If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to get through the day without a hot cup of something. For some people, it’s coffee. Me, I’m strictly on team tea. Not to be dramatic, but I’m pretty sure I’d shrivel up and die without it, which is why I always travel with a handy zip-lock bag of Twining’s teabags.
Yep, I’m that British.
And I don’t even care. During my time in Japan, my love of tea took me South to Wazuka (a couple of hours from Kyoto) where I spent an amazing and unforgettable day at the Obubu Green Tea Plantation.
The tour started at 11am.
After catching a train and a bus from Kyoto, I arrived in the beautiful Japanese countryside. Believe it or not, I was actually on time. This was quite a surprise considering I couldn’t read any of the bus schedules or understand any of the announcements.
Maybe I have an inner sat nav to locate tea? It’s quite possible.
Anyway, the weather was warm and sunny and the only sound I could hear were the birds singing. It was perfect.
After a short walk, following some vague directions I’d jotted down from the website, I arrived at a little house with a sign saying ‘Obubu’ on the door. As I walked in and took off my shoes, I was greeted by one of the team and ushered to a giant wooden table where the other guests were sat.
There were about 5 of us altogether, and after brief introductions we met Matsu, a man with one of the best laughs I’ve ever heard. Really, it’s quite somethin’.
He’s also very knowledgable about green tea as it goes, so we had a little lesson about its health benefits and the way the farm operates. Then it was time to get in the minivan and see the tea fields for ourselves.
I won’t lie, I feared for my life a little bit in that van. It was a bumpy ride and I was relieved to get to the top.
When we pulled up, the view did not disappoint.
As we strolled through the tea fields we learnt more about the cultivation process and picked our own leaves. It was then time to head back into town for some lunch at a local eatery.
Green tea noodles were on the menu, and I had mine with tofu, soy sauce, wasabi and green onion.
The next part of the tour was a traditional tea tasting session, which I’d been looking forward to all day. I wanted to know more about the brewing process and why each tea has its own specific flavour.
The session lasted for about 2 hours and we tried 9 different teas.
As you can imagine, I was feelin’ pretty buzzy by this point. I was ready to take on anything, even the matcha grinder.
Check out those muscles.
Lastly, we were given some ‘kokigori’, which basically means shaved ice.
You’ll find this a lot on the streets of Japan, especially in the summer as it’s a great snack on hot days.
Our kakigori, of course, came with a matcha syrup.
Sadly though, this little dessert marked the end of our tour, which was 4 hours in total.
So, that was that.
Off home we went, full of green stuff.
I can honestly say the whole day was brilliant and I’d recommend it to any fellow tea geek. It was a little more than I’d usually spend on a day trip I’ll admit (12,000 yen approx.), but it was worth every penny. Also, that’s one more thing ticked off my bucket list.
I will die a satisfied tea drinker, without a doubt.
For more info visit Obubu Tea.
If you’re planning a trip to Japan, you might find this post useful too.