This image is part of a short series, A Celebration of Tea, which began here.
This teahouse is about 200 years old and is on the grounds of the Imperial Palace. I took this photo from the bridge I highlighted in a photo I posted about two weeks ago here. This teahouse was part of the estate of the Kujō family (九条家) and was used both for tea ceremony as well as for poetry parties where from the upper floor literary guests could be inspired by the autumn moon rising over the pond or spring leaves sprouting from countless maples.
On the far right you see a small roof, which covers a modest little building called a machiai (待合). Guests arriving for a formal tea ceremony would wait here while the host made final preparations in the teahouse. Completely open on one side and with windows in every wall, the machiai allowed guests to take in the splendor of the garden and to transition from the bustle of the outside world to the contemplative space of the teahouse.