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The Chasen Tea Whisk

Learn about the bamboo tea whisk and its connection to Japanese culture.

The Chasen Tea Whisk

NARA Visitor Center & Inn ESL Lessons

Download the PDF lesson plan.

ESL Lesson Takaya whisk - OFFICIAL
Download PDF • 1.21MB

1. Introduction.

Do you know what equipment is needed for the Japanese tea ceremony?


2. Vocabulary bank.

Match these words to the correct definitions underneath

1. meticulous                                                                                         

2. serenity                                                                      

3. curiosity                                                                     

4. functional                                                                   

5. demonstration                                                            

6. Immerse                                                                    

7. pique                                                                          

8. simultaneous                                                                                                                   

9. affectionate                                                                

10. simplicity                                                                  

11. intricate                                                                              

12. froth                                                                             

A. The quality of being uncomplicated, plain.    

B. Designed to be of practical use.

C. Containing many small details.

D. State of calmness.

E. Happening at the same time

F. Tiny bubbles that form on top of a liquid

G. To make you feel interested.

H. Visual, practical explanation.

I.  Being careful to do things correctly.

J. To put something completely under a liquid.

K. The desire to learn or discover.                 

L. Showing love and caring.


3. Video: First watch. 

Listening questions.

Question 1. What are tea whisks made from?

Question 2. What can you try for yourself at the Takayama Bamboo Garden and Museum?


4. Video: Second watch. Fill in the blanks in the narration. 


When in Japan and immersing yourself in all things _______________, you may ________________ something unique that piques your_________________. And with the recent popularity of Japanese tea you might find yourself at a tea ceremony wondering about all the “tools of the trade” and where they all ___________________. 

One item that stands out is the chasen or bamboo tea whisk. Meticulously carved from a ____________________ of bamboo and as beautiful as it is functional, it is used to mix the “macha” green tea powder with hot water, leaving it with a slight _______________. Simultaneously admiring both the detail and the simplicity you can’t help but wonder, “Where does this come from?”
 “How on earth is this made?”

You can find the answer to these questions in the Takayama district of Ikoma City, affectionately ____________________ as "Chasen no Sato" or "The Land of Bamboo Tea Whisks."

At the Takayama Bamboo Garden and Museum, ________________ learn all about the _________________ of the area and its centuries-old connection to the intricate tools __________________ perform the tea ceremony.  Here you can enjoy tea whisk workshops, tea ceremony demonstrations and even try tea ceremony for yourself. 

You can ________________ the serenity of a traditional tea room and relax with a walk through their amazing bamboo forest with over 50 different _______________ of bamboo.


5. Comprehension exercises.

True or False?

1. Japanese tea has become popular recently.

2. Tea whisks are made from pieces of bamboo.

3. Ikoma city is in the Land of Bamboo Tea Whisks.

4. There are tea ceremony demonstrations given at the Takayama Bamboo Garden and Museum.

5. The Bamboo forest has 15 different species of bamboo.

Memory testers.

  1. This video is about 

         a.  A Japanese cultural wonder

         b. The Japanese tea ceremony

         c.  An example of traditional craft work.

2.   In Japanese, green tea is called

         a. Mocha

         b. Macha

         c. Froth

3.  Green tea is made from

         a. Powder

         b. Leaves

         c. Tea bags


6. Grammar.

Two-word verbs: Match the definitions.

  1. Refer to

  2. Take in

  3. Come across

  4. Come from

A. Find by chance

B.  Name something

C. Originate somewhere

D. Comprehend, appreciate                                                                                            

Use the two-word verbs to fill the gaps. Be aware of verb tenses.

  1. I ____________________ a wallet on the side of the road along close to my house.

  2. I”m going to watch that documentary again. Hopefully I’ll be able to ___________ a little more the second time.

  3. Karate ________________ Okinawa.

Idioms and common phrases

・Tools of the trade  =  The equipment necessary for a particular profession or activity.

・How on Earth (is this made?)  =  Used when asking a question while in a state of incredulity.

・What are the tools of the trade for: A] a carpenter  B] a portrait artist  C] a nurse ?

・Think of something that amazes you and make an appropriate question using “How on Earth?”.

Synonyms and antonyms.

Find synonyms for these words from the Vocabulary bank in part 2.

1. Intricate

2. Serenity

3. Functional

4. Froth

5. Immerse

6. Meticulous

Try to think of antonyms for these words from the narration.                                      

1. Recent

2. Unique

3. Admire

4. Simplicity

5. Required 

6. Serenity


7. Discussion.

Have you ever tried Japanese Matcha green tea? 

If so, did you like it?  If not, why not?

Making chasen is a traditional craft; what other traditional Japanese crafts have you heard of?

Are there any traditional crafts or special drinks associated with your birthplace?


Download the PDF lesson plan.

The Chasen Tea Whisk ESL Lesson
Download PDF • 1.13MB

The answer key can be found at the end of the PDF file.

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