Shizuoka Green Tea: Uncovering the Secrets of Japan's Tea Capital

Uncovering the secret to Shizuoka's green tea

Dotted with tea plantations across the prefecture, Shizuoka remains as one of Japan’s largest and most prestigious tea producing regions. | ©PhotoAC

Shizuoka (静岡), alongside Uji and Kagoshima, stands out as one of Japan’s premier green tea producing regions, responsible for around 40% of the nation’s annual commercial output. Renowned for its exceptional quality and diverse varieties, Shizuoka tea (静岡茶) collectively refers to green tea that are produced within the region. 

Having continuously cultivated and refined its flavours for centuries, Shizuoka produces exquisite green tea that is distinctively Japanese. What exactly sets Shizuoka tea apart and makes it so highly sought after?

 

History of Shizuoka Tea

Makinohara PlateauMakinohara Plateau, the area in Shizuoka that was first established as the leading tea-producing region during the late Edo Period. | ©PhotoAC

Before delving into the secrets behind Shizuoka tea, let’s first understand how tea production took root in this region. 

It is believed that tea cultivation in Shizuoka Prefecture started when Shoichi Kokushi, a monk from the mid-Kamakura period, brought tea seeds from the Song Dynasty to Suruga Province, now Shizuoka Prefecture, and began growing them. As a result, Shoichi Kokushi is regarded as the founder of Shizuoka tea, and his birthday, 1 November, is celebrated as Shizuoka Tea Day (静岡市お茶の日).

Since then, Shizuoka tea has undergone remarkable development. At the end of the Edo Period (1603–1868), displaced samurai began cultivating the Makinohara Plateau (牧之原台地) in midwestern Shizuoka, significantly boosting green tea production and establishing the area as Japan’s leading tea-producing region. The expansion of tea plantations led to a substantial increase in production across Shizuoka Prefecture. 

Towards the end of the 19th century, with the opening of Shimizu Port in 1899, Shizuoka started exporting tea overseas and improved distribution channels made Shizuoka tea accessible both domestically and internationally. 

The prefecture’s proximity to the Tokaido Highway and Yokohama Port also ensured stable production and shipments, solidifying Shizuoka’s reputation as a renowned tea-producing region.

 

So, What Makes Shizuoka Tea Exceptional?

Let’s take a look at the factors that contribute to the fine production of Shizuoka’s green tea.

 

Natural Environment and Favourable Climate

Snow-capped Mount FujiMount Fuji plays a crucial role in the provision of nutrient-rich topsoil which enhances the growth of the tea leaves in the surrounding plantations. | ©PhotoAC

Located just south of the majestic Mount Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture benefits from nutrient-rich volcanic soil, which fosters the growth of healthy green tea leaves. Additionally, the region is crisscrossed by rivers filled with fresh water, delivering mineral-rich sediment and a clean hydration source to the countless tea farms scattered throughout Shizuoka.

Situated in the Tokai Region, Shizuoka Prefecture enjoys a warm climate year-round, thanks to the Kuroshio current flowing through the Kumano and Enshu Seas, moderating the temperature, and making it an ideal environment for tea cultivation. 

The mountainous areas contribute to significant temperature variations, which can influence the flavour of the tea produced. In the warm coastal regions, tea tends to have an aromatic and refreshing taste. Conversely, in areas with larger temperature differences, tea bushes grow more slowly, undergoing photosynthesis during the day and resting in the cool night air. This process enhances the tea's rich flavour and sweetness. 

Additionally, in such regions where river mist is common, the mist blocks direct sunlight, promoting the growth of more chloroplasts and thereby intensifying the tea's flavour.

 

Methods of Cultivation

Separating tea that have been harvestedCultivation and harvesting methods used in Shizuoka are key factors in ensuring the production of high quality tea leaves. | ©PhotoAC

Besides the ideal climate, the cultivation and harvesting methods used in Shizuoka play a crucial part in the production of high quality green tea. Since becoming a renowned tea-producing region in the Meiji Period (1868–1912), Shizuoka tea has continually improved and upheld its quality and diversity, through centuries-old techniques developed by skilled craftsmen to suit the specific climate and characteristics of each area within the prefecture.

One such method is the tea shading process, traditionally using handmade rice straw canopies to shade the bushes before harvest, enhancing the umami-rich flavour of the tea. These straw screens are more effective at filtering light compared to the more commonly used black plastic netting. Additionally, the straw screens are sustainable, originating as a byproduct of rice grown locally and, when worn out, are repurposed as mulch to protect the base of the tea bushes during winter.

 

The mowing of semi-wild grasslands surrounding tea plantations.The mowing of semi-wild grasslands surrounding tea plantations. | ©PhotoAC

Another unique agricultural practice in the region is known as chagusaba nōhō (茶草場農法), which involves spreading grass, like silver grass or bamboo grass, harvested from the grasslands surrounding tea plantations. The grass is then dried and cut to be used as organic matter within the tea plantation. This technique is believed to enhance the flavour and aroma of the tea leaves. 

