During my time in Japan so far I have experienced two tea ceremonies.
The first was with a few of my students and, from what I could tell from the laughing and teasing between the students, it was very informal.
The second was a class in Hiroshima for just me and my parents during their visit from the UK. This was more formal as we were dressed in kimono and guided through the etiquette by our wonderful host, Yuki, an experienced Chado instructor. We were taught the fascinating history of the tea ceremonies and the reasons for the traditions.
Me and my family are obsessed with tea. Back in London we have several drawers filled with different types (I like spicy teas but my sisters prefer more sweet or bitter flavours). Throughout my year in Japan I have amassed my own collection which I will increase to get me through the cold winter months.
My love of tea has led to me truly enjoying Japanese tea ceremonies. It is a very calming experience where I can happily taste delicious tea and snacks. I hope I can continue to learn more about tea in Japan, and my next goal is to visit a tea plantation (as well as to buy even more tea).