Do you love Japanese tea? Do you want to become a tea expert or do business in the tea industry? Then the Shizuoka Tea Study program is for you.
This short-term program in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan’s leading producer of quality tea, will give you an in-depth, hands-on experience of every step of the tea-making process, from harvesting leaves to producing tea. Learning from the pros, you’ll get a step closer to becoming a tea expert yourself.
Participants who complete the program will receive a diploma. The compulsory study contents below must be comppleted to fulfill the requirements for a diploma.
• Shizuoka tea briefing and preparation practice. Organizer: World Green Tea Association
• Tea cultivation; Japanese tea and Shizuoka tea history, industry and funcationality; crude tea process; finishing process; tea evaluation methods. Organizer: Host tea companies
The program will run for a total of five days or more. Study period and accommodations vary by host.
Eligible participants: Non-Japanese tea business operators or persons who wish to start a Japanese tea business; non-Japanese tea aficionados with a social influence; bloggers enthusiastic about writing informational posts on Japanese tea.
For more details, visit: www.o-cha.net/english/shizuoka-tea-study-program/
Host Tea Companies
Osada Seicha Co. Ltd. The town of Morimachi, in northwestern Shizuoka Prefecture, flourished in the premodern Edo period as a hub of tea distribution second only to Shizuoka City. Based here, Osada Seicha has partnered with producers of organic tea in neighboring Harunocho for more than 30 years. The company also owns a tencha tea farm, where participants are invited to practice management. The finishing factory, commissioned in 2019, is fitted with the latest equipment, and comes complete with a retail department nearby.
Maruyama Tea Products Corporation. Artisanal skills cultivated since the company’s founding in 1933 to make delicious tea in the lush nature and mild climate of Kakegawa, and the innovative spirit to constantly take bold action with an eye to the future — pursuing these contradictory goals at once, Maruyama Tea Products translates the tradition and culture of Japanese tea into the present. It operates a dedicated overseas department and has received trainees from abroad.
Sanwa Co. Ltd. Sanwa obtained FSSC 22000 certification in 2018 in order to deliver safe products to customers outside Japan. The company invites study program participants to see its new factory equipment and management structure adapted to the times, observe its traditional firing and drying process, and tour a crude tea factory and experience tea farm management in the heart of Honyamacha production in Shizuoka City.
Marumatsu Tea Co. Ltd. At Marumatsu, a tea master selects tea leaves to be purchased from over hundreds of growers throughout Japan. Seasoned craftsmen then perform finishing and firing processes suitable for each tea leaf, before packaging the final product and completing production. In 2015, the company opened the Japanese tea café San Grams, serving 18 varieties of tea leaf at all times including single-origin tea leaves from distinctive growers, centering on Kikugawa City’s specialty fukamushicha, and teas from around the world. Staff members prepare each cup of tea using a method suited to the leaf, and serve it with care accompanied by a description.
Matcha Organic Japan. Matcha Organic Japan’s tea farm, spreading across the mountain district, practices all organic farming. The company’s philosophy is to deliver delicious organic matcha and make people smile around the world, its mission to handle all processes from cultivation to distribution and build a business model of sustainable farming. It organizes hands-on farm work events, operates a matcha cafe, and creates other opportunities to enjoy tea with customers.
Kanei Hitokoto Seicha Inc. Founded in 1865, Kanei Hitokoto Seicha is an established tea manufacturer based in Shimada City, home to the Makinohara Plateau, the largest tea farming region in Japan. The company is strong in tea OEM services and manufactures products for Japanese general merchandise stores (GMS) such as Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd. and major supermarkets. Having expanded its market abroad about four years ago, at present it exports mainly to the U.S. and Taiwan.