Top of Page
End of menu

History of Uji Tea

[April 1, 2010]
Uji Tea

The origin of 'Uji Tea' dates back to the beginning of the 13th century when the holy priest Myoue was given tea seeds from the Zen Monk Eisai, and opened a tea farm in Uji, the ideal land for tea planting.

In the Muromachi Era, General Yoshimitsu Ashikaga built a tea farm called 'Uji Shichimeien' later, and it led to the world-famous Uji Tea. In the Age of Provincial Wars, each shogun enjoyed drinking teas and requested tea masters in Uji to prepare teas, and Uji tea increasingly became valued.

In the Edo Era, the first Uji Tea of the season was delivered to Edo via teapot procession ('Ochatsubo Dochu') as sang in the children's song. The cultivation of Uji Tea is unique by covering farms, and handpicking each leaf once a year. Gyokuro and Tencha with excellent flavor, scent, and color are produced.

Uji City has a strong connection with Gyokuro or Tencha: During the Edo Era Gyokuro was made by Kaheibei Yamamoto, the tea merchant in Edo, who was inspired by the Tencha made by Kichizaemon Kinoshita in Ujiogura and named it 'Tamanotsuyu' as it had a smooth taste like nectar. He presented it to each daimyo, and it was well received. Tencha was born when Hisashige Kanbayashi in the Uji Village first covered tea farms, and Enshu Kobori asked a tea master in Uji to invent a tea- producing method during the Toyotomi Era.

Many tea producers and traders have worked steadily to improve tea-making techniques of Uji Tea in its long history and tradition.

[Top of Page ]