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Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix

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Tea Ceremony
Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix
© 2007 Judy Hedding

The tea ceremony is a spiritual exercise in living and focusing on the moment, leaving the outside world behind. Actually, at a traditional ceremony, guests would enter through a small door in the tea house to symbolize this. You won't be asked to do that here, but you can see the small tea house entry doors.

The Japanese Friendship Garden tea house features an abbreviated version of the traditional tea ceremony, presented by tea masters trained in the formal art of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. The tea ceremony is not just about drinking tea and eating snacks. You'll also learn a little about the flower arrangement and art, which is an important part of the ceremony. The experience is meant to be a spiritual refreshment.

The ceremony is called Cha-no-yu, which means "hot water tea." A sweet, shown in the photo above, offsets the taste of the bitter tea that is used for the ceremony.

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