After harvesting, tea leaves undergo steaming, rolling, and drying to produce unrefined tea known as aracha (荒茶). By adjusting the degree of steaming and heating, the unrefined tea is transformed into fine tea. 

These manufacturing methods, such as hand-rolling and deep-steaming, which are now widely used, reflect the accumulated wisdom of past generations who had experimented ceaselessly in order to craft the delicious tea that we enjoy today.

 

Types of Shizuoka Tea

Yabukita teaYabukita is the most common cultivar in Shizuoka. | ©PhotoAC

The predominant tea bush variety in the region is known as yabukita (薮北), constituting 90% of Shizuoka tea production. It is renowned for its harmonious blend of sweetness, vegetal notes, and umami flavour, making it ideal for crafting sencha.

Developed in Shizuoka Prefecture in 1908 by tea farmer Hikosaburo Sugiyama, yabukita was selected for its ability to withstand frost, yield high quantities, and deliver excellent taste. This cultivar then became the most widely cultivated tea bush in Japan. The original yabukita bush, discovered over a century ago, still exists today and holds the status of a natural monument in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Though sencha (煎茶) reigns as Shizuoka's primary product, the region also cultivates and exports other teas like bancha (番茶), matcha (抹茶), and genmaicha (玄米茶), enjoyed not only across Japan but also globally.

Why not take the opportunity to sample some of Shizuoka's finest green tea while you're in the area? Let's have a look at three of them:

 

1. Kakegawa-cha

Tea fields in Kakegawa, ShizuokaA tea plantation in Kakegawa. | ©PhotoAC

In the city of Kakegawa (掛川), you'll find Kakegawa-cha (掛川茶), a type of fukamushi-sencha (深蒸し煎茶) which is a unique tea variety pioneered in the region and celebrated for its deep aroma, sweetness, and umami flavour, achieved through an extended steaming process lasting 2–3 times longer than typical sencha. This method was developed to mitigate the bitterness and astringency often associated with tea, resulting in a remarkably smooth and flavorful brew. 

Comprising 10% of Shizuoka's green tea production, Kakegawa-cha has clinched the Area Award in Japan's National Tea Competition for an impressive 23 consecutive years. Renowned for its sweet, full-bodied flavour, boasting deep umami and richness alongside an exceptionally smooth texture, the Kakegawa-cha offers an unforgettable aroma and refreshing finish that make it an exceptional choice for tea enthusiasts.

 

2. Honyama-cha

Abe River in HonyamaThe mineral-rich soil and enveloping fog of the Abe River supplies the tea leaves of Honyama-cha with exceptional nutrients. | ©PhotoAC

Located where Shoichi Kokushi is believed to have planted his first tea seeds, Honyama-cha (本山茶) thrives on the slopes in the upstream region of the Abe River (安倍川), boasting a history spanning over 800 years, making it the oldest tea in Shizuoka. Revered by Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first shogun to unify Japan, Honyama-cha's tea leaves flourish in the region's mineral-rich soil and the enveloping fog from the rivers.

Regarded as one of the “Three Great Teas of Japan”, Honyama-cha exudes an elegant aroma reminiscent of mountain scents. Its fresh, transparent colour harbours a robust and intricate flavour profile, truly embodying its mountainous heritage.

 

3. Kawane-cha

Oi River in Kawane, ShizuokaThe pristine waters of the Oi River and the high altitude mountains provide the ideal conditions for the cultivation of soft tea leaves which retain high water content. | ©PhotoAC

Known as the Darjeeling of Japan, Kawane-cha (川根茶) is among the highest grades of sencha produced in the country. Cultivated using the pristine water of the upper Oi River (大井川) and the pure air of the high-altitude mountainous region, this distinguished tea is crafted using the kawane momikiriryu (川根揉み切り流) technique, resulting in a lighter steamed sencha

Benefiting from the area's abundant precipitation, the soft tea leaves retain a high water content, and the use of the kawane momikiriryu technique thus maximises the tea leaves' potential by minimising steaming, heating, and rolling. 

Awarded the prestigious Tennouhai (天皇杯) Award in 1964, Kawane-cha remains a top-tier tea, renowned for its clear, mellow taste and fresh aroma reminiscent of dewdrops in the misty mountains.

 

Shizuoka: Home to Japan’s Finest Flavours

Tea plantation in ShizuokaDelivering the very best of Japan’s green tea, Shizuoka Prefecture stands proudly as Japan’s most revered tea-producing region. | ©PhotoAC

Stands as a bastion of Japan's illustrious tea culture, Shizuoka Prefecture offers a diverse array of teas that reflect centuries of expertise and innovation. From the revered Honyama-cha and the prestigious Kawane-cha, each variety embodies the region's rich heritage and commitment to excellence. With its ideal climate, fertile soil, and time-honoured techniques, Shizuoka continues to produce teas of unparalleled quality and flavour, cherished both domestically and internationally, inviting all to experience the exquisite taste and cultural significance of Japan's beloved beverage.

