I love meeting with monks;
Some are kind, some are indifferent, some are focused on other things, and some are focused on you.
Years of meditation and practiced insight given certain monks the ability to read people. It is disconcerting to be read so easily by anyone, least a monk ready to correct your dissolution. Visitors are always in danger of being given advice that they may or may not be ready to hear.
Built in 1546 and used as a secret Christian temple, Zuihoin has since reverted into its Buddhist origins. The gardens retain their original Christian symbolism.
My work with Analytical Flavor Systems has created some amazing opportunities that I would never have expected to be part of – like meeting Mr Kanbayashi, the CEO of the 450 year old Kanbayashi-en Matcha Company.
Introduced by the venerable Koike-sensei, we discussed collaborations and ways to bring matcha for a new generation of drinkers, and then shared tea in their original tea house from the late 1500’s.
Matcha is a traditional drink of the past, a historical product with antecedent rituals and practices, but it is also an ingredient, a flavoring, and a drink itself. The innovation for uses of matcha has never stopped, and the matcha of the future is going to taste great.
Hiking 233 meters over 4 hours in 90 degree and 90% humidity to brew tea on the top of an ancient Shinto shrine? This is extreme ChaXi.
The Fushimi shrine is made up of more than 30,000 tori gates, and the path up the mountain winds its way past thousands of smaller sub shrines.
It may just have been this crab-back. The meat had been pulled from the rest of the crab, coated in miso-butter, and we cooked it until brown and caramelized on a small grill.
I consider myself extraordinarily lucky to have great friends around the world. There are few greater joys than to see old friends in the excitement of travel.
The joy is magnified when the friend is a fellow 茶人.
This was just my experience visiting Tokyo and Emily Huang. Emily – this post is dedicated to you.