So I know one of my main purposes here is to provide international exchange and share what I know and teach about my culture, but sometimes I am the one that gets to learn and those are some of my favorite days! Not only do I get to break the monotony of the work day, but I get to try something new.
During the busy season at KEEP, Seisen-Ryo will cater to their guests by setting up a casual tea ceremony in the lobby. I say casual in the sense that guests can check-in and stop by for a quick cup of green tea before heading to their room. By no means is the setup itself casual. A few of the ladies that work in the different departments of KEEP are traditional tea masters and they so graciously showed me how to prepare a proper cup of green tea. A lot more than you would think goes into this ritual which is best explained in pictures.
|Sign inviting guests to come in an have a cup of tea.|
|It's all about the bamboo brush to get the tea nice and frothy.|
|First, I got to play the guest. You're first a served a sweet to coat your palate and prepare it for the bitterness of the tea to come.|
|Enjoying my cookie.|
|Receiving my cup of tea. Much different than a tea cup. The whole display of the tea ceremony coordinates with the season. The flowers there are to represent summer.|
|Frothing up the tea!|
|My first guests!|
|Story time with special guest Charlotte File from America!|
|Large group this night.|
|Special guest reader.|
|All the Eric Carle books are popular!|
|Rock, paper, scissors--or janken as it's called here.|
|Showing me his dormouse museum pin--you can see his extensive collection of pins on his shirt.|
|Family that comes to Seisen-Ryo every summer for vacation and know Hoshii-san well.|