 

Matcha Snack Box by JAPAN RAIL CLUB

So Much Matcha Snack Box by JAPAN RAIL CLUB


While Japanese green tea is traditionally enjoyed as a beverage, did you know that it can also be savoured in the form of irresistible snacks and confectioneries?

This May 2024, JAPAN RAIL CLUB is offering an exclusive tea-themed snack box for all ocha lovers! From matcha-flavoured mochi and cookies to matcha-infused chocolates and candies, the So Much Matcha” Omiyage Snack Box is the gateway to all things taste-tea,  arriving just in time for the green season in Japan.

Ready to indulge in matcha? We gotcha! Kickstart your gastronomic journey with JAPAN RAIL CLUB as we introduce you to the yummy side of Japan. Here’s an exclusive promo code “MAYCHA15” that you can use to enjoy a 15% discount when you subscribe to our 12-month Snack Subcription Plan by 31 May 2024. Bon appe-tea-t!

Meet the author

Dawn Sim

An avid lover of nature, photography, and Japanese literature, you will find Dawn (@oyakodawn) either lost in the midst of a historical pilgrimage route or in any local book cafes from the north all the way to the south of Japan. Dawn has lived in Kyoto for a year and still can’t get enough of its cultural and historical richness - not to mention the hipster cafes that serve to satisfy their coffee addiction!

Hungry for more?

Get on track with our monthly offerings of exclusive snacks from all over Japan!

Find what you’re interested in

開心零食日!到日本必吃的6種零食
Sue Lynn

開心零食日!到日本必吃的6種零食

你或是你認識的人,應該有去日本旅行,然後帶回有塞滿半個行李箱日本零食的經驗——日本的零食真的很與眾不同!你知道日本有一個專門慶祝美味零食的日子嗎?

Carissa Loh Food

開心零食日!到日本必吃的6種零食

你或是你認識的人,應該有去日本旅行,然後帶回有塞滿半個行李箱日本零食的經驗——日本的零食真的很與眾不同!你知道日本有一個專門慶祝美味零食的日子嗎?

Happy Snack Day! 6 Must-Try Snacks When Visiting Japan
Sue Lynn

Happy Snack Day! 6 Must-Try Snacks When Visitin...

You or someone you know has probably had the experience of visiting Japan and coming back with half a suitcase full of snacks―Japanese snacks just hit different! Did you know...

Carissa Loh Food

Happy Snack Day! 6 Must-Try Snacks When Visitin...

You or someone you know has probably had the experience of visiting Japan and coming...

Tsuyu & Minazuki: A Guide to Japan's Rainy Season in The "Month of Water"
Sue Lynn

Tsuyu & Minazuki: A Guide to Japan's Rainy Seas...

With a higher amount of rainfall as compared to other months of the year, it is no wonder that June is called the “month of water”, or minazuki (水無月) in...

Dawn Sim Summer

Tsuyu & Minazuki: A Guide to Japan's Rainy Seas...

With a higher amount of rainfall as compared to other months of the year, it...

Yummy Yamagata: 4 Reasons Why You Should Visit Yamagata This Summer
Sue Lynn

Yummy Yamagata: 4 Reasons Why You Should Visit ...

If you’re looking for a summer destination in Japan, a good candidate to consider then would be Yamagata Prefecture in the Tohoku region. Summer is in fact the best time...

Hui Min Food

Yummy Yamagata: 4 Reasons Why You Should Visit ...

If you’re looking for a summer destination in Japan, a good candidate to consider then...

10 Fun Facts about the Yamagata Shinkansen to Celebrate the Debut of the E8 Series Trains
Sue Lynn

Hello E8 Series! 10 Fun Facts about the Yamagat...

To celebrate the debut of the new E8 series trains by JR East, here are 10 fun facts that you may not know about the Yamagata Shinkansen

Carissa Loh Travel

Hello E8 Series! 10 Fun Facts about the Yamagat...

To celebrate the debut of the new E8 series trains by JR East, here are...

Hydrangeas
Sue Lynn

Tsuyu in Japan: Must-Visit Spots for Hydrangeas...

Planning to visit Japan during the rainy months? Check out this guide to learn more about hydrangeas and the must-visit places to enjoy viewing hydrangeas in Japan. 

Wendy Ng Nature

Tsuyu in Japan: Must-Visit Spots for Hydrangeas...

Planning to visit Japan during the rainy months? Check out this guide to learn more...

