To get things straight: this isn’t a café called “The Japanese Tea House” this really IS a Japanese tea house. Tucked away in a corner of the Englischer Garten, only a stone’s throw away from the Haus der Kunst, it is even unknown to a lot of Munich locals and often confused with the Seehaus or the Chinese Tower.
For the Olympics 1972 in Munich and Sapporo the Japanese grandmaster of the Urasenke Tea School in Kyoto donated this original tea house as a gesture of friendship and with the purpose to introduce and teach the tradition of Japanese tea ceremony to the Munich people.
The tea house is beautifully located on a tiny island; you will have to wait at the narrow bridge until the gate is opened and the entrance fee of € 6 is collected. The main house is divided into a traditional, tatami fitted interior and a cobbled audience space with benches so no need to take off your shoes. The ceremony is celebrated by two Japanese while a third person – in our case a German, kimono-dressed lady – explains the steps and their meaning. Afterwards there is time for questions while Matcha tea and biscuits are being served.
The experience takes about an hour and I really loved the peaceful, almost meditative atmosphere and being able to dive into Japanese culture. The ceremony is held on only one weekend per month, four times a day so please check their website for exact details.