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Sakura-no-En Tea Farm

An organic tea farm in Minamata City, Kumamoto

In 2013 I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to travel to Japan on a tea research tour, and become fully immersed in Japanese tea culture. We visited an eight-acre tea farm 'Sakura no En' in Minamata City, in Kumamoto prefecture, run by Matsumoto-san and his wife. All the tea is farmed organically with no pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer or manure, and their trees are around ninety years old. We were welcomed like old friends, and drank cups and cups of their delicious teas whilst sitting under the kotatsu, eating home-made cake and green tea curry. Matsumoto-san showed us round his factory, drove us high up into the mountains to view all of his tea fields, took us to a local bakery where his tea is served, then drove us back to the station, stopping on the way to buy us traditional hot cakes to eat.

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