美味山形: 6個必吃的山形美食
Sue Lynn

美味山形: 6個必吃的山形美食

在日本東北地區的山形縣,因四面環山,自然景觀優美,加上豐富的美食文化而聞名。而山形的美食,也因受了當地豐富的歷史文化和自然環境深遠的影響,形成了獨特的飲食風格。 在這篇文章中,讓我們來看看山形縣六道必嚐的美食佳餚。

Carissa Loh Food

美味山形: 6個必吃的山形美食

在日本東北地區的山形縣,因四面環山,自然景觀優美,加上豐富的美食文化而聞名。而山形的美食,也因受了當地豐富的歷史文化和自然環境深遠的影響,形成了獨特的飲食風格。 在這篇文章中,讓我們來看看山形縣六道必嚐的美食佳餚。

Yamagata Delights include Yonezawa Beef and Cherries
Sue Lynn

Yummy Yamagata: 6 Must-Try Yamagata Delicacies

Nestled in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku Region, and surrounded by mountains on all sides, Yamagata Prefecture (山形県) is renowned for its natural beauty and culinary heritage. Its local cuisine is deeply...

Carissa Loh Food

Yummy Yamagata: 6 Must-Try Yamagata Delicacies

Nestled in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku Region, and surrounded by mountains on all sides, Yamagata Prefecture...

來自日本 水果王國的優質水果
Sue Lynn

美味山形:來自日本水果王國的優質水果

當你在日本旅遊時,每個縣市都會有它們當地的季節性水果。而且幾乎每個縣都設有有其農業部門,專門培育且種植當地的代表性水果,而其中,山形縣更是水果盛產的主要地區。就讓我們來探索這個堪稱是日本的水果王國,山形,一起品嚐這裡著名的櫻桃、水梨、葡萄等的優質水果。

Wendy Ng Food

美味山形:來自日本水果王國的優質水果

當你在日本旅遊時,每個縣市都會有它們當地的季節性水果。而且幾乎每個縣都設有有其農業部門,專門培育且種植當地的代表性水果,而其中,山形縣更是水果盛產的主要地區。就讓我們來探索這個堪稱是日本的水果王國,山形,一起品嚐這裡著名的櫻桃、水梨、葡萄等的優質水果。

Yummy Yamagata Fruit Kingdom
Sue Lynn

Yummy Yamagata: Best Fruits to Try in Japan's F...

Japan is renowned for producing high quality and a rich variety of fruits. Blessed with four distinct seasons and abundant natural resources, fruits are cultivated and harvested seasonally based on...

Wendy Ng

Yummy Yamagata: Best Fruits to Try in Japan's F...

Japan is renowned for producing high quality and a rich variety of fruits. Blessed with...

Sakata Beika Maker's Story by JAPAN RAIL CLUB
Sue Lynn

Maker's Story: Rice Crackers from Yamagata by S...

When it comes to rice crackers from Yamagata, no other company does it better than Sakata Beika (酒田米菓)! Priding themselves with creating the best rice crackers made with non-glutinous domestic...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

Maker's Story: Rice Crackers from Yamagata by S...

When it comes to rice crackers from Yamagata, no other company does it better than...

Japan’s Culinary Wonder: Exploring the Delights of Konnyaku Jelly
Sue Lynn

Japan’s Culinary Wonder: Exploring the Delights...

If you visited a Japanese restaurant before, chances are you have encountered one of Japan’s unique culinary marvels known as konjac jelly or konnyaku (こんにゃく・コンニャク). Captivating food enthusiasts and health-conscious...

Snack Lover Food

Japan’s Culinary Wonder: Exploring the Delights...

If you visited a Japanese restaurant before, chances are you have encountered one of Japan’s...

The Art of Shinrin-yoku: Best Places to Experience Forest Bathing in Japan
Sue Lynn

The Art of Shinrin-yoku: Best Places to Experie...

Have you heard about Japan’s staggering number of national parks? With a total of 34 parks stretching from Hokkaido to Okinawa, Japan’s national parks are endowed with lush forests, dynamic...

Wendy Ng Nature

The Art of Shinrin-yoku: Best Places to Experie...

Have you heard about Japan’s staggering number of national parks? With a total of 34...

Uncovering the secret to Shizuoka's green tea
Sue Lynn

Shizuoka Green Tea: Uncovering the Secrets of J...

Having continuously cultivated and refined its flavours for centuries, Shizuoka produces exquisite green tea that is distinctively Japanese. What exactly sets Shizuoka tea apart and makes it so highly sought...

Dawn Sim

Shizuoka Green Tea: Uncovering the Secrets of J...

Having continuously cultivated and refined its flavours for centuries, Shizuoka produces exquisite green tea that...

Japanese matcha powder
Sue Lynn

So Much Matcha: The Many Ways to Enjoy Matcha

One of the most recognised flavours of Japan, matcha (抹茶) is a finely ground powder made with young tea leaves, characterised by its vibrant green colour that come from its...

Carissa Loh Culture

So Much Matcha: The Many Ways to Enjoy Matcha

One of the most recognised flavours of Japan, matcha (抹茶) is a finely ground powder...

