Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tanabata celebration at Mandai Kaikan

This is actually an old post....well, old pictures, new (late) post.  Since it's Tanabata time again, I figured I could go ahead and finish up what I started a long time ago.  

We were invited to Mandai Kaikan to participate in a community event to celebrate Tanabata, the Star Festival. A beautiful festival that celebrates the time honored heart-string-tugger of a story where two lovers just can't seem to be together.

We began the morning with origami...Mackenzie's favorite!!!  
We learned so many new origami foldings.



Boy had a harder time with the origami, but he was super proud of his chain.


Sooooooo much origami!!!

And, here's why we have so much origami....we got our own bamboo branch to decorate!


After we decorated our branches it was time for lunch.  We had delicious onigiri...my favorite!  Since Mackenzie hadn't quite reached the point in her diet where she was willing to taste anything other than white rice and fried chicken....she had a turkey and cheese sandwich.  Boy devoured his onigiri!

Mandai Kaikan

After lunch the kids ran around in the yard playing games and catching grasshoppers.  It always amazes me how easily kids can just pick up on any game or activity, even though my kids only understand minimal Japanese, and most of these kids understand small amounts of English.


It's hydrangea season!  

Playing a game while waiting their turn
for the tea ceremony.
After the kids worked out all of their energy, we made our way to the back room where we took part in our first tea ceremony.  The kids were brought in and they all sat on their knees all around the edge of the room.  The lady in the kimono explained what was going on (it was all in Japanese.)  We did learn the names of some of the instruments used in making tea.



Yummy dessert before the tea :)  The ladies that were hosting the ceremony were so impressed that Boy loved hot green tea as much as he did.  In fact, before he was given his cup they told me that it was okay if he didn't drink it.  Maybe most American kids can't handle the sophisticated tastes of this glorious drink....The Boy can!


So, first he put the tea in the cup.


Next, he added the hot water.  After that he used the whisk to "swish swish" it really fast until there was a bit of foam on the top.


Then, he enjoyed his tea.  The girl even drank her tea today!  I was quite impressed with that!


After the day's festivities we wandered back to the train station and then back home.  We were treated to an unexpected visitor on the train platform.

Just a girl on the train with a bamboo branch :)