The Tea House and Roji


Within Nitobe Memorial Garden, visitors will see an authentic tea house and roji. Tea houses are structures created for the practice of the Japanese tea ceremony, known as chadō or sadō, “the way of tea.” Visitors pass through the Roji, a garden that literally means “dewy ground,” on their way into the tea house.

The tea ceremony is a meditative practice with roots in Zen Buddhism, but there is no overt religious meaning in the ceremony. Participants remove themselves from the world to enter a ceremony that encourages a state of being fully present in the moment, free from worldly thoughts. Roji are designed to help one enter this state by guiding one’s attention to the approach of the tea house and to the start of the tea ceremony. The tea house itself follows simple and naturalistic design principles—traditional wood sliding doors, tatami floor mats, and rice paper panels—that do not distract from the ceremony.

To deepen their understanding of the Japanese culture, visitors are encouraged to experience the Japanese tea ceremony at the Nitobe Memorial Garden themselves. The Urasenke Foundation of Vancouver hosts tea ceremonies at Nitobe Memorial Garden throughout the summer. Visitors attending the ceremony can witness the formal preparation of tea and participate as guests. 2024 tea ceremonies will take place on:

MAY 25 | JUNE 29 | JULY 27 | AUGUST 31 | SEPTEMBER 28

TIMES: 11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, & 2:00pm

Information and reservations:

Fee: $16 (admission to garden is separate)

To Book:

  • Contact Keith Snyder  604 939-7749
  • Advance payment by e-transfer or cheque is required
  • Reservation confirmation required one week prior to event (without confirmation your name will be removed from the list)

Please Note: Socks are required – seating is on tatami mats (floor)

Special Tea Gathering: Japanese Star Festival Tea Gathering (Tanabata)
July 7th, 2024
Times available: 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm
Nitobe Memorial Garden Tea House
Fee: $20 (admission to garden is separate)
To book, contact Yasuko Takahashi
Advance payment by e-transfer is required
Reservations will be taken starting June 2