Sydney BridgeClimb marked Japan’s Culture Day yesterday with a Japanese Tea Ceremony held at the summit of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The special event was a celebration for the annual Japanese holiday that honours arts, culture, and academic pursuits.
BridgeClimb invited Wendy Lin, who has studied tea for 10 years to lead the traditional ceremony, assisted by Julian McVittie who has studied tea for more than 35. The two tea aficionados served traditional Macha; powdered green tea, and Okashi; traditional Japanese sweets, to three guests.
Wendy said, “Today at the top of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, we are honouring the traditions of Japanese Chado, The Way of Tea and the four principles of harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity, whilst promoting the culture and art of Japanese Tea to an international audience.
“As the bridge is an important symbol from Australia’s history, Japanese tea is an important symbol for Japan’s history, and I can’t think of a more beautiful view or a more interesting place to tell this story for Japan’s Culture Day, than from the summit”.
The five were guided to the top of the Bridge by their Climb Leader, who told them about the rich history of the Bridge and the city its construction helped revive during Australia’s great recession in the 1930s.
At the summit, they took place at an attached seat around an attached table set with the traditional utensils for the ceremony, all also carefully attached to meet BridgeClimb’s stringent safety requirements.
The arrangement consisted of a tea container; ‘Natsume’, a wooden long tea spoon; ‘Chashaku’, a tea whisk; ‘Chasen’ a white linen Wiping Cloth; ‘Chakin’, three tea bowls; ‘Chawan’, a waste water container; ‘Kensui’, a tea pot; ‘Tetsubin’ and a red cloth for wiping the spoon; ‘Fukusa’.
Once the high tea ceremony concluded, the guests resumed the journey of 1,332 steps along the impressive steel structure. Back on the BridgeClimb, they enjoyed unobstructed vistas spanning as far east as Bondi and as far west as The Blue Mountains.