan tea house for over 30 years. Monthly public tea events and tea garden tours have fulfilled the sister cities original passion for the project by fostering a way for visitors to enjoy this tranquil and quintessential part of japanese traditional culture even in the desert of Arizona.

 

7. Seishin-an: Morkikami Museum and Japanese Garden’s Tea House

Seishin-an Morkikami Museum and Japanese Garden’s Tea House

Image Courtesy of Trip Advisor for Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

 

Ever since its opening in 1977, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens has been a haven for Japanese arts and culture in South Florida. The Seishin-an Tea House is an active conduit. The design of the Seishin-an Tea House is the brainchild of Sō’on Yamamoto, a local teacher from the Omote-Senke school, and Eko Yamashita, a grand master and abbot of Kōetsuji, a Kyōto temple known for its concentration of tea houses. It was created in the sōan (tea hut) style, but in order to have both intimate sōan-style and larger hiroma-style tea ceremonies Seishin-an is slightly more spacious.

The title Seishin-an (“pure-forest retreat”) was handpicked by the 14th-generation leader of the Omote-Senke school, Jimyōsai Sen. This choice was partially influenced by the fact that the Japanese character “mori,” originating from George Morikami’s name, takes on the pronunciation “shin” in Seishin-an. The financial backing for the project came generously from the Grimes Foundation, and the accomplished master carpenter Seiji Suzuki brought the construction to its fruition.

 

8. Shosei-an Tea House

Shosei-an Tea House

Image Courtesy of the Friends of Shoseian Teahouse

 

The Shoseian Teahouse, built in 1974 through collaboration between the sister cities of Glendale and Higashi-Osaka, is a rare publicly accessible traditional Japanese Teahouse in the US. Named “Shoseian” or “Whispering Pines Teahouse,” by the Fifteenth Grand Tea Master of the Urasenke School of Tea in Japan, it symbolizes the friendship between Japan and the US. Tea gatherings are regularly had here by the Urasenke Tankokai Los Angeles.

Initially supported by Dr. Yamazaki and designed by Hayahiko Takase, the Teahouse blends eastern and western influences, reflecting cross-cultural unity. Over time, the focus on friendship faded, but the establishment of Friends of Shoseian in 2001 revitalized its spirit. Through joint efforts with Glendale City and the Japan Foundation, the Teahouse was renovated by Ginna Claire of Studio of Relativity and Toshi Kawabata of Barr-ban Woodworks with a focus on traditional carpentry techniques and modern conveniences. Now designated a Glendale Historical Society Landmark the Shoseian tea house continues to help Americans experience the world of tea.

 

9. Toshin-an: Japanese Tea House at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Toshin-an: Japanese Tea House at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Image Courtesy of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

 

The Japanese Tea House at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, known as Toshinan, has a rich history and cultural significance. The original tea pavilion, built for the 1965 New York World’s Fair, was donated to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens but over time became unusable and was dismantled in 1992. In response, the City of Birmingham allocated $380,000 for the construction of a new tea house. The new Toshinan was designed and built by Kazunori Tago, a master builder (miyadaiku) from Japan, with the dedicated team work of local builder and co-founder of the Japanese Garden Society, Douglas Moore. It’s name Toshinan means “a place where those gathered can light a wick (of understanding) in each other’s hearts.” and was given by the Abbott Matsumoto Daien from the Kiyomizu Buddhist Temple in Kyoto.

Modeled after a famous tea house named Jo-an, built by Rikyu student Oda Uraku in 1618, it was constructed in the same 16th-century Sukiya-style, made completely from materials brought from Japan and built using only traditional tools and techniques. The roof features over 6,000 hand-formed copper shingles, and its unique curvature enhances the visual effect of the ceramic tiles. The inside is also equiped with all the traditional elements of Japanese tea houses and Urasenke Birmingham regularly uses the space to practice tea. Also featured in the tea garden is a traditional suikinkutsu, Translated as “water harp” or “koto cave”, this this bell-shaped jar barried under the ground in front of the tsukubai, functions in a unique way. When someone washes their hands there before the tea gathering, the water from the tsukubai flows onto the gravel and then into the suikinkutsu’s top hole. The shallow water below creates a gentle, melodious sound reminiscent of water dripping within a cave. Uncommon even in Japan, this suikinkutsu is thought to be the only of its kind in the United States aside from the suikinkutsu in the Portland Japanese Garden.

