Special Focus on Shizuoka: Traditional hand-rolling experience at a tea farm

Before the advent of tea-making machineries, sencha was hand-rolled. This manual method known as temomi was invented in 1738 by Nagatani Souen. The method resulted in high quality and refined green tea with leaves that are bright and needle-like in shape. Today, temomi is no longer widely practised in Japan, but are preserved as a … Continue reading Special Focus on Shizuoka: Traditional hand-rolling experience at a tea farm

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Special Focus on Shizuoka: A Tea Dyeing Experience in a Former Post-town

The historical district Mariko in western Shizuoka City was one of the 53 authorised post-towns on the ancient Tokaido road connecting Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Kyoto. A post-town was where travellers find food and rest before moving on to their next destination. It is also known to be where Japanese black tea or wakoucha was … Continue reading Special Focus on Shizuoka: A Tea Dyeing Experience in a Former Post-town

Special Focus on Shizuoka: Tea blending experience in the heart of Shizuoka City

Single-origin tea may be all the rage now, but tea blending or 合組 (gougumi) is still an essential manufacturing process in tea production. In Japan particularly, gougumi is a traditional method that has been perfected over time and performed by highly skilled tea masters. The tea farmers produce excellent crude tea (aracha), which is the … Continue reading Special Focus on Shizuoka: Tea blending experience in the heart of Shizuoka City

Special Focus on Shizuoka: Enjoy teatime at a farm with superb views of Mt Fuji

Many tea farms on the elevated parts of central Shizuoka offer glimpses of the distant Mt Fuji, located on the prefecture's east. On certain elevations, when the weather conditions permit, one will not only have a superb view of Mt Fuji but also a sea of clouds that appear to suspend over the lush green … Continue reading Special Focus on Shizuoka: Enjoy teatime at a farm with superb views of Mt Fuji

Special Focus on Shizuoka: An organic artisanal tea farm in Kawane

Kawane-cha is widely lauded as top-quality tea since the Edo period. It even made its mark abroad as early as 1893 when it earned an award for 'exceptionally fine, quality of infusion' at the Chicago's World Fair. Since then Kawane-cha is constantly winning awards, both domestically and internationally. Its home is Kawane, located at the … Continue reading Special Focus on Shizuoka: An organic artisanal tea farm in Kawane

Special Focus on Shizuoka: Seafood, teatime and more in Yaizu

The history of Yaizu, a city facing the Suruga Bay in central Shizuoka, can be traced back to ancient times. It was even mentioned as 'Yakitsube' in the Manyoushu, the oldest collection of Japanese waka poetry compiled during the Nara period. These days it's a well-known commercial fishing port city. In fact, the fisheries industry … Continue reading Special Focus on Shizuoka: Seafood, teatime and more in Yaizu

Special Focus on Shizuoka: Revisiting Makinohara Plateau, the largest area of tea plantations in Japan

Makinohara Plateau is one of Japan's leading tea producing areas and also its largest in terms of acreage, home to many tea plantations and tea-related facilities. Earlier this year I have written about two tea plantations of different sizes found in this area. In this post I will highlight on the tea museum and a … Continue reading Special Focus on Shizuoka: Revisiting Makinohara Plateau, the largest area of tea plantations in Japan

Special Focus on Shizuoka: Chagori Project featuring a hidden organic cafe in Fujieda

Kakigori (かき氷) or shaved ice is an ubiquitous summer treat in Japan. F&B establishments or even summer festival stalls would fly banners bearing the character for ice (氷 koori) to let the public know that they are offering this refreshing icy-cold dessert. It's one of the things I look out for whenever I visit Japan … Continue reading Special Focus on Shizuoka: Chagori Project featuring a hidden organic cafe in Fujieda

Special Focus on Shizuoka: A matcha cafe in the countryside

Traditionally, matcha is associated with the image of a serious tea ceremony that has to follow all the formalities, depending on the various tea ceremony schools. To the uninitiated, it would have appeared to be a daunting experience. Thanks to the matcha boom across the globe, casual cafes are now offering matcha or even specialising … Continue reading Special Focus on Shizuoka: A matcha cafe in the countryside

Special Focus on Shizuoka: A tea farmers’ cafe specialising in wakoucha

The mountains of Ryogouchi in Shimizu Ward, Shizuoka City are home to many tea plantations. Green Eight Cafe is one of the hidden gems here, a farmers' cafe that offers a unique experience for tea lovers. It specialises in Japanese black tea or wakoucha. In their own words, "nigakunai koucha" (black tea that's not bitter). … Continue reading Special Focus on Shizuoka: A tea farmers’ cafe specialising in wakoucha

Special Focus on Shizuoka: Let’s enjoy Asahina Gyokuro in Fujieda! (+bonus experience in Shimada)

Asahina was the name of one of those 'disappeared' villages that resulted from city expansions and mergers over the years. It had its beginnings in the Meiji era, although the area itself was populated long before that. However, it became a part of Okabe Town (one of the old Tokaido post towns), following a merger … Continue reading Special Focus on Shizuoka: Let’s enjoy Asahina Gyokuro in Fujieda! (+bonus experience in Shimada)