2015/01/26

Stand up! Spring!! ....??

In 2015, February 4th is “Risshuun”, literally means “stand up spring”. The day is considered  “the first day of spring” according to the lunar calendar. It’ too chilly to feel “spring” yet, but maybe spring will soon stand up to encompass us with warmth. 

With the approaching of spring, it is the time for tea-lovers to count 88. The 88th day counting from risshun is a special ‘tea day’ known as hachiju-hachiya (literally, “eighty-eight night”). It is believed that drinking green tea made from tea leaves picked on hachiju-hachiya will bring you good health for the year. Tea festivals are annually held at tea-producing areas including Kyoto and Shizuoka on the day. And also it is the time that  “shincha”, 2015 new tea, will come in!


Mr Iwata's tea farm @Tsukigase in Nara

2015/01/17

Everyday Life

Some of you may have heard the name of the city "KOBE" if you like KOBE beef. 

Just 20 years ago today, January 17, 1995, the big earthquake hit that area, leaving nearly 6500 people dead. I was there back then. Lots of houses and shops, high buildings were leveled to the ground, some roads were cracked and the highway was collapsed. Needless to say, all lifelines were stopped. People in the ground zero couldn't get any information and were not sure exactly what happened and what was happening. "Everyday life" was not there.

Now I don't live in Kobe, but went to walk around the place where I used to live in Kobe. I remembered a lot, thought a lot and felt a lot. And I thank people who helped and supported me, and thank for everyday life that I live now. I'm writing this while having a cup of tea. I feel more than happy that I'm here.....


Morning tea on the 20th anniversary of the disaster.
Teacup is given by a person who helped me back then. 



2015/01/12

A Cozy Get-Together

I hosted an event "English Tea Time"  in Osaka. 14 people, including the one who used to live in England, just visited London and like black tea etc, got together.  It was not like a tea seminar which instructs how to make good tea. It was more like a cozy get-together for tea. 


Japanese tend to think making black tea is not easy. Also many believe all the people in the UK make tea using tea leaves every day and enjoy the teatime with scones and sandwiches every day. That's not true, isn't it? They enjoy more relaxing and cozy style, which I love. So I introduced the British everyday tea culture that I've experienced over a cup of tea from London. I also shared Japanese black tea known as “wakocha”, which is still rare and special even for Japanese. 



They seemed to enjoy the time. I would be happy if they will enjoy tea and their tea time more often at home.