A little bit more than a nice cuppa
Garden enthusiasts with a love for tea can experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony during this year's Garden Spectacular.
The New Plymouth Japanese Tea House has a master of tea ceremonies in town during the popular Powerco-sponsored garden festival to give green-fingered visitors an insight into the Japanese culture.
Caretaker of the Tea House, Naomi Wilson, said she and husband, Ian, had been looking after the traditional monument for over three years since its owner, Mr Iwata, retired to Japan.
Mr Iwata had been in the region an English teacher and had dreamed of doing something to enhance the cultural understanding between New Zealand and Japan, Mrs Wilson said.
"He totally funded and built the tea house in his backyard after buying a property 20 years ago."
She said 19 tradesmen were brought out from Japan to assemble the tea house. The Wilsons have been looking after it ever since.
"Each year in the week of the garden festival Mr Iwata returns and for the last three years he has brought his good friend Mr Takei, who is now 80.
"He is a very experienced and well respected tea master in Japan," she said.
There are two tea ceremonies a day at 10.30am and 6pm on October 26 and then from October 29 to November 2nd.
"The tea ceremonies offer an opportunity for people to hear the story behind the ceremony and why and when they have them in Japan," she said.
"People shouldn't be apprehensive as Mr Takei guides you through the process and it's an incredible, serene and peaceful experience."
Bookings are essential and can be made by calling 06 753 8804 or 027 492 6121.
Taranaki Daily News