A Casual Tea Experience In Nara
茶論, read 'Chalon' or Tea Theory, is a play on words of 'Salon.' A recently opened tea house in Nara, it is the newest venture of Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten, a company that has played a big role in the movement to revitalize traditional craft.
Posted on the former blog on August 12th 2018
If you know about Japanese tea ceremony it’s often associated with being very serious, having to kneel a long time and if you’re interested in learning it, the hurdles seems to be hight since it requires many years of practice. Simultaneously more people all over the world are starting to appreciate Japanese tea (another post about it can be found here).
Nara, the first capital of Japan before it moved to Kyoto and then Tokyo, is the home of a recently opened tea house named “Salon” which in Kanji is written 茶論 and can be translated as “Tea Theory”. The tea house is the newest venture by Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten, a company that has played a big role in the movement to revitalize traditional craft. They created a compact and beautifully handmade tea set that can be tried and purchased at Salon. The entire experience is made with the goal of making the tea culture more approachable and enjoyable.
Besides being able to enjoy a good cup of tea and Japanese sweets, Salon offers a range of workshop and classes that range from beginner to advanced. Both of them will require reservations that can be made via their website.
The space is split into an area with western style seating and another one that is more traditional. The fusuma (space dividers) in the traditional space illustrate deers that are symbolic to Nara. If you ever visit the city you’ll most likely encounter live deers before you get to Salon.
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STORIES BEHIND THE PIECES
Kiyoko Matsuoka, 4th-generation shibori master
Shibori, meaning “to wring, squeeze or press” is the process of shaping cloth before dyeing to create various designs on the textile. Rather than using the cloth as a two dimensional surface, the Shibori textile has a three dimensional element, given that each technique requires years of experience to master.
Hiromichi Nakade, Maker of Oryoki Bowls
Meet Hiromichi Nakade and Kazuya Fujimoto, the makers of the Oryoki and Kodaiwan bowls. A master craftsman sits with his former apprentice to speak about their hope for the declining crafts industry in Japan, as well as the appeal of craftsmanship.