My Favorite Japan
People from all over the world come to Japan and find new lives here, and they often even play a role in supporting Japanese culture and traditions.
Here we introduce their stories and their voices. We learn why they came to Japan, what captured their heart, and the words and phrases they love the most.
The words they share with us are persuasive and truly rich in meaning.
Listen to their favorite Japanese words and learn about the treasures valued in this country.
Name: Simona Zavadckyte
Activity: Japanese tea adviser
Residency in Japan: 3 years
Now living in Kyoto
Favorite phrase: “Ichigo-ichie”
The phrase “ichigo-ichie” has two parts: “ichigo” means “one life” and “ichie” means “a one-time encounter.” And so this is often translated as “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” This phrase originated with the tea ceremony, where it expresses the feelings of the host to show sincere hospitality towards guests. With this in mind, Simona is doing her utmost to make sure that the guests, whom she may be able to meet only this one time, have the greatest possible experience.
Favorite place: “Tenku Café”
In addition to helping to take care of the tea farm and showing visitors around, she also travels around the world once a year to introduce the appeal of Japanese tea. Where she goes to find peace despite her busy days is the Tenku Cafe, located in a public facility on a hilltop in the town of Wazuka. Sitting in a room known as the “Tea Room Floating in the Sky,” she spends a priceless moment leisurely enjoying the tea made with leaves that she helped to grow.