Japanese Tea Party

Throw a fun Japanese Tea Party for that special little gal!

Japanese Birthday Party

I tried very hard to keep to my word, but I failed! I told my daughter we would try the ‘every other year’ birthday party plan and I was well on my way to following through, when this one centerpiece broke all commitment and landed another party idea!

I just had to put it to good use, and so I did with a Japanese Tea Party theme.

I was searching the web for simple Japanese food recipes when I came across an article in Parent’s Magazine for a fun kids’s Japanese Tea Party. They inspired me to plan my own and since I already had my versatile centerpiece that I used for two previous parties, my Asian Themed Party and A Baby Blessing, why not go for it and make 3 the charm!

I knew I didn’t want to go out and buy more party gear. My intentions were to keep it super simple and use what I already had on hand. Well, I’m proud to say, I at least kept my word on this.

Here’s my set up.


Once again my centerpiece came to my rescue! My third party in less than a month. A single tree branch decorated with pink tissue paper blossoms created that perfect Japanese feel.

All I did for this third party was add a different color to coordinate…A pretty turquoise blue.

Asian Style Seating

When you give a child a card board box, their imagination runs wild. Well, I did the same. My simple box became the perfect table height for my Asian style seating.

See, it’s just a cardboard box!

I used pillows covered in material for comfy floor seating.

Tea Time

We started our party out by chit chatting with tea time and tea cakes!

While at the Asian store shopping for my previous Asian themed party, I bought a box of these chocolate strawberry covered cookie sticks. When I brought them out for Caitlyn’s party, my intentions were to just throw them in a cup for the kids to eat but I changed my mind right before the party and made them yummy chopsticks.

Tea Cakes

I stuck with my SIMPLE intentions and made an easy cake box sheet cake, frosted and designed with a cherry tree blossom branch. I cut it into small squares and placed on a cupcake liner for each guest.

Time for Fun

When I think the party planning is done, my daughter asks, “What games are we going to play?” Here are a few activities we had fun with!

DIY Kimono

Once again Parent’s Magazine inspired me to make my own kimono. I ran out to our local thrift store and bought a $2.00 pink twin bed sheet.

I followed the directions and look how cute it made the birthday girl!

My little Geisha gal!

Geisha Dress-up

I thought it would be fun to dress each guest up for a Geisha Photo Shoot!

I’m so glad it all turned out for the birthday girl. She loved it!


This was a challenge for me…the morning right before the party. When I say I’m done adding to a party the day of, I know I’m in for it when my mind begins to race with last minute ideas. I tried an easy lotus origami flower and for an amature I think they turned out pretty cute!

Now this scrapbook Geisha wouldn’t be considered origami but I had fun putting her together with some leftover scapbook paper I had on hand.

My oldest niece, Isabelle, led the crowd in an origami lesson. Simple, but super cute and easy!

Lunch Menu

With all of our activities I decided to turn our tea party into a lunch with a few easy dishes to fill those growling tummies.

Rice, Noodles, and Veggies

Though I love trying new recipes, I was most positive these three simple dishes would satisfy the kids.


One of my new recipes were these super cute chicken pops! A finger food I was sure the kids would like.

10 chicken wings

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

Vegetable oil for frying

1/2 cup flour

1 egg

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cut chicken wings at joint to make 2 pieces. You can reserve the tip to make a chicken broth. Cut skin and meat loose from the narrow end of the bone. Push meat and skin down to large end of bone. Pull skina nd meat down over end of bone to form a ball. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, the sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, the soy sauce and five spice powder and sprinkle over chicken drum sticks. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a deep fryer. Mix the flour, water, egg, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, the baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Dip ball end of each drumette into batter. Fry for about 5 minutes or until golden brown turning a few times. Drain on paper towel and serve with a chili sauce or sweet and sour sauce.


Now Caitlyn isn’t a fan of sushi, but I am and so are her cousins. I’m a California girl, so Califonia rolls was the only selection of sushi for the day. I’m still a little hesitant on trying raw fish at home! All you need is imitation crab meat, sticky rice, an avocado, and cucumber sliced and some seaweed wrappers. Just Spread, Roll, and Slice!

Apple Pie Eggrolls

After my Asian themed party I had a few more egg roll wrappers to play with! All you need is your favorite store bought or homemade apple pie filling. Fill your wrappers with about 2 tablespoons of filling and wrap and fry. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Here’s my simple Apple Pie Filling

In a medium size pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add 3 cups apples, peeled, cored and diced, 1/4 cup brown sugar adn 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cook over medium heat, stirring often until apples are tender. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate to cool for about 30 minutes.

The kids loved them!

What a way to end our party!

My niece, Abby, got this as her fortune and I had to share. What a great way to end our day!

Happy Planning

203 thoughts on “Japanese Tea Party

Add yours

  1. Good on you Mum! In Australia we have week long explorations of other cultures when children your daughter’s age are at school. I bet she would have loved a Torii Gate. 🙂 Seriously, exploring language, religion, art, culture, dress, food, customs of another land is a great way to broaden your child’s appreciation of the world.

