Yamacha-kan of Ashikubo Tea Works

Yamacha-kan of Ashikubo Tea Works

Young, skillful tea farmers who received a prize from the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries built the Japanese tea cafe and shop adjacent to their tea factory.

Hojo-san, the owner of Green Eight, introduced Yamacha-kan of Ashikubo Tea Works. I finally got to the place where young people have been making efforts to cultivate tea.

There is a magnificent tea farm right in front, and the air is clear.

The menu of Yamacha-kan of Ashikubo Tea Works ranges from ice-cold frozen drinks to hot latte and gelato.

↓Ice-cold Sencha frozen drink and hot Sencha latte.

They both are awesome. The ingredients are wonderful so I could keep on drinking both if I alternated between the hot and cold ones.

↓The cafe staff serves you freshly, well-made Hojicha gelato every time you order.

↓Ashikubo Sencha Shaved Ice Parfait

↓Sencha Ice Cream

↓Hot Sencha

If you ask for a refill, they will give you one second brew.

They sell tea leaves such as hand-picked Asamushicha (light-steamed Sencha), “Mine no Kaori”, and another rare hand-picked tea. The best pick of the tea leaves is Asamushicha(light-steamed tea) “Kunpu”.

Their tea refining factory accepts tours, and also there are a lot of visitors from other prefectures in Japan.

Takahiko Kato, a member of Ashikubo Tea Works, gave a grand tour of the factory.

Takahiko Kato “We accept tours of our tea refining factory basically anytime, only when it is in operation during the manufacturing period. Every visitor enjoys the tour. I believe our major visitors are from outside Shizuoka.”

Takahiko Kato “Regulating the temperature inside our factory is important to process tea. It takes more time to process when it is cold inside.”

– “It is the same as my main business, just like machine processing. How long is the tea factory in operation?”

Takahiko Kato “Mainly from April to June.”

– “I think that the period imposes limits for young technicians to gain experience.”

Takahiko Kato “Yes. Handing down our technique to them is problematic. I guess other industries have the same problems.”

The climate in Ashikubo, which is the place of origin of Shizuoka tea, is the best for tea cultivation.

Takahiko Kato “Let me brew tea. All of the tea we sell are grewed, processed, and refined in Ashikubo Tea Works.”

– “Thank you very much. I think it tastes umami and also has a strong undercurrent of sweetness. The view of the tea farm right in front of the shop is amazing. Does Ashikubo Tea Works own the tea farm?”

Takahiko Kato “Although we don’t own everything, we own about half of the tea farm that you can see. Here in Ashikubo, the place of origin of Shizuoka tea, which spreads along Ashikubo River, a branch of Abe River, has short hours of sunshine, leading to a temperature difference between morning and night of 11.5 degrees on average every year. The mountain climate is relatively cool in summer and warm in winter, which is the best for tea cultivation. The proportion of our tea farm is half on an incline and half on a plain. The area which has a particularly steep incline does not allow us access by car, so it takes 30 minutes to walk there. In that situation, it is really hard. We work using a mono-rack to carry our equipment.”

– “It was really hard when I helped work in a tea farm on a slope. It is unreasonable to make the elderly do that kind of hard work. They can make a few profits. It is not worth the time and effort, and there is no doubt that tea farmers are quitting.”

Takahiko Kato “Tea farmers are facing a problem of an aging workforce. If tea farmers started quitting, those in the mountain would be the first. Tea processing is also difficult work. Like I said, the proportion of our tea farm is half on a slope and the other half on a plain, so we divide the work of tea processing between these two places.”

– “I see. You separate tea leaves into those which are grown on a plain and on a slope.”

Takahiko Kat: “We work hard to produce our products, and at the same time, we started our cafe to promote ourselves. We asked a professional designer to design the appearance of our cafe. The tea union subsidizes these kinds of activities. I appreciate even though you are not at all connected to our industry, you are trying to spread Japanese tea.”

– “Foreigners have been highly interested in Sencha recently, well, do they come here to visit?”

Takahiko Kato “Yes, they do. A group of Taiwanese visited us the other day.”

– “How did they come here?”

Takahiko Kato “They rented a car.”

– “That’s great. Sencha can expect more inbound demand.”

The people of Ashikubo Tea Works, especially the power of young people, play a central role in actively trying to enliven tea of Shizuoka. I can feel a breath of fresh air when the cafe Yamacha-kan serves delicious tea while energetically promoting themselves, such as their morning market on Sundays. Please enjoy delicious tea in full view of the large tea farm at Yamacha-kan which is fueled by the power of youth.

Thank you for reading the report of Yamacha-kan of Ashikubo Tea Works by our chief editor.

Yamacha-kan of Ashikubo Tea Works

Address 2082-2, Ashokubo-Kuchigumi, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, 421-2124, Japan
Website http://www.ashikuboteaworks.com/
Phone number +81 54-296-6700
E-money and credit cards
Open On weekdays, 9:30 to 16:00
On Sundays from August to March (morning market days), 8:00 to 11:00
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
Parking lot 30 cars (free)

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