Finland Minister of Transport and Communications Leena LUHTANEN
Visits Konnichian

On October 4, 2003, Minister Leena LUHTANEN of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland, together with her husband and Ambassador Eero Kalevi SALOVAARA and Mrs. Salovaara of the Embassy of Finland in Tokyo and entourage of four others from Finland, visited Konnichian to experience the traditional Japanese Way of Tea. They were accompanied by the vice president of the Kansai-Finland Association, OHASHI Kanji (SEN Genshitsu is president of this Association). Minister and Mr. Luhtanen and their entourage arrived in Kyoto from Finland that morning, and spent the afternoon visiting cultural spots in this city. The first of these was Konnichian. The group was met at the Kabutomon by representatives of the Urasenke International Division, and shown into the Hosensai room in the historical Konnichian complex, where tea was prepared and served by members of the Konnichian corps of deputy tea masters. After the tea, the group toured some of the rooms in the complex, receiving explanations by an English-speaking staff member. The Minister expressed that the tranquil atmosphere of Konnnichian, and refreshing tea and hospitality that she and her party experienced, were extremely comforting after their long flight from Finland. The group boarded the Shinkansen to Tokyo the following day.

Minister Luhtanen sees how to turn the teabowl. Seated next down the line are Mr. Luhtanen and Ambassador and Mrs. Salovaara.

Minister Luhtenen (center) and group at the Kabutomon before departing