The intricate stained glass window in the heavy wooden door provides an artistic and unusual welcome. Stoop inside the restored Kyoto machiya (town house) and step into a future melded with the past. Drinking in the Art-Deco/Taisho roman decorations, your eye moves away from the geometric stained glass and antique wooden tables to savor the dessert window, an eclectic collection of Western sweets and Japanese decorative wonders destined to complement traditional Japanese tea.
Randy Channell himself embodies the values he sells at ran Hotei, his traditional Japanese tea and sweet shop. Channell's strength towers over a discipline usually associated with kimono-clad femininity. The contradictions and chaos of a modern life lived in ancient harmony permeates both the room and Channell himself, a once and future martial artist who became interested in tea as the way to balance "the way."
Like many others back in the 1970s, Channell became fascinated with martial arts through the movies of Bruce Lee.