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Experience Japanese culture

Jeanne has been working in Japan for three years. Her parents from England are visiting Japan for the first time to see their daughter this fall. Jeanne asks Makoto, her colleague at work, for places that may be good to take her parents to.

Jeanne
Both my father and my mother love Japanese traditional culture. Do you know any good places in Tokyo they would enjoy to visit?
Makoto
I would take them to the Edo-Tokyo Museum. It is a fun place just to look around as it has a variety of exhibitions such as dioramic reproductions of the town of Edo, ukiyoe prints, and kimono collections. The museum also provides volunteer guides who can explain the exhibitions in detail.
Jeanne
Are there English-speaking guides available too?
Makoto

Yes, of course. Besides the museum, your parents may also enjoy seeing a traditional theater. At the National Noh Theatre, each seat is equipped with a small individual screen for subtitles so that you can enjoy the performance of Noh and Kyogen while following the story in English.

Jeanne
Do you know any other places offering hands-on opportunities for some cultural experience?
Makoto
How about tea ceremony? I know that there is a large tea ceremony event called Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony that takes place this month of October. Anyone can participate in the event, including those who are not familiar with chanoyu as well as tourists from overseas. The event is held at the Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum (Tatemono-en) on October 1 & 2; and also at Hama Rikyu Gardens on Oct. 22 & 23. They are both beautiful places to visit.
Jeanne
That sounds great! I always wanted to try tea ceremony myself. I will check more information about the event.

After visiting the Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony at the Tatemono-en Museum with her parents, Jeanne comes to Makoto to thank him for his advice.

Jeanne

Makoto, thank you again for your help and suggestion the other day. We went to the tea ceremony event and tried a program called "tea ceremony for beginners." My parents really enjoyed that too!

Makoto

I am glad to hear that. Did your parents say anything about the tea?

Jeanne
They were surprised that the taste of the tea served at the ceremony was totally different from regular Japanese green tea. It was also interesting to see all those architectural exhibitions at the Tatemono-en museum, preserved from the Edo period and early Showa period.
Makoto
If you have a chance, you should go to the tea ceremony at the Hama Rikyu Gardens. In addition to a beautiful view of Japanese style gardens, you can enjoy a live performance of Japanese traditional music instruments and a demonstration of kimono dressing method. For visitors from overseas, a special program of nodate outdoor tea ceremony is offered in English. You can enjoy the ceremony in the refreshing fall air without worrying about languages as the instruction is given in English.
Jeanne
It sounds like a great event to join for those who want to learn more about tea ceremony than just experiencing its atmosphere. I am so motivated now that I feel like taking tea lessons.
Makoto
Don't forget to invite me to your ceremony when you eventually master how to prepare tea.
Jeanne
I will do my best!

Nodate outdoor tea ceremony in English
This program is instructed in English to welcome foreign visitors who would like to be introduced to tea ceremony.
Participation ticket: 300 yen / person
* The tickets will be sold at the nodate ticket sales window on the day of the event. The ceremony may become full and no extra sheets may be available.

For more information, please visit the following website:
Tokyo Traditional Arts Program Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony 2011
http://www.dento-wa.jp/en/schedule/schedule08.html