A legendary tea country, Japan is a country with an important Buddhist culture. Japanese tea production (about 90 000 tons) is predominantly in the foothills of Mount Fuji (in the Shizuoka province). A large part of the production is green tea containing a variety of vitamins and anti-oxidants. The virtues of Japanese green teas have been highlighted by many doctors. The large quantities of green tea and tannins consumed in Japan may even have a link to the longevity of life for the Japanese population. Four districts of the Shikoku province are particularly prestigious: Shizuoka and Kyoto (Ugi), Kiushu,Fukuoka (and Saga, close by) and Kagaoshima (in the south). The harvests generally take place from April to October. “Sincha” tea generally corresponds to the first flush teas of better quality, but can be consumed year round since they are stocked in cool dry areas. It is highly recommended to continue the chain of refrigeration for Japanese teas, particularly the teas of better quality. Japanese production is relatively important at 90 000 tons, the majority of which is consumed on the domestic market (3% is exported). The notion of a tea garden does not exist in Japan; the type of tea is identified by the region of production. The most amazing teas come from the Uji region, close to Kyoto.
There are four harvests during the year. The first flush is from April to May, the second is at the end of June, the third is in the end of July to the beginning of August and the fourth begins in mid-September.
Of the Japanese teas we can mention the Bancha, which is considered as a very common tea, the Sencha which is the most popular and accounts for 75% of the production, the Tencha (a high-quality Sencha) and the Gyokuro. The strong,fine and elegant Gyokuro tea is very sought after and expensive.