Matcha
Sue Lynn

抹茶饗宴:探索抹茶的世界與日本頂尖抹茶產地

當我們提到日本,抹茶無疑的會被視為該國最具代表性的產品之一,但你知道抹茶的來源嗎?抹茶是由遮陽的環境下生長的綠茶茶葉,以石磨的方式加工成抹茶粉。並以其鮮豔的綠色、獨特的風味和多種健康益處而受到大家喜愛,也是長久以來一直讓日本人引以為傲的傳統。

Dawn Sim Culture

抹茶饗宴:探索抹茶的世界與日本頂尖抹茶產地

當我們提到日本,抹茶無疑的會被視為該國最具代表性的產品之一,但你知道抹茶的來源嗎?抹茶是由遮陽的環境下生長的綠茶茶葉,以石磨的方式加工成抹茶粉。並以其鮮豔的綠色、獨特的風味和多種健康益處而受到大家喜愛,也是長久以來一直讓日本人引以為傲的傳統。

Beyond beverages, matcha is also used in many other aspects of Japanese food, including Japanese wagashi and even in staples such as buckwheat noodles and mochi.
Sue Lynn

So Much Matcha: Exploring Matcha and The Top Ma...

Matcha, Japan’s most iconic green tea that has attained global popularity. | ©PhotoAC When you think of Japan, matcha (抹茶) or maccha inevitably comes to mind as one of the...

Dawn Sim Culture

So Much Matcha: Exploring Matcha and The Top Ma...

Matcha, Japan’s most iconic green tea that has attained global popularity. | ©PhotoAC When you...

抹茶饗宴:日本綠茶探索指南
Sue Lynn

抹茶饗宴:日本綠茶探索指南

你知道嗎?日本是世界第二大綠茶生產國,僅次於中國,而靜岡縣的茶就占全國生產量約40%。 一般來說,茶葉會經過蒸、揉和乾燥等過程來製作成飲用茶。採摘後的茶葉會被蒸熟以停止氧化,以保持茶葉的鮮綠色、營養和清新的香氣。

Carissa Loh

抹茶饗宴:日本綠茶探索指南

你知道嗎?日本是世界第二大綠茶生產國,僅次於中國,而靜岡縣的茶就占全國生產量約40%。 一般來說,茶葉會經過蒸、揉和乾燥等過程來製作成飲用茶。採摘後的茶葉會被蒸熟以停止氧化,以保持茶葉的鮮綠色、營養和清新的香氣。

So Much Matcha: An Essential Guide to Green Tea in Japan
Sue Lynn

So Much Matcha: An Essential Guide to Green Tea...

High in anti-oxidants and packed with anti-inflammatory properties, green tea (緑茶) is one of Japan’s most popular beverages and an important part of its culture, and can be found all...

Carissa Loh Culture

So Much Matcha: An Essential Guide to Green Tea...

High in anti-oxidants and packed with anti-inflammatory properties, green tea (緑茶) is one of Japan’s...

製茶故事:京都舞妓之茶本舖
Sue Lynn

製茶故事:京都舞妓之茶本舖

當提到日本的綠茶,大家都知道日本京都是茶文化的中心。 綠茶一開始是在西元9世紀,由幾個佛教僧侶從中國引進到日本的。在日本人的生活中,綠茶已經成為一種有著許多用途而且對人體健康的飲品。 作為日本文化的一部分,抹茶、煎茶和玉露等的綠茶品種也提供了多樣的口味選擇和體驗。例如傳統的日本茶道,不僅喝茶能帶來健康,茶道更成為了日本獨一無二的文化。

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

製茶故事:京都舞妓之茶本舖

當提到日本的綠茶,大家都知道日本京都是茶文化的中心。 綠茶一開始是在西元9世紀,由幾個佛教僧侶從中國引進到日本的。在日本人的生活中,綠茶已經成為一種有著許多用途而且對人體健康的飲品。 作為日本文化的一部分,抹茶、煎茶和玉露等的綠茶品種也提供了多樣的口味選擇和體驗。例如傳統的日本茶道,不僅喝茶能帶來健康,茶道更成為了日本獨一無二的文化。

Maker's Story: Gyokuro Tea from Kyoto by Maikonocha Honpo
Sue Lynn

Maker's Story: Gyokuro Tea from Kyoto by Maikon...

When it comes to green tea from Japan, Kyoto stands as the hub of tea culture. Originally introduced by returning Buddhist monks from their travels in China in the 9th...

Sue Lynn Food

Maker's Story: Gyokuro Tea from Kyoto by Maikon...

When it comes to green tea from Japan, Kyoto stands as the hub of tea...

Maker’s Story: Premium Matcha Products from Uji, Kyoto by Kyoeiseicha
Sue Lynn

Maker’s Story: Premium Matcha Products from Uji...

This May, JAPAN RAIL CLUB celebrates the joy that matcha brings to our lives with the special “So Much Matcha” Omiyage Snack Box. May marks the start of the traditional...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

Maker’s Story: Premium Matcha Products from Uji...

This May, JAPAN RAIL CLUB celebrates the joy that matcha brings to our lives with...

綠之日快樂!一起來探索日本新綠季節中五個不能錯過的景點
Sue Lynn

綠之日快樂!一起來探索日本新綠季節中五個不能錯過的景點

在日本眾多節慶與珍貴傳統之中,有一個特別關於自然崇敬的慶典——綠之日。這個國定假日訂於每年五月四日,見證了日本與自然的深厚連結,也提醒人們欣賞這個70%都是山區的島國上,那些美麗的綠色景觀。

Carissa Loh Culture

綠之日快樂!一起來探索日本新綠季節中五個不能錯過的景點

在日本眾多節慶與珍貴傳統之中,有一個特別關於自然崇敬的慶典——綠之日。這個國定假日訂於每年五月四日,見證了日本與自然的深厚連結,也提醒人們欣賞這個70%都是山區的島國上,那些美麗的綠色景觀。

Happy Greenery Day: 5 Must-Visit Places to Explore During Japan's Shinryoku Season
Sue Lynn

Happy Greenery Day: 5 Must-Visit Places to Expl...

Nestled amongst Japan’s vibrant festivities and cherished traditions lies a celebration rooted in reverence for nature―Midori-no-Hi (みどりの日 Greenery Day). Observed annually on 4 May, this national holiday is a testament...

Carissa Loh Culture

Happy Greenery Day: 5 Must-Visit Places to Expl...

Nestled amongst Japan’s vibrant festivities and cherished traditions lies a celebration rooted in reverence for...

Fresh From Hokkaido: A Guide to Sapporo Central Wholesale Market
Sue Lynn

Fresh From Hokkaido: A Guide to Sapporo Central...

Hokkaido is Japan’s food paradise as the northernmost part of the country is the top producer of agricultural products and seafood: the vast lands covering Japan’s second largest island and...

Wendy Ng

Fresh From Hokkaido: A Guide to Sapporo Central...

Hokkaido is Japan’s food paradise as the northernmost part of the country is the top...

Nihon Sankei (日本三景): The Three Scenic Views of Japan
Sue Lynn

Nihon Sankei (日本三景): The Three Scenic Views of ...

Japan is an island nation that has always been known for its stunningly beautiful landscapes but even amongst these, there are three locations that rise above the others and are...

Dawn Sim Nature

Nihon Sankei (日本三景): The Three Scenic Views of ...

Japan is an island nation that has always been known for its stunningly beautiful landscapes...

Japan celebrates Golden Week between April 29 to May 5
Sue Lynn

Golden Week: Exploring Japan's Week-Long Festiv...

What is Golden Week? Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク or 黄金週間 Ogon Shukan), recognised as one of Japan's most prominent and bustling holiday periods, usually spans from late April to early May...

Dawn Sim Culture

Golden Week: Exploring Japan's Week-Long Festiv...

What is Golden Week? Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク or 黄金週間 Ogon Shukan), recognised as one of...

春暖花開:櫻花之外的六種當季花卉
Sue Lynn

春暖花開:櫻花之外的六種當季花卉

賞花的樂趣之一,就是它們轉瞬即逝的特性:花期每季只有幾天,但那短暫幾天卻難忘極了。來看看六種春天當季花卉,以及賞花最佳時機!

Carissa Loh Nature

春暖花開:櫻花之外的六種當季花卉

賞花的樂趣之一,就是它們轉瞬即逝的特性:花期每季只有幾天,但那短暫幾天卻難忘極了。來看看六種春天當季花卉,以及賞花最佳時機!

Spring Beginnings: 6 Seasonal Flowers Other Than Sakura
Sue Lynn

Spring Beginnings: 6 Seasonal Flowers Other Tha...

Flowers herald the beginning of spring, and in Japan, no flower is more synonymous with spring than the beloved cherry blossom (桜 sakura). However, other than these pretty, pink blossoms,...

Carissa Loh Nature

Spring Beginnings: 6 Seasonal Flowers Other Tha...

Flowers herald the beginning of spring, and in Japan, no flower is more synonymous with...

Spring Beginnings: 7 Things to Do in Japan in April and May
Sue Lynn

Spring Beginnings: 7 Things to Do in Japan in A...

Cherry blossoms, or sakura, are flowers symbolic of spring, often alluded to the promise of a new beginning in many Japanese literature. | Photo by Dawn Sim   A symbol...

Dawn Sim Spring

Spring Beginnings: 7 Things to Do in Japan in A...

Cherry blossoms, or sakura, are flowers symbolic of spring, often alluded to the promise of...

Spring Beginnings: 6 Must-Try Spring Foods in Japan
Sue Lynn

Spring Beginnings: 6 Must-Try Spring Foods in J...

Spring in Japan is a time for celebration as the season marks new beginnings. Other than the mesmerising cherry blossoms painting the landscape, spring is the best season to experience...

Wendy Ng Food

Spring Beginnings: 6 Must-Try Spring Foods in J...

Spring in Japan is a time for celebration as the season marks new beginnings. Other...

Spring Beginnings: 6 Must-Visit Spring Festivals in Japan
Sue Lynn

Spring Beginnings: 6 Must-Visit Spring Festival...

