Saturday, November 3, 2012

A visit to a tea room

The morning arrived, and we traveled to Yokohama. Yokohama has a different rhythm than Tokyo, or so I have found. The homes are older there, the streets are even quieter, and the clocks seem to leave time for a long visit.

In Yokohama a relative curates a tea room, around which she has built her own home. She is a tea ceremony instructor, although she receives few new students now, in light of her advanced age. For several decades she has carefully, quietly, and gently respected the rituals associated with tea.

A large room, and overlooking a river, although the decorations inside are stark and few in number. The decorations on the walls, I should say. The exquisite cups and lacquer ware, by contrast, are numerous and each emits an individual glow when removed from its wrappings.

It is a controlled environment inside, but on this day the sun flowed in.

Two, or maybe three cups need to be used for a ceremony, but a storage room offers many possibilities. Where there is a function there is also a fine instrument to meet it.

This tea holder was appropriate for the season of our visit, but has probably been changed for another already. As the weather shifts different decorative patterns better reflect the reality outside, and those that do are chosen to contain the tea inside.

When we visited the outside looked like this.

We didn't see the full ceremony, as this was just a casual visit. But we did have the tea, and we did drink in the hospitality.

There will be times, like now, that I wish I had stayed even longer.

No comments: