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■ Featuring "Ice Cream," August 31 to September 29







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Taking about 25 minutes from Shizuoka Station to Maeda Kotaro Shoten, I walked along finding many tea stores on the both sides of the street whose name was Chamachi-dori (Tea Store Street).

M: Tea stores have been on the decrease. People tend not to make tea also in Shizuoka, as some don’t own any teapots. That is perhaps a big problem. Though you might mainly take tea bags or plastic bottles for having tea, it is necessary using teapots for the most delicious tea.

M: They almost use lower-grade green tea because they need to lay in tea in large quantities for supplying with plastic bottles. Pretty weird, but drink makers need a large amount and the lower grade tea comes more expensive although it is originally cheap. Then, tea farmers get to produce lower leaves more with thought of profit and higher ones are on the decrease…


Surprisingly, tea is gradually vanishing in Shizuoka, a prefecture of tea. But there are still many tea stores, anyway. And the surroundings made the marvelous tea master?

M: Ah, that is quite a different matter. Besides Shizuoka, there are other areas that produce tea, like Kagoshima, Kyoto, and Fukuoka and so on. I suppose the place is not important if you have the surroundings enough to see tea. Actually, we also use ones from Kochi.


He said people in Shizuoka tended not to make tea, as mentioned above. Moreover, Shizuoka has to face another question; a lack of successors.

M: I feel so lonely, but there are also a lot of jilted wild farms in Shizuoka. We have lately produced one third of the palmy days, over 30 years ago, in tea production amount. Some familiar factories have already ruined. One of the latest problems in Shizuoka is that many people have moved away. Most of Japanese tea masters have heart conditions because we are unable to expect what nature makes every year and it is not good for hearts.


“Several years ago, my familiar farm was all annihilated by frost. All of the fields looked red. I desperately searched for substitute tea leaves and resulted in survival.” said Maeda Fumio in his forced laugh. Tea masters need strong hearts, then. What is his answer to my questions; what is the good tea and what kind of tea are you going to produce?


Maeda Fumio

M: We are all busy in this world one way or another. I would like to, however, keep making fine tea to let its drinkers feel easy.


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