Superior Japanese Green Tea

Guidance Story Characters 1st story 2nd story 3rd story 4th story 5th story 6th story


1st Story
Let's go to Maikonocha
2nd Story
Tea Picking
3rd Story
Tea Processing
4th Story
Tea Varieties
5th Story
Serving Tea
6th Story
Tea and Health

Chie Yamada, Yui Miura, Markley Patricia

Two types of tea fields: Roten-en (Exposed to sunlight / Open-air fields) and the Ooishita-en (Shaded from sunlight / Covered fields)
1. Roten-en (Exposed to sunlight / Open-air fields)

This type of open-air field is fully exposed to sunlight; leaves from these plants are usually processed to make Sencha. In Kyoto prefecture, this type of fields are seen most frequently in Wazuka-town and Minamiyamashiro-village. Most tea fields in Japan are of this type.

Because roten-en receives abundant sunlight, tea produced from this type of field has increased astringency, and possesses a brisk/refreshing flavor.

◎ Exposed to sunlight → strong astringency

2. Ooishita-en (Shaded from sunlight / Covered fields)

Ooishita-en are veiled as new shoots begin to sprout in mid-April. The gyokuro and tencha (used to make maccha) are produced from these fields. They are seen throughout Uji City and Kyotanabe City in Kyoto prefecture. Throughout the country, this type of field is not very commonly seen.

Cultivated under protection from sunlight, tea produced from this type of field has limited astringency and increased mellowness.

◎ Protected from direct sunlight → weak astringency, mellow taste
Ooishita-en are commonly seen in Kyotanabe City where MaikoTea is located. This area is especially famous for the production of Gyokuro tea.

Which leaves are for picking?
Which leaves of the plant are for picking?
Taking a good look at a tea plant you will recognize that there are two types of leaves: the harder leaves, left from last year and the softer leaves, which are the new shoots to be picked.

Recently, machines have replaced manual labor in most areas of Japan; however, many tea plantations in the southern parts of Kyoto Prefecture, known for the highest quality tea, still choose to carefully select and pick each tea leaf (one by one) by hand, cherishing the value of genuine tea quality.


Niyouzumi (Isshin Niyou):
Two-leaf plucking 
The two younger leaves and the bud are plucked for the highest grade of Gyokuro and Sencha.


Sanyouzumi (Isshinsanyou)
Three-leaf plucking 
Three leaves and the bud are plucked for high quality tea (Gyokuro and Sencha).


Regular plucking 
Regular teas are made from the top four to five leaves and the bud of the tea plant.

Tea plucking only once a year?

Commonly, tea plucking is carried out two to three times per year, as new shoots continue to sprout even after a crop is harvested. However, on most tea plantations across southern Kyoto prefecture, tea plucking is done only once a year.

These are the times tea is generally plucked:

First crop (Easter flush) (Shincha) Late April to end of May
Second crop (Spring flush)Late June to early July
Third crop (Summer flush)Mid July to late August

Tea plucking in Kyotanabe, Japans leading Gyokuro region
In Kyotanabe, a city esteemed for the highest quality of Gyokuro, the traditional method of hand-plucked tea has been practiced and preserved until today. One leaf is carefully selected at a time.

From one kilogram of freshly picked tea shoots, merely 150 g of Gyokuro is produced. Even the most experienced tea pickers can only harvest about 10 kg of fresh leaves in one day which calculates to approximately 1.5 kg of the final product. 

Hand plucking tea is a truly time-consuming and costly tedious work. Therefore, only the finest quality teas are made from hand-plucked shoots.

Annual Tea-Picking Event at MaikoTea

Once every year, we hold a tea picking event for our cherished customers. Approximately 500 people gather each year to enjoy the tea picking experience.

Preparation of various





About Japanese Tea
Chako's Tea Exploration Adventure
1.Let's go to Maikonocha
2.Tea Picking
3.Tea Processing
4.Tea Varieties
5.Serving Tea
Maccha Gyokuro
6.Tea and Health

Proper Tea Storage

About Company
2-1 Kamidaimon Fugenji Kyotanabe Kyoto JAPAN 610-0322

Access (Japanese only)

MAIKONOCHA-HONPO 2-1 Kamidaimon Fugenji Kyotanabe Kyoto JAPAN 610-0322
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