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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Apr 13

The Ennan Teahouse Receives TLC

Posted on April 13, 2017 at 8:23 AM by Communications Department

Sister Cities helps renew a unique structure in Newport News Park

Did you know that nestled in Newport News Park near NN teahouse_SCshelters 19 and 20 is a true and authentic Japanese tea house? The Ennan, or Swallow’s Rest, teahouse is modeled after one designed by 17th century tea master Oribe. He designed and presented the original to Yabunouchi Kenchu, founder of the Yabunouchi School of tea around 1610.

The interior of this beautiful structure, in spite of the efforts of Newport News Parks, Recreation and Tourism staff, had fallen into some disrepair largely due to lack of use and animal intrusions. With spring here, it presented an opportune time to perform a bit of spring cleaning and maintenance.

Last weekend, Sister Cities of Newport News, with the help of 15 volunteers, held a cleanup day for the Ennan Teahouse. All the tatami mats were taken out, cleaned and returned. All interior surfaces wiped down while they were out and thoroughly vacuumed. Bad ceiling panels were removed and replaced, and the entire structure was checked for needed repairs.
Teahouse 2_SC
The teahouse was originally constructed in 1988 for a three month exhibition entitled Japan, The Art of the Tea Ceremony at Washington’s National Gallery of Art. In 2007 the structure was moved and re-dedicated in a Japanese garden, nestled atop a small hill and adjacent a running brook in Newport News Park. The nijiriguchi, or low entrance, requires all guests, no matter rank, to crawl inside where they became social equals. To learn more of the history of the Teahouse, please visit the Sister Cities website.

The Ennan Teahouse is open for exterior Teahouse 1_SCviewing from sunrise to sunset year-round. To schedule limited special activities, please contact Newport News Park Headquarters at 757-886-7912.