Thing #37 – Ichigo Ichie

I don’t remember the last time someone french braided my hair. It’s relaxing to have someone pull your hair into a braid. I felt remarkably calm as I sat in my kimono, looking into the mirror, admiring the two smiling Japanese women braiding my hair. They embellished my new ‘do with flowers, fully preparing me for our tea ceremony. 

It was our first full day in Kyoto, and as sleep deprived as we were, we were ready to jump in. As tea enthusiasts, we wanted to learn more about this tradition and found a place to participate in an abbreviated ceremony. After we got dressed in our kimonos – undergarments and all – we made our way upstairs and sat on the tatami floor with a dozen new friends and learned about this intricate, rich tradition.

While traditional tea ceremonies last a couple hours, ours lasted 30 minutes. We mixed our matcha, then learned how to appropriately hold our cup, sip the tea and slurp the remains. Accompanying our tea were “sweets.” We ran into … Read the rest