Uji is the second-biggest tea-growing region in Japan (the largest is Shizuoka in the east of the country) and the area’s tea leaves have supplied Kyoto’s tea culture since the fourteenth century, when seeds brought over from China were first planted. It has become possible only quite recently to visit Uji’s tea fields and tea-processing factories, and the best time to do so is in May, when the first leaves of the season, later drunk as shin-cha (“new tea”), are being picked. Obubu Tea Plantations (wwww.obubutea.com) and Shohokuen (wwww.ujicha.com) are two growers which have recently started offering field and factory tours to tourists during the picking season; check their websites for details.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Japan features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

In search of the secret to long life in Nagano

In search of the secret to long life in Nagano

People in Nagano, Japan, live longer than virtually anywhere else on earth. But what’s the secret of this success? Our writer Shafik Meghji travelled across…

16 May 2018 • Shafik Meghji local_activity Special feature
Kyushu's living stories: exploring Japan's unsung corner

Kyushu's living stories: exploring Japan's unsung corner

This year Japan celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration – the event that returned the emperor to the throne, and set the country back on th…

09 May 2018 • Neil McQuillian local_activity Special feature
Revisiting Kyoto: why Japan’s cultural heart will win you over

Revisiting Kyoto: why Japan’s cultural heart will win you over

Kyoto hardly needs an introduction. In a country often associated with logic-defying bullet trains and kaleidoscopic mega cities, Japan’s former imperial capi…

08 May 2018 • Olivia Rawes insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right