Sun | Dec 11, 2016

Prince William starts first Japan visit _ with green tea

Published:Thursday | February 26, 2015 | 11:04 PMAP
Britain's Prince William, third from left, is escorted by Tokyo Government Yoichi Masuzoe, second from left, to greet local students at Hamarikyu Garden after arriving in Tokyo yesterday.

JAPAN

TOKYO, (AP):

Britain's Prince William had afternoon tea on his first visit to Japan yesterday, but it was green and served by a master in the Japanese ceremonial art in a traditional tea house.

William began his four-day stay with the tea ceremony, an almost sacred dance-like ritual, at Hama Rikyu Gardens in Tokyo. Tea is made from a bitter powder, hand-stirred into a foam with a tiny whisk of wood, preferably gulped down in about three takes.

"I don't want to drop it," William joked to reporters, while cupping with both hands an antique bowl with the tea.

His wife Kate, pregnant with the royal couple's second child expected in April, stayed home.

The Edo-era style garden, which once belonged to a feudal shogun, where the ceremony took place is filled with sculpted pine trees and blossoming plum trees. Wooden bridges run over several lakes, where water birds float. Gardeners have been hard at work for days, clipping the trees and setting up lights, preparing for the visit.