These are the grounds of the castle in AizuWakamatsu. Where royal people would have walked along as the military and the servants. (Presumably. I am certainly no expert on castle life in old Japan!)
There is a the area where the royal family took their tea, held their tea ceremonies. Nowadays (for a price) you can sit and drink macha at the same spot.
The macha, which is different than the regular green tea one drinks in Japan, was delicious. I only drink macha during special occasions (like this) and always feel very peaceful and satisfied when drinking it. It’s a drink you savor, not gulp down.
Usually it is hot tea, but since it is now summer, it was prepared for us with ice in it. I can’t help but wonder if the samurai would have drunk it this way? My instinct tells me no. (Surely ice would be difficult to keep in the summer months.)
Looking out at the serenee garden. Listening to the cicadas. Feel the humidity in the air. Life in Japan in late June.
My niece loved it, and I am glad she got to experience this important part of Japanese culture. It wasn’t an actual tea ceremony. But I don’t think she had ever drunk macha, and certainly not in such elegant surroundings.