Ungetsu-an

Saturday I visited a friend to enjoy Tea. He probably has the only Tea-Hut in Norway. In this post I’ll try to convey to you what a wonderful oasis he has created in the middle of town.
The tea house is located in the garden of a town house. The entire property is enclosed by a wall. The section near the tea-house is yellow-ish with a roof tile lining the top. It looks and feels like a proper japanese wall. As you come into the garden you can just glimpse the Koshikake trough the trees. A path of flat rocks laid into the ground lead you past the waiting area and through a gate to the inner garden. The Tea hut is placed next to a small pond in which carps are swimming happily. You are greeted by the sound of running water from a small artificial waterfall. A small wooden bridge leads from out to the nijiriguchi
The inside space is two mats, with kabe-doko, that is the scroll is hanged on the wall with no alcove. There is no electric lighting in the hut. The light all comes from one big round window, and a section of shoji facing towards the pond. Next to temae-za there is a small cabinet in which utensils are placed. The host can easily open the cabinet and reach inside to bring in the utensils. 
The hut does not have a interior roof, but the structure carrying the straw roof is visible from inside. This gives the hut both a rustic feeling and a greater height under the roof. It is a great feeling to sit in this small enclosed space, listening to the water outside. 

He build most of the hut himself. He learned how to do joinery, make shoji and such. The only part of the house he got professional help with was the roof. But even there he was working alongside the professional, and when the professional had to return to Denmark he finished the roof him self.

 

The hut was built in 1993. The Japanese ambassador to Norway, Nonoyama, gave the hut it’s name in 1994; Ungetsu-an. The meaning of the name is the hut of cloud and moon. When walking the roji the surrounding wall combined with a myriad of trees and bushes remove all traces of the surrounding city. From the roji, all you can see of the outside world is the clouds.

 
 

3 Replies to “Ungetsu-an”

Leave a Reply