  2. I’m Japanese.
    Thank you for holding a Japanese-style party, I had that.
    A party is supported.(*^^*)


  3. I think you did a great job with your Japanese theme, despite the mish mash of Asian motifs. To expect everyone to have a thorough understanding of all the diverse Asian cultures is unreasonable. How long did it take myself to differentiate Chinese, Japanese, Korean etc? I’m Australian-born Chinese!
    I hope you won’t let the internet turn this event into a bad memory. Keep up the great work! It’s ridiculous how people are digging up such an old article (2012 wow!) and choosing to become so enraged over it.

  4. Have a question, would you have an Edweso tribe party, where your daughter and her friends would dress up like

    Or is it racist to do so?


    Are you racist? No. Ignorant? Yes. Why? Look at your daughter’s photo. When you can tell what is wrong, then you’ll understand why I am calling you ignorant. I hope you I get a response from you, as we could probably end the anger you roiled up posting the photos

    1. > …would you have an Edweso tribe party, where [kids] dress up like [antique photo of Edweso tribe members, from Africa]
      > Or is it racist to do so?

      Depending on what you mean by “dress up”. Wearing the clothes and holding the props is probably pretty safe.

      However, wearing makeup to look like the same race as those people is not a good idea. It may or may not be racist, depending on the intentions of the people wearing the makeup and the feeling of people of that race that witness it. It’s better to show a little respect, have a little caution, and leave the dress-up to clothing and props for a children’s party.

      Some people seem to conflate the fact that the girl wore Japanese makeup with the idea that she’s trying to look Japanese or Asian. Remember, that makeup is also what the Japanese people themselves wear in order to achieve that look.

      Consider: If the girl had worn kumadori (隈取) style makeup (stage makeup worn by kabuki actors) rather than geisha style, would you still think it racist? (E.g., see: http://agostinoarts.com/static/v2/Book/gallery/KabukiCaStare060224r_TransformationsBook_agostinoarts.jpg) I hope not.

    2. Good grief, its a little girls tea party and they all look absolutely beautiful. Trying to make this out to be a racist or “ignorance” (as you so high-handedly put it) issue is beyond pathetic. In case you have been living under a rock all your life, little girls have always dressed up in other cultures costumes. I think its wonderful that mum took it to the next level and had a full on Japanese tea party.
      As a matter of interest do you show the same objections when other cultures wear Western clothes?

    3. Making comments about this here goes against what you are trying to prove. Just because they are not celebrating other cultures at the same time does not make them Ignorant. Respecting diversity by celebrating their special moment enhanced with the culture and beauty of other nations is the opposite of racism and ignorance. I believe that they have expanded their perceptions and insight into other cultures and embraced it by showing the next generation that there is fun and beauty in emulating diversity.

    4. Do you think it’s OK for American girls to wear princess costumes considering that the US has no Royal Family? Or, is it racist when Japanese girls wear western style clothes or Minnie Mouse ears? And, for that matter, why should the the culture of those beautiful women in your photo not be celebrated by women of all colours? Celebrating a culture by wearing their national dress is NOT racist. It only becomes offensive when you do it to mock the culture, not celebrate it. Geisha are beautiful and skilled women and attain a standard of excellence that many people can aspire to, let alone little girls. You are NOT allowed to be more outraged than the Japanese about this.

  5. Hi, Japanese who leave a comment here would be increasing because according to Japanese media, there are people who pointed it out this is racism.
    Japanese including me were rather surprised because we never have such an opinion at all.
    Of course, we noticed you would have been mistaken about some our culture in the photo but it’s because we are native Japanese.
    For example, I guess you wouldn’t think I am a racist even I use broken English, because you would understand most Japanese native speakers wouldn’t be able to use English correctly.It’s the same feeling for us towards your party.
    We are rather happy such an adorable girl is interested in Japanese culture.
    Please come to Japan and try our culture in real after she grew up more. We always welcome her. Thank you.

    1. i’m Japanese and completely agree with your opinion. these pics are little bit funny for us, but sooo cute and i’m very pleased to see them.

  6. I am a Japanese.
    Thank you for respecting the beauty of Japanese culture.
    We have also taken cultures of various countries and developed cultures.
    Your country as well.
    Culture develops in that way.

  7. Hello! Thank you very much for sharing your cute pictures and comments! That is a very pretty ceremony! I heard that some one don’t like this blog, but I do not think so. I am a Japanese, but I just feel thank you for your interest in our culture! Only one thing I notice is that her kimono’s left side should be over its right side (right front over left is only for dead people). This note is just for her happiness. Except that, every thing looks cute!! Interesting in various culture should be very nice thing. I wish there will be a lot of happiness in your family!!

