京都北野の平野神社の桜とサントリー山崎蒸溜所 Hirano Shrine’s Cherry Blossom and Yamazaki Distillery

2013.04.06

 sakura

 

 

 米国人5名を含む44名の方々が参加してフィールド・トリップを行ないました。当日は、いわゆる「爆弾性低気圧」による大荒れの天気が予想されるなか、途中での中止も覚悟してのスタートとなりました。

 悪天候の中、向かった先の平野神社の桜は見事な花を咲かせておりました。私たちを驚かす趣向として、平野神社の氏子総代でいらっしゃる大阪日米協会名誉会員で鴻池組相談役・鴻池一季様が、桜の下で野点の準備をしてくださっておりましたが、悪天のため、急遽、別の場所にお茶席をご用意いただくことに。お茶は、同じく氏子代表の速水流家元・速水宗樂先生のお立会いのもとで振舞われ、参加者の皆様は、思いがけず、お茶をお召し上がりになりながら雨の平野神社の桜を楽しむことができました。  

 昼食は、築130年の元お茶屋を利用した上七軒「くろすけ」さんでいただきました。お料理はお豆腐を中心にしたコースで、特に参加した外国人たちから、様々なお豆腐料理の種類はもちろん、器や盛り付けの美しさに感嘆の声が上がりました。

 午後は、貸切バスで山崎蒸溜所へと移動し、ウィスキーセミナー、蒸溜所内見学、試飲会の3つのプログラムにご参加いただきました。途中、解説者を困らせるような難しい質問が多く飛び出すなど、皆さん外の悪天候を吹き飛ばしてしまうような熱心さでウィスキーの持つ魅力に触れていらっしゃいました。

 

   We had organized a Filed Trip to visit Hirano Shrine in Kyoto and Suntory’s Yamazaki Distillery with 44 people attended including 5 American members (3 American students).  On the day, Japan was hit by a “bomb” low-pressure and since extremely bad weather was forecasted, the trip was started with likelihood of being cut short at some point.

  Despite the deteriorating weather, cherry blossom at Hirano Shrine was magnificent.  To our surprise, Mr. Kazusue Konoike, JASO Honorary member and Executive Advisor of Konoike Corporation, who is also the chairman of Hirano Shrine’s supporting members, had secretly prepared for a garden-tea-ceremony (or “nodate”) under cherry trees to welcome us.  However, because of the bad weather, the setting was hastily moved to a roofed area and, while watching beautiful cherry blossoms we enjoyed drinking green teas served by the tea master of the Hayami School, Mr. Soraku Hayami, who is also one of the representatives of the shrine’s supporting members.

  For lunch, we visited a Japanese restaurant “Kurosuke” in the Kami-shichi-ken district.  The restaurant is housed in a former ochaya (prestigious Japanese restaurant where you might play with Geisha), which dates back more than 130 years.  We enjoyed various Tohu dishes as well as conversations in both English and Japanese in a beautiful ochaya setting.

   In the afternoon, we moved to Suntory’s Yamazaki Distillery by a chartered bus.  At the distillery, we participated in a whisky seminar, factory tour and a whisky tasting session, in which interesting questions, some of which were too difficult to answer for the guide were frequently raised by the members ― an indication that we were very much fascinated by whisky despite the bad weather outside. 

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