About 800 years ago, Zen monk Eisai brought tea seeds back from China (Sung dynasty) and shared them with Myoe Shonin (Saint Myoe) at Kozan-ji Temple in Toganoo, Kyoto, who planted the seeds in Toganoo area. Later, some of the tea plants in Toganoo were transplanted in Obakusan Manpuku-ji Temple in Uji, Kyoto. This is said to be the beginning of Uji-cha.Our company has been dedicated to hand down the teachings of tea-culture founder and to take care of the oldest tea garden in Japan at Kozan-ji Temple in Toganoo, Kyoto for sixteen generations of Tea Masters all succeeding the names either Yoshida Kisaburo, Yoshida Rikizo, or Yoshida Riichi. As one of the oldest tea producers, we spare no effort in improving the quality of tea, as well as contribute to the development of the entire Uji-cha industry.
In addition, we participate in National Tea Fair and Kansai Tea Fair and have won a prize at every fair. We are proud to say that we have won Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Prize, which is the best prize, for 20 times including the one we won when the fair was first held. We hope you will enjoy our Uji-cha, which is grown in carefully manuring-controlled tea garden and processed with supreme skill.
Tea cultivation using Honzu (designated officially as Japan Heritage)
The unique feature of tea cultivation in Uji is the use of cover on tea plants. Covering tea plants and protecting them from the sunshine makes the tea less bitter and more rich.Tea cultivation using the cover is the tradition of Uji-cha, which has been held since the Muromachi Era (14th to 16th Century) to produce Gyokuro (refined green tea) and Tencha (unground Matcha green tea). In our tea garden, we use Honzu cover, a screen made of reed with rice straws spread on it.
Kozan-ji Temple and the oldest tea garden in Japan
We can find the origin of uninterrupted history of Uji-cha in Kozan-ji Temple.Long time ago, Zen monk Eisai brought tea seeds back from China and shared them with Myoe Shonin (Saint Myoe), the founder of Kozan-ji Temple. Myoe Shonin then planted the seeds in Toganoo area in Kyoto.Myoe Shonin transplanted the tea trees in other areas, including Uji, to spread the benefits of drinking tea. Due to the favorable geographical condition and effort of the people, tea grown in Uji became a synonym for the Japanese tea.We have been dedicated to hand down the teachings of tea-culture founder and to take care of the oldest tea garden in Japan at Kozan-ji Temple, and we make every effort in improving the quality of tea.* We are assigned to take care of the oldest tea garden in Japan at Kozan-ji Temple ever since the generation of our 14th Tea Master, Yoshida Kisaburo.
Hand-kneaded tea: The traditional process of making Uji-cha
Nagatani Soen invented the process to make green tea in 1738, when processed tea leaves were usually more brownish.This green tea was more glossy and clear in appearance and richer in aroma than the brown tea, and got a favorable reception throughout the country.After improvement made by many of his followers, the hand-kneading process of Uji-cha was perfected.The hand-kneading process of Uji-cha was spread among tea-growing areas in Japan. Many different hand-kneading techniques used to produce tea in Japan supposedly have their origin in the process invented in Uji.Our 14th Tea Master, Yoshida Kisaburo followed this hand-kneading technique accurately, and then improved it to produce Gyokuro in higher quality.Uji Tea-production Techniques Preservation Association was established on March 3, 1969, and he hand-kneading technique of our 14th Tea Master, Yoshida Kisaburo was certified as an intangible cultural property in 1970.And we continue in an effort to carry on the traditional techniques to the future generations.