Thursday, April 4, 2013

Himalayan Evergreen 2012

Listening to the wind, to the rain,
the day of Qingming fleeing,
I try to write, like an earlier poet,
an ode to buried petals....

-Wu Wenying (ca. 1212 - ca. 1272) Wu was a poet during the Song dynasty.

Yesterday I tried Himalayan Evergreen from Jun Chiyabari. This particular one was from the 2012 spring harvest. Himalayan Evergreen is a tea that is really popular and well liked by customers all over the world. Even in a country like Japan where you get the best green teas, this tea is well liked.

The liquor was very light and very delicate. In the mouth it was almost sweet with no vegetal taste that is so common in green teas. The after taste left a lingering grape flavour which reminded me of a very special green tea that I had had near Mariko in Shizuoka in 2012.

Image: Himalayan Evergreen 2012 (April 2013)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Beitou 北投區, Taiwan


Now , the pavilion deserted,
there is no trace of her,
only the swallows twittering about bygones.
- Xin Qiji (28 May 1140–1207)
Xin was a Chinese poet, military leader, and statesman during the Song dynasty.

Beitou 北投區 is the famous hot springs district of Taipei. While it is always nice to spend a night or two at one of the hot spring hotels, the thing that really caught my eye was this aesthetically pleasing turn of the century red brick and wooden planks building. 

Beitou Hot Spring Museum was originally built as a public bathing house exactly 100 years ago in 1913 during the Japanese era in Taiwan. As a result it is a wonderful fusion of European and Japanese styles.

The ground floor is in European style complete with red bricks exterior and stained glass windows. The first floor is Japanese and has this big hall with tatami mats. Parts of the exterior of the first floor are covered in wooden planks.

I wonder if one of the stained glass is a depiction of Fuji-san 富士山. Or is that just my imagination?

Images: Exterior and interior of Beitou Hot Spring Museum. (January 2013)