Tohoku Caravan Day 1: Kickoff, Travel, Dairy Farm

Start of the Tohoku Tea Relief Caravan: Hanamaki – Morioka, Iwate Pref. 花巻~盛岡・岩手県~震災復興お茶キャラバン DONATE | PHOTOS | INFO | Read in Japanese Report Today was mostly a travel day. We arrived from the Kansai (west Japan) area via plane to Hanamaki Airport in Iwate Prefecture, and picked up a few volunteers including our overseas manager, […]

Karakuri Doll

Below  is a tea carrying doll designed in Edo period (19 century)
When you put a cup filled with tea on the the saucer,the doll carries tea to the guest.
When the guest accepts the tea cup ,the doll stops.
When the guest puts the vacant tea cup on the saucer,the doll comes back to you.

2011-09-10 Event: Tea Farmers & Radiation Discussion

Tea farmers in Japan, specifically Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Saitama, and the prefectures directly surrounding Fukushima where the nuclear power plant is located, have had their tea shipments stopped due to radiation contamination.

Founder Matsumoto Yasuharu will be speaking about the establishment and debut of this new non-profit organization amid the global focus on radiation contamination of tea leaves in Japan after the Tohoku Earthquake. Tea farmers from Minami Ashigara, one of the first regions discovered to have radiation contamination above government standards, will also be present to discuss their experience. The ITFA will also be serving tea from tea farms of various regions in Kyoto, Shizuoka, and Fukuoka as well as Taiwan via their Japan distributor.

Event Photos

We are very grateful to have had 15 people attend on location and 10 people via web streaming including several journalists. Thank you very much for listening to our explanations of the current situation regarding tea and efforts to reduce contamination levels. Much thanks also to the restaurant, Yasai Kichi, for providing the venue free of charge.

Yasuharu Matsumoto

World Tea Expo photos

Minako Uehara

Photos in this gallery were taken when visiting tea farmer Minako Uehara and Japan Agriculture officials in Minami Ashigara, where the very first tea shipments were ordered stopped due to radiation contamination. At the even Ms. Uehara spoke about her experience when the tea was first discovered to be radioactive.

Tetsuya Ishiwata

Director of the Kanagawa Prefectural JA Tea Center, Tetsuya Ishiwata, spoke about the efforts that government and research facilities have made to understand how the tea leaves were contaminated. The result of the research: tea leaves absorbed radioactive particles through the photosynthesis process in the leaves, not through roots in the soil. This means that the plants can be cleaned of radioactivity via cutting and disposal of the leaves.
20110910 PDFs

Wazuka’s Tea Field as World Heritage

Kyoto prefecture has started feasibility study to register Uji tea culture to World Heritage. Kyoto will inspect the cultural value of Uji tea’s history and manufacturing process, tea culture and landscape of tea field. Accordingly Wazuka town will enact an ordinance to maintain landscape this year.

Wazuka’s landscape in a stamp

On the top of a tea field hill near Obubu office is an old grave. This small and humble grave was made for a son of a famous Emperor Shoumu (A.D.701-756)

In front of the grave stands a notice board. It was put up by the Imperial Household Agency .

It says.

・Please do not enter here without permission!
・Please do not hunt any birds and animals!
・Please do not take away any plants!

As you know “Simple” is the key word to Japanese culture.

Tea Leaf Picking for Fun in Summer

Sunday, 2011.07.10 – Tea lovers visited Obubu’s tea field to enjoy tea leaf picking.

Some girls wear traditional costumes.

Everyone has a traditional basket.

Lunch is full of tea

・ Matcha Tofu(cheese like food made of curdled soybean milk)

・ Tea leaves Tsukudani (preservable food boiled down in soy sauce)

・ deep-fried tea leaves

・ and more

Lesson of traditional manufacturing process of tea leave….. Caldron roasted tea

Macha shaved ice will take you to heaven after the hot work.

This delicious syrup is made from matcha green tea powder.