All I wanted was a cup of tea,
And they made a whole ceremony out of it. The Japanese Tea Ceremony (茶道 = sadou) is steeped in tradition. I don't normally like to link to Wiki, but this explanation really says it all, much better than I ever could.
"When you cup your hands in water, it reflects the moon in your palms and that makes you one with nature." That was the explanation given to me by the teacher in charge of the Tea Ceremony club, who knew that she could speak English so well?
Frankly, I don't care for the little pastry that they give you. It's called 和菓子 (wagashi), a stuffed bean-jam. Just too sweet for my palette with a mushy texture, so I pocketed mine and gave it to a foursome of students.
I don't really care for the taste of the tea either, but I do like the ice cream. Green tea is called 抹茶 (matcha) so of course when I ordered the ice cream, I sang "Macho man."
My other terribly bad joke on this subject is: "What do you call a guy who likes to have hot tea poured on himself?...A Sadou-masochist."