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Experience the Enchanting Japanese Tea Culture in Shintomi Town

Miyazaki is a major tea-producing region in southern Japan. Miyazaki ranks fourth in tea production among all 47 prefectures and seventh in total tea plantation area. Tea from Miyazaki is carefully cultivated in a warm climate with moderate rainfall, and planted in soil abundant with amino acids and catechins. It’s known for its bold flavor and fragrant, full-bodied profile. Tea production in Miyazaki is widespread, spanning from coastal areas to elevations reaching 700 meters. Throughout the prefecture, various types of tea are cultivated, with sencha, a type of Japanese green tea, being the most commonly grown variety.

Located along the coast in the central part of Miyazaki, Shintomi Town (新富町) is a nature-rich area close to the Nyūtabaru Air Base with favorable climate and soil conditions. Shintomi Town is renowned for producing fresh vegetables and fruits and is recognized as one of Miyazaki’s premier tea-producing regions.

Nestled in a tranquil corner of Shintomi Town, Chashin (茶心) is a private lodging facility where guests can experience the essence of tea. Renovated from a traditional Japanese house spanning approximately 188 square meters with a spacious garden, Chashin first opened its doors in May 2019.

Chashin has been selected for the Traveller Review Award 2024 by, one of the largest worldwide accommodation booking websites. The award is given to accommodation facilities that have provided outstanding services and experiences, based on over 380 million users’ reviews between 2020 to 2023.

At Chashin, the spirit of “Wa-kei-sei-jaku (和敬清寂),” attributed to Sen no Rikyu (千利休), the master of the Japanese tea ceremony, provides the basis for their business philosophy. This concept reveres traditional Japanese aesthetics and values, emphasizing harmony, respect, simplicity, and tranquility.

By embracing this philosophy, emphasis is placed on fostering an environment where hosts and guests hold mutual respect for one another, allowing visitors to focus on relaxing and self-reflection. The attention to detail, design, and hospitality at Chashin ensures the facilitation of such moments for their guests.

The warm and inviting design incorporates the traditional structure and walls of a Japanese-style house.
The living room is spacious and relaxing. Guests can experience the soothing aroma of tea with chakouro (茶香炉), the tea aroma burner. Lighting the candle envelops the entire room in the delightful and gentle fragrance of tea leaves.
A serene bedroom with a design that preserves the charm of the old house.

In the kitchen, guests can enjoy a variety of high-quality teas sourced from local award-winning tea gardens, as well as specialty stores producing pesticide-free and organically grown tea. You’ll also find an English guide on how to brew tea. Why not try sampling various local teas and comparing their flavors?

Opening the sliding doors at the back of the living room reveals a traditional Japanese meditation room spanning 23 tatami mats in size. The intricate designs of the sliding doors, tatami mats, and paper sliding screens reflect the meticulous attention to detail, creating a space of tranquility where guests can feel the unhurried passage of time.

During your stay, you can enjoy moments of relaxation and engage in activities such as meditation, zen, or yoga, while feeling the gentle scent of tatami. You can use the provided mats, comfortable sofas, and meditation cushions for your enjoyment.

For moments when you want to relax and unwind,
it’s delightful to sit by the window, sip tea, and admire the beautiful Japanese garden.
Terrace seating is available in front of the expansive garden. You can rent fire pits and BBQ equipment, making it a great opportunity to spend an enjoyable evening with friends or family gathered around the fire.

The guest rooms can accommodate a maximum of 10 people. If you require BBQ or campfire equipment and would like to arrange a sukiyaki dinner set, please contact Chashin in advance. Reservations are available via phone or through the booking site listed below.

Chashin introduces various enjoyable activities that you can experience around the accommodation during your stay, including horseback riding along the beach, Japanese tea sessions, pickling workshops, pottery classes, soba noodle making, and more. Please feel free to ask for more details.

Tel: 0983-32-1082

You can discover Shintomi Town’s rich tea culture by joining a tour hosted by local tea farms and experiencing a tea-making workshop during your stay.

The vast 6-hectare tea farm fans out across from the runway of the Nyūtabaru Air Base belongs to the Japanese tea specialty shop Yumesabou (夢茶房).

Yumesabou (夢茶房).

At Yumesabou, every step from tea leaf production and processing to retail is handled in-house. Visitors can learn directly from tea experts as they tour the fields and factories, witnessing the entire journey from tea leaf harvest to being poured into a cup throughout a single tour.

Let’s delve into the world of Japanese tea with Mr. Azumi, the third-generation president of Yumesabou.

“At the farm, we cultivate seven different types of tea leaves.
Because we can handle everything in-house up to retail, we’re not bound by market shipment schedules.
This means we can harvest each type of tea leaf at their peak deliciousness, regardless of market demands,”
Mr. Azumi said.
Around mid-April, farmers start harvesting the tea buds using tractors.
The new buds in spring are the most flavorful and heaviest in weight.

“The truth is, both black tea and oolong tea, as well as green tea, are made from the same tea leaves,” explains Mr. Azumi, the owner of Yumesabou.

“The difference lies in the degree of fermentation,” he explains. “Tea leaves that are fully fermented and then rolled and dried become black tea. Those that are partially fermented become oolong tea. And green tea is made without fermentation.”

The tea leaves harvested by the tractor undergo fermentation over time due to the enzymes they contain, gradually changing color to brown. However, by applying heat to the leaves in the early stages, fermentation is halted, preserving the tea leaves’ vibrant and beautiful green color.

The process involves steaming the tea leaves, followed by kneading and drying while shaping them, all done in multiple stages using specialized machinery.

The tea leaves, which have been rolled into small balls, are further kneaded while being dried and then flattened by using the machine. As the weight on the leaves is gradually reduced while their condition is monitored, a glossy sheen gradually appears on the leaves.
The completely dried and shaped tea leaves feel smooth and aromatic. From here, the tea leaves are classified into about six categories based on their shape and weight, and then packaged.

After the factory tour, you can experience the final step of tea-making, known as “hi-ire” (火入れ) (roasting), and learn how to brew delicious sencha and matcha. Hi-ire involves applying heat to the tea leaves to bring out their aroma and flavor. The process typically involves spreading out the leaves, creating small mounds, and gently lifting and dropping them repeatedly.

Gradually, the tea leaves become moist, emitting a refreshing and sweet aroma.
For sencha, the key to bringing out its flavor is to brew it multiple times
with lukewarm water, pouring the tea slowly until the cup is half-full. Make sure to pour a little at a time!
The tea leaves used for matcha, known as “tencha” (碾茶), are steamed and dried without kneading.
Unlike sencha, they have a dry and crumbly texture without the moistness.
Let’s try making matcha by grinding tencha leaves with a stone mill!
Add hot water to the matcha powder, then swiftly move the tea whisk back
and forth in a “1” shape to mix it thoroughly.
Once the foam becomes smooth, lift the tea whisk slowly,
and savor the unique sweet aroma and delicate flavor of matcha.

After learning all about how Japanese tea is made, you can relax and enjoy some sweets at the cafe corner inside Yumesabou.

The roasted green tea ice cream’s intense flavor complements the mellow taste of the brewed tea beautifully!

The Japanese tea workshop at Yumesabou is available for reservation on the Jalan website, except during the busy harvest season from mid-March to May. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the enchanting Japanese tea culture in Shintomi Town on your next journey!

To book the workshop:
Yumesabo’s Official Website: