Global Tea Regions - Japan

Around the world with Tea

It is thought that tea arrived in Japan around the 9th century, when Japanese priests sent envoys to China, to learn about the Chinese culture. The first tea garden was located on Japan’s largest lake, Biwa-ko.

The most important tea-growing district is Shizuoka, which lies in picturesque surroundings at the foot of the holy mountain Fuji. Almost half of Japan’s entire production is picked here, especially Sencha tea.

Other significant tea growing areas are  Kagoshima on the island of Kyushu and Uji district of Kyoto. The latter supplied the famous “Emperor tea” centuries ago, and today provides the world market with the very best of Japanese Green teas, “Gyokuro”, as well as the best of the “Sencha” variety.

Japan produces solely Green tea, but the sheer variety of qualities and prices is staggering. No two Senchas are the same. There is only one hard and fast rule, which applies to each of the “Bancha”, “Sencha” and “Gyokuro” strains: the darker green the leaves, the higher the quality.