Tsuruko's Tea Journey

Episode 1 of 1

In one form of the Japanese tea ceremony, the host serves traditional kaiseki cuisine, sake and, finally, tea to the guests. The intricate ritual, established as an art form more than four centuries ago, is believed to be the foundation of Japan's omotenashihospitality. In TSURUKO'S TEA JOURNEY, one woman embarks on a unique pilgrimage across Japan to immerse herself in the art. Tsuruko Hanzawa is a rare "catering chef" of nine-course, formal tea ceremonies called Chaji. At 70 years old, she loads her pots, pans and other specialized tools for making tea into her van and sets off to serve dishes using local ingredients and fresh tea to the varied people she meets along the way. Exploring a life devoted to tea and the ceremonial art form, the documentary follows Tsuruko for two years as she brings people together around the traditional art form, while also battling a serious illness to continue her pilgrimage.

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