Inside the TeamLab Borderless digital museum is the En Tea House, where you can watch your tea bloom before your eyes. It costs an extra ¥500, but it’s worth it!
Here’s how to get the most enjoyment and the best pix from your visit…
How to find it: Follow the signs upstairs to the Athletic Forest. It’s on the left, just past the gatekeeper who lectures you about proper footwear in the play area.
On the way to the reception desk, choose your tea from the menu – they have a nice variety, including herbal decaf options, both hot and cold. They’re all ¥500. I tried the cold yuzu-flavored green tea, and it was delish. Order and pay at the counter, then you’ll be ushered to seats in the dark tea room. Give your token to the server, and you’ll soon be served a clear glass bowl of frothy brew. As the bowl is set before you, a pinpoint will kindle on the surface of the tea and a bouquet will slowly unfold before you.
There are several varieties of bouquets, so be patient if you like your neighbor’s flowers better than your own. Your next one will be different.
As long as you leave your bowl on the table, flowers will bloom on the surface, but that’s all. You have to lift the bowl and drink (or at least lift the bowl) for them to break apart and whirl away, as if blown by a breeze.
Note: When you do take a sip, do it slowly and carefully so you don’t disturb the layer of bubbles on the surface. The flowers don’t show up on plain tea.
You can put the bowl down anywhere, and the new bouquet will find it.
Here’s what the whole experience looks like:
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon
“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!