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May 29, 2018

Gyokuro No Sato Hyogetsu-tei


People have often asked me "What has been your favorite experience in Japan to date?" For the longest time, I couldn't answer that question, because no one thing stood out to me in the myriad of amazing experiences. That was until last year when I had the great fortune to visit Shizuoka a couple of times on green tea tours with City-Cost.

Gyokuro No Sato Hyogetsu-tei  photo

From the World Green Tea Association

On our first visit I found the answer to that frequently contemplated question: Hyogetsu Tei.  Hyogetsu Tei is a tea house in a valley in Fujieda city where you can experience an introduction to the green tea ceremony. It is part of a larger roadside station with a restaurant, shop and rest area. The tea house is on the far side of the road to the roadside station, across a picturesque river, back-dropped by lush hills. 

Gyokuro No Sato Hyogetsu-tei  photo


The bus dropped us at the roadside station and we made our way across to Hyogetsu tei on foot. I was invigorated by the stunning landscape we passed. However, as we approached Hyogetsu tei I was quite literally awed by the scenery. 

Gyokuro No Sato Hyogetsu-tei  photo


You enter through a wooden gate in to a zen garden with beautiful vegetation.

Gyokuro No Sato Hyogetsu-tei  photo

Stepping stones, on gravel stones, bring you to the Japanese tea house perched on the side of a picturesque pond.

Gyokuro No Sato Hyogetsu-tei  photo

From the World Green Tea Association

The inside reveals its own beauty with hidden depths and subtle complexities of design. 

Gyokuro No Sato Hyogetsu-tei  photo


Hyogetsu means gourd moon. Both the gourd and the moon are intricately symmetrized throughout the building. Moon and gourd motifs greet you from the second you step in the genkan. You can see both in the main tea reception room too, fused into the essence of the room.

Gyokuro No Sato Hyogetsu-tei  photo


The shōji were designed to make different phases of the moon . They make a full moon when closed fully. The handles of the doors too represent the four main phases of the moon.  


Gyokuro No Sato Hyogetsu-tei  photo


On one wall the design was so carefully orchestrated, in a way that only the Japanese can do, that you can see Mt Fuji above the moon when the sun is a certain point during the day. Likewise the gourds are represented throughout the design of the tea house.

Gyokuro No Sato Hyogetsu-tei  photo


The tea house is only 510 yen to enter and that includes a cup of green tea and a green tea Japanese dessert. On the day we visited our hostess expertly and exquisitely prepared our tea for us. I have openly admitted that before my green tea tours I was not a big fan of green tea and that on that fine day in August 2017 my conversion began. The green tea I was handed in Gyokuro No Sato aroused my taste buds in a way that I had never experienced before. However, I must say, that even if I had been given a cup of mud that day it would have tasted delicious given the surroundings and the ceremony that accompanied it.

Gyokuro No Sato Hyogetsu-tei  photo


I now recommend to anyone, who will listen, to take the time to enjoy the tea ceremony while you are in Japan. It really does offer a glimpse into the subtleties and intricacies of Japanese culture. It affords a respect and appreciation of not only the tea ceremony, but the place and prestige of traditional culture in everyday life. And the tea isn't half bad either! 


Gyokuro No Sato Hyogetsu-tei Details


Official Website: http://shizutetsu-retailing.com/gyokuronosato/

Hours: 9.30 am to 5 pm (last entry 4.30 pm)

Address: 1214-3 Okabechō Nyuufune, Fujieda-shi, Shizuoka-ken 421-1115

Phone number: 054-668-0019






This post is supported by Shizuoka Green Tea Guide, one of City-Cost's Supporters helping City-Cost bloggers to enjoy life in Japan and engage in new experiences.


Saitama

Saitama

Level 8 LocalGuide with Google. Blogging about life in Japan as an Irish WAHM to 4 kids on insaitama.com.


1 Comment

  • Candiajia1

    on May 29

    @Saitama interesting post. The pictures are beautiful and are somewhat reeling me in towards their scenery. I definitely want to visit here. I know my husband will also appreciate it. Thank you for sharing.