In Okakura Tenshin's 'The Book of Tea', he says that although the tea room is the smallest kind of room in the world, the aesthetic quality of its architecture is not inferior to that of the Parthenon in Greece. The tea room (chashitsu) and the tea garden (roji) form a single unit for the purpose of holding a tea gathering. In order to enter this world of play which transcends the ordinary world, the guests pass through the small kuguri entrance and walk through the refreshing landscape of the tea garden. The tea garden path is made of tobiishi (stepping stones) and nobedan (long slabs of stone), and with its planted trees it has the atmosphere of a quiet village among the hills. After washing their hands at the tsukubai (stone wash basin) the guests enter the tea room through the nijiriguchi ('crawl-through' entrance). Unlike an ordinary living space, the tea room is small with a low roof and is slightly dark. It is made very simply of natural materials, with log pillars and clay walls. Within this simple structure tea devotees commune with each other in the spirit of chanoyu, and with sensitive attention to detail create a space which is refined in every part.
The tea room consists of tatami for the guests and for the host who does temae (tea procedure), and the arrangement of the toko (alcove) and the ro(hearth) have been devised to make it easy to entertain the guests. The guests must not feel constrained, so the narrow space is made to seem wider. A low ceiling and small entrance present no hindrance to the flow of movement in chanoyu.
This tea house which transcended the ordinary was actually a miniature of Japanese people's residences. Hiroma (large tea room) were also constructed and when these were built into ordinary residences they were called sukiyazukuri.