Osaka’s Nishinai Ward, an area covering a mere 2.8 square miles, is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Japan. It currently holds a reputation for being Osaka’s “slum,” yet is home to Tennouji Park, Tennouji Zoo, the Tsutenkaku Tower, and a plethora of small attractions and mouthwatering restaurants.
Adding to the many small niches of the ward’s charm is the newly established, Poehum, a two-story venue, gallery, and studio hub converted from an old iron warehouse. The owner, Shotaro Ikeda, opens the space to various artists to showcase their work and offer their unique demonstrations to the public.
Recently, one of the many unconventional activities hosted at Poehum was a creative interpretation of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, meshing several modern elements with the old. Visitors gathered around a kerosene heater to sip on green matcha tea harvested straight from the internet. Their hostess, Ueda, also dressed to reflect the happy oddities of the bohemian celebration, donning a white kimono completed by an obi makura (pillow worn on the back) wrapped in bright pink Fun Fur.
This nontraditional ceremony provides a glimpse into Japan’s ever-evolving culture, which constantly combines the new with the old, effectively preserving the country’s rich history while creating a distinctive modern experience.