Aitoen” is a farm that has won awards in a number of competitions, including the “World Famous Tea Award”. Why not enjoy the relaxing hospitality while listening to the stories of the owner and his wife on the veranda of the old folk house “Kotori” or on the terrace of the deck overlooking the Oi River?
Tsuchiya Farm Sky Terrace
This tea farm is located in the Orokubo district, which is 600 meters above sea level and is one of the highest areas in the town of Kawanehon, and is the highest certified producer of the Chagusaba farming method, a World Agricultural Heritage Site. The tea fields on the steep slopes are truly tea gardens in the sky, with views of the magnificent nature. On the open-air terrace overlooking the tea fields and surrounded by the sky and the mountains, you can relax and enjoy the delicious Kawane tea while listening to the sounds of nature.
A hands-on food park to showcase the “Green Tea, Farming and Tourism in the Oigawa Basin. Tea Marche, a unique green tea experience and menu with tea; Vegetable Marche, a fresh produce experience; Da Monde, a buffet restaurant to enjoy local produce with a view of steam engines and retro trains; Tea and…, a café to enjoy fruit in a casual way; a children’s park called “Chamekke”. We have a cafe where you can enjoy fruit in a casual atmosphere, a children’s park called “Chamekke” where families with children can enjoy leisurely fun, and a TOURIST INFORMATION CENTER called “Ooi Navi” that introduces sightseeing spots in the Oigawa Basin. This is a facility where you can enjoy eating, drinking, shopping, and experiencing to the fullest.
Tentaka Brewery (Brewery Tour & Tastings)
With the perfect climate for sake-making, soil, and subterranean water, Otawara’s sake has won several awards at international competitions. At Tentaka Sake Brewery, you can tour the brewery and enjoy samplings.
UJI TEA —THE THREE TYPES OF TEA PRODUCED IN THIS REGION—
Three types of tea leaves are grown in Uji in the Yamashiro area of Kyoto: Uji matcha, Uji gyokuro, and Uji sencha. Uji matcha is made by grinding dried tea leaves into a powder using a stone mortar, etc. It has a rich aroma, little bitterness, and a subtle sweetness. Uji gyokuro is famous as a top-grade tea with a rich aroma and strong flavor. Uji sencha combines a refreshing aroma with a pleasant astringency, and is the most widely consumed of the three tea varieties.
Located in the Chubu region, Nagano Prefecture is landlocked and mountains as high as 2,000 – 3,000 run through the region from north to south. Japan is unique in the sense that Sake is made all over the country and each region has its own renowned brand of Sake. Particularly, Nagano is known for its many distilleries. Sakudaira in Saku city, located in the upper reaches of the Chikuma river, is known for its production of rice. For over 350 years, the area has been making sake and developing new ways to grow rice suited for sake making. Saku city has a cold climate and it is surrounded by Mt. Asama in the north and the Yatsugatake mountains in the south, along with the Chikuma river that runs through, making it abundant with water. The pristine water, called Shikomi-mizu, is the main ingredient of Japanese sake and it makes or breaks the quality. These factors – Saku city’s climate and an abundance of water make their Sake unique and original. There are 13 distilleries around the area and each one has its own philosophy of Sake making. Many of them offer tastings, so it’ll be a fun experience. One of those places that attract tourists is KURABITO STAY, the one and only hotel in the world that offers its guests Sake making while staying at an old distillery.
Nihoncha means green tea produced in Japan. Green tea is made by immediately heating the tea leaves and drying them after harvest to prevent them from oxidizing, and there are various types of green tea – gyokuro, matcha, bancha, hojicha, genmai-cha, etc. At green tea factories around the Ohigawa area, each makes unique and original green tea in terms of umami, bitterness, flavor, and color (the color of green tea when steeped).
Tokamachi, the Yukiguni county has many dishes that go well with local Sake. Since the distilleries in Tokamachi is relatively small, their Sake rarely goes on the market outside the town. Enjoy the food and Sake that you can only enjoy here in Tokamachi.
Local sake made with underground water of the Nasu mountain range
Otawara used to be called Odawara, big straw bags for rice. Sake making using rice as the main ingredient is what Otawara is famous for. At five distilleries in the city, they use subterranean water from the Nasu Mountain Range and Mount Yamizo as their shikomi mizu, the water for making Sake.
Sake experience made with quality ingredients
Aizu region is one of the leading areas for sake production. Aizu’s climate, and the fact that it was the castle town of the Aizu clan in the Edo period have contributed to the growth of Sake making in the area. Each distillery keep honing their skills and they have won the gold medal at the Annual Japan Sake Awards. There are a number of high-quality, award-winning distilleries and ther sake in Aizu.