Japan's Shizuoka tea is indeed delicious. But there are more ways to enjoy it than simply drinking it! Take a trip to Shizuoka, the city of tea, and sip a soothing cup in the great outdoors with the gentle breeze on your face. Or pair it with a popular gelato at a trendy cafe! Shizuoka's tea shops and confectionaries offer a variety of specialty Japanese teas and sweets and various ways to enjoy them.
Today, we first join the LIVE JAPAN editing team on Ihachi Nouen's terrace for a laid-back tea-tasting session. So please grab a cup and sip tea with us as we enjoy the gorgeous garden view and learn all about Shizuoka tea!
Tea Tasting Experience on Ihachi Nouen Terrace
Mr. Takuya Shigeta is a 15th-generation tea farmer at Ihachi Nouen, a tea garden with a history of 120 years. Mr. Shigeta takes on the challenge of cultivating pesticide-free, organic teas and has developed the tea terrace to share the glorious garden scenery with as many people as possible.
Today, our editors head to Ihachi Nouen, located just a 25-min drive from Shizuoka Station in Ushizuma, Aoi Ward, Shizuoka City. Just outside the urban area, the roads are lined on both sides with private homes. The garden itself is situated along a small road up a hill.
While you can get there by bus, the closest bus stop is at the foot of the mountain, so you may want to rent a car or take a taxi for convenience. (For more detailed transportation information, please see facility information below.)
The natural landscape you see in these fields varies by day and changes with the seasons. Mr. Shigeta shares some of his thoughts as a tea farmer: "Whether rain or shine, the view is always superb. I want to share that excitement with as many people as possible."
On Ihachi Nouen's tea terrace, you can sample and compare three classic types of teas prepared by Mr. Shigeta himself. These types are standard genmaicha (brown rice tea), wakoucha (Japanese black tea), and sencha (roasted green tea).
The price for the experience is 3,000 yen (including tax), and sweets are also provided. Experience all the qualities of delicious tea, from the color and aroma to the delicious taste!
The first thing we sample is the genmaicha. The genmaicha is roasted in-house, which further enhances the aroma, freshness, and sweetness. After that is an astringent sencha brew.
"The taste is a little bitter, but it's soothing," says our editor, Chia-chi, who hails from Taiwan, as she closes her eyes and savors the taste.
The last sample is the wakoucha, cultivated with equally attentive care. The aroma is faint and fruity, reminiscent of caramel and honey. Chia-chi is surprised by the rich, flavorful taste. "The fragrant brown rice and sweet, fruity taste were so delicious, I was able to drink all three!"
Mr. Shigeta shares his thoughts as a tea farmer as he brews his tea. Simply listening to his story makes the tea-tasting experience all the more special and worth every penny.
Our editor from New Zealand, Bella, says, "Though I normally don't drink tea, the ones I tried here today were some of the most delicious teas I've ever had in my life! The flavors were neither too strong nor weak. Usually, I wouldn't say I like hot drinks. But even I fully enjoyed them. These teas are great, even in the hot summer!"
Not many people know this, but the temperature is one of the most important factors when brewing tea. The right temperature brings out the best flavor and varies by tea type.
A lower temperature of about 60°C is best for sencha, about 70°C for genmaicha, and about 90°C for wakoucha. Mr. Shigeta explains, "The flavor of sencha is affected by the temperature of the water. For an optimal sweet and savory taste, brew it with hot water at a slightly lower temperature than normal."
On the tea terrace, Mr. Shigeta brews his teas according to the customer's preference. He'll gladly adjust the water to a higher temperature if you like your teas hot. As you can see, this place boasts more than just delicious tea. The warm hospitality of the farmers shines through, as well!
In Japan, it's customary to enjoy seasonal sweets together with your tea. Mr. Shigeta prepares seasonal Japanese sweets from Shirokiya, a famous confectionary in Shizuoka City.
Today's sweets are covered with lotus leaves and filled with adzuki bean paste, a perfect combination fitting of the summer season.
From here, you can see the Alps in the distance, as well as the Abe River and Suruga Bay. "The sounds of the birds chirping and insects buzzing make this place a harmonious, natural escape from the bustling city of Tokyo and the noisy cars and trains. This is one of the most peaceful places that I've been to in Japan, and I highly recommend it," says Bella.
Sitting outside and sipping Shizuoka tea surrounded by the beautiful gardens brings a sense of freedom and comfort you won't find anywhere else. Why not take a break from the city, and come experience the splendor for yourself?
- Multilingual options
- Available in Japanese only
- Address 1381 Ushizuma, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka
・From JR Shizuoka Station, take the Shizutetsu Bus Abe Line (bound for Aburayama / Yokozawa / Kamiochiai / Aibuchi / Umegashima Onsen via Chubu Driver's License Center / Umegashima Onsen / Shimowatari). Get off at Ushitsumahara. Location is a 10-minute walk away.
・By car: Approx. 25 minutes by car or taxi from JR Shizuoka Station
・Time: Weekends only, unavailable from mid-April to late May every year. (May change depending on crop condition.)
・Price: 3,000 yen per person, via reservation system (tax included; sweets provided)
・Official Website: <a href="https://ihachinouen.com/teaterrace/">https://ihachinouen.com/teaterrace/</a
MARUZEN Tea Roastery: Where Teas Change Appearance According to Temperature
MARUZEN Tea Roastery is the first place in the world to offer teas that change characteristics according to the roasting temperatures. This is a small shop packed with surprises!
