Shirakawa is a village in Uji, Kyoto, home to the world heritage site Byodoin Phoenix Hall. This village, where two mountain streams flow towards the Uji River, is covered by a dense fog each morning.With shorter daylight hours and greater temperature fluctuations than flatter areas, Shirakawa Village has long been famous for its particularly fragrant tea and many tea fields still dot the area today. Our founder, Shojiro, planted our first tea tree here in Shirakawa approximately 300 years ago. Some say that we were originally a samurai family guarding the temple neighboring the tea fields, but just how our ancestors began planting tea themselves remains unclear. However, this tea farming business has been passed down from generation to generation, with the 14th and 15th generations still growing tea here today.
A pair of small, clear streams have enriched the Shirakawa soil since ancient times.
Hakusan Shrine stands on Mt. Shaba, visible from the tea farm.
This shrine built in 1146 still quietly watches over the people of Shirakawa.
watched over by the people of Shirakawa.
Today, only seven tea farms remain in Shirakawa, Uji, an area long renowned for its tea production. While modern-day conveniences mean customers can easily choose from a wide variety of beverages according to their mood, this convenient way of life presents new challenges for today’s tea farmers. But precisely because we live in times like these, I want more people to discover the countless unknown charms of tea.
I believe in this now more than ever.And so, I’m launching this new website to share information directly with our valued customers,
to convey the appeal of tea from a tea farmer’s point of view, and to ensure that those with an interest in our tea can easily purchase our products.
There are many different types of tea trees, and each one offers different flavors and aromas. Even within the same cultivar of tea tree, differences in soil and climate produce distinguishing characteristics. Consequently, even the same tea product may taste differently from one year to the next. I don’t think of these differences as inconsistencies, but rather as part of the tea’s character to be respected in the production process. I would be honored if you thought back to Shirakawa Village as you savor these differences and unique qualities in our teas.
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