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Shizuoka Green Teas Harvest

Photographer: Everett Kennedy Brown

 

Shizuoka tea production is booming once again after suffering severe setbacks following the nuclear accident in March 2011. The discovery of cesium levels exceeding government-set limits in samplings of Shizuoka tea leaves resulted in shipments of the teas being recalled and destroyed. This severely dented the reputation of teas in the region as virtually half of all the green tea consumed in Japan is produced in the Shizuoka region and widely acknowledged as the best Japanese green tea. Not surprising since tea has been grown in the prefecture for over 900 years. The climate and quality of its water are the essence of its high standard. While 90 per cent of Japan’s teas are consumed domestically, news of the irradiated harvest drastically affected international business. Prior to the disaster, the health benefits of Japanese green tea, such as its anti-oxidant and anti-tumor effects, attracted the world wide attention. With the safety of Shizuoka teas now confirmed, international sales of Shizuoka tea are back to normal. Due to extraordinarily favorable weather conditions this year, local producers are now expecting their best harvest in five years. The timing is excellent for a bumper harvest, as tea enthusiasts from around the world gather in Shizuoka for World Tea Festival that takes place in Spring (02-05 May) and in Fall (07-10 November). This year’s tri-annual event, is expected to attract tea expects and enthusiasts from over thirty countries around the world.