The Wandering Tea Master

Head of Gokase Midori Seicha, located in the dead center of Miyazaki Prefecture (sometimes colloquially called “Kyushu’s Bellybutton.”) Gokase, a town of just around 3500 people, is set high in the misty highlands, where it is said that tea culture was introduced in the early 1600s. 

At 600 m above sea level, harvest season is much later than elsewhere in Kyushu. Rather than rush to compete with shipping times, this grower differentiates himself with taste and technique. He is the second generation steward of Gokase; his father learned how to make kamairicha and brought this knowledge to his own tea farm in the 1960s. 

Their farm and factory has grown exponentially over the years, from a small, hand-mixed cement outpost to a fully-functioning production center. Their combined fields now encompass 8 hectares, where they grow a variety of cultivars used to produce award-winning kamairicha, black tea, and oolong. Korogi san enjoys wandering in his nearby forest, experimenting with roasting, fermentation, and herb mixes to produce distinct and fragrant teas.

Under Korogi san’s guidance, Gokase Seicha became a JAS certified organic producer in 2013. Initially wary of the potential of a poor harvest without using pesticides, Korogi san was convinced by positive results from initial testing and his own health concerns. Like many of our organic growers, he noticed health issues that he says coincided with pesticide application. Gokase Seicha has continued to win awards for organically produced tea, which has further strengthened his decision: even organic tea can be delicious.


Gokase Seicha has received the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Award a total of 16 times. Korogi san views competitions as a chance to express his individuality and technical prowess through tea, and does not enter them with the intent to win awards.

His efforts have helped spread awareness of this area of tea production, and his hard work and enthusiasm for new blends and approaches are attractive to the next generation of tea growers. He works alongside young locals who he entrusts with production of their own teas, ushering in the next era of Gokase Midori. The latests awards include : 

2023: 7th Annual National Tea Competition
2022: Honorable Mention, Japanese Tea Selection, Paris, for Cinnamon Kamairicha Soumai


Our visit to Korogi san


An ideal climate

South-Eastern Kyushu. Facing the Pacific Ocean, Miyazaki prefecture is known of its beautiful pristine beaches and its verdant and luscious mountains.
It enjoys a mild climate. While it is not well known outside Japan for its tea, Miyazaki is actually the fourth tea-producing region of Japan.
This area produces very high quality tea.It is notably home to the exceptional and rare Kamairicha, made using a very special production technique (pan fry).

This technique is almost lost as only few producers still have the expertise required to produce this tea.
In Gokase-cho, where you can see Mt. Aso and Mt.Sobo, tea gardens spread to the ground above 600 m in altitude,  the difference in temperature is large, and allows the production of fragrant tea.

In 2015, it was certified as a World Agricultural heritage.

Still now Tea farmers inherit and preserve the traditional way of making roasted tea.It is easily recognizable as the tea leaves are curved, making a "comma" shape, Magatama in Japanese.



"Kamairi" in Japanese literally means "pan firing", or "roasting in a pan". The process is intense and manual, and as a result production is only done on a small scale.The characteristic aroma of tea is strongly preserved in the final product, due to the traditional techniques developed over centuries.

Fresh tea leaves are immediately parched after harvesting for ten minutes at 300 degrees C, using a Japanese process called "Iriha-ki", to minimize and stop fermentation. Parched leaves are rolled and dried in a four-step, intensely manual process.

This time-tested Japanese technique yields a unique pan-parched fragrance, with a remarkably complex and rich taste. Kamairicha is highly rich in natural antioxidants, as it does not undergo the usual steam treatment of green teas.


The life force of Gokase !

Tea’s flavor comes from the environment in which it is grown, and for Korogi san, the natural stresses and energy provided by organic cultivation help give their tea its own “life force.”

That splendid energy of Gokase, and the heart and soul of its growers, comes through in their tea. Enjoy Korogi san's award-winning blend of kamairicha and cinnamon bark hand-picked in Miyazaki prefecture, KIMI is the perfect holiday seasonal tea. Enjoy its soothing aroma and delicious warmth that seeps in your body with each sip, and the immunity boosting benefits of cinnamon.

Premium Sencha from Yame Japanproduct information


Yame Tea In Your Bag !

Green Tea from Yame and Japanese Traditions - a Perfect Combination! Mizota san's company, Unoike Seicha, is delighted to introduce a new line of premium green tea bags, starting with the « Japanese Traditions Characters» collection. 

Samurai, sumo wrestler, geisha, ninja, kabuki actor: these typical Japanese symbols are brought together to serve you 5 delicious cups of sencha from Yame prefecture. 

Convenient to carry and prepare at your office or during your travels, this collection is also a very nice take-away souvenir from Japan. Come back and discover new collections, only available on IKKYU!


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