It’s been a week now, and I’m still sans coffee at work.  In its stead, tea is doing a good job as a stand-in, but it’s not quite up to the task of being coffee’s stunt double.  

I’ll admit that two days ago, I had to pay Starbucks a visit…my, but it was good.  And the donut didn’t hurt either. 

Still my tea is a pleasure and not just for the taste.  That’s because the leaves I’m using now came from our last trip to Japan.  And drinking it, I’m reminded.  Insofar as I’m reminded, I’m mentally refreshed, too.  It’s a minute mental vacation.

I’m reminded of the humble, organic grocery store where we purchased the tea.  It was a walk from our hotel in Takayama, a growing city nestled in the Japanese Alps.  We’ve had occasion to visit as we’ve returned to Takayama once every two or three years.  It’s been nice to see it grow, but pleasant in its constant offering of great products and kind employees.

This recent trip, I took some pictures, which I will have to post.  While their employees and products are local, they welcome foreigners.  My distinctly non-Japanese son felt quite comfortable in a new corner they had set up for children, letting me even wander out of sight to peruse some products–something he normally won’t do in new environments. That says something about a place.

When we go back–perhaps next autumn–we’ll visit again.  If I run out of tea beforehand…I see a coffee relapse in my future.

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