One of the highlights of Ritsurin Garden (described in the previous post) is the teahouse.
There are actually a few teahouses in the garden, such as the small one shown in the photo below:
At the time I visited, the only teahouse open to the public was the largest one, Kikugetsu-tei (Moon Scooping Pavilion).
What do you do in the teahouse? Why, you drink tea!
While you are waiting for your tea and local variety of sweet mochi, you can enjoy the views.
And once you have been served matcha tea and mochi, you can enjoy the tea, mochi, and the views all at the same time.
I ending up drinking quite a few traditionally-prepared cups of matcha tea in historic teahouses in Japan, and I enjoyed every single cup and accompanying dessert. The tea and mochi were, as usual, very good. However, I don’t think I visited any other teahouse in Japan which had views as beautiful as this one.
One of the things which makes Kikugetsu-tei so special is that it can be viewed from so many different angles, from both the inside and outside, and look fresh from every direction. Indeed, allowing a landscape to look new and fresh from multiple angles was a basic principle of traditional Japanese leisure gardens, and I think the designers of Ritsurin garden succeeded in this.
From the outside, the teahouse enhances the overall aesthetic beauty of the garden in better than other teahouse I saw in Japan does.
I walked around and looked at the teahouse from the outside after I had drunk the tea, so looking upon it brought back a memory of satisfying tea. However, I suppose I could have done it the other way around, and scope out the teahouse longingly, building up anticipation until I finally entered the teahouse and ordered tea.
After enjoying myself in Ritsurin Garden, I took the local tram back to downtown Takamatsu, checked out of the hotel, and hopped on a bus to my next destination, Tokushima City. The next post will present one of the iconic features of Tokushima. But for now, a final photo of Ritsurin Garden.