Ocha & Wagashi: The History of Japanese Tea & Sweets Exhibition

Presented by JICC, Embassy of Japan

Now extended through March 16!

Learn about the history and culture of ocha and wagashi through an informational exhibit, part of our month-long program Ocha and Wagashi at the JICC presented with Matsukawaya and Myokoen.

The Concept of "Ocha & Wagashi"

There are many ways to experience a culture. Each culture’s distinct flavor can been seen in its customs, lifestyles, food, and industry. For some, culture is experienced in the rhythm of life or through its products.

However, food is the most revealing aspect of culture and there is no better way to experience it than through tea, that universal "sensory experience" enjoyed by people around the world. Tea has been enjoyed in Japan for nearly a thousand years and Japan’s distinct cultural flavor is evident in its "tea culture."

There are two essential ingredients of tea culture in Japan: ocha (tea) and wagashi (sweets). The history and culture of both are intimately connected and that is what this program hopes to bring to you. See, learn, and experience these important cultural ingredients with masters and artisans from the lead makers of ocha and wagashi.

What is "wagashi"?

Wagashi are traditional Japanese sweets, which portray the season with their shape, color, and ingredients. They are works of art designed to appeal to all the senses with their appearance, flavor, aroma, feel, and the sounds of their names and why they are also known as the "art of the five senses." Usually accompanied by Japanese ocha (tea), wagashi are an essential part of Japanese culture and tradition.

Please note that there will not be any products available for purchase at the JICC.

Photo & Video Policy

The Japan Information & Culture Center (JICC), Embassy of Japan reserves the right to use any photograph/video taken at any event sponsored by JICC, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video. JICC may use the photograph/video in publications or other media material produced, used or contracted by JICC including but not limited to: brochures, invitations, newspapers, magazines, television, social media, websites, etc. To ensure the privacy of individuals and children, images will not be identified using full names or personal identifying information without written approval from the photographed subject, parent or legal guardian. A person attending a JICC event who does not wish to have their image recorded for distribution should make their wishes known to the photographer/videographer, and/or the event organizers.