Day 8: Tea Ceremony

Read all the exciting things our scholars have been up to!

So today was the day I chose to relax. For the past couple days, I’ve been out all day and night, walked at least 5 miles each day, and I was honestly really exhausted. I felt the need to just spend most of my time today at home recharging for the next upcoming days. I also figured that when I go to Tokyo, I’m going to need as much energy as possible.

We already had scheduled to attend a traditional tea ceremony 10 minutes away from our guest house; so I figured I would go and attend that and then come back home to relax.

I walked with a group of friends to the the tea house and met with my professor and other classmates. We were all told to take our shoes off and to enter the tea room.

The tea room smelt of essence and we all sat down on the floor. A friendly lady greeted us and explained how the tea ceremony worked, why it is preformed, and the purpose of the ceremony. She covered topics such as how matcha is made by hand picking young tea leafs, drying them, and crushing them into a fine powdered form. And she also explained how the tea ceremony was performed for the purpose of tranquility.

After her explanations, she did an example of how the ceremony works and made our professor a cup of matcha tea. I chose not to take any photos of the ceremony being performed for multiple reasons.

One being that I was just so fascinated by the ceremony itself, and also because I felt that the ceremony was too sacred for photography.

Once she finished her performance, we all were able to make our own cup of tea with her instructions. We started the course with a Japanese sweet made of agar-agar and dried fruit, then we finished our course by mixing matcha powder with a special tea ceremony whisk.

I was surprised by just how tasty the tea was. It was a little bitter, but more similar to a dark chocolate kind of better. The consistency of the tea was also thicker than normal tea.

I was really happy that I attended the tea ceremony and that I had the opportunity to even experience this. I hope to find the matcha powder that they use for the tea ceremony in a Kyoto store.

After the ceremony, I made a quick stop on my way home for some ice cream, and then I proceeded to spend the rest of my day relaxing at home and chatting with friends. I also cleaned my room as well.

Tomorrow I will be visiting another temple and maybe going back to exploring Kyoto! Perhaps I’ll try a new sushi place as well…

Till next time!