Japanese Tea Ceremony


Myochoan-kai, of the Urasenke Foundation. The teahouse is located in Penryn, California.



Mossy granite monoliths mark the approach to Myochoan, an authentic Japanese teahouse situated in Penryn, about 25 miles east of Sacramento.

Passing through a covered gate and down a path of stone, the cares of the bustling work-a-day world melt away as you enter the Japanese rock and pine garden flanking the teahouse. A small bamboo fence, a waiting bench, and a stone lantern set an ambience of harmony and tranquility that prepare you to partake of one of life's most simple, but elegant elixirs.

A final purification by water from a wooden ladle at the tsukubai basin leads you into the timeless but ordered space of the teahouse.

Built in fidelity to the teahouses of Kyoto down to the last exacting details, Myochoan consists of an eight tatami mat room, a ryurei room, a mizuya preparation room, and a four and a half daime tatami mat room which tea instructor Soju Ward considers the soul of the teahouse. Here, steeped in simplicity, host and guests participate in an ancient ceremony of sharing sweets and tea in a setting of interweaving harmonies that celebrate beauty, peace, and purity through a respect of both nature and culture.

Myochoan-kai, affiliated with the Urasenke Foundation, is the tea group that strives to come to a fuller appreciation for the subtle richness of life through the discipline of tea. Four hundred years ago, Sen Rikyu broke through to the very heart of wabi tea and established a tradition to honor and preserve that experience which has been handed down fifteen generations to the current grand master, Sen Soshitsu.

When completed in September 1992, the Grand Master, Hounsai, named the Myochoan teahouse in honor of Soju Ward's father and mother by combining the special Buddhist names her parents were given after their deaths.

Here is your invitation to join us in the peace in a bowl of tea. As a member of Myochoan-kai, you are offered a unique opportunity to savor the spirit of Japanese culture, and to cultivate the mind of tea.

The benefits of membership include:

  • Invitations to tea gatherings
  • Lectures on the related arts
  • Classes on kaiseki cooking
  • Subscription to the Urasenke Newsletter
  • Demonstrations
  • Myochoan newsletter
  • Member discounts


For more information contact:

Soju (Sumie) Ward
PO Box 78
Penryn, CA 95663
916 663-1111
916 824-4445







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Webmaster: Chuck Jamison - oakpiper(at)gmail.com