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On the first Sunday of October, the Ujicha Festival is held at Kenninji to pray for the continued prosperity of Ujicha and to commemorate the three great men who ushered in and developed the tea industry of Uji:
 
♦ Zen Master Eisai who brought the first tea seeds from China
♦ High Priest Myoe who planted the seeds at Uji, and
♦ Rikyu Sen who pursued the art of tea ceremony to its utmost refinement.


JOIN THE RITUAL

The festival happens at the Kosho-ji temple and then follows a traditional ceremony.
sorate tea ritual
MATCHA PREPARATION AT THE TEA FESTIVAL:

The beginning is called  “drawing of the water”.

1. The tea is prepared carefully by obtaining water from the Uji river.

2.  Second, a chosen disciple brings the tea jar, a pot is purified with a feather duster, and the seal is severed. The disciple empties the weaker tea and fills it with the first harvest tea leaves.

3. The tea leaves are then stone ground in a mortar.

4. The disciple then carries the matcha, that was made with the Uji river water, carefully to the minister, who then accepts the tea and carefully brews the tea. The tea is then brought to the chief and placed by the Buddha.

 5. Finally, a prayer of thankfulness is said for the used tea whisks and a wish made that the Uji tea will prosper.

 6. The tea leaves are now MATCHA and the matcha is carefully placed in the tea jar and is ready to present to the minister.

 

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