Friday, August 31, 2012

Beomosa Monks! @ The 7th Busan International Tea Cultural Festival Day 1

 As you can see the main square of the Busan Cultural Center is filled with booths staffed by various artisans showing their wares: potters furniture makers and tea vendors.

 Powdered green tea is quite popular now with several booths serving free tea.
 I ran into a few monk friends there. This is Bapsan Senim from Beomosa. My wife and I had tea with him on a few occasions. He was showing me the antique tea vessels they have on display there : from as far back as 2000 BC ! From the collections shown you can get a real sense of the development of tea pots, tea jars and tea bowls and tea cups.

Theres a regular Japanese tea ceremony demonstration that takes place in one of the lower galleries. I shall conduct an interview with them tomorrow !

 Scrolls are also on display. The Cultural Center has two big galleries and both are taken up by the Tea Festival : There's lots to see !
Some with poems, some Zen scrolls as well...

 Incense containers....

 Tomorrow @ 2:00 there will be various tea servings. (I'm not sure if they will be ceremonies or not...) I believe it is by invitation...Regardless I'm looking forward to watching the proceedings.

 The Beomosa Monks have several tables booked for tomorrow !

 There's a display showing the Traditional Korean Wedding Ceremony. There was nobody there to interview at the time. I'll try to catch them tomorrow...
So there you have it : Lots to see and well worth full afternoon at the Busan Cultural Center. Not sure how to get there? Just tell a taxi driver : Busan Moon Hwa Hwey Gwan Ka Jew Say Oh. Its near the UN Cemetery on most tourist maps.

Monday, August 27, 2012

7th Busan International Tea Cultural Festival

This coming Friday I'm pleased to be covering the 7th Busan International Tea Cultural Festival.
It will be held at the Busan Cultural Center (Busan Moonhwa Waygwan) This August 31st to September 2nd. A fine way for celebrating and taking the edge off after the typhoon that is hitting here rather quite soon.

Among many other things there will be booths covering Tea Incense, Tea Savories, Tea Art, Japanese Matcha Tea Ceremony, Flower Arrangements for Tea Services, Buddhist Tea Offering Ceremony...

Special events taking place throughout the festival to include tea prayer, tea meditation, tea music (of various sorts), Korean dancing.
Many of these special events will take place September 1st and 2nd. Hope to see some of you there !

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Two Tea iPhone Apps as cool as a Geisha in glasses.

For those of you into tea and with a smartphone here are a few tea apps I've found in my forays into the world of tech.



My most recent discovery was found via App Annie called iSado. Sado, also known as chado is way of tea which refers to the Japanese tea ceremony. It is a useful tool for learning how to make tea the Japanese way as this particular version teaches the bare basic essentials to the Enshu or Samurai tea ceremony. 
It offers a link to a youtube video where you can watch how to make the tea using a bamboo wisk. You can also make the tea virtually much like that of a computer game. At the end of making the tea you are assessed and given a score with advice on how to improve your tea making skills. If making matcha (powdered) green tea isn't your thing and your more into just drinking it, then do visit DaSoul in Someyeon where they serve it the best in Busan.


iTunes - 1.99 USD - by アトリエ木菟



 One of the earliest apps I'd discovered was Yoritsuki. I found it by searching for apps under "Zen" from which I found many Buddhist apps. From there I practically stumbled upon Yoritsuki a Japanese made app in English for the iPhone and also now for the iPad. Essentially it is a Japanese inn commonly known as a Ryokan. You can select the seasons, the weather and tonnes of interior design features to decorate the room. I find it most relaxing and great for when I find myself in an office or a cubicle and lacking the atmosphere that so enhances ones tea experience.


So there you have it : 2 apps for your phone that are as cool as a Geisha in glasses.