Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 25 Challenge: Drinking grass

Today I attended my first ever Japanese Tea Ceremony, and it was so enjoyable.

I really admire how the Japanese have managed to preserve this cultural ritual and pass it down the generations.  I also respect how they put so much attention on the details of "how" to do something and get satisfaction from that. I think it must force them to live in the moment and not think about the end result so much. Maybe a good lesson for many of us-- me, especially!

The tea ceremony starts when you put on these wooden sandals (a little better fit than my others from Challenge 23) and walk across a stone path to a water well.

There you wash your hands and face.

From there, you climb through a tiny munchkin door into the Tea Room, which is considered a sacred space.

Once inside, the Tea Master explains the meaning behind the ritual and instructs how to drink the tea properly. 

Turns out that it's a very complicated process involving the direction of the cup, the way you hold it, and how many slurps you can take (31/2 to be exact) You also have to be solemn and whisper to your neighbor a phrase in Japanese which translates, "I'm sorry to be drinking this tea before you."  

In addition, this tea is like no other I've ever had before. It looks a little like green paint, right?
The taste? Like freshly cut grass, I imagine!

I'm smiling, but my knees are killing me! 

Overall, it was so fun and informative. Have you ever been to a traditional Tea Ceremony? If so, how did you sit like that for so long is what I wanna know!


Chris and Amy said...

I haven't been yet, but definitely want to go.

Jessica Simmons said...

Isn't that how they say, "drinking glass"? drinking grass... HA!

Mary and Sean said...

I did it as a tour through Tours+ on Foster. It was super fun! I can't believe it took me this long...

Mary and Sean said...

You're right! I didn't even think of that when I came up with the title...but I actually covered l and r sounds in my classes last week.

Carrie Stuart said...

Two things (well, 3, I guess) 1-How do you drink tea that looks like pudding? Did you have to hit the bottom of the cup to get it to drip to your mouth? 2-I have had actual nightmares about having to crawl through spaces like that door and 3-It all looks like an awesome experience. Very cool!

JeanHasBeenShopping said...

Oh gosh! To apologize for drinking before them. That made my eyebrows raise uncontrollably, and I had to reign them back in.

Eve said...

Hi Mary, I'm Eve. My hubs and I are moving to Okinawa and I so enjoy reading your blog and seeing all the things I get to look forward to! You're monthly challenges, your adventures and travels are so interesting and exciting. I can't wait to get over there!

Mary and Sean said...

Yes, the tea was very thick and gluppy and grassy tasting and hard to drink. But they also served another thinner sweeter one which was powdery but also grassy... apparently, those teas are super expensive too!

Mary and Sean said...

Hi Eve!
Welcome to Okinawa soon! You're going to have a lot of fun here!


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