Autumn moon-viewing at Shukkei-en Garden

Scenes from the annual celebratory kangetsu-sai autumn moon-viewing tea ceremonies at Hiroshima’s Shukkei-en Garden.

The grounds of Shukkei-en Garden were filled with subdued excitement as guests mingled with the many ladies in kimono who would be conducting and assisting with the tea ceremonies under clear sky and a not quite full harvest moon.

People crowded around the tsukimi moon viewing display laid out on one of the garden’s lawns.

Children huddled over the plate representing autumn’s agricultural bounty, trying to name all the fruits and vegetables.

The Ueda Soko school of tea were in charge of proceedings in two areas. A large number of people took part in several of the relatively relaxed tea taking ceremonies held on the lawn.

While it was all controlled elegance “on stage”, ladies in the back worked hard to make sure everything ran smoothly.

The Seifukan tea house housed more formal ceremony and the people sitting up front certainly seemed to know there way around a tea bowl.

The Kangetsu-sai tea ceremony is held every year between mid-September and early October, depending on the lunar cycle. Watch this space for details of the next event.

Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of and loves running in the mountains.