The tea garden was completed in 1989. The planting pattern is mute and free of color. Observe the tsukubai basin used to cleanse the hands and face. There is also a lantern used to guide the path of the guest, should the event take place at night. This lantern and the others throughout Shinzen are used as sculptural elements. The teahouse is a small, simple, elegant and intimate space. It is the edifice that allows the guest to attend to the attentive practice of tea drinking.
The teahouse was dedicated on June 2, 1990. It is 325 square feet and has three rooms: the preparation room, a guests’ anteroom and the main area where the host greets the guest. There is an alcove (tokonoma) where a seasonal scroll (kakemono) would be hanging. The floor covering is made of tatami mats. The sides are made of shoji screens, a thin movable wall, covered by exterior wooden Amado doors to protect the interior space.
The teahouse was custom made in Japan from pre-cut pieces of wood. A group from San Marino reassembled it in Fresno in 10 days. It was constructed of cryptomeria japonica—Japanese red cedar. The original thatch roof made of zebra grass (miscanthus sinesis) was built up in layers to a density of 18 inches. The ridge of the roof was covered by Japanese red cedar as well. Due to significant damage by the environment and park animals, in May of 2016, the roof was re-designed by Sid Mukai, to closely match the original style and roofed with cedar shingles, consistent with the fence surrounding the tea garden. The teahouse and tea garden were adopted as the project of the Central High West Interact Club to help restore elements of the interior and exterior so that it can be used again for tea ceremonies and be enjoyed by visitors. Volunteers work many hours to clean up the teahouse, stain the wood, paint the exterior and beautify the surrounding area.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 16178, Fresno, CA 93755-6178
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