 

10. Tea House in the Shion Building at Suihoen Japanese Garden

Tea House in the Shion Building at Suihoen Japanese Garden

Image Courtesy of Suiho En Japanese Garden

 

Suiho En Japanese Garden in San Fernando Valley is a stroll garden comprised of three distinct gardens; a dry garden (karensansui), a wet garden with promenade chisen, and an authentic tea garden. The tea garden (roji) includes bamboo fences, walking paths using stepping stones and a tsukubai to prepare guests for tea. The Shoin Building features a genuine 4 1/2 tatami-mat teahouse alongside the adjacent tea garden. Extending over the lake, the Shion building embodies the living quarters of aristocrats, upper-class monks, and samurai during the 14th and 15th centuries.

The garden was designed by Dr. Koichi Kawana, who designed more than a dozen significant Japanese gardens in the United States. Suiho En (meaning the garden of water and fragrance) is a 6½ acre Japanese style stroll garden adjacent to a water reclamation plant that waters the luch grounds, promoting environmental stewardship.

 

11. The Tea House at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

The Tea House at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Image Curtesy of Adobe

 

The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, was meticulously designed by Hoichi Kurisu. His exceptional craftsmanship in creating Japanese gardens in the United States is also evident in well known locations like the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon, Anderson Gardens in Rockford, Illinois, and Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden in Delray Beach, Florida. Fred & Lena Meijer, who greatly admired Japanese garden practices, expressed their desire to include one at Meijer Gardens in 2009. The culmination of this vision was marked by the opening of The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden on June 13, 2015. Fitting within the greater Frederik Meijer gardenscape, this space incorporates contemporary sculptures crafted by renowned international artists. These sculptures not only enhance the visual appeal but also align with the underlying principles and philosophy of the Japanese garden tradition.

The authentic Japanese tea house, originally constructed in Japan by skilled artisans, was carefully disassembled for transportation and then reconstructed at Meijer Gardens using traditional methods and tools. A notable aspect is its strategic placement, visible from every angle in the Japanese garden. During regularly held tea ceremonies, guests have the privilege of using and appreciating original Shigaraki pottery pieces sourced from Meijer Gardens’ personal collection. These pottery items, individually commissioned from some of Japan’s foremost ceramics masters, are true works of art.

 

12. Hakone Gardens Tea Room

Hakone Gardens Tea Room

Image Courtesy of Hakone Gardens

 

Hakone Gardens, established in 1915, is one of the oldest Japanese residential gardens North America. The site features traditional Japanese structures built in 16th and 17th-century styles. Notable buildings include the Upper House, Lower House, and Tea Waiting Pavilion, all built in the early 1900s. The Upper House emulates a rustic residence (shoin-zukuri) and hosts tea ceremonies, while the Lower House once served as the Steins’ summer home but after modifications in the early 1980s has been adapted to the main tea room for tea ceremony classes with the Urasenke school.

The tea room is also surrounded by a tea garden with stone stepping stone paths, moss covered stones, a water basin (tsukubai) to help guests prepare for tea before entering the tea house. Hakone Gardens have guided tours and tea ceremonies, but they also offer a unique session combining tea ceremony demonstration and kimono wearing demonstrations (kitsuke).

 

13. Nikka Yuko Tea House and Pavilion

Nikka Yuko Tea House & Pavilion

Image Courtesy of Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden

 

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is a Canadian Centennial initiative, established in 1967, with a twofold mission: to pay tribute to the invaluable contributions of the Japanese community in Alberta and to symbolize the rekindled camaraderie between Japan and Canada. Dr. Tadashi Kubo, head of the Landscape Design Department at Osaka Prefecture University, orchestrated the creation of the garden’s overall design, including its tea room and pavilion. Working in collaboration with his student, Kubo embarked on an exhaustive study of Alberta’s landscape, its inhabitants, and their lifestyles. This meticulous analysis guided the formulation of the garden’s comprehensive blueprint, which was rooted in an understanding of its intended purpose.

