Nukumori-en Yururi is not only a place of respite but also one of unique experiences.
Found in the heart of the Shimizu Region (one of Japan's best Green Tea regions), it is setup to both house guests in a Farmstay-like accommodation (short/long-term), in addition to being able to go Green Tea picking yourself and enjoy the fruits of your labor with a hosted tea ceremony.
When I first went tea picking, I learnt that the tea plant for green tea and the tea plant for black tea are essentially the same plant (slight variations). The difference between green tea and black tea was in the processing of the tea after picking (oxidization, steaming, drying, etc). At Nukumori-en Yururi, something rather unique was the demonstrated process of extracting the green tea from the leaves using ice! I always imagined that the extraction process required hot water, never did I imagine one could do it with ice!
The host, Nishiyama-san, was a delight, and always welcoming of guests from abroad with an infectious smile. Sharing her ice-extracted Matcha, her hand-made sweets, local customs, life stories that could fill libraries, and her comforting traditional home.
The accommodation itself was extremely relaxing. A traditional Japanese home, simple, elegant and warming. Being nestled in the midst of a working plantation gifted an extra level of beauty rarely found elsewhere. Any tea-loving enthusiast would thoroughly enjoy themselves here, whether a day-trip, an overnight stay, or a longer respite.
For the tea picking experience, you get to don the traditional attire of the region, and head out to the fields. It's a task for those with keen eyes, finding the right age/size of leaves to pick, without trimming the plant too much to allow for future growth.
Looking out from the bedroom over the tea plantations with the Green Tea scented mountain breeze, relaxing here is the easy part, leaving is the hard part.
Access is really only by car, however you can get a local taxi from Okitsu Station (JR Tokaido Line), which would take about 20mins.
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