Kyushu 九州 translates to “nine provinces” is located at the southwest end of the Japanese archipelago. Consisting of the mainland and small tropical islands, it is made up of seven prefectures: Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Oita, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima.
Being the birthplace and essence of high-grade Japanese Green Tea. Today, Kyushu is still known in Japan for producing high-grade teas from all of its prefectures. Land and soil in each area influence the tea’s tasting notes. The techniques and cultivators are also factors that vary from prefecturto prefecture.
Yame 八女 Fukuoka Prefecture is located in Northern Kyushu. The most renowned plantations in Fukuoka prefecture are located in Yame area. Yame Region is proud of its top production amount of Gyokuro (Highest Quality). As much as 45% of all Gyokuro available in the Japanese market comes from Yame Region. That is the reason Yame is famous and known as one of the few production places of the highest quality green tea in Japan.
Chiran 知覧町 Kagoshima Prefecture is naturally located in the southern area of Kyushu and enjoys the earliest first tea picking of the country, with delicious "Shincha" (new tea) available already from March. Thanks to its more clement weather and the proximity of several active volcanoes, the tea grown in this area have a distinctive quality that is celebrated all throughout Japan. Several cultivars that are very sensitive to cold can be grown successfully only in that area. In a general way, Chiran Teas tend to be more sweet compared to other regions.
Sonogi 彼杵 Nagasaki Prefecture is located in North-Eastern Kyushu. The tea production area of Higashi Sonogi is in Nagasaki prefecture and is located in the mountains overlooking Omura bay. Higashi Sonogi is home to a very special and fine sencha that is not found elsewhere in Japan, called Tama-ryokucha ("coiled tea"), also commonly known as Guricha ("curly tea"). The leaves are rolled into "comma" shapes (instead of being kneaded into "needle" shapes, like for sencha). The tea is golden yellow and can be reinfused, with a slightly different taste.
Shizuoka 静岡県 Shizuoka Prefecture is where the famous Mt.Fuji is located. Tea farmers believe that all of the nutrients from the soil and water from the mountain can be tasted in the tea. Shizuoka itself has a diverse climate and topography, paired with rich soil and clean water it creates high-quality Japanese green tea. To this day, many tea farmers in Shizuoka hand-pick their green tea corps to guarantee only the finest tea leaves are processed.
Saga 佐賀県 Saga is located on the eastern end of the mountain, at an altitude of 300m above sea level, right next to the Yame area (Fukuoka prefecture.). Thanks to the important temperature difference between day and night, our fields are often covered by a thick fog. Combined with fresh and clean water, this makes it the perfect place for tea cultivation. The town of Higashi Sefuri in Saga is the birthplace of Japanese green tea. This is where the monk Eisai planted the tea tree seeds he brought from China in the 12th century. A soil rich with minerals, clear spring water, morning mists, and river fogs creates ideal conditions for growing tea.
Kawaminami 川南町 Miyazaki Prefecture faces the Pacific Ocean, Miyazaki prefecture is known for its beautiful pristine beaches and its verdant and luscious mountains. It enjoys a mild climate. While it is not well known outside Japan for its tea, Miyazaki is actually the fourth tea-producing region of Japan. This area produces very high-quality tea. It is notably home to the exceptional and rare kama-iri-cha, made using a very special production technique (pan fry). This technique is almost lost as only a few producers still have the expertise required to produce this tea.