MARUZEN Tea Roastery is operated by Maruzen Seicha Co., Ltd., a Shizuoka tea shop that's been in business for over 70 years in the bustling shopping district of Gofukucho, central Shizuoka City.
The shop interior is a bright white, with a tea preparation counter near the window on the first floor. They also sell ten types of gelato! You'll find all kinds of tea leaves on the counter and a roasting area all the way toward the back.
This is where the highest-grade, first-season harvests in all of Shizuoka are roasted at various temperatures, producing different types of teas.
The sales area is located on the first floor of the shop. On the second floor, you'll find the seating area, a tranquil space where you can kick back and sip your cares away.
After the tea leaves are harvested, they are steamed, crushed, dried, and roasted to bring out the aroma. MARUZEN Tea Roastery prides itself in its roasting methods, which employ various temperatures over longer periods of time: 80°C, 100°C, 130°C, 160°C, and 200°C. Each temperature results in a different color, taste, and aroma of the tea leaves.
First, select your desired tea and roasting temperature (Individual item: 510 yen / Gyokuro: 610 yen / Available iced or hot). Next, you may also want to throw in one of their popular gelatos (Single: 460 yen / Double: 720 yen / Mini Gelato Triple: 720 yen / Add gyokuro: +50 yen).
You'll notice slight variations in freshness and aroma in every tea, from the sencha to the hojicha. The flavor differences between the refreshing gelato and soothing, hand-brewed teas also offer a new taste experience unlike ever before!
*Gelato also available for take-out
*All prices above include tax
- Multilingual options
- Available in Japanese only
MARUZEN Tea RoasteryMARUZEN Tea Roastery（マルゼンティーロースタリー）
- Address 2-2-5, Gofukucho, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka Shi, Shizuoka
8-min walk from Shizuoka Station
・Hours: 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (Last order: 5:30 p.m.)
・Official Website: <a href="http://www.maruzentearoastery.com/">http://www.maruzentearoastery.com/</a>
Nihoncha Kimikura Shizuoka Gofukumachi: An Elegant Afternoon Tea Time
Kimikura offers more than simply select teas from Shizuoka Prefecture. They offer high-quality products and an encounter with Japan's tea culture. This specialty Japanese tea shop is operated by Maruyama Seicha Co., Ltd., founded 89 years ago in Kakegawa, Shizuoka Prefecture. You can also buy tea utensils, gifts, and homemade matcha desserts.
Shizuoka City is not only a tea-production area but a tea leaf distribution center with a lengthy history and an abundance of tea merchants. This is one of the reasons Kimikura opened in April 2022 in Gofukumachi. Located less than 10 minutes from JR Shizuoka Station, it's a place brimming with tea, tea culture, and tea aficionados.
Just beyond the curtain, decorated with Kimikura's signature tea bud logo, you'll see a row of individual Shizuoka teas, including deep steamed tea and light steamed teas. Once the staff leads you to your seat, you can sample, select, and buy your favorite ones.
The tea room in the back is a seating area where you can indulge in delicious teas as well as desserts, including anmitsu, matcha tiramisu, parfaits, and other Japanese and Western sweets.
The variety of teas they have is so vast, you'll find everything from steamed teas and hojicha to gyokuro and matcha. The hardest part will be choosing which one to drink! But once you do, sit back and relax. This is a place in which you'll want to savor it slowly.
The Silk Ice Luxury Matcha is this year's much-anticipated, limited-edition summer treat. This rich, silky-soft matcha ice treat is generously topped with Shizuoka matcha ice honey and Hokkaido adzuki bean paste, and is only available until the end of August.
The shop's inventory changes with the seasons, with new teas in spring and cold brews in summer. Whether you're looking for premium selections, or something simple to enjoy at home, the Shizuoka teas at this shop are the perfect choice. Buy them as souvenirs, or buy them for yourself! Don't let your trip come to an end without picking up a gift your friends back home will love!
*Please note that this location is currently closed, as of July, 2022. However, you can stay updated on the latest information via the official website: https://kimikura.jp/gofukucho/
- Multilingual Services
- Available in Japanese only
Nihoncha Kimikura Shizuoka Gofukumachi日本茶きみくら 静岡呉服町店（現在休業中）
- Address Nozare Building 1F, 2-5-21 Gofukumachi, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka, 420-0031
About 8 minutes on foot from JR Shizuoka Station North Exit, and 6 minutes on foot from Shizuoka Railway Shin-Shizuoka Station
・Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. (Last order: 6:00 p.m.)
・Closed: New Year's Holidays
・Official Website: <@a href="https://kimikura.jp/gofukucho/">https://kimikura.jp/gofukucho/</a>
Visit Shizuoka and sip specialty teas!
When reflecting back on a trip, nothing stands out like the delicious flavors and unforgettable landscapes. And after your trip to Shizuoka, the fragrance of tea wafting through the air and the delicious brews sampled on the terrace are sure to leave a memorable impression in your heart.
Take a break from the city, and enjoy all Shizuoka has to offer as you sip a cup of tea in a quaint Shizuoka cafe. Shizuoka's mountain teas, shops, landscapes, and of course, delicious teas, are sure to be a welcome addition to your wonderful memories of unforgettable travel experiences!
Interview coverage: SURUGA Marketing & Tourism Bureau
*Information in article as of July 2022. Please see official websites for the latest information and updates.
Written by: Kayo
English translation by: Krys Suzuki
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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