Photo by cyesuta (CC BY-SA 2.0)   Spring is a season of new beginnings, bringing with it beautiful flowers, comfortable temperatures, and a time of celebration. While most travellers head...

Carissa Loh Festival

Spring Beginnings: 6 Must-Visit Spring Festival...

Photo by cyesuta (CC BY-SA 2.0)   Spring is a season of new beginnings, bringing...

Castle Day (6 April): 10 Must-Visit Castles in Japan
Sue Lynn

Castle Day (6 April): 10 Must-Visit Castles in ...

Matsue Castle in spring. | Photo by 島根県観光連盟 Japan, a nation celebrated for its rich history and enduring cultural heritage, is particularly famous for its magnificent Japanese castles (お城 oshiro)....

Carissa Loh Culture

Castle Day (6 April): 10 Must-Visit Castles in ...

Matsue Castle in spring. | Photo by 島根県観光連盟 Japan, a nation celebrated for its rich...

Sakura Karinto and Marui Suzuki
Sue Lynn

Maker’s Story: Seasonal Karinto Snacks from Tok...

April marks the official arrival of spring in Japan, and one of the cherished traditions of celebrating this season is to enjoy “ohanami” (お花見)! Ohanami means “flower-viewing”, and this is...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

Maker’s Story: Seasonal Karinto Snacks from Tok...

April marks the official arrival of spring in Japan, and one of the cherished traditions...

A Guide to Sakura in Tohoku: Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Northeast Japan
Sue Lynn

A Guide to Sakura in Tohoku: Best Cherry Blosso...

Hirosaki Castle Park | Photo by Aomori Prefecture Cherry blossoms or sakura (桜) herald the start of springtime in Japan. Spring is the prettiest and most enjoyable season with radiant...

Wendy Ng Spring

A Guide to Sakura in Tohoku: Best Cherry Blosso...

Hirosaki Castle Park | Photo by Aomori Prefecture Cherry blossoms or sakura (桜) herald the...

A Guide to Japanese Shochu: A Tasting Tour of Shochu Distilleries in Miyazaki
Sue Lynn

A Guide to Japanese Shochu: A Tasting Tour of S...

Shochu (焼酎) is one of the most consumed alcoholic beverages in Japan and the Japanese drink more shochu than sake. Considered to be Japan's national spirit, Shochu is gaining great...

Wendy Ng

A Guide to Japanese Shochu: A Tasting Tour of S...

Shochu (焼酎) is one of the most consumed alcoholic beverages in Japan and the Japanese...

Tohoku: A Tale of Tradition through its Cultural Icons
Sue Lynn

Tohoku: A Tale of Tradition through its Cultura...

Statues of the Namahage located in Oga Peninsula. | Photo by PhotoAC Steeped in tradition, Tohoku (東北), the northeastern part of Japan comprising of six prefectures – Aomori (青森), Akita...

Dawn Sim Culture

Tohoku: A Tale of Tradition through its Cultura...

Statues of the Namahage located in Oga Peninsula. | Photo by PhotoAC Steeped in tradition,...

Tasty Tohoku Treats: 6 Must-Try Food from Northeast Japan
Sue Lynn

Tasty Tohoku Treats: 6 Must-Try Food from North...

Japan is a food paradise and beyond the major cities and well-trodden travel routes, you can unearth more culinary treasures spread throughout the country if you venture into the less...

Wendy Ng Food

Tasty Tohoku Treats: 6 Must-Try Food from North...

Japan is a food paradise and beyond the major cities and well-trodden travel routes, you...

Sakura 2024: 5 Must-Visit Cherry Blossom Spots in Tokyo for Ohanami
Sue Lynn

Sakura 2024: 5 Must-Visit Cherry Blossom Spots ...

If you have visited Tokyo between late March and early April, then chances are you have witnessed the enchanting sight of cherry blossoms (桜 sakura) in full bloom. A cherry...

Carissa Loh Culture

Sakura 2024: 5 Must-Visit Cherry Blossom Spots ...

If you have visited Tokyo between late March and early April, then chances are you...

Tasty Tohoku Treats: 6 Must-Buy Souvenirs from Tohoku
Sue Lynn

Tasty Tohoku Treats: 6 Must-Buy Souvenirs from ...

Located on the north-eastern part of mainland Japan, Tohoku (東北) is made up of six prefectures, and is a treasure trove of beautiful nature and fascinating history. It’s a wonderful...

Carissa Loh Food

Tasty Tohoku Treats: 6 Must-Buy Souvenirs from ...

Located on the north-eastern part of mainland Japan, Tohoku (東北) is made up of six...

Omiyage Day (8 March): Exploring Japan's Souvenir & Gift-Giving Culture
Sue Lynn

Omiyage Day (8 March): Exploring Japan's Souven...

Have you heard of omiyage (お土産)? If you’ve been to Japan, then you have probably seen the colourful and beautifully packaged boxes of local confectionery filling the gift shops along...

