Beyond Uji & Shizuoka: tea cultivation in Japan
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SO HOW MANY JAPANESE TEA PRODUCTION REGIONS ARE THERE?
WHICH ARE THE MAIN TEA GROWING AREAS PER REGION?
While there are lots of tea growing areas all around Japan, it isn’t possible to list them all over here. This is an quite extensive list of the most prominent Japanese tea regions dedicated to tea cultivation.
1. Fuji & Numazu teas are produced widely Southwest of Mt.Fuji. Susono &Ashitaka are large teas estates where automated tea cultivation is used. 2. Shimizu & Haibara Both Shimizu & Haibara have long history of producing tea. A well known tea is produced in Nihondaira along the Okitsu River. 3. Shizuoka the highest quality teas are produced near Abe river. 4. Shita tea farms are scattered along Fujieda, Shimada, & Okabe. The area close to Asahina river is famous for producing fine Gyokuro. 5. Kawane largely producing fine quality tea close to Ooi river.
6. Makinohara the land used to be maintained for large tea cultivation. Nowadays Makinohara tea estate is known as the largest in Japan with 5000 hectares dedicated to tea cultivation. 7. Chubu tea estate spread to Iwatahara. Most of the tea farms are located on the hillside. Deep & extra deep steamed teas are famous here. 8. Hokubu & Enshu good quality teas are cultivated near the Ota River & Tenryu River. 9. Seibu Seibu area has a long history of tea cultivation. Tea is produced mainly in Mikatahara. The most widespread cultivar around Shizuoka is yabukita.
1. Kirishima Kirishima is located between Kagoshima bay & the mountains. Makizono is its most highly regarded terroir & it is said that one of the most highly regarded sencha teas is grown in this area.
3. Shibushi is a top region for tamaryokucha, shincha & organic gyokuro. A leading tea producing area in Kagoshima. 4. Yakushima many people including Japanese do not know that around 25 tea plantations exist in Yakushima island. Perhaps the total production is not that large, yet I really think they should be in the list since the teas I have tried (and source for the shop) are of a remarkable quality.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER REGIONS IN JAPAN WHERE TEA IS ALSO CULTIVATED?
It is not possible for me to have an extremely comprehensive list since it requires several hours of research to get just what you see in this article. However, I believe this list a good start to get to know where the Japanese teas we consume come from.
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