Tea-picking in the Birthplace of Matcha
My relatives recently went on tea picking via Airbnb in the countryside of Kyoto, Wazuka. That area has been producing tea for over 1000 years which is around the same time as the introduction of tea to Japan itself.
Published April 7th 2018 on the former blog
My relatives recently went on tea picking / hiking experience via Airbnb in the countryside of Kyoto, Wazuka. That area has been producing tea for over 1000 years which is around the same time as the introduction of tea to Japan itself. You’d often hear about how the tea culture originated in Uji, Kyoto but I didn’t know that 40% of the famous Uji-cha (cha means tea in Japanese) is made in Wazuka.
As many of the crafts in Japan, farming as an industry is facing many challenges. It is hard for many of them to keep themselves financially sustainable and to find successors. You’ll find many farmers to be over 60+ years old still doing physically demanding tasks every day. Daiki Tanaka, who is hosting the Airbnb experience has moved to Wazuka a few years ago and is putting all of his energy into revitalizing the community. His main business is d:matcha where he farms tea (non-organic and organic) and produces many types of teas. He also recently opened a retail space / cafe that has gotten excellent rating on Tripadvisor.
Did you know that you can make all kinds of tea ranging from green to black tea from the same tea leaves? On their website they explain that and many more interesting things about what tea is made of. They also tell their own story, introduce the region, the farm and the team and have a lot more wonderful content on their website. Check it out for yourself!
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STORIES BEHIND THE PIECES
Kiyoko Matsuoka, 4th-generation shibori master
Shibori, meaning “to wring, squeeze or press” is the process of shaping cloth before dyeing to create various designs on the textile. Rather than using the cloth as a two dimensional surface, the Shibori textile has a three dimensional element, given that each technique requires years of experience to master.
Hiromichi Nakade, Maker of Oryoki Bowls
Meet Hiromichi Nakade and Kazuya Fujimoto, the makers of the Oryoki and Kodaiwan bowls. A master craftsman sits with his former apprentice to speak about their hope for the declining crafts industry in Japan, as well as the appeal of craftsmanship.