Japanese tea culture originated in the fourth century, when the Japanese brought green tea seeds back from China. According to The Japanese Tea Ceremony, it wasn’t until the eighth century when the actual tea ceremony came about, although it wasn’t as detailed as what you would experience today. At this time, tea was mainly used by priests for medicinal purposes, and it wasn’t until the end of the twelfth century — when Japanese priest Myoan Eisai traveled to China and brought back to tea to use for spiritual purposes in Zen Buddhism, which he founded — that Japan began making green tea as a beverage.
Hiroshi Tsuyama is a private Viator guide who specializes in tours of Osaka, Kyoto and other regions of Japan upon request. A licensed guide since 2008, Hiroshi enjoys showing off Japan’s history, culture and natural beauty to visitors.
When traveling to Japan, one lesser known destination is Izushi, a town with Toyooka City in the Hyōgo Prefecture. Nicknamed “Little Kyoto” for its historical atmosphere, Izushi is a great place for exploring heritage, culture and cuisine. Known for its castle ruins and samurai houses, the town has even retained its grid layout from Edo Period military strategics.
Ikuyo Watase is a Viator private guide in Hamamatsu, Japan. She works with you to customize tours of both Lake Hamana and the city so that you can have the best trip possible. With three years of experience as a tour guide, Ikuyo Watase understands the importance of nature and rural charm in this lovely city.