I’d like to introduce “tea box” we can bring outside when you go for a trip today. Almost all tea utensils we need for the way of tea are packed in the rectangle tea box called “cha bako”. It has been used since over 400 years ago when Senno Rikyu, the founder Urasenke tea school had used outside first time.
Now we have 6 kinds of the way for “cha bako”. The way of teas are called “deutzia” for summer, “snow” for winter, “moon” for fall, and “flower” for spring. The other 2 are “wakei” (harmony and respect), and “shikishi”(small color paper). We can enjoy four seasons by the way of small tea box!
The way of tea called “Flower”
”Flower” is the way of tea using tea box for spring. We Japanese really loves drinking and eating under cherry blossom from the end of March to April, so I think “Flower” way of tea is the most suitable to do on the Picnic sheet. It doesn’t need any special table or iron kettle which are too big to bring with!
As this photo shows, we put a tea container, a tea bowl and a tea scoop covered with traditional cloths in the box. All utensils are smaller than usual.
The upper left pottery with a lid is the container for candy or beans. The upper right are the box of bamboo tea whisk and a box for white cloth to wipe tea bowls.
How about these 2 small tea bowls for cherry blossom season? They are so pretty!
The way of tea “flower” until the tea is prepared.
1、We use a wooden plate for this way of tea. It’s the best to use the edge of the plate shaped like flower, but we can substitute same size circle one.
2、Open the box and take out the utensils from the traditional quilts. We will do the main part of the tea ceremony on the circle plate like this.
3、Purify the tea container, tea scoop, and check the ears of the bamboo whisk. Wipe the tea bowl with a white cloth and offer sweets to the guests. They will open the lid of the sweets container, and take candy like this photo.
4、Let’s whisk powdered green tea!
5、The tea was offered. We use “kobukusa”, a traditional small cloth to put the tea bowl because it is thought to be held outside.
6、After the tea bowl turning back from the guests, a host will purify them again.
Tea Ceremony under the cherry blossom
A lot of people will enjoy drinking and eating under cherry blossoms in Kyoto from the end of March. The famous place is Maruyama park, beside kamo river, and Hirano shrine. It’s called “Oahanami”, one of the big seasonal event for Japanese. How about “Flower” tea ceremony on the picnic sheet after lunch? If it’s difficult to do the way of tea, never mind. Just bring tea bowl and tea whisk covered with lunch cloth. You don’t need any special iron kettle or stove for this. Just bring hot water in the thermos.
Actually, I will show you this way of tea “flower” at Ozu Kyoto maison du sake in April 9th 10am . This is the event of Japanese Sake×Tea Ceremony. The cherry blossoms will be very beautiful in the imperial palace near Ozu Kyoto. How about visiting this event in the morning before you go to the special opening of imperial palace in April 9th?
Please check this! Japanese Sake × Tea Ceremony