The very heart of Nikka Yuko’s allure resides in its structural marvels—the tea house, pavilion and the azumaya shelter, (a charming thatched structure without walls designed for reprieve during tea ceremonies). These meticulously crafted from fragrant yellow cypress in Kyoto. Subsequently, these pieces were carefully disassembled and transported across oceans to their new Canadian home. Guided by the hands of five master tradesmen from Kyoto, the garden’s structures were reassembled with the assistance of skilled Canadian craftsmen. This restoration adhered to the principles of the Sukiya architectural style which doesn’t use screws or nails. Now, Nikka Yuko lives out its intended purpose by fostering a connection between the two nations through hosting outdoor tea ceremonies called “nodate” as well as indoor tea gatherings with the Urasenke tea group, offering locals the an opportunity to understand the art of tea without venturing beyond the Canadian borders.

 

14. Seifu-an: Japanese Tea House at Japanese Garden – The Huntington

Seifu-an: Japanese Tea House at Japanese Garden - The Huntington

Image courtesy of The Huntington Library

 

Within the expansive 130-acre grounds of The Huntington in San Marino, California, lies a diverse collection of 16 themed gardens. Among these, Japanese Garden and its the Seifuan Tea House stand out as a unique addition. Seifu-an, meaning “Arbor of Pure Breeze,” was given its name by Zabosai Sen Soshitsu, a 15th generation Urasenke grand tea master. The tea house was originally built in Kyoto in the 1960s and was donated to The Huntington by the Pasadena Buddhist Temple.

In 2010, the teahouse embarked on a journey back to its birthplace in Japan for an intricate restoration process. Guided by the skilled architect Yoshiaki Nakamura from Kyoto, whose father was the original builder, the teahouse underwent a thorough restoration. After this meticulous work was completed, the teahouse was carefully transported back to San Marino. The process of reassembly was conducted with utmost care and precision. A tea garden (roji) was then built around the tea house complete with a tsukubai. The strategic positioning of the teahouse within a traditionally designed tea garden, set atop a picturesque ridge, significantly enhances the overall ambiance of the setting. This location serves as a captivating backdrop for the presentation and practice of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, often performed here by the Urasenke Los Angeles chapter.

 

15. Shinkan-an Tea House at Santa Barbara Botanical Garden

Shinkan-an Tea House at Santa Barbara Botanical Garden

Photo Curtesy of the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden

 

Originally built in 1949 in Kyoto, Japan, this teahouse was gifted to Royce Greatwood, a retired businessman, and later reassembled in California’s Hope Ranch. Hope Ranch eventually passed to the Esbenshade family, who, with assistance from the Santa Barbara-Toba Sister City Organization, donated it to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden in 1998. Named “Shin Kan An,” translating to “Look Through the Heart,” by the 15th generation Hounsai Oiemoto of the Urasenke Tea School, the teahouse embodies the cultural heritage of Cha-do. Heartie Anne Look, a dedicated teacher of Japanese culture, inspired the name.

Today, Shin Kan An stands as a venue for genuine Chanoyu tea ceremonies and classes, regularly hosting tea gatherings facilitated by the Shinkanan Tea group, affiliated with the Urasenke Tankokai LA Association. This unique teahouse remains a cherished part of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s scenic landscape, preserving and showcasing its rich cultural significance.

 

16. Shofuso Tea House

Shofuso Tea House

Image Courtesy of J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

 

Shofuso meaning “Pine Breeze Villa”, is a replica of a guest home from a Buddhist temple complex near Kyoto. The replica was built in 1953 by architect Junzo Yoshimura in Nagoya Japan using traditional techniques and materials. It was commissioned as an exhibit for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, so Yoshimura modified the design of Kojo-in to fit in the courtyard of MoMA and added a kitchen, bath and tea house to create a functional house. After being displayed there for several years, it made its way to Philadephia.

