The Room and Garden
The Loose Park Japanese Tea Room and Garden, dedicated in July 2006, was conceived as a cultural exchange between the Sister Cities of Kurashaki, Japan and Kansas City, Missouri. The Tea Room is set in a traditional Japanese garden featuring a small ornamental fountain, large boulders, many shrubs and groundcovers with a pathway leading to the Tea Room. The small garden is a place for quiet meditation. The Garden, located adjacent to the Loose Park Garden Center, is open to the public during regular park hours.
Japanese Tea Ceremony
The Japanese Tea Room is a space designed for holding Japanese tea ceremonies. It is a ceremonial space available only for this traditional activity and not for other types of gatherings. Experience your own private Japanese tea ceremony in the Loose Park Garden Center’s 2 mat tearoom. The Ryaku-bon tea ceremony is performed by Paula Winchester. Paula Winchester has been an Urasenke School chanoyu practioner for more than 15 years.
Each visit to the tea room consists of two parts. First, there is the educational section to learn the names of the equipment, some history, how matcha is made, how to be a guest, and answer all questions. The second part is the tea ceremony itself. Approximate time is 2-2 ½ hrs.
The fee includes the tea room rental, Japanese sweets and a bowl of matcha, tea ceremony, etc. What visitor needs: wear loose clothing for you will be sitting on a 4” thick pillow on the tatami mats and bring clean white socks to put on at time of arrival.
All tea ceremony visits are worked out between your request, the garden center, and Paula’s availability. Plan ahead. Please contact the Loose Park Garden Center for more information at 816 513-8590.
Tea Room Usage
- The tea room can accommodate only four people; the host and three guests
- Those renting the room must have a Tea Master to use the room. If they do not have a Tea Master, one can be recommended for them. Tea Master fees are the responsibility of the host.
- The host is responsible for the tea room condition and the conduct of his/her guests.
- Any damage or cleaning will be charged to the host.
- Shoes must be removed before entering tea room. They may be left in the vestibule or the hallway.
- The tea room must be left in the same clean or better condition in which it is found.
- After tea, clean and dry all utensils and place them back in the same location they were originally.
- Turn out all lights and close and lock the doors.
- Return check list to the receptionist and go through it with her.
The Heart of America Japan-America Society‘s “Friends of the Japanese Tea Room and Garden” workgroup hosts monthly Saturday morning work sessions from March through November to assist Parks and Recreation and Loose Park staff in the cleanup and maintenance of the garden. For more information, please visit their website.