Enhance the Pure Elegant Flavor (Tencha - Pure Elegant Flavor)Enhance the Pure Elegant Flavor (Tencha - Pure Elegant Flavor)

Kuchikiri no Gi ceremony (Oct. 6)

Though today some Gyokuro lovers enjoy newly harvested Gyokuro, it is the traditional wisdom that Matcha and Gyokuro generally gain an enriched flavor and sweetness over time, and are best some months after harvest.

In the Japanese tea ceremony, even today people celebrate aged Matcha in the ceremony called Kuchikiri no Gi every autumn. Kuchikiri no Gi means the ceremony of opening a special jar of tea. Matcha and Gyokuro used to be placed in a tea jar. This tea jar was then sealed and stored in a cool place like the top of a high mountain or in the ground after harvest until autumn. People would first enjoy that year's Matcha and Gyokuro in the autumn after the Kuchikiri no Gi ceremony. And it was said that when the jar lid first opened in autumn, the marvelous fragrant smell was savored. It was said that the smell was so amazing that there were no words to describe it, and it had to be experienced firsthand.

Today the Kuchikiri no Gi ceremony is still held by the local tea industry and a school of Teaism at Kohshoh Temple in Uji on the first Sunday of October every year in order to honor the forerunners who contributed to developing Japanese tea culture.

The ceremony is thus followed:
- Water is gathered by ladle from the river at Uji Bridge in the way of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, kanpaku (powerful ruler) in Japan, who supported Rikyu Sen to indurate Teaism. He always used the water from Uji Bridge every day in order to prepare his Matcha. The water gathering is called Kumiage no Gi drawing water ceremony.
- The water is solemnly and mindfully carried to Kohshoh Temple.
- The tea jar which was filled with tea leaves and sealed in the harvest season is opened according to traditional procedure.
- Matcha is prepared by the present head of the school of Teaism.
- A bowl of Matcha is offered before the tablet of the ancestors who contributed to developing Japanese tea culture.
- Buddhist rite for used tea whisks is held after the Kuchikiri no Gi ceremony.

Hauling water out from the Uji river at the Uji bridge

Carrying the water from the Uji river to Kohshoh Temple

The ceremony has just started.

Opening the tea jar

The jar is filled with Tencha tea leaves and higher grade Tencha leaves are packed in WASHI Japanese traditional paper.

Grinding tencha into matcha

Traditional stone mill turned by hand, and matcha just after ground. The matcha is quite beautiful and bright green color.

Offering the matcha before the tablet of the ancestors

Natsume, which is used to put Matcha

Traditional stone mill after the ceremony

Traditional jar used for the ceremony

Kohshoh Temple

Used chasen to the flames to show their gratitude

Kuradashi Tea

We are planning to sell three limited edition Kuradashi Gyokuro, one Kuradashi Sencha, and three Kuradashi Matcha only available mid-autumn. Please wait and see!

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