Friday, July 13, 2012

Tanabata Meet-up

July 7th was the Tanabata Festival! The STKC met at the Seattle Japanese Garden and had a great time walking around the garden in yukata, writing wishes, and attended a tea ceremony! And we took a ton of photos! (Click pictures to view them larger)

Katie, Tysen, and Amanda (me) arrived early and walked around for a little bit. There were three Tanabata bamboo trees set up outside, decorated with origami decorations.

Amanda and Katie in front of a Tanabata tree
The garden has many beautiful stone lanterns
We should definitely have another kimono meet-up at the Seattle Japanese Garden. The atmosphere is wonderful, and it is fun to carefully walk across the natural stone walkways.
Beautiful scenery at the Seattle Japanese Garden
Katie photographing a turtle, the turtles were keeping cool in the water!
Shannon arriving at the garden.
It was very sunny, so we found shade as often as we could!

After resting in the shade for a bit, we went and watched some dance performances on the moon viewing platform overlooking the koi pond. Here are some photos and video of the Fujima Dance Ensemble. Most of the videos are just partial clips of the dances, however, the entire dance with the ribbons is recorded in two parts.

After the dance performances, we wrote our wishes on tanzaku strips.

After the dance performances, we attended a tea ceremony at the garden's Shoseian tea house. I think it was the first tea ceremony any of us had attended, other than watching it performed on a stage. The outside walls were taken off, and it felt good to feel the breeze from inside the open tea house. We were told that the walls are put up for a formal tea ceremony and the guests have to enter through a 2 foot square doorway. The ladies were very nice and asked that we sit which ever way we were most comfortable. We tried to sit seiza style, and Shannon and Katie did a very good job at sitting seiza through the entire tea ceremony with very little shifting, but Amanda had to change positions constantly! It is very painful if you do not practice!

Unfortunately we didn't get pictures during the tea ceremony, but we did take some photos of the tea house.

The tea garden's courtyard also had a small tanabata tree with decorations, and we once again wrote tanzaku wishes to hang on the bamboo.
The ladies preparing the tea house for the day's tea ceremonies.
Before leaving the garden, we took some last photos overlooking the koi pond.

If you are in the Western Washington / Seattle area, we hope you can join us for our next fun outing!

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