The surrounding garden, designed by Tansai Sano, features a hill and pond garden symbolizing Japanese geography and a tea garden leading to the tea house. The tea house was modeled after the famous tea house “Masu-doko-no-seki” in Juko-in, a subtemple of Daitoku-ji temple in Kyoto. Heavily utilized by the Urasenke Tankokai Philadelphia Association After La Salle University discontinued its tea ceremony program, the tea house serves well as a venue for promoting Japanese tea ceremony culture, offering lessons and demonstrations monthly.

 

17. Shosei-an tea house at Seattle Japanese Garden

Shosei-an tea house at Seattle Japanese Garden

Photo Courtesy of Seattle Japanese Garden

 

In 1979, the Urasenke Foundation of Kyoto joined forces with Seattle’s prominent Japanese Garden supporter, Mr. Prentice Bloedel, to rebuild the Seattle Japanese Garden teahouse that had been lost to a fire in 1973, intending it to serve as a symbol of Japanese culture and Chadō, the Way of Tea. Once the rebuilding was completed, the Grand Tea Master Sen Sōshitsu XV of the Urasenke Foundation marked the opening of the teahouse, naming it “Shoseian,” which translates to “Arbor of the Murmuring Pines.”

The Urasenke Foundation, outlining the usage and maintenance responsibilities of the Shoseian teahouse within the Seattle Japanese Garden, included activities like classes, workshops, and tea presentations, as well as regular maintenance of the teahouse and tea garden. Fulfilling these responsibilites, a credit course in Chadō and Japanese Aesthetics at the University utilized Shoseian as a teaching space. Grand Tea Master Sen Sōshitsu XV of the Urasenke Foundation marked the opening of the teahouse, naming it “Shoseian,” which translates to “Arbor of the Murmuring Pines.” After Urasenke completed it’s agreement, tea ceremony has continued to thrive at Shoseian with not only the Urasenke Tankokai Seattle Association, but also the Omotesenke-ryu Seattle based group and the multi-school men’s tea group, Chaboshu.

 

18. Japan House Tea House and Tea Garden

Japan House Tea House and Tea Garden

Image Courtesy of the Japan House

 

Dedicated in June of 1998, the 3120 square foot Japan House in Illinois, provides a unique environment in which to conduct tea classes and informal educational sessions on Japanese culture. The building and its surrounding gardens grew out of the work of Professor Shozo Sato, who renovated an old Victorian house into what came to be known as “Japan House” by his University community in 1960s. After the house was torn down for redevelopment, an incredible effort was made to build a new Japan House. This version was lead by Kimiko Gunji, who later received prestigious awards for her contribution and achievement in international relations and promotion of Japanese culture.

The new Japan house was centered around the traditional Japanese tea ceremony under her leadership and affiliated with the Urasenke School of tea. The Urasenke Foundation sent Japanese Master Carpenter, Seiji Suzuki to install three Japanese tearooms, representing different styles: informal, semi-formal, and formal. Around the structures beautiful tea gardens as well as a karesansui dry garden were added. When construction was complete, a symposium, “Peacefulness Through a Bowl of Tea,” was delivered by Soshitsu Sen XV, Grandmaster of the Urasenke Tradition of Tea.

 

19. Chikufu-an Tea House at John P. Humes Japanese Stroll Garden

Chikufu-an Tea House at John P. Humes Japanese Stroll Garden

Image Courtesy of Lucas Huan Photography

 

The garden’s creation began in the 1960s when John P. Humes and his wife Jean were inspired by a visit to Kyoto. Over four years, they transformed a wooded area of their estate into a serene Japanese landscape, featuring an imported tea house. The garden was designed by Japanese landscape experts, Douglas and Joan DeFaya. A walk through the garden takes visitors through various twists and turns, including a “mountain peak,” before ending at the pondside teahouse. The Garden and tea house remained a private space. However, following John P. Humes’ passing, the garden’s management shifted to the Humes Japanese Garden Foundation, allowing it to be opened to the public.

In 2012 the garden’s tea house was beautifully restored by Peter Wechsler of Daiku Woodworking thanks to a generous grant and dedicated at a special ceremony where it was officially named Chikufauan, Japanese for “bamboo wind tea house.” Omotesenke has now had tea ceremonies in the tea house and a future of further usage and involvement with the public awaits.

