After four years studying tea ceremony, our recent family vacation to the Kansai region (Kyoto and Osaka) had some of the same excitement. It was a much-needed break, but it was also an opportunity to visit historical sites related to tea ceremony! And also, it was a welcome opportunity to feast on good-for-you foods, since Kyoto is known for vegetables, pickles, and tofu. (I’m sorry to say that cooking is one of the many things that has gotten dropped around here lately…) Of course, we saw lots of other stuff too.
I was thinking of fangirling all over this blog post and dropping all sorts of names and such that most English-speaking readers have never heard of… but on second thought, maybe I’ll just do pictures. Read the captions if you are interested. Yay, Kyoto eye-candy!
|Visiting the tea room at the Sen no Rikyu museum in Sakai!|
|The "nijiriguchi" door: can't bring a sword inside, because it won't fit. Everyone stoops to come inside; everyone is on the same level. Tea is all about reconciliation.|
|The site of Sen no Rikyu's home in Sakai, where he was born.|
|The interior of 松向軒/Shokoken|
|The garden, appropriately with a pine tree|
|Before tea, guests wash their hands and mouth using something like this. I can't think of what we would call this in English... outdoor stone sink? This one in Hosokawa's garden was famous for being large.|
|This has nothing to do with tea, but Gion is very picturesque, even in the rain.|
|Yasaka pagoda at night. We stayed near here.|
|We wanted to climb all the way to the top of Mt. Inari, but... it got dark. The gates made interesting shadows.|
|Pickle buffet! Keith and I were thinking that this would be a good idea... and there it was! Very popular too; we had to wait about two hours to get in.|
|The buffet... I'm getting hungry again just looking at this picture.|
|I hadn't had enough pickles yet, so Mom and I had pickle-high-tea. Everything had pickles in it, even the desserts! This is also a great idea.|
|Plum blossoms at Nijo Palace, the Kyoto home of the Tokugawa family.|