I had a interesting day yesterday, some IES kids and I got to experience a traditional tea ceremony and then enjoyed some good ol’ ‘merica Baseball. After I was done with class yesterday, I met up with all the IES kids. I didn’t really know what to expect at the tea ceremony, but my mindset has been to experience as much of the culture as I can. Before entering the building we removed our shoes and then walked onto raised floor, it was a very traditional Japanese room with the ceilings being very low. We then entered an all Tetami floor room, which is a very traditional Japanese room and is pretty delicate; Tetami is a straw like floor mat. We then gathered around in a circle and sat on the backs of our feet in a Japanese style, this lasted about a minute before the lady instructed us to get comfortable, at which point we all went into funky more relaxed positions. The lady was super nice, and it was a very casual tea ceremony, for us at least. The people serving the tea were very professional and we got to enjoy a really great performance. We all were served a pastry with red bean paste in the middle before getting our Matcha tea. Both the tea and the pastry were really good and it was interesting seeing how they made the tea. Afterwards, we were able to try and make the tea for ourselves. It was harder than it looked and you had to stir it really fast to blend the Matcha in the hot water. It was a culturally rich experience and it was great learning from an instructor who was patient and casual with us.
After the tea ceremony, a bunch of us headed out for the Chiba baseball game; it was student night so it was free for us! After walking in the very strong wind that practically blew us over, we got to the game and could hear the cheering outside the stadium. We sat in our seats and it was easy to enjoy the baseball game because it was just like back home. However, there is a lot more cheering and jumping by the fans and everyone was げんき (full of energy)! At the 7th inning, one of the fans next to us gave us these long balloons. We blew them up and at the end of the 7th inning, we all let them fly away into the air.
Also during this inning, Chiba scored 2 runs and took the lead 3-2. It was a great game to watch and anyone could enjoy going to the game whether they’re into baseball or not because the crowd was so electric.
It was getting really cold and we decided to leave at the bottom of the 8th with Chiba still winning. I had a great time and although the sports might be the same in America, the crowd was much more energetic and fired up in 日本！