Chakai, a tea gathering, shares similarities with Chaji, but it embraces a more inclusive approach, welcoming a broader range of participants. Unlike Chaji, which involves a selected group of guests, Chakai allows anyone to join and experience the beauty of tea. Throughout the event, multiple servings of green tea are offered, creating a lively atmosphere within the tea room, where guests line up along the walls.
During a Chakai, the first three guests, known as the Shokyaku, Jikyaku, and Teishi, are individually served a bowl of green tea by the host (Teishu). The remaining guests receive their bowls of Matcha from the Hanto (assistant) after the Shokyaku has been served. This sequential serving ensures that all participants have the opportunity to enjoy the tea.
Throughout the day, guests have the opportunity to visit various tea rooms, where different tea teachers proudly showcase and utilize their unique tea utensils. It is not uncommon for several esteemed teachers to come together to organize a Chakai, with their own students taking on various roles in the tea room. Some students may serve as tea preparers, carefully attending to the tea-making process, while others may serve as Hanto, skillfully distributing bowls of tea and sweets to the guests.
The teacher, positioned behind their student, offers guidance and support, ensuring that the tea preparation proceeds flawlessly. Additionally, they engage with the guests, sharing insights about the ceramics, Kakejiku hanging scrolls, Chabana (flower arrangements), and other tea utensils, enriching the overall experience.
A Chakai embodies the spirit of inclusivity, where guests can witness the artistry of tea and engage in meaningful conversations surrounding its cultural elements. It offers a vibrant and dynamic environment that celebrates the beauty of tea and fosters connections among participants.