Monday, May 23, 2011

A long way for a bowl of matcha 2

Konnichiwa, it’s meヽ(^。^)ノ I want to write about what I experienced at the tea house. But it was kind of a formal situation so I could not take many pictures. It is considered rude to do something else while the ceremony is ongoing so I haven’t taken any photos in the tea room.

We waited in three different places in the tea house before getting into the tea room.

The first place was at a bench outside, under the eaves of the house. We sat and waited at the bench facing the garden. What we couldn’t see was anything but the greens. The garden was covered with moss and the passageway was signified by the stepping stones. The randomly placed trees create natural scenery. I think the bench is the best place for a good view of the garden. This is the picture from the bench.

While we were enjoying the view, a lady came and collected the admission fee. A little while later, three of us and another party of two were led to the next place. These five people were led as a group all throughout the ceremony.

The second place was a waiting room in the tea house. The five of us took our shoes off and got into the small tatami room which had just enough space for 5-6 people. We sat close to each other on tatami-mats. An assistant for host of the day was waiting there. We greeted each other and did some chit chat. I basically listened to what the experienced ones were talking about. The assistant explained about the tea bowls and utensils in today’s ceremony and they also served sweets there. In our tea lesson, sweets are served in the same room where we have tea. But here it was served at a different room. Our master told us later that sweets were sometimes served in different room at formal ceremonies. After we had the sweets, the assistant told us to move to the next place.

The third place was the waiting bench which is isolated from the tea house and is at the other side of the garden. They had some Japanese sandals for guests. We stepped into them and walked through the garden. We had to walk on the stepping stones so we don’t damage the mosses. It was the same garden but it looked different and showed various sceneries from different angles as we walked through it. We sat on the bench and waited for another moment while viewing the garden. The climate on that day was pretty mild and comfortable. As I felt the air of spring, I appreciated the different angle of the garden.

This is the view from the waiting bench in the garden.

I believe the waiting time on each stage were about 15 minutes. These waiting moments were not tiring nor boring for me. I enjoyed each setting. Jah!

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