Friday, 15 May 2009

a day out to Uji: Tea

Taiho-an Tea House, Uji, Kyoto Pref.

The city of Uji has a tea house, Taiho-an(対鳳庵), open to the public to experience tea ceremony for 500yen.

It literary means
"a hut opposite phoenix hall"
meaning that
it was located the opposite
Byodo-in Phoenix Hall.

It has a small
but decent "roji" garden.

It was built in 1993
and meant to be suitable
for any school of tea ceremony,
include ryurei(立礼), a bench seated, style.

15 of us were
in an 8 and half
tatami-mat size room.

Usually a sweet is served with tea
and corresponds with to the season,
or suited the theme of the tea ceremony.

The sweet had a Kakitsubata iris(杜若) motif
and later a tea was served in a bowl
with a matching motif.

The day I went was a Sunday and many people were waiting. 15 of us were squeezed into a room and the door could hardly be closed. It wasn’t the serene atmosphere needed to appreciate tea ceremony I must say. I recommend that you visit during weekdays or off-season to enjoy a better atmosphere.

You can also enjoy a boat trip on the Uji River.

Since Uji is an important tea producing area, you may see various kinds of green tea flavoured foods.

Green tea flavoured noodles(茶蕎麦) are one of the local specialities.

Cha-dango(茶団子), sweet green tea flavoured sticky rice cakes, are my favourite.

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