ZENJIRO Tea Production Area
Mino Shirakawa (Northeast part of Gifu pref.)
It is a tea plantation in the mountains of Higashishirakawa Village and Shirakawa Town, which is registered as one of the most beautiful villages in Japan.
The Gifu side of Kiso cypress in the west is known as Tono cypress. Hinoki is recommended in the oldest document Nihon Shoki, but after 200 years of harvesting, its strength increases, and in the next 200 years it gradually weakens, and after 1,000 years, it returns to the strength when it was harvested. It dries well, does not warp, and has high strength and durability.
It was 600 years ago in the Muromachi period that green tea was introduced to this famous cypress production area. The soil is good with red soil and is suitable for cultivation. The Hida River, which connects to the Kiso River, is a confluence of three streams: Shirakawa, Kurokawa, and Akagawa. These river mists climb the tea plantations on the slopes of 600m to 800m above sea level. It is the highest altitude tea plantation in Japan, and has gained a reputation as a high-quality tea with a mild bitterness.
Here, producers form a cooperative to own a crude tea processing plant and cooperate in cultivation. I visited the crude tea processing plant for the judging competition. The quality of tea is determined by the quality of tea leaves, the quality of crude tea processing, and the finishing touches. The head of the association (right) is a master of crude tea processing and has won numerous awards at competitions. I made a video of the members of the producers association and the processing of crude tea for the competition. At our company, we have a detailed meeting with the contracted factory (left) for finishing to make the final product.
ZENJIRO sencha is made from only the highest quality 1st flush tea among Mino Shirakawa tea, which is originally produced in small quantities and has a rarity value.
Shizuoka Kakegawa (Kakegawa City, Shizuoka Pref.)
Shizuoka prefecture is the largest tea-producing area in Japan. Tea plantations are also vast, and many peripheral industries related to tea, such as crude tea processing machinery and packaging materials, are concentrated. The history of tea dates back to the Kamakura period, and the fact that it was the home of Tokugawa Ieyasu and the Tokaido, the main road connecting Edo and Kyoto, also contributed to the promotion of tea. In the Meiji era, former shogunate retainers cultivated the Makinohara plateau and started tea cultivation, and started exporting to overseas, leading the modernization of Japan's tea industry.
In the Showa era, deep steamed tea was developed, and the quality of tea in lowland areas such as Kakegawa and Shimada improved dramatically, gaining popularity.
Our contract factory is located in Kakegawa City and has one of the largest production facilities in the prefecture. We are also actively working on overseas certification such as organic and halal.
The image of the tea plantation is in a better season than the day we shot it, and Kakegawa City has released a beautiful aerial shot of the vast tea plantation with a drone, so we will introduce it.
Kyoto Uji (Southern part of Kyoto Pref.)
Uji, Kyoto, which is a representative production area of Japanese tea, is mainly produced in Ujitawara-cho and Wazuka-cho. Our ZENJIRO series uses tea from Ujitawara. Ujitawara is called the birthplace of Japanese green tea because Nagatani Soen developed the Aosei Sencha manufacturing method, the origin of Sencha, in the Edo period. It is also a production area that Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu protected.
The tea plantations spread out on a gentle slope are the same as the image of Uji, which can be said to be the original scenery of Japan. Nearby is the road that Tokugawa Ieyasu crossed over Iga after the Honnoji Incident, giving you a sense of history. Our contract factory was one of the first to work on organic farming during the time of the current chairmanr. Today, that philosophy has been inherited, cultivating high-quality tea leaves and producing tea with a rich flavor. The altitude is 200m to 450m, and delicate management is performed because conditions such as temperature environment differ depending on the field.
Not only gyokuro and sencha, but also matcha tencha is cultivated and has received high praise both domestically and internationally.
Although they are not a large factory, we are able to consistently produce the highest quality products through consistent cultivation and production.
Omi Asamiya (Southern Shiga Pref.)
Asamiya is the oldest tea-producing area in Japan. In 805, Saicho planted tea seeds on Mt. Therefore, it has a history of more than 1200 years. Counted as one of Japan's five major teas, it is characterized by its unique aroma and deep flavor.
In this area, there is a village of Shigaraki ware, which is one of the six ancient kilns of Japan. This area has fine clay and granite soils, similar to the famous Chardonnay white wines on the same granite soils. Shigaraki is the place where Shigaraki Palace used to be, and was planned as the capital before Heijokyo.
Shigaraki Marche in Koka City has released a beautiful aerial drone video of the Asamiya tea plantation, so I will introduce it.