Project to connect many beautiful tea farms in Shizuoka for local development

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Top > Tea farm map > Setonoya and Asahina, Fujieda city

Setonoya and Asahina, Fujieda city

Fujieda is a major tea-producing city in Shizuoka Prefecture. Of particular note are the Setonoya area, home to a gigantic tea bush, and the Asahina area. The latter is one of Japan’s three largest production regions for gyokuro, which is a type of green tea made by blocking out sunlight, a process done here with bales of straw.

A Tea Break in the Mountains

Scenic spots
 Tohei Maejima
Tohei Maejima (The specialist of gyokuro)

Gyokuro field and wooded deck

 The first stop on my tea tour was the Asahina neighborhood of Fujieda, a region with a particular emphasis on gyokuro. I was greeted by Tohei Maejima, ahighly-respected tea farmer who operates a museum showcasing the local tea culture. After receiving a general briefing of tea farming in the area, I went with Mr.Maejima to a wooden deck on top of a large hill overlooking an uninterrupted panorama of tea fields. The only thing missing from the lovely rustic setting—thescent of fresh mountain air, the ubiquitous greenery of mountains and tea gardens, the children playing at the bottom of the valley—was a table to sit atand a cup of tea to sip. In fact, according to Mr. Maejima, the deck isavailable for just that at certain times of the year, and is unsurprisingly quite popular with visitors. I made a mental note to myself to come back here for that exact purpose.

(Steven Pelcovits, Coordinator for International Relations, Shizuoka pref.)

Great tea bush
Great tea bush
Inside the bush

Map of Great tea bush in Fujieda

Viewing Tea from the Inside Out

Relaxation recreationScenic spots

 Following that refreshing whiff of Fujieda tea culture, I next set my sights on the city’s Okubo neighborhood. Driving down a rural path, I noticed a large sign proclaiming the location of “the Great Tea Bush.” As I pulled over and turned my attention to the spot indicated by the sign’s arrow, I realized that  the name wasn’t an exaggeration: at 4 meters (13 feet) in height and a whopping 34meters (111 feet) around, what lay before my eyes was no mere shrub. The  couple that owned the property, the Hiraguchis, came up to welcome me and regale me with the landmark’s fascinating three-hundred-year history. As interesting as that was, though, the kicker was when Mr. Hiraguchi invited me to go inside the bush! I followed him through the thickets and into the plant’s somewhat hollow center, where I was surrounded on all sides by a dense canopy of branches. Talk about getting up close and personal with tea! That was, indeed, an unforgettable experience.
(Steven Pelcovits, Coordinator for International Relations, Shizuoka pref.)

Shizuoka Prefectural Government Regional Agriculture Division Economy and Industry Department
〒422-8061 静岡市葵区追手町9-6 TEL:054-221-2689 FAX:054-273-1123