Carissa Loh Culture

Omiyage Day (8 March): Exploring Japan's Souven...

Have you heard of omiyage (お土産)? If you’ve been to Japan, then you have probably...

March Maker's Story: Hand-grilled Rice Crackers from Akita by Kanaeya
Sue Lynn

March Maker's Story: Hand-grilled Rice Crackers...

The Tohoku Region is home to some of Japan’s best untouched nature. Take Akita as an example, a prefecture where lush landscapes meet premium rice fields. Renowned for its exceptional...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

March Maker's Story: Hand-grilled Rice Crackers...

The Tohoku Region is home to some of Japan’s best untouched nature. Take Akita as...

March Maker’s Story: Obuse Chestnut Snacks from Takachiho (Winner of JR East Omiyage Grand Prix 2023 - Koshin’etsu Area Prize)
Sue Lynn

March Maker’s Story: Obuse Chestnut Snacks from...

If you have been to Japan, you will understand the universal struggle of finding the perfect souvenir or omiyage (お土産) to bring home for your loved ones and colleagues. While...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

March Maker’s Story: Obuse Chestnut Snacks from...

If you have been to Japan, you will understand the universal struggle of finding the...

Hina Matsuri (3 March): Japan’s Spring Festival Celebrating Girls’ Day
Sue Lynn

Hina Matsuri (3 March): Japan’s Spring Festival...

Displaying exquisitely made hina-ningyo dressed in traditional Heian attire is the main activity associated with the Hina Matsuri | ©photoAC Have you ever heard of Japan’s Hina Matsuri (雛祭)? Otherwise known...

Dawn Sim Culture

Hina Matsuri (3 March): Japan’s Spring Festival...

Displaying exquisitely made hina-ningyo dressed in traditional Heian attire is the main activity associated with the...

Inspired by Izu: Exploring Izu Peninsula Through The Eyes of Japanese Writers
Sue Lynn

Inspired by Izu: Exploring Izu Peninsula Throug...

If you are a fan of Japanese literature, take a walk in the footsteps of literary giants and look no further than Izu Peninsula (伊豆半島), which lies just about 1-2...

Dawn Sim Travel

Inspired by Izu: Exploring Izu Peninsula Throug...

If you are a fan of Japanese literature, take a walk in the footsteps of...

Mount Fuji with tea plantation in the foreground
Sue Lynn

Mount Fuji Day (23 February): 5 Ways to Enjoy J...

Standing at 3,776m above sea level, the almost perfectly symmetrical Mount Fuji (富士山 Fujisan) is Japan’s highest mountain, and has become a symbol of the country, recognised worldwide for its...

Carissa Loh Travel

Mount Fuji Day (23 February): 5 Ways to Enjoy J...

Standing at 3,776m above sea level, the almost perfectly symmetrical Mount Fuji (富士山 Fujisan) is...

Happy Cat Day (22 February): 5 Cat Islands in Japan to Meet Feline Friends
Sue Lynn

Happy Cat Day (22 February): 5 Cat Islands in J...

Are you a cat (猫 neko) lover? If you’ve been to Japan, you might have noticed how beloved cats are over there. Think maneki-neko (招き猫) cat figurines that beckon luck,...

Carissa Loh Culture

Happy Cat Day (22 February): 5 Cat Islands in J...

Are you a cat (猫 neko) lover? If you’ve been to Japan, you might have...

In the Mood for Love: Romancing on Valentine’s Day in Japan
Sue Lynn

In the Mood for Love: Romancing on Valentine’s ...

Love is in the air in February with Valentine’s Day! On 14 February, Valentine’s Day is universally celebrated across the globe where presents like chocolates, candies, and flowers are gifted...

Wendy Ng Culture

In the Mood for Love: Romancing on Valentine’s ...

Love is in the air in February with Valentine’s Day! On 14 February, Valentine’s Day...

Romance Izu in the Air: 5 Romantic Spots in the Izu Peninsula
Sue Lynn

Romance Izu in the Air: 5 Romantic Spots in the...

With so many captivating attractions, you can spend days exploring the Izu Peninsula with your loved one, but where to start? Here are our top five picks for romantic dating...

Carissa Loh Travel

Romance Izu in the Air: 5 Romantic Spots in the...

With so many captivating attractions, you can spend days exploring the Izu Peninsula with your...

A Side Trip to Saitama: Discovering “Little Edo”, Cafes, and the Railway Museum
Sue Lynn

A Side Trip to Saitama: Discovering “Little Edo...

Located just about half an hour north of Central Tokyo, Ōmiya Station (大宮駅 Ōmiya-eki) is the gateway to the neighbouring Saitama Prefecture (埼玉県). It is also a stop on more...

JAPANKURU Travel

A Side Trip to Saitama: Discovering “Little Edo...

Located just about half an hour north of Central Tokyo, Ōmiya Station (大宮駅 Ōmiya-eki) is...