Tea at Hakone: Spring 2017 Opening

The every-third-Sunday ceremony takes place at the Saratoga landmark.

"GOING TO TEA"... can mean a number of things, depending upon the time of day and the place and the in-the-moment preference of the person making the statement. Perhaps the person is a boba buff, and simply needs some tapioca-based enjoyment while on the run. Perhaps the tea fan adores crustless sandwiches, the kind with watercress and eggs, and desires an hour or two a British-style experience. But if a person longs for a truly historical spot where some delicious, warm brew is woven with tradition, history, and loads of garden-glorious beauty, they should turn their tea-seeking gaze upon Saratoga, where an annual warm-weather affair will soon begin again. It's the...

PUBLIC TEA CEREMONY... at 100-year-old Hakone Estate and Gardens, "one of the oldest Japanese Gardens in the western United States." It's an hourlong demonstration that puts the emphasis on authenticity, and guests will depart having a solid sense as to how the established steps of the centuries-old ceremony unfolds. And other informative aspects, too, including dress, as the ceremony's Japanese Tea Master will be donned in time-honored clothing while leading the Omotesenke-style tea service. It's $7 to join, in addition to the admission fee to the gardens, and everything unfolds, with splendor and story, at the Cultural Events Center. But do note that this special happening is only on the third Sunday of every month, and it wraps again in November 2017. Even though the window is a bit tight, do not that there are three seatings every third Sunday, all around midday and early afternoon. The very first 2017 date? It's Sunday, April 16, which is also Easter Sunday.

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