  8. Hello! Thank you very much for sharing your cute pictures and comments! That is a very pretty ceremony! I heard that some one don’t like this blog, but I do not think so. I am a Japanese, but I just feel thank you for your interest in our culture! Only one thing I notice is that her kimono’s left side should be over its right side (right front over left is only for dead people). This note is just for her happiness. Except that, every thing looks cute!! Interesting in various culture should be very nice thing. I wish there will be a lot of happiness in your family!!

  9. 私は日本人。

  10. I am Japanese. I’ve seen this blog awesome.
    I am pleased that your daughter is interested in Japanese culture.
    I believe that mutual understanding will advance and peace and cooperation will arise if you are interested in other cultures, imitating, deepening their understanding.
    Japanese people not only around Asia countries but also imitate the cultures of the Americas, European countries and African countries and incorporate it into their culture.
    as the result, I think that young people in Japan will be interested in the world and will have a sense of being aware of them as members of the world that is not limited to their own countries.
    Please do not be misled by narrow-minded opinions, please enjoy the Japanese culture from now on!

    Because it is machine translation, grammar may be somewhat funny, but please pardon it.

  11. So cute!!!
    i and all japanese glad that you and your daughter loves our traditional culture.

    i hope you’ll be more happy!

  12. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Beautiful looking party. Boo-sucks to the miserable overly PC brigade who see racism everywhere.

  13. はじめまして。





  14. 日本の文化を体験してくれてありがとう!Thank you!Everyone very very pretty!
    Don’t worry about what other media says. thank you very much from japan!

  15. はじめまして
    嬉しげな子供達がとても可愛らしく 私も思わず笑みが生まれます
    是非 この子らが日本への興味を失わず 訪日への憧れが生れたら良いなと心から思います その機会が訪れましたら オモテナシ の良さを味わせてあげて下さいませ

  16. Dear Caitlyn,
    Happy Birthday to you from Japan.
    I hope you had a great day.

    Dear Caitlyn’s family,
    I saw pictures and it seems very lovely. I’m happy that you are interested in our culture. There seems to be someone who said something stupid, but no Japanese thinks you as a racist.
    Hope your family will have a bright days!

  17. I’m Japanese who is living in Tokyo and I was born in very countryside.
    First of all, thank you very much for sharing our culture!! It seems really nice and good fun!! i am very appriciate that you guys are intarested in our culture!! I hope you guys visit in Japan someday!!
    Big love from Tokyo xxx

  18. It’s sad that do many can twist this in to something to hate..that is the problem with this world, and society, there is so much hate when there should be more love, tolerance, and understanding. You claim this makes the mother racist, but she did this for her daughter because what she has seen of the culture is buetiful to her, and she wanted to share that and give her daughter a good day, to twist that in to something of hate means that it is you holding that hate in your heart. It only leads to misery.. Learn to love each other, lift each other up, practice love not hate. When you do this you will start to awaken and see how this world was meant to be.

  19. I’m Japanese and couldn’t stop telling you how beautiful this party was! You did such an amazing job! Thank you for choosing Japanese culture for your daughter’s special day 🙂 None of Japanese feel offended about this party. We actually LOVE it when foreigners are interested in our culture! We are all sharing other countries’ cultures such as food, clothes, manners, etc. There is nothing wrong with it 🙂 We would love to see your daughter’s smile next year too! She is so adorable! Again, thank you for sharing your Japanese tea party!

  20. Very good! Please enjoy the party.
    I pray for the health and happiness of these ladies and their families.

    Yours sincerely,

    A Japanese.
    T.K., Tokyo, Japan.

  21. Excuse me,in Japanese.
    可愛くて、優雅で素敵な写真見せて頂き有難う御座います。日本に興味を持って頂き感謝します。色々言う人がいますが僕は貴女方が幸せならいいと思います。子供心を純粋に喜べないのは何故か分りませんが自分が思う様に楽しめればいいのではないでしょうか。本当におめでとう御座いました。是からもいいことが沢山あらんことを祈ります。日本 九州 福岡より

  22. Please, this is NOT racism at all. If people are not aware of the Japanese culture and society, they shouldn’t write anything negative either. The girl is wearing GEISHA make up. A geisha is a Japanese woman who perform Classical Japanese arts. She is always wearing this kind of white make up on her face. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with innocents girls putting in make up like geishas. There are TONS of shops in Japan who dress foreigners (and even Japanese people) up as geishas. Do your research. You go, girls! ❤

  23. Wow I’m glad some people still remember what Joy and love are. Happiness and innocence are only lost when insecurities creep in. It’s not hard to see where those insecurities lay in these comments. save the shaming for you own mirrors in the morning. If japan didn’t want to share their culture they would then look alot like north Korea i imagine. It’s a real shame people bother to trample on a post sharing a good and happy moment. Check the negativity at the door the world has enough to go around without more chest public soapbox shaming.

  24. This is a celebration of culture. Kids should be able to experience cultures different to their own. If the kids were mocking the experience that would be offensive.

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