 

20. Jaku-an Tea House: Dr. Sen Genshitsu International Way of Tea Center

Jaku-an Tea House: Dr. Sen Genshitsu International Way of Tea Center

Image Courtesy of the University of Hawaii

 

Jakuan meaning “hut of tranquility,” was generously donated by Dr. Genshitsu Sen, the 15th generation Grand Master of the Urasenke tea school after he saw the need for a tea house in the East West Center Japanese Garden. This garden was designed by noted landscape architect, Kenzo Ogata but completed in 1963 without plans for a tea structure. A little over 10 years after the garden was complete, the Jakuan Tea House was constructed in Japan, disassembled, and subsequently transported to Hawai’i. Skilled Japanese craftsmen then reassembled it within the East-West garden. This tea house has hosted numerous tea demonstrations, classes, and events, providing people from diverse cultures with the opportunity to learn the way of tea since then.

The tea house finished renovations in 2015 which were also funded by Dr. Sen Genshitsu who has supported the tea house as well as visited often throughout the years. The center coordinates various resources and activities related to tea practice, including the Way of Tea Practicum Course (ASAN 324) taught each semester, tea ceremony demonstrations, and collaboration with the Chanoyu Outreach Project for tea ceremony demonstrations on the UH Mānoa campus, in partnership with the Urasenke School of Oahu. A tea club meets and practices tea ceremony at the tea house and tea garden weekly.

 

Bonus Tea Houses!

 

Modern Tea House at The Ringling Museum

Modern Tea House at The Ringling Museum

Image Courtesy of Glen Darling

 

A modern tea house on the grounds of The John and Mable Ringling Museum, is a fresh and unique design. Set on the south side of the campus near the new Center for Asian Art, the tea house was designed by architect Glen Darling, blending traditional Japanese form and function with modern elements like the steel-and-glass exterior. This marriage of the traditional and contemporary doesn’t get in the way of their tea ceremony practices as the interior features a four tatami mat floor plan, a center hearth, an alcove and a nijiriguchi entrance. It’s evident that the project aimed to merge the traditional tea ceremony with Southwest Florida’s indigenous architecture, meeting practical requirements while maintaining a connection to landscape and tranquility. Local materials like reclaimed cedar and river-recovered cypress were used, reflecting the region’s history and remain regionally sustainable. The Center for Asian Art has plans to create more programing around the tea house as well as add a rendition of a tea garden on the outside.

 

Ippakutei Tea House at the Japan Embassy DC

Ippakutei Teahouse & The Old Ambassador's Residence at Japanese Embassy DC

Photo Courtesy of Japan Embassy Twitter

A visit to the former Residence of the Ambassador of Japan, a striking historical dwelling in Washington, promises to be an awe-inspiring experience. A short stroll away from the bustling Massachusetts Avenue, nestled within the Embassy of Japan’s premises, you’ll find a serene haven of ancient culture. Enveloped by pine and cherry blossom trees, there lies the genuine Japanese tea house, Ippakutei. This exceptional tea house, known as the ‘Tea House of a Hundred Years,’ was constructed in 1960 to honor the 100-year mark since the Japan-US Treaty of Amity and Commerce was ratified. The Urasenke Tankokai Washington, DC practices the Way of Tea here for special events. The Ippakutei Teahouse and the Former Ambassador’s Residence at the Embassy of Japan are accessible for public tours once or twice annually, usually coinciding with the Cherry Blossom Festival.

 

In conclusion, these North American Japanese tea houses and tea gardens exemplify the beauty of cross-cultural fusion of aesthetics and architecture between Japan and the West. NAJGA offers valuable resources, insightful handbooks, academic journals, and immersive workshops if you are interested in learning more about the art, craft and heart of Japanese Gardens in the English language. Beyond information, we foster a community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for these gardens through membership. Join us to broaden your perspective and deepen your appreciation. Together, let’s preserve and promote the legacy of these unique cultural intersections. Explore our NAJGA today!