Tea Growing Regions of Japan.
Tea is grown almost everywhere in Japan Commercially and privately. What is presented on this video are some of the more well known tea growing regions that supply the international tea market. The Tea Docents have traveled extensively throughout Japan and have always managed to come across a tea garden or two in the most unexpected of places. That would be a top of some future post as we are most excited when we find small artisan tea farmers with exceptional skill.
The most famous and productive tea growing region is Shizuoka, about a 150 km south of Tokyo. On a clear day, you can see Mt. Fuji from the tea fields.
As you travel further south, you come to Nishio, which specializes in the production of Matcha (powdered green tea).
Traveling further south, we stop at Uji or Kyoto. When it comes to tea, Uji and Kyoto are synonymous. Many tea grown in nearby areas send the tea to be packaged in Kyoto to bring a better price. Much like having a Napa wine label.
On the northern part of the island of Kyushu is an tea growing region of Fukuoka. Tea from this region is known as Yamecha. It is said the the best Gyokuro is produce here. Who’s to judge?
Now we come to the most southern part of Japan in the prefecture of Kagoshima. It is predicted to surpass Shizuoka in tea production next 2 years. Kagoshima’s primary crop in the old days was sweet potato and changed to tobacco and now tea. Because they are not tied to old tea trading methods, they have the most modern tea market in the world. (Topic for a future post.)
If you are interested in sampling some of the teas from these regions, click here.