[Hidden Wonders of Japan] Take a refreshing break at Shizuoka’s ‘tea room in the sky’


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Green fields of tea ー almost ready for harvest stretch across the mountain at an elevation of 350 meters. Sit on a wooden deck built in the middle of the tea field and enjoy your own monopoly on the view of the fresh greenery that extends below.

The “Tea Room in the Sky” (Houkouen) is located on a terrace overlooking the steep slopes of the tea fields in the Shimizu district of Shizuoka city. It is a popular place for visitors where, depending on the season and the weather, you can see Mt. Fuji or a sea of ​​clouds.

It is one of the Cha no Ma (Tea Rooms) offered at six green tea plantations in Shizuoka Prefecture as an experiential attraction for tourists. The program allows you to taste carefully selected green tea from tea leaves harvested from the fields right in front of you. The project started two years ago and has so far been enjoyed by around 3,500 people, mostly in their 20s and 30s.

The tea rooms are managed by the Suruga (Shizuoka City) Marketing and Tourism Office, which promotes tourism in the central part of Shizuoka Prefecture. Kyoka Suzuki, 28, who has participated in the program from its planning stages, says, “Growing up drinking Shizuoka green tea myself, I wanted to do something about the declining demand for tea leaves. I hope that young people who are not used to drinking tea from a teapot can also learn how wonderful it can be.

Become known as places where you can enjoy the great beauty of nature, the Cha no Ma they are popular as places of recreation where you can avoid the “three Cs” (closed places, narrow conversations and crowded spaces). Paloma Saizu, 24, who was visiting Iwata City, Shizuoka Prefecture, said: “I was looking for ways to spend my free days amid the coronavirus outbreak. In the middle of nature you are not surrounded by anyone which is so calming, and the tea is delicious too.

Advance reservations are required.Although currently there are restrictions on visitors coming from areas subject to the COVID-19 state of emergency, some of the teahouse terraces are fully booked a month away. ‘advanced.

The newly discovered charm of tea drinking is becoming a trend in Shizuoka, a prefecture known for green tea. The full experience can be enjoyed using your five senses, while listening to birdsong and feeling the winds blow through the spectacular tea fields.

What is your hidden wonder of Japan? Upload your photo here.

(Lily The Sankei Shimbun photo essay in Japanese at this link.)

Mizuho Miyazaki, Sankei Shimbun photo news department

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