Shirakawa-cha: 白川茶 ( 美濃白川茶 )
Shirakawa-cha, Japanese green tea, is made mainly in Shirakawa town and Higashi-Shirakawa village, which are located almost in the center of Japan.
People tend to think that Shirakawa tea is made around Shirakawa-go, a famous World Heritage site.
However, tea tree does not grow near Shirakawa-go due to heavy snow in winter.
The production area for Shirakawa tea is a 3-4 hour drive south of Shirakawa-go.
Shirakawa-cha tea fields are surrounded by deep mountains and clear streams.
Shirakawa-cha is produced in one of the northernmost green tea plantations in Japan.
There is a wide range of temperatures from day to night in the highlands.
Shirakawa-cha is grown with care in the terraced fields with stone walls, on the steep slopes of the mountains.
As the morning fog shields the tea from direct sunlight and holds warmth, new tea leaves grow slowly and become soft, saving Umami and flavor nurtured in the mountain.
History of Shirakawa-cha
Shirakawa-cha has 450 years history.
It is said that Shirakawa-Cha was brought to Hakusan Shrine in Shirakawa-town and Gokabanryu Temple in Higashi-shirakawa village 450 years ago.
During the Meiji era (1868-1912), many of the leaves of Shirakawa tea were exported from the port of Yokohama to foreign countries.
In addition, more and more farmers switched from raising silkworms to tea farming, and tea production flourished.
The peak of Shirakawa tea production was in the 1980s. At that time, many tea makers in Shizuoka bought it and mixed it with Shizuoka tea leaves and sold it as Shizuoka tea.
Around the year 2000, the sales volume of Shizuoka tea dropped and Shirakawa tea was no longer being bought by Shizuoka tea shops
Therefore, they are protecting the local industry by continuing to sell their own tea as Shirakawa-cha / Shirakawacha.