Exploring Shizuoka’s Tea Production Areas: From Traditional to Innovative

Shizuoka prefecture, located in the central region of Japan’s main island, is the largest green tea producing area in Japan. Its tea production area can be divided into eight distinct regions, each with its unique characteristics and tea cultivation practices.

  1. Fuji Numazu Estates: This region is located on the southwest side of Mt. Fuji and benefits from rich volcanic soil, providing a nurturing environment for tea trees. This area is known for producing unique breed teas.
  2. Shimizu, Haibara: Along Okitsu River and Nihondaira, tea farms are widely spread from hillside to flat area. Farmers in the hillside are searching for the best cultivation methods suitable for their land.
  3. Honyama: This region, located along Abe River near the headwaters, is a homeland of fine green tea. It has a long history of tea cultivation and the largest tea farm space in Shizuoka prefecture. Tea produced in this area has a great balance of bitterness and sweetness in taste.
  4. Shitacha Mountains: In Fujieda, Shimada, and Okabe, near the headwaters of Asahina River, is the famous area for producing Gyokuro. Most of the farms are located near the rivers, and deep-steamed green tea is produced in Shimada. The farms in hillside and flatland are producing tea suitable for their location.
  5. Kawane cha: This region is traditionally famous for producing fine quality tea. Starting from the south of Alps, tea farms are spread over the hillside, and the area constantly receives morning mist, which is great for tea cultivation. Tasty handpicked teas are also famous here.
  6. Makinohoara: The largest tea estate in Japan is located on the flatland of the west side of Ooi River. The efficient and productive cultivation style produces a large amount of deep-steamed sencha with fresh conditions.
  7. Nakaencha: Many farms are located on the hillside, and this area is famous for producing extra-deep-steamed tea and deep-steamed tea. Recently, an advanced automation style of tea cultivation has been introduced, and a large amount of tea is being productively produced.
  8. Tenryu, Mori, Haruno: Upper and medium-grade fine teas are produced along Ota and Tenryu rivers. Sencha is produced in the hillside, and deep-steamed sencha is produced mainly in the south. Family-run farms produce high-quality handpicked teas.

Shizuoka prefecture has a long history of tea cultivation, and its climate and soil are ideal for tea production. The tea industry in Shizuoka is well-established, with many companies designing and producing machines for cultivation and processing. Around 70% of the harvested tea leaves in Japan are delivered to Shizuoka for the finishing process. All of these factors make Shizuoka the premier prefecture of green tea in Japan.

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