Kyushu – Epicenter of Japan’s Premium Green Tea Production


Explore Kyushu, the hub of authentic Japanese green tea production. Experience the fresh aroma and taste of our premium quality green tea.

History of Japanese green tea

The history of green tea in Japan is ancient, and it is said to have originated from the tea brought back from Tang (China) by the Japanese envoy during the Heian period. At that time, it was highly valued as a precious medicine, and it spread to samurai and merchants with the development of the “chanoyu” (tea ceremony) from the Muromachi period onwards.

Subsequently, green tea, which became popular as a commoner’s beverage, began to be exported in earnest from the late Edo period.

It is said that green tea, which was initially export-oriented, became ingrained in daily life in Japan from the late Taisho period to the early Showa period.

Kinds of Japanese green tea

The tea produced in Japan is mostly green tea. Green tea, which is an unfermented tea, maintains its green color by heating the tea leaves in the initial stage of production, causing the enzymes in the tea leaves to become inactive.


Sencha is the most produced green tea in Japan. The common manufacturing method involves steaming the tea leaves while maintaining their freshness, then drying them while rolling. By adjusting the steaming time and the degree of drying, it is possible to enjoy various flavors.

In Kyushu, Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures are known as the production areas for Sencha.


Gyokuro is known as a luxury green tea served when important guests visit in Japan. While Sencha is usually grown in sunny areas, Gyokuro is characterized by being grown in a covered environment, using a special cloth which blocks sunlight for almost a month. Due to the effort involved and the low production volume, it has become a high-end green tea. Yame in Fukuoka is a famous production area for Gyokuro in Kyushu.


Kabusecha refers to green tea leaves that have been covered for about two weeks to effectively bring out the sweetness, flavor, and richness of the tea. Kabusecha can be described as positioned between Sencha, which is exposed to plenty of sunlight, and Gyokuro, which is covered for a longer period. In Kyushu, Kabusecha is mainly produced in Fukuoka, Saga, Kagoshima, and Nagasaki prefectures.


Tencha is a type of green tea known as the raw material for matcha. It is made from new shoots of the tea plant that are grown in shaded conditions, then harvested, steamed, and dried without kneeding, unlike other types of green tea. It is further processed to remove stems and leaf veins. It is characterized by its low bitterness and strong umami flavor. In recent years, the production of tencha in Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu has been increasing rapidly, and it has grown to become the largest scale in Japan.


Bancha is a type of green tea made from mature and hardened tea leaves and stems, and its production method is the same as that of sencha. When Bancha is roasted, it becomes Hojicha, a brown-colored tea. Bancha is characterized by its lack of bitterness and ease of drinking. It is produced in Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu.

Steamed Tamaryokucha

There are two types of production methods for Tamaryokucha, characterized by its comma-shaped green tea leaves, and this “Steamed Tamaryokucha” stops oxidation by steaming the tea leaves at a hot temperature. The longer steaming time than sencha results in a mellow flavor with reduced bitterness. The distinctive shape is created during the process of drying the tea leaves while rolling them.

Approximately 93% of Tamaryokucha is produced in Kyushu.


Kamairicha is an ancient green tea tradition that originated from China, and its distinctive feature is the use of a pan to stop the oxidation of the tea leaves. The unique aroma produced from pan-frying provides a different flavor from steamed green tea. Nearly 100% of Japan’s Kamairicha is produced in Kyushu, with Saga and Nagasaki prefectures’ Ureshino tea being the representative brands.

Kyushu is Japan’s Tea Empire, and these are its Top Producing Prefectures

Kyushu is one of the leading “tea regions” in Japan, with Kagoshima Prefecture ranking second in national tea production, Miyazaki Prefecture ranking fourth, Fukuoka Prefecture ranking sixth, Saga Prefecture ranking eighth, and Kumamoto Prefecture ranking ninth.

Breathtaking views of green tea fields in Kyushu

Kyushu, Japan’s leading green tea production region, is home to many tea fields, allowing you to enjoy the breathtaking sight of a landscape covered in green and savor freshly harvested tea from the fields. However, since green tea is harvested from the tea plant, the time to enjoy such a view is limited. To fully enjoy Kyushu’s green tea, it would be necessary to have a locally knowledgeable guide plan the trip, including the optimal timing.

This is where INAKAdventure comes in to meet such needs. If you are interested in seeing and tasting Kyushu’s green tea, please feel free to contact us for a consultation.

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