The tea ceremony at Fujisan Honngu Sengen Taissha

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

We went to a tea ceremony gathering at a facility in Sengen Taisya in Fujinomiya City in Shizuoka. One of my friends has been doing tea ceremony for many years and she invited us to join this gathering. We tried three different kinds of tea ceremonies. Usucha which is most common, Koicha which is more formal and not as common as Usucha, . Usucha is relatively thin and Koicha is much creamier and thicker. For Koicha, higher grade tea is used and a bowl of tea is shared by a few guests. After drinking one must wipe the part where the mouth touched. It must be easier for beginners to start with Usucha. I personally like Koicha, though. I tried Chabako for the first time. Since this style is practiced on traveling, all of the utensils are compact but the type of tea is the same as Usucha.

 

    

 

 

 

We enjoyed many beautiful and probably very expensive things. Since we hold the cups to drink from and admire, we are not supposed to wear any rings or heavy jewelry at tea ceremonies to avoid scratching the utensils. Each room has a different scroll, flower arrangement and incense holder. Each item displays messages to guests from the host. I particularly enjoyed viewing the flower arrangement. Seasonal wild flowers were displayed. I heard some people feel like adding sugar to their green tea but I think the confectionery served before tea achieves a good balance. Different types of confectionery are served for each tea. For some, it was the first experience but they tried three different kinds at one occasion. We learned a lot and had fun in one day.