Nestled in the Mountains of Kyoto there is a small town that has been growing tea for the last 800+ years. It is here that we will enjoy our Japanese Country side experience with an emphasis on Japanese green tea in all is splendor. From the growing, to processing, to preparation, and of course drinking.
But this tour is not just about tea, it is also about getting out of the big city and the main tourist sites to enjoy the topography, the climate, the history, the flora, and the fauna that have made the town of Wazuka what it is today. With many locations distinguished as Japan National Heritage Sites and officially considered one of the "Most Beautiful Villages in Japan" you will be sure to enjoy your peaceful retreat into the Japanese country side, tea lover or not.
The Tea Zion Japanese County Side Experience :
Starting at Kamo JR, Kyoto train station, the Tea Zion shuttle picks you up where you will be greeted by your guide and tea sommelier, Greg San. A certified Uji Tea Sommelier with over 20 years of tour guide experience, he will be at you service from start to finish, providing an unscripted tour that has been called "amazing" even by teenagers! . Enjoy beautiful views and interesting historical facts on the shuttle drive, from the train station to the middle of Wazuka where we will park at the Tea Zion house to take in the sites and sounds up close and personal.
After a brief orientation at the Tea Zion house, we will enjoy some fine organic matcha and a local treat before taking a walk through history. From the Tea Zion house will venture into the Tea fields. Passing historical sites, local architecture and a 1400 year old Kitayama Sugi tree that is the oldest of its kind in all of Kyoto prefecture. Photo opportunities abound at every turn, bringing us up close to the emerald green tea fields of Wazuka.
As we walk through the tea fields we can enjoy the country air and the beautiful sweeping views all around us while I explain some of the unique growing techniques used by the tea farmers to produce different types of tea. You will also see and learn about the many other types of flora that grow in the area, and may have a chance to taste some unique wild veggies when in season.
Wildlife flourishes in this area, and chance encounters with numerous native species, especially the Japanese macaque, make for an exciting if not comical experience.
After the walk, your appetites will have increased and we will return back to the Tea Zion house where we will enjoy locally made bentos ( vegetarian ) with delicious local tea and Japanese sweets for dessert while enjoying the view of the tea fields from the tatami rooms of the Tea Zion house. After lunch, you will have the opportunity to purchase some local teas before catching the return shuttle that will bring you back to the train station. Having you back in Kyoto or Osaka before the trains get crowded with rush hour traffic.
All participants will have a chance to at enjoy 3 different kinds of locally produced organic teas, and taste a variety of other teas when available, as selections change throughout the year.
Locally sourced, vegetarian bento/onigiri style lunch while overlooking the tea fields from the tatami room of the Tea Zion House.
Locally sourced Japanese sweets.
Greg-San, your guide (see him on this web page about the yearly tea festival in Wazuka) is well versed and will be explaining all the important details from start to finish.