The age-old tradition of the tea ceremony is among the most sacred rituals in Japanese culture.

And in Tadotsu-cho, a small town in the Kagawa Prefecture of Japan, a newly unveiled tea house provides a picturesque setting to celebrate this fine tradition.

Spanning only 345sqft, the quaint tea house is the brainchild of Japanese design firm Takashi Okuno & Associates, which looked to highlight the art of tea not only through one’s palate, but through all of the five senses.

Only a very small, narrow entryway leads into the tea house - a deliberate decision for the team who wanted to make visitors become aware of the delicate connection and interaction between light and sound within this intimate space.

Crafted from natural cedar wood material, the roof is complemented beautifully by the Kitayama cypress timber floor and plush tatami mats to create an overall soft and zen-filled living atmosphere.

The concept for the intimate, charming tea house was drawn from the very nature of our earth: transient, unpredictable and changeable. The tea house is crafted as a miniature, condensed form of our world, and beautifully harks back to just how ancient tea ceremony masters used to discover an entire universe within this seemingly small place.

Part of that transportive tranquility has been achieved by the carefully chosen natural building materials that have been used for the interiors, such as locally sourced soil, wood, bamboo, as well as stone purchased in Tadotsu-cho.

The idea is that one day, when these naturally sourced sustainable materials have served their purpose as building blocks for this serene tea house, they will be able to go full circle and return to mother earth.

Photography by Shigeo Ogawa

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