Archive for Asia

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Japanese Tea Ceremony - Tea Room setting

Japanese Tea Ceremony Presentation – Tea Room setting

Last Saturday I went to a Japanese Tea Ceremony at the local library.  I was very glad that the rain stopped that afternoon or else there will be an overflow of water on the road as the lake near our neighborhood is super full that almost flooded some parts of the road right across my neighborhood.

The Japanese Tea Ceremony was presented by the Chado Urasenke Tankokai of DFW and hosted by the Smith Public Library in Wylie, TX.  It was very interesting to know that tea has been celebrated in Japan over a 1000 years ago and is to this day.

Presented by the Chado Urasenke Tankokai of DFW

Presented by the Chado Urasenke Tankokai of DFW

Tea is native to China and was brought to Japan by Japanese students, travelers, and diplomats thousands of years ago.  Tea ceremony has become a tradition in Japan since then.  During those times, only the elites can drink tea.  It was called the luxury drink. The emcee (she teaches how tea ceremonies are done), tea was termed as Elixir of the Immortals.  It is because tea has lots of health benefits that defend our body from illness.

The special type of green tea called Matcha is used in the Japanese tea ceremony.  It is a finely powdered green tea to be prepared only with a bamboo whisk.  The manner or art of this preparation is called temae.  The guest consumes the whole tea leaf and the water. There are two types of tea gatherings in Japan – informal tea gathering chakai (tea gathering) and formal tea gathering chaji (tea event).  According to the presenter, chaji is a longer ceremony than chakai.

After the presentation, the presenters gave us some tea and sweets.  That was the very first time I tasted Matcha tea.  It was good. 🙂

Frothy Matcha

Frothy Matcha

Sweets from Japan.

Sweets from Japan.

Because the Matcha tea tastes bitter, the host of the tea ceremony serves their guests some sweets first.  This is to lessen the bitterness of the tea while drinking it.

Japanese tea ceremony is celebrating harmony, purity, respect, and tranquility.

He Never Liked Traveling Except…

I have been watching these tele-novelas online lately and I tell you that I would love to be in those beautiful places where they shoot their films.  Besides the awesome scenery, there is a romantic atmosphere in them.  I was talking about the Korean and Japanese Dramas.  I am interested into watching the drama and comedy genres.  I find myself crying or laughing.

Whenever there’s a scene at an airport, it always reminds me of my lay-over in South Korea.  It takes me back to those moments when I was in the lounge area – looking around and watching travelers walking by.  Some were heading to board the planes and others were just arriving.  My husband said he never liked traveling except going on vacation.  Some people go on business travels here and abroad.  I wonder if they get tired of adjusting to time difference?

Anyway, I really enjoy watching these Asian Dramas.  And I am dreaming to visit South Korea and Japan in the near future.  I’d like to see Mt. Fuji and experience the beautiful Sakura flowers.  I also would like to visit the museums in Japan and South Korea.  That would be a few of the great places to see when my darling daughter is little older. 😉

7 Best Places To Travel In 2014

whats up

Tired of your travel agent recommending the same places every year? Looking for something a bit different this time around? Here are some of the best and most beautiful locations for the global jet-setter in 2014.

1: Hokkaido

Located on the northernmost tip of Japan, Hokkaido is known for its beautiful snows and luxurious hot springs. The province is also cheaper than Tokyo but more interesting than Osaka, making it a nice alternative to more conventional destinations in the Land of the Rising Sun.

2: Nicaragua

Settle into a beach bungalow in Nicaragua for a tropical vacation better than any of your daydreams. Go swimming and surfing in its clear, sky-blue waters; catch up on your reading in its gently-swaying hammocks; enjoy cheap lobster and cocktails in its restaurants on the beach.

3: South Africa

2014 is a great year to visit South Africa. Between the affordable markets of Cape Town and the historical monuments of Johannesburg, it’s a great way to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela while also enjoying all the fun of a trip abroad.

4: Uruguay

Another great beach destination, Uruguay is low-key and relaxing, perfect for the office worker ready to get away from the daily grind. You’ll have your pick of everything from mud masks in local spas to horseback riding along the coast!

5: Bolivia

From the bustling streets of Sucre to the desolate salt flats of Uyuni, Bolivia is full of sights and sounds that you simply can’t get anywhere else but South America. If you’re looking for a unique, unusual vacation, contact an agency like Adventure World and start planning your trip right away.

4: Iceland

Bundle up and head to Iceland for a trip you’ll never forget. Not only can you see the Northern Lights from Reykjavik, a stunning experience in its own right, but between the friendliness of the people and the extent of the country’s restaurants, theaters and art galleries, you might just enter Iceland and never want to leave!

7: Russia

Though it recently gained widespread attention for hosting the Olympic Games, Russia has long been a favorite of travelers who enjoy good food, grand architecture and plenty of vodka. Book a flight and raise a toast to great savings and an unforgettable holiday!

If you’re ready to go off the beaten path this year, here are just seven locations worth the trip. Travel is often about timing just as much as attractions, but rest assured that these spots are perfect for 2014.

5 Best Travel Destinations In Asia

harbor

Asia is full of wonders, but how do you know which countries are the best of the best? Where should you spend your hard-earned yen, bhat or rupees? Here are the top five spots for a vacation in the world’s biggest continent.

1: Thailand

With everything from the golden jackal to the green sea turtle, Thailand is so biologically diverse that your eyes will water from the sheer amount of colors and species. You’ll love the food, too. There’s nothing like salapao!

2: Nepal

Home to Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, Nepal attract thousands of thrill-seekers each year for climbing, trekking and skiing. If you’re looking to get your blood pumping, this is the destination for you.

3: Japan

The Land of the Rising Sun is a mix of ancient temples and technological miracles. Depending on where you visit, you might find yourself worshiping a gigantic Buddha or playing the latest video game in a chrome tower.

4: China

You’ll never run out of things to do in China! Not when you have the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors and everything from panda reserves to forbidden cities.

5: India

Big and bustling, India is one of the most popular travel destinations on the planet. People come from all over to experience the street markets and the amazing architecture of the Taj Mahal. Millions of tourists can’t be wrong!

If you’re ready to experience something new, let these five locations be your guide to excitement in Asia. Find out more here!