Traditional Farmhouse Cafe Katsuyama

OCHA TIMES
Traditional Farmhouse Cafe Katsuyama

Traditional Farmhouse Cafe Katsuyama, run by tea farmer and manufacturer Katsuyama Seicha

The riverbed of the Abe and Warashina rivers that run through Shizuoka City is an area where tea farming has been thriving since the past. It is known as the Honyama tea-manufacturing region, where truly high-quality green teas are being produced. The Traditional Farmhouse Cafe Katsuyama is built in what used to be a shed at the shop of the Katsuyama Seicha tea-manufacturing firm. They grow and manufacture tea in-house in this specific region.
Immediately on the right at the entrance, there is the reception and their shop. This is where you may purchase some tea or place an order from the cafe menu. To order lunch, you will need to make a prior reservation. Besides this, they also have jams, bread, and a variety of things on the menu.

First, you place your order from the cafe menu at the counter in the shop at the entrance. Then you progress to the eat-in area at the back of the traditional farmhouse cafe.

After you have placed your order, you progress to the cafe space where you will be asked to take place at a designated table. Here you await your order.

There are various small and large rooms in the farmhouse. When you visit in winter, there is no heater or air-conditioning, but you will be welcomed with a gas stove or charcoal fire pit. This brings about the perfect atmosphere of an old farmhouse.


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The tea is enjoyed as regular for three infusions. For the fourth infusions, brown rice is added to enjoy the final steep as Genmaicha.

There is also a dog run nearby, and people come to the cafe with their dogs or families to relax on the balcony of the farmhouse.

You can also sit outside on the balcony. The layout of the cafe allows families and dogs to enjoy a pleasurable time here, which is why the cafe has many repeat customers. On the second floor, there is another room where visitors can relax.

We interview the owner of Katsuyama Seicha.


Mr. Katsuyama: “I have been making tea for a long time already. I have been doing it since I picked up the profession when I was 20 years old. All the tea we sell is grown and manufactured in-house.”

—“Has it been over 20 years already? A lot of the tea farms around here are on a slope, which makes it hard labor, isn’t it?”

Mr. Katsuyama: “Under normal circumstances, the tea gardens in the mountains of Shizuoka require labor on sloping surfaces. Moreover, we are facing nature here. The biggest problem is when frost forms.”

—“What is wrong with frost forming?”

Mr. Katsuyama: “When frost forms on the tea fields, the new buds become useless. To prevent frost damage we send in the warm air from above. That’s what we use those fans for.”


—“That is what those fans are for !? This is new to me. There is a dog-run attached to the cafe. What is the idea behind it?”

Mr. Katsuyama: “Originally I rented an abandoned house from a close acquaintance, leveled it to the ground, and built it myself. Even the materials I made myself. Moreover, we need to mow the lawn 6 to 7 times per year.”

—“It’s truly amazing that you made it all by hand. Even for the Shizuoka Chaya series, it is a rare encounter to find a cafe with a dog run.

Mr. Katsuyama: “Throughout Shizuoka, you encounter many places with a ‘Shizuoka Chaya’ flag outside. If you really want to drink delicious tea, then you must brew it with water from the region where it was grown.”

—“I see, the tea farmer at Matsushimaen said the same thing. “Truly delicious tea is drunk with the water at the farm where it was produced.” It seems very similar to sake. At sake breweries, it’s suggested to have the same water as the water the sake was brewed with as a chaser.”

Mr. Katsuyama: “Yes, it’s truly interesting. On a side note, I recently tried my hand at making black tea. It was really fun to make black tea. Let me share some with you.”

—“Black tea? Does this mean you also do all the withering and fermenting in-house?”

Mr. Katsuyama: “Yes! Black tea is really interesting and fun to make.”

—“Japanese tea is gaining popularity throughout the world. For example, in Shizuoka there are French people who came to study tea. This goes to show that it is being praised by the French who are known for their refined taste in food and art. I believe that Japanese loose leaf tea will take off if it is presented properly.”

Mr. Katsuyama: “Yes. The quality of Shizuoka tea is really good. And there is undoubtedly a good chance that this will result in good business opportunities. The people in China take their time to rest properly. They attentively brew tea and use that moment to catch a breath, and it is this culture that is widely recognized as stylish. However, Japan doesn’t have this. Perhaps because our lifestyles have changed.”

 


We had delicious tea and a relaxed encounter with the owner at Katsuyama Seicha. It was a really delightful time.

 

At the Traditional Farmhouse Cafe Katsuyama, they produce different crops and host events all year through, in addition to their offering of Shizuoka teas with a focus on Honyama tea. More details can be obtained from their website.

Thank you for reading the report of Traditional Farmhouse Cafe Katsuyama by our chief editor.

Traditional Farmhouse Cafe Katsuyama

Address 71-14 Kamata, Suruga Ward, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, 421-0133, Japan
Website http://mizumiiro.p-kit.com/
Phone number +81 54-279-0024
E-money and credit cards Not Available
Open Katsuyama Seicha 9:00 to 17:00 (Tue to Sun)
Traditional Farmhouse Cafe 10:00 to 16:00 (Fri, Sat, Sun)
Closed  Irregular holidays
Parking lot Available
Access From JR Shizuoka station, cross the Anzai bridge over the Abe river that runs into the city. Follow national road 362 along Warashina River Northeast for 10 kilometers. Along the way, you drive through two tunnels and, after several hundred meters, turn left at the second traffic light (the light in front of the JA Nakawara Branch office). Follow the Mizumi-iro River upstream for 4 kilometers, heading for Mizumi-iro elementary school. Pass by the elementary school until you reach an intersection 500m ahead. There you have the bus stop “Mizumi-iro”. Turn left at the intersection and follow the road for 180 meters.

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