On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog

Kasuga-Doro lantern


Musoan ( Tea House)

Traditional Tea Ceremony


tea sweets

"my cup of tea"

Tasoutou ( pagoda)


The Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix is probably the only Japanese Garden in a desert! The space was originally a park but the city of Phoenix and it's sister city Himeji, Japan joined forces to create this lovely garden.

On the third Saturday of every month the garden offers authentic tea ceremonies for the public. The cost is $20 dollars which includes entry to the garden. Our visit began with a docent led tour of all the "hide and reveal" areas before entering the tea house. After we removed our shoes , placed our purses on a bench, put on socks ( even if you were wearing socks you had put their socks over your socks) , and then walked on the tatami to the ceremonial tea room.

The ceremony was lovely. Our volunteer wore a beautiful kimono and was ever so graceful as she delicately prepared the tea. Before being give our cup of tea we were presented with tea sweets. They tasted like sugar cubes. The tea used for this occasion is from very young green tea leaves made into a super fine powder. The powder is placed into a cup , hot water is poured over it and whisked to make a frothy drink that tasted more like spinach or grass than it did tea. One sip was all I took but I didn't go to drink tea I went for the experience. Jane and I went to lunch afterward and were happy with our iced tea!

Lovely day. 72 degrees, sunny, and a new adventure shared with a good friend.

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