Ben and I went up to visit old friends of his today, the Itohs. They are an incredibly lovely family, and I am so glad we got the chance to visit them. They made us feel so warm and welcome in their home. They took us to a beautiful garden, and fish market, which were fantastic experiences, unfortunately I am incredibly tired, and worried that I will not be able to describe them with the gusto they deserve. 

Today as we were winding down from our amazing day, and after the third bottle of sake was completely empty, Yoshie, the mother of the house made a gesture that was beautiful and very touching. Sakura (cherry blossoms) are a symbol of spring and celebration. There are festivals devoted to the viewing of cherry blossoms, and the whole country seems to be waiting with baited breath for the cherry blossoms to bloom. Yoshie brought out some Sakura tea, which she said is traditionally given to an engaged couple to celebrate their engagement, and wish them good luck. I was very touched. Cherry blossom tea is very beautiful, and it seemed that when she poured the water in the cup spring suddenly came to life before our eyes. The tea smelled like blossoms, and the flavor was very reassuring. I am very grateful for the gesture, and the experience.
Cherry blossom tea.