Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Northwest Tea Festival 2008

Northwest Tea Festival was held for the first time ever to provide Northwest people with educational opportunities regarding to a variety of teas. I'm very proud that we could participate to the event as a representative of Japanese green tea companies. In spite of bad weather, there were so many visitors; one of the organizers said the number of visitors was more than double of what they had expected. I'm very happy that there are so many tea fans in this Northwest area.

This event was established to provide people with information or education regarding to teas from all over the world, not for business purpose. On the 1st day, I had a presentation about Japanese green tea and was so surprised that many people were very knowledgeable about teas. During my presentation, some of the audience asked me questions, and their questions were very sophisticated.

This event gave me a special encounter with Mr. James Norwood Pratt, who was one of the judges of World Tea Championship. Because we displaied the torophy of the World Tea Championship, he told us he was one of the judges. I had a great time to talk with him.

JapanFest Atlanta 2008

This was our first time to participate to the JapanFest Atlanta, and I was so surprised that so many people were interested in Japanese culture and visited to the event. In Seattle, we have similar Japanese cultural events such as Cherry Blossom Festival and Aki Matsuri (Autumn Festival), but JapanFest Atlanta was much much bigger than these events. In addition, people in Atlanta were facing to the gasoline shortage, and many of gasoline stations closed during the event. In spite of the unusual situation, more than 14,000 people visited from not only Georgia state, but also from other neighbor states.

In 2nd day, I had a 30-minute presentation about "How to enjoy the Japanese green tea." I hadn't expected so many people came to listen to my presentation. I was very happy and excited more and more people in the U.S. started drinking green tea and study about the tea. I hope my presentation could provide the audience with a little bit ideas of enjoyment of Japanese green tea.