Tea Times                                May, June & July 2011             


We teach ongoing weekly classes in the Urasenke tradition of Chanoyu from beginner to advanced levels. If you would like to experience Chanoyu first hand, and have a lesson on being a guest, we have scheduled 3 dates. Please email or telephone for Monday, May 16, June 13, or July 11 at 7:00 p.m. Fee $20. Please Email us to make a reservation or for more information about these special classes.

(Boys' Day Festival)

DATE - Sunday, May 1, 2011
LOCATION - Nichibeikai
1759 Sutter St., SF
11a.m .& 12:30p.m.
FEE - $20
(sweets & tea served)

Kimika, Larry and their students will host a tea celebrating tango no sekku, the Boys' Day Festival, at the NichibeikaiKansoan tearoom, 1759 Sutter St., S.F.

The festival dates from the Heian period and is celebrated in Japan on May 5. It is also called shobu no sekku, the Iris Festival as well as the Children's Day Festival.  This tea is open to anyone who enjoys Japanese culture and wants to experience a traditional tea gathering.


DATE - Saturday, May 7, 2011
TIME - 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
FEE - $30

This traditional wagashi Japanese sweet making class will feature ukishima and mushimanju. Ukishima (floating island) is a 2 layered steamed sweet made with two types of flour, eggs and koshian, smooth sweet bean paste. Mushimanju are steamed sweets that have an outer wheat flour dough wrapped around a ball of sweet bean paste. It is then steamed and a seasonal motif can be applied with a hot branding iron before being served.

This class will include both demonstration and some hands-on practice. The freshly made sweets and tea will be served at the end of the class. Easy to follow recipes will be provided.


DATE - Saturday, May 21, 2011
10 a.m. - 12 noon

This workshop will include a demonstration of the basic points in creating the nimonji oshikiri ash formation. There will also be a discussion of the various styles of haigata used at the Urasenke School of Tea. Participants are encouraged to bring their own brazier for guided practice. Sweets and tea will be served.


DATE - Saturday, June 11, 2011
TIME - 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
FEE - $30

This traditional wagashi, Japanese sweet making, class will feature minazuki and aoume konashi. Minazuki, the poetic name for June meaning "Rainless Month," is a sweet made from rice flour that is steamed. It is cut into triangles representing ice and topped with sweet azuki beans. Tradition is that eating this sweet on June 30 will protect one from evil and bring relief from the intense summer heat. Aoume konashi is a kneaded sweet bean paste that can be formed into different seasonal shapes. It will be hand formed into aoume (green plum) shapes for this class.

This class will include both demonstration and some hands-on practice. The freshly made sweets and tea will be served at the end of the class. Easy to follow recipes will be provided.

(flower arranging for tea)

DATE - Saturday, June 25, 2011
10 a.m.-12 noon

Chabana, the art of flower arranging for Chanoyu, will be the focus of this hands-on workshop. Chabana has deep roots in the more stylized Ikebana arrangements. This simpler style was used in the tearoom by early tea masters when they invited guests for tea.

This workshop will include a discussion of the principles of chabana as well as an overview of the various styles of vases and baskets that can be used. Participants will enjoy guided practice in making arrangements. Sweets and tea will be served at the end of the workshop.


DATE - Sunday, July 3, 2011
TIME - 12 noon - 2 p.m.
FEE - $75

The theme of the tea will be tanabata, the star festival, an ancient Chinese legend that has been celebrated in Japan from the 8th century. The legend centers around two stars, Vega, the weaver maiden and Altair, the herdsman. The heavenly king allowed the two lovers to meet once a year on the 7th night of the 7th moon. They would meet on a bridge formed by the outstretched wings of heavenly magpies, but only if it were a clear night. If not they were forced to wait another year.

Traditional seasonal sweets, tea and a tenshin style kaiseki meal will be served. No prior experience is necessary.


Thurs., May 12, 2011
(7p.m. - 9p.m.)
Thurs., June 23, 2011
(7p.m. - 9p.m.)
Fri., July 29, 2011
(7p.m. - 9p.m.)

These special workshops will introduce first time participants to the Zen choreography in making a bowl of tea. Participants will have guided practice in all of the steps necessary to prepare a tasty bowl of matcha, powdered green tea, with an open mind and pure heart.

This workshop will be a good introduction for those who wish to further pursue their study of Chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony.

* Please Email teatimes@chanoyu.com, for more information or to make reservations. Advance payment by mail will confirm your email reservations. As space is limited, cancellations must be made not later than 5-days before each event to receive a refund. Thank you.

Kimika Takechi & Larry Tiscornia