Among the various tea events, the 'ro shogo no chaji' ('noon hearth gathering') is the standard for all the other tea events. The following is an outline of the order of procedure.
Invitation to the tea event
Usually the invitation is sent by mail to the guests. The date and time and the names of the other guests are included.
The people invited to the tea event quickly inform the host whether or not they can attend, but on the day before, a representative of all the guests visits the host, gives thanks for the tea event in advance and tells the host how many guests will be coming. This is 'zenrei'.
Preparing for the tea event
The host cleans the roji (tea garden) and the chashitsu (tea room), sweeps the garden, prepares the chumon (middle gate), cleans the tsukubai (stone wash basin), prepares the bamboo blinds, and so on, and must also make a careful selection of a set of tea utensils.
The day of the tea event
On the day of the tea event, the guests change their clothes in the yoritsuki (the outer changing room) and here the host's assistant (hanto) brings them plain hot water (yu) to drink. In this way the guests can purify their hearts while waiting for the host to greet them. Finally the guests are led to the soto-roji (outer tea garden) having put on roji-zori (special soft sandals made from the sheathing of bamboo stalks). In the koshikake (waiting arbour) they sit on enza (round straw cushions) that the main guest distributes and he places a tabako-bon (tray containing traditional Japanese smoking materials) on the bench between himself and the other guests. There the guests await the host's greeting (mukaetsuke).