Quality Tasty Japan Tea! 新茶の季節

May 18, 2023


Shizuoka is famous for ‘ocha (green tea)’. The ‘ocha’ that you bought could be from Shizuoka too. May is ‘shincha (young green tea leaves)’ season in Japan  I’ll share the story about first (1) how to enjoy ‘ocha’ fields, (2) ‘shincha’ as a gift and (3) ‘ocha’ for  health.

 ① お茶畑ではいろいろなことが楽しめます。私が子供の時は「かくれんぼ」や「お茶の実ゲーム」をしました。はい、お茶は葉だけじゃなく、実もあるんです。大人なら、5月にお茶摘みを体験するのはいかがですか。実は摘み方が難しいんですが、お茶のいい香りが楽しめます。

You can enjoy ‘ocha’ fields in many ways. When I was a child, I used to play ‘ocha-no-mi (tea fruits) game’ and ‘hide and seek’ in the fields. Yes, ‘ocha’ trees grow fruits not only the leaves! For adults, you might enjoy tea picking. It is actually tricky but you can enjoy the fresh smell of ‘ocha’.

 ② 新茶はマイルドでおいしいし、お茶のパッケージやデザインもきれいなので、静岡ではよく季節の贈り物としてプレゼントします。そして、新茶をもらった人も新茶の季節を感じることができるので気持ちがリフレッシュします。日本人は季節を感じることが好きなんですね。

‘Shincha’ is very popular as a gift in Shizuoka because it is very mild and tasty with a nicely designed package. Also people who receive ‘shincha’ feel pleased because it reminds them the season of ‘shincha’ and feel refreshed. Japanese people often appreciate for the feeling of the new season and nature.

③ お茶は体にとてもいいですね。特にカテキン多いので、いつまでも若く元気でいられると言われています。主に抗酸化作用があり、コレステロール値も下げます。お茶を飲んでから有酸素運動をすると18%余分に脂肪を燃焼してくれるそうですから、私も毎朝お茶を飲んでからウォーキングをしています。でも、カフェインも含んでいるので、寝る前はあまり飲まないほうがいいです。

‘Ocha’ is a very healthy drink. Especially it contains a lot of catechins which keep you look young and healthy. It has antioxidant effect and reduces cholesterols. I’ve heard that you can burn 18 % more fat by doing exercise after drinking ‘ocha’ and I actually drink ‘ocha’ before my morning walk every day. However,  please do not drink it too much before going to bed because it still contains caffeine.


I was born and grew up in Shizuoka, and it is normal to drink ‘ocha’ from morning to evening every day. When I smell ‘shincha’ on the street, I notice that it is already May this year. You can see many ‘ocha’ shops in Shizuka and there are more or less 5 ‘ocha’ shops on the high street.


Please try ‘shincha’ and it might be a good idea to give it to your friends and colleagues in this season. In your country, what kind of tea do you have and when is the ‘shincha’ season? I hope you enjoyed the story about what the locals do with green tea and their feelings to it.

Mineko Arai

Managing Director

Arai Academy of Japanese Studies

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