Large Happiness Tea -obukucha-

Believe it or not…2014 is coming very soon.

As Christmas is very special for many, New Year’s day is very very special for Japanese. Especially in Kyoto, there is a special tea drunk on the special day. It is called “obuku-cha” that umeboshi (pickled plum) and kombu (sea vegetable) are simply added in a cup of green tea. It is because that we believe that umeboshi protects us from evil and illness and kombu is a symbol of happiness.
There are various views about the origin of the name. This is one of them.
In 951, when an epidemic raged and a lot of people were suffering, a priest named KUYA gave a tea with a pickled plum to the people in order to save them. It worked. The situation settled down. The Emperor then heard about it, having the tea later on. Since the Emperor had the tea, it came to be called “obuku-cha”, which means “the tea drunk by the Emperor”. Nowadays, we call the same, but use different Kanji character, which literally means “large happiness”.

Hope 2013 will be filled with happiness!