Exploring Japan Our Slice of Tokyo

Learning the Japanese Traditions

Japanese traditions. What better way to know them? Through food!!! Every year since I joined the Ikebana class in Seishincho Community Center, I always look forward to attending the New Year Tea Party hosted by our sensei or teacher. Aside from having a more casual time with my other colleagues, I also learn a lot about Japanese traditions from our sensei. Although I have already attended a tea ceremony before during my stay in Tsurumi, I still learned a lot about Japanese tea ceremony from our tea party. Our sensei demonstrated the proper way of mixing the tea and drinking from the cup.  For this year’s party, I learned another Japanese tradition related to New Year or Oshogatsu. She prepared some food that are traditionally served during New Year here in Japan. She personally made the dishes which made them extra special. (Please click here to read my blog about New Year traditions.)

Japanese traditions
Our sensei teaching us how to prepare the green tea
Bean Sweet
Beautiful and delicious bean sweet together served during our tea ceremony
Green Tea
My green tea from last year’s party
Ginko Nuts
Fried ginko nuts, taro, and sweet peas placed in an edible weed basket

I really like spending time with our sensei because I learn a lot from her not only Ikebana techniques but also different Japanese traditions. Sometimes after our special class, she would even teach how to prepare some Japanese food.

Cooking with Sensei
Our sensei teaching us how to make Suimono, a clear soup made from kelp and dashi stock
Suimono: A Japanese clear soup from kelp and dashi stock with chicken strips and vegetables
Tempura lunch cooked by our sensei
Japanese Tradition in Summer
Learning how to make Somen (cold noodles with vegetables and meat), a traditional summer food

There was also a time when me and another foreigner student went with her to Asakusa to visit Sensoji Temple. It was a total different experience despite the numerous times that I have been there because she told us stories of how the place looks like during the early times, most of which are personal stories from her childhood. (Please click here to see my blog about Asakusa.)



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