This rare tea bowl (considered a national treasure) came from the MOA Museum and is valued at $50,000. I'm glad I didn’t know that until I had finished handling it! Dr. Michael Dixon, chairman of the NHS Alliance in London, is to my left.
While visiting the Marukyu Koyamaen tea company in Uji near Kyoto, I learned the details of producing matcha. Giant tea utensils are used ceremonially. I'm with Sebastian Beckwith, tea expert and founder of In Pursuit of Tea.
Kazuhiko Atsumi, MD, PhD, is a cardiac surgeon, biomedical engineer, a member of the Science Council of Japan, and a Professor Emeritus of Tokyo University. He is also the President, the Society for Integrative Medicine, Japan (IMJ). Some call him the Japanese Dr. Weil! It was an honor to meet him.
Sunset over Blachford Lake. The sky up here seemed almost crystalline. It may not be as impressive as the aurora borealis for which we made the trip to Canada, but it was still quite the sight to see every evening.
Snowshoeing with friends: It's a beautiful day in a starkly beautiful place and I'm surrounded by friends. What more could I ask for? Well, maybe a steaming hot mug of green tea at the end of the day, but that’s about it!
That mound of snow out on frozen Blachford Lake is a quinzhee. Unlike an igloo, which is a long-term structure made from ice blocks, a quinzhee is a temporary shelter made by digging a hollow in compacted, piled snow. The word is from the Athabaskan language.
It can be difficult to motivate yourself to leave the warm, cozy comfort of your lodge, but snowshoeing is a pleasure all its own. Just down the hill from Blachford Lodge (where we were staying), is a well-made quinzhee - a temporary shelter made of packed snow, traditionally used for emergency survival purposes. This one was just built for fun though.
The "front door" of the quinzhee. It's best to leave the creation of such structures to experts, as an improperly made quinzhee can be dangerous if it collapses when occupied. Never climb atop an occupied quinzhee. And when in doubt, stay out!