805 - Japanese Priest and envoys sent to China to learn about its culture brought tea to Japan. The first batch of tea seeds were brought by a priest named Saicho in 805 and then by another named Kukai in 806.
1191 - Another Zen Buddhism priest who had studied in China, Eisai(also known as Yosai), popularized the idea of drinking tea for good health. Around the same time, Japanese farmers began growing green tea in Uji, Kyoto.
1121 - Eisai wrote the first Japanese tea book in Japanese, Kissa Yoyoki (Drinking Tea for Health).
1271 - A Buddhist monk, Kohken first planted tea trees in Obuku area in the Ujitawara region of Kyoto.
16th cent. - Shade Cultivation - Shading from sunlight with Tana canopy began. It was the origin of today’s Matcha and Gyokuro.
Late 16th cent. - Rikyu Sen (born 1522, Sakai, Japan – died March 21,1591, Kyoto), Japanese tea master who perfected the tea ceremony and raised it to the level of an art.
1740 - A new way of processing was developed by Soen Nagatani, which replaced the Chinese roasting method. It involved steam-drying tea leaves and unlike then available Matcha (ground tea) and Houjicha (roasted tea) it produced in a whole new type of tea. This method also referred to as the Uji method resulted in the creation of Sencha and most other teas now characteristic to Japan.
18th and 19th cent. - Machines were developed to boost the production process. The machines took over the tasks of drying, rolling and steaming tea leaves. With today’s automation and computerized machines tea quality can be retained at a high level.
A memorial marker is built very near the tea farm where the first tea trees were planted in 1271.
It is next to our tea farm for Sencha Pinnacle and Sencha Super Premium.
The Obuku area is located in mountain ravines.