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

Kyushu tea plantation

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.

History of Tea Production in Kyushu

Japanese tea originated around 1,200 years ago during the early Heian period. It is believed to have been introduced by the “Kento-shi” and studying monks who traveled to Tang Dynasty China.

The historical document “Nihon Kōki” records that on April 22, in the sixth year of Konin (815 AD), the monk Eichū brewed tea and presented it to Emperor Saga. This event is considered the earliest written record of tea consumption in Japan.

Top Producing Prefectures in Kyushu

Kyushu is known as one of the leading tea production regions in Japan, so each prefecture ranks in the production volume ranking of Japanese tea.


According to data from 2022, Kagoshima Prefecture boasts the second highest tea production volume in Japan.

Kagoshima Prefecture is particularly famous for its “Kagoshima tea,” “Chiran tea,” and “Ei tea.”


Miyazaki Prefecture is the fourth largest tea-producing region in Japan.

Currently, 80% of the total tea production in the prefecture is sencha (steamed green tea), while 20% is kamairicha (pan-fired tea).

However, the northwestern mountainous regions such as Takachiho Town and Gokase Town are known as renowned kamairicha production areas nationwide.


Fukuoka Prefecture is the sixth largest tea-producing region in Japan. Among the several types of Japanese tea, Gyokuro, which is considered a high-quality tea, boasts the highest production volume in the country.

Additionally, “Yame tea,” which is one of the brands of Gyokuro, is well-known and has achieved excellent results in various tea competitions.


While Saga Prefecture ranks eighth in tea production in Japan, it holds a significant place in the roots of Japanese tea due to a historical account that states Saga was the first place where green tea was introduced to Japan.

The famous kamairicha tea known as “Ureshino tea” hails from Saga Prefecture.


Kumamoto Prefecture boasts the ninth highest tea production volume in Japan.

“Kumamoto tea” is known for its refreshing taste, smooth texture, and pleasant aroma.

Some ways to enjoy tea from Kyushu

Japanese green tea

The key to enjoying Kyushu tea is to savor the unique flavors, appreciate its history, and embrace the cultural significance it holds in the region.

Brew it traditionally

Use high-quality loose tea leaves and hot water to brew a traditional cup of Kyushu tea. Follow the recommended steeping time and temperature for the specific type of tea you have.

Attend tea ceremonies

Experience the rich tea culture of Kyushu by participating in traditional tea ceremonies. These ceremonies not only allow you to enjoy the tea but also provide insights into the rituals and etiquette surrounding tea preparation and consumption.

Visit tea plantations

Plan a trip to tea plantations in Kyushu to witness the tea-growing process firsthand. Some tea estates offer guided tours where you can learn about tea cultivation, harvesting, and processing techniques.

Pair with local cuisine

Enhance your tea-drinking experience by pairing Kyushu tea with local delicacies. Traditional Japanese sweets, Ice cream, fresh seafood, and regional snacks can complement the flavors of the tea and create a delightful culinary experience.

Let us plan a journey to experience the tea of Kyushu together. You can enjoy top-ranked Japanese tea and indulge in food made with tea!

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