Monday, September 26, 2016

Japanese Tea Ceremony

We departed Utica, MI on Friday morning to travel north in a 15 passenger van, 
driven by Jerry, husband of Phyllis, our Michigan tour planner and hostess. 
The above photo is taken from my seat.  As result,  Phyllis, Nancy and I are not in it. 
 Our first destination was the Japanese Cultural Center in Saginaw, MI.

 The gardens were lovely. 

 We were welcomed in the Tea House by the Tea Hostess
built in partnership with the city of Saginaw and its Japanese Sister-City.  

There are different styles of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, 
taught at different schools and different ceremonies for matcha tea and sencha tea.
The Japanese Tea Ceremony, also known as the Way of tea, is the activity 
involving the ceremonial preparation, serving and drinking of matcha.
The ceremony demonstrated for us in Saginaw was the Ryurel style as explained below. 
In the ryūrei (立礼?) style, the tea is prepared with the host seated at a special table, and the guests are also seated at tables. It is possible, therefore, for ryūrei-style temae to be conducted nearly anywhere, even outdoors. The name refers to the host's practice of performing the first and last bows while standing. In ryūrei there is usually an assistant who sits near the host and moves the host's seat out of the way as needed for standing or sitting. The assistant also serves the tea and sweets to the guests. This procedure originated in the Urasenke school, initially for serving non-Japanese guests who, it was thought, would be more comfortable sitting on chairs.  ~~ Source:  Internet

Japanese confections were served before the bowl of matcha 
Nancy, "enjoying" her matcha.
Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown and
processed green tea. 
Honestly I didn't "enjoy" my matcha.  
Honestly, I'm glad they gave us the option of not drinking the entire bowl of tea, unlike several traditional Japanese tea ceremonies I participated in during visits to Berea's sister-city in Japan at which I was obligated to drink the entire bowl as is required in the ceremony.
 Above:  Lori, Nancy, Phyllis, and me (Linda)
The four of us traveled on the 2007 Tea in London Tour
and the 2014 Tea Friends Gathering in Kentucky.
The rickshaw with the mums made a pretty presentation near the entrance of the 
Japanese Tea House. 

After our visit to the Japanese Cultural Center, we visited a couple of antique
shops in Old Saginaw City, and ate dinner at Jake's Old City Grill 
then continued our drive north on I-75.
All the photos on this blog are my own.
However, there was quite a bit of photo sharing among the participants.
 Just a reminder, the other bloggers who participated in the tour are:
Phyllis at The Relevant Tea Leaf
Nancy at Rosemary's Sampler
and Judith at Lavender Cottage

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