Shizuoka, located in the central part of Honshu Island in Japan, is renowned as one of the major green tea production and exporting areas in the country. The region's diverse topography, favorable climate, and fertile soil create ideal conditions for cultivating high-quality tea. Shizuoka's tea regions are known for their vast tea plantations and rich tea heritage.
Shizuoka's major growing areas include the foothills of Mount Fuji, the Suruga Bay coastline, and the Abe River basin. The foothills of Mount Fuji provide an excellent environment for tea cultivation, benefitting from the volcanic soil and the cool climate influenced by the mountain. The Suruga Bay coastline, on the other hand, benefits from the warm ocean breeze, which enhances the flavor and aroma of the tea. The Abe River basin benefits from the fertile soil brought by the river, resulting in teas with a distinct character.
The special characteristics of tea from Shizuoka lie in its flavor, aroma, and appearance. Shizuoka teas are known for their vibrant green color, indicative of their freshness and high-quality. The flavor profile of Shizuoka teas varies depending on the specific growing area but often exhibits a balance of umami, sweetness, and a slight astringency. The teas have a delicate and refreshing aroma, often described as grassy or vegetal.
Shizuoka's history as a major green tea production and exporting area dates back centuries. The region has been cultivating tea since the 13th century, making it one of the oldest tea-producing regions in Japan. Shizuoka's tea industry flourished during the Edo period (1603-1868) when tea production and consumption increased significantly. The region's tea farmers and producers have honed their expertise over generations, employing traditional cultivation and processing methods while embracing modern techniques to ensure the highest quality teas.
Today, Shizuoka continues to be a prominent force in the global tea market, exporting a significant portion of Japan's green tea. The region's commitment to quality, sustainability, and innovation has earned it a reputation as a premier tea-producing region, and Shizuoka teas are highly sought after by tea enthusiasts worldwide.