I took some time by myself to enjoy the garden and meandered around. I discovered at the top of the tea garden was a small outdoor temple-like structure. It was such an interesting building, I felt compelled to go in to discover more.
I was so honored that she would give one to me. It even made it home safely on the plane without being crushed. I now have it hanging in my home office. I am delighted every time I look at it, as it is a reminder of the gracious lady and her beautiful tea gardens!
With gift in hand, we headed back to the hotel. We were on our own to eat dinner that night. A couple of my girlfriends and I shopped and hunted for a place to eat. It was interesting to find something as none of us spoke Japanese and not many Japanese in that area spoke English. We ended up eating at a place that had pictures on the menu so we could point out what we wanted!!!
Along this fun and lively shopping area, we noticed two Starbucks within a very short walking distance. You might find it interesting that their menu is slightly different to cater to their market. Hojicha (to refresh your memory on Hojicha) is served as a latte, hot tea and iced tea within all the Japanese market.
I hope you will continue to travel with me. Day 2 is going to be fun as we head to some processing plants-one of them is a Hojicha plant and the famous "Shizouka tea auction." You might find it interesting how they "calculate and seal their deal."
Happy Sipping and Reminiscing, Lisa