Every year tea producers from all over Japan compete in the National Tea Competition, the aim of which is to contribute to the development of the tea industry in Japan by bringing together all people involved in the tea industry and developing various projects to improve tea production techniques and increase consumption.
This year it was the 75th time to hold the competition. It was originally planned for 24th-27th August, but had to be postponed due to the state of emergency, and eventually was held between 16th-19th November in Shizuoka.
This year the competition received 830 submissions from 18 prefectures that were competing in 8 different categories: Regular Sencha 4kg, Regular Sencha 10kg, Fukamushicha, Kabusecha, Gyokuro, Tencha, Tamaryokucha, Kamairicha. The Tencha category received the largest number of submissions – 112, and the Kabusecha category had the least – 91. The winners of each category were:
- Regular Sencha 10kg – Koji Arimura from Arimura Seicha in Kirishima City, Kagoshima Prefecture
- Regular Sencha 4kg – Masahiro Okutomi from Sayama City Tea Industry Association in Sayama City, Saitama Prefecture
- Fukamushicha – Midori Matsushita from Yumeji Matsushitaen in Kakegawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture
- Kabusecha – Shimooka Kiyotomi from JA Kyoto Yamashiro Ujitawara Tea Industry Subcommittee in Ujitawara Town, Kyoto Prefecture
- Gyokuro – Akira Hayashi from Kyotanabe Gyokuro Production Association in Kyotanabe City, Kyoto Prefecture
- Tencha – Hiroki Sakata from Kumiyama Town, Kyoto Prefecture
- Tamaryokucha – Shingo Kuroki from Shinryokuen in Shintomi town, Miyazaki Prefecture
- Kamairicha – Masami Yamguchi from Ureshino Southern Kamairicha Industry Association in Ureshino City, Saga Prefecture.
In addition to individual producers receiving awards, awards were also given to tea producing regions with the highest total score in each category. The list of the awarded regions is below:
- Ordinary Sencha (10kg) – Minamikyushu City, Kagoshima Prefecture
- Ordinary Sencha (4kg) – Yame City, Fukuoka Prefecture
- Fukamushicha – Kakegawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture
- Kabusecha – Ayabe City, Kyoto Prefecture
- Gyokuro – Yame City, Fukuoka Prefecture
- Tencha – Kumiyama Town, Kyoto prefecture
- Tamaryokucha – Ureshino City, Saga Prefecture
- Kamairicha – Ureshino City, Saga Prefecture
Yame City in Fukuoka Prefecture and Ureshino City in Saga Prefecture won two awards each! Minamikyushu City in Kagoshima Prefecture has received the tea producing region award 18 years in a row and Kakegawa City in Shizuoka Prefecture has received the award 23 times in total – the most among all the tea regions.
We congratulate all the winners and wish them strength to continue the hard work of tea production.
*The list of all competition submission in Japanese can be found here.
*Image source: Chiran Tea