Good day from Tokyo
Recently I had a chance to experience one of Japan’s most well-known traditional cultural activities, and can’t wait to share it with you.
—— Japanese tea ceremony experience ——
The tea ceremony is called ‘茶道 (sadou-meaning ‘the way of tea’)’ in Japanese. Before Myon Eisai, the founder of Zen Buddhism, brought the concept of growing tea for religious purpose from China (1182), Japanese considered tea as valuable medicine which only noble people could have access to. He then taught people on how should tea be prepared, served, and consumed, which then became the origin of the tea ceremony we know today. As time went by, more and more people from different classes, such as the samurai, shogunate, the royal family and so on, were interested in tea drinking culture. Thanks to this, tea ceremony was introduced throughout Japan. However, not everyone was happy with the ceremony itself, so with some adjustments, they created their own version of tea ceremony, resulting in many different ways of carrying the ceremony.
Originally, green tea was cultivated only in Uji (Kyoto), but nowadays, Shizuoka, Fukuoka, and Saitama are also famous for tea cultivation. The store I went to offers green tea from several farms throughout Japan.
Now let me tell you about my experience of the Japanese Green tea ceremony .
The first ritual :
Cold green tea with light small Japanese sweets has been offered. This is from Shizuoka prefecture which is famous for green tea cultivation .
Enjoy drinking the cold tea with simple Japanese cake also made from green tea.
The second ritual :
Hot green tea from Kyoto.
This time we had green tea cultivated in Kyoto, west of Japan.
First of all, pour hot water into the cup and wait for 3 minutes, then pour the hot water over the tea leaf and covered for 2 minutes. Pour the tea in the cup and enjoy the original pure taste of green tea.
For second time we did the same steps but with shorter time and the tea tasted lighter comparing to the first time
The 3rd ritual-the Japanese Tea ceremony:
Hot green tea cultivated in Kyoto, West of Japan.
This appeared to be fairly simple for us (the audience), mixing hot water and tea powder together, stir both horizontal and vertical with a bamboo whisk. However, tea ceremony is an art and a spiritual discipline. In order to serve one cup of tea, there are certain steps you have to follow, and each has its own meaning. We will explain in detail about tea ceremony in next post
The 4th ritual :
Green tea leaves cultivated in Hida city near Nagoya. We toasted the tea leaf above the candle for 10 minutes, then mix them with hot water and enjoyed a different taste of green tea .
This green tea ceremony experience takes about one hour. Beside the great tea offered in-store, there are all sort of products made from green tea such as cakes, candies or chocolates, and green tea leaves, powder cultivated in different regions across Japan available for purchase.
(to be continued)
Stay tuned for part 2!
Please contact Tokyo Tourist Information Center for further information about this experience/reservation.
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