The lights were dim
in the four and a half mat tea room.
A kimono clad lady entered
with a red lacquer tray and a lidded bowl.
She placed a tray in front of each of us
and then left the room.

The lid of the clear soup
was decorated with the design of pine needles
and the soup itself
had a most delicate taste
with a pine nut sunken
in its dark depths.

The lady re-entered the room,
with a square wooden tray of
deep-fried seasonal fish
and green peppery vegetables.

Next she brought in an iron kettle
with a ceramic lid
and lacquer sake cups
She poured sake for us.
We returned the hospitality
by pouring for our host.

We admired the elegance
of the tearoom and
the calligraphy

We left the tea room briefly,
when we re-entered
the only light was that
of flickering candles.

The lady performed a ritual purification
of the tea caddy, tea scoop and chawan,
then with a bamboo ladle,
she drew hot water from the kettle

She whisked for each of us
a fine bowl of matcha tea.
After this we were allowed to see
the black lacquered tea caddy
decorated with flecks of gold
and the tea scoop.

 Joukeian 浄敬庵 (website) is a tea room tucked away

between Sennyu-ji temple and Tofuku-ji temple in the Higashiyama ward of Kyoto.

Various forms are chanoyu tea gatherings are available by appointment.

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