Tea Information From 日本茶BANK

2022.05.30 Update

Ancient Breath from Saicho @ Asamiya Tea (Koka City, Shiga Prefecture) by Shoryuen

Asamiya tea, a famous tea with 1,200 years of history

“Asamiya Tea, Shigaraki Town, Koka City, Shiga Prefecture.”
With “Miya” attached to it, it had a somewhat austere image.

Shigaraki is the birthplace of the famous Shigaraki ware, but in the past, Asamiya Tea was better known as Asamiya Tea.
It is said to be the “oldest famous tea in Japan” with a history of 1,200 years.

Asamiya-cha originated 1200 years ago when Emperor Saga planted tea seeds on Iwayayama (present-day Senzenji Temple area: Asamiya, Shigaraki Town). It has been widely loved by famous tea masters.
Asamiya, one of Japan’s five most famous teas*1, is located on the border of Kyoto and Shiga prefectures, and is said to be one of the best tea growing areas in Japan due to its high altitude of about 400 m, the large temperature difference between day and night, and its foggy climate.

No wonder so many growers are full of pride and confidence when you talk to them.
The best Uji tea is from Asamiya! They say, “The best Uji tea is this Asamiya tea!

1 Asamiya (Shiga), Uji (Kyoto), Sayama (Saitama), Kawane and Motoyama (Shizuoka)
↓ The field with the best view.

↓ This is a whole tea field, but it must be hard to pick it….

Asamiya tea is a tea offered to the Emperor, and the traditional tea making process is still preserved today.
The tea here is frankly “deep! I feel “deep” when I drink it.

Visit to Asamiya Tea Producers (Shoryuen, Shimoasamiya, Shigaraki Town, Koka City)

Mr. Hattori of Shoryuen, gave me a cup of morning tea early in the morning at his tea farm.
A drop of early morning tea given to me in the mist.

It was so gratifyingly delicious that it naturally brought tears to my eyes.

Morning tea gently wakes each and every cell of my sleeping body.
This was such a peaceful image of the misty tea field.

This impression will remain with me for the rest of my life. Memories of the scenery, air, and taste I encountered in the tea-growing region.
It was an event that made me realize the importance of such impressions when creating content for tea tourism.

I want to protect local tea. Mr. Hattori’s enthusiasm is palpable.

Then, I was shown a joint factory in the area, but it was not that major equipment manufacturer that is common in tea gardens across the country, but a company I had never heard of (I was told that it is already gone now…).
They have been using it for several decades while carefully maintaining it.

Clay soil that nurtures Asamiya tea

Hattori-san’s tea is characterized by the aroma of the tea leaves themselves. The leaves themselves are traditional? I feel the strength of the core of the tea leaves, which is somewhat noble, like the leaves themselves are traditional.
The deep, soft sweetness after swallowing is also surprising.
Is this Yabukita?
The taste of Yabukita is so different in different regions… This may have something to do with the soil of this Shigaraki area…

Rocks that crumble when touched, clay in the tea fields.

I was surprised and surprised quietly, which is rare for me, and enjoyed the tea of the ancient capital of Japan again.

Asamiya Tea Cradle, Iwaya Kannon Senzenji Temple

On the way to the tea plantation, Mr. Hattori stopped by this Iwaya Kannon Senzenji Temple.
There is a monument to the birthplace of Asamiya tea.

The art of tea is a treat.

It is said that the way of tea begins and ends at Asamiya.
Matsuo Basho, the famous haiku poet, also visited this area and wrote a poem related to tea.
“I hear the trees hiding and the tea pluckers picking tea.

While I was slowly touring around the tea production area of Asamiya, which is located close to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, I came across many tea plantations that have a different flavor from those in other areas.

Shigaraki Town is a town of tea and ceramics

Mr. Hattori introduced me to Mr. Zaro Onishi of Shigaraki Tori Kiln. He is a wonderful potter who loves tea.

From our point of view, there is no other potter we appreciate so much.
Mr. Sakuro loves tea. Asamiya’s tea.

That is why I can roast Hattori-san’s tea to the finest quality. I keep researching because I love it.

A beautiful tea bowl, very suitable for brewing the gritty and thick teas of this region.

Asamiya’s tea production has continued until now, supported by the cooperation of local artisans in this ancient traditional production area.
What is needed now to continue tea production in the future?
We are willing to consider many issues together.

Mr. Hattori’s teas are Yabukita and native sencha.
Also, Oyako roasted tea and black tea have a taste unique to this region…

It is still different. The taste of sencha from this region is different.
There is such a deep flavor in this area, as if there is magic in this area.

Basic Information on Shoryuen

Brand name: Asamiya tea Koka-shi, Shiga
Producer name: Shoryuen
Address: Shigaraki-cho, Koka-shi, Shiga