Map of Japan

Japan

Wikipedia: Japan | Official Government Website: www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/index-e.html 
Updated: Oct. 23, 2017 

Browse Teas From Japan (442) - Read Reviews (195)

Table of contents:
About Japan | Tea-Producing Regions of Japan | Styles of Tea Produced in Japan | Best (Top-Rated) Japanese Teas

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About Japan

Clickable map of Japan; regions producing tea are highlighted in green.
Japan, known in Japanese as Nippon(日本国) (the official name) or Nihon(日本) (a more casual name), both written 日本, is a major tea-producing and consuming region, especially of green tea. Japan is in the top 10 tea-producing countries in the world. Tea plays an integral role in Japanese culture. Japan exports a relatively small portion of its tea; in 2006 it was the 8th largest producer but exported less than 2% of its production.[1]

In Japan, most tea consumed is green tea, and in Japanese culture, tea is usually synonymous with green tea. Furthermore, most Japanese green teas (with the notable exceptions of kamairicha and mushi-guricha) are steamed, rather than pan-fired in the style of most green teas from China. In spite of largely being limited to steamed green teas, Japanese tea culture is astonishingly diverse; many innovative styles of green tea originated in Japan, and most of these styles are still produced primarily in Japan.

The basic Japanese green tea is called bancha. Less common, but more well-known in the west, is sencha. While some Japanese green teas resemble varieties of green tea produced in other countries, such as China, many of them, such as genmaicha or brown-rice tea or hojicha are unique and unlike any other teas.

Mariko (maruko) tea plantation (in Shizuoka). Photo by No, Licensed under CC BY 2.1 (jp)
Tea is produced in a number of different regions of Japan, generally limited by climate. Japan's climate is humid, and ranges from cool and temperate in the north to subtropical in the south. The climate is moderated by the ocean, and the seasonal monsoon pattern of rainfall is weaker in Japan than on mainland China.

Three of the four major islands of Japan, Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū, grow tea; the northern parts of Honshū, and the major island, Hokkaidō, are located too far north and are too cold to produce tea commercially. Small amounts of tea are also produced in some of the smaller outlying islands of Japan, which extend quite far to the south. According to ITO EN, a major Japanese tea company, the three largest tea-producing prefectures are, in order, Shizuoka, Kagoshima, and Mie.[2]

1. Sanne van der Wal, Sustainability Issues in the Tea Sector (PDF), Stichting Onderzoek Multinationale Ondernemingen, Amsterdam, June 2008.

2. Tea-Growing Regions | ITO EN LTD., Retrieved Feb, 26, 2010, now available only on archive.org.


Tea-Producing Regions of Japan

Styles of Tea Produced in Japan

This is a selection, not an exhaustive listing, of the styles of tea most commonly produced in Japan.

Best Japanese Teas

The notion of the "best" Japanese teas is subjective, because different people have different tastes. We present the most often-rated and highest-rated teas produced in Japan, and allow you to draw your own conclusions.

Most Often-Rated Teas

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Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea

Brand:Teavana
Style:Gyokuro
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
80
6 Ratings
Picture of Hoji-cha, Roasted Green Tea (Loose)

Hoji-cha, Roasted Green Tea (Loose)

Brand:Yamamotoyama
Style:Hojicha
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
53
6 Ratings
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Top Leaf™ Green Tea

Brand:Mellow Monk
Style:Sencha
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
65
5 Ratings
Picture of Sencha (Sen-cha), Loose-leaf

Sencha (Sen-cha), Loose-leaf

Brand:Yamamotoyama
Style:Sencha
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
44
5 Ratings
Picture of Roasted Tea Hoji-cha (16 ct.)

Roasted Tea Hoji-cha (16 ct.)

Brand:Yamamotoyama
Style:Hojicha
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
60
5 Ratings

Top-Rated Japanese Teas

Picture of Hojicha

Hojicha

Brand:Adagio Teas
Style:Hojicha
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
83
3 Ratings
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Kukicha

Brand:Adagio Teas
Style:Kukicha
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
82
3 Ratings
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Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea

Brand:Teavana
Style:Gyokuro
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
80
6 Ratings
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Sencha Overture

Brand:Adagio Teas
Style:Sencha
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
73
4 Ratings
Picture of Genmai Cha

Genmai Cha

Brand:Adagio Teas
Style:Genmaicha
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
69
3 Ratings

Browse All Japanese Teas (442)

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