Organic Farming : A family Business

The Tsuru Cha En plantation was founded in 1959 by the father of the current business owner, Tsuru Kazuyuki san. Since Tsuru san took over the operations in 2007, the tea production has switched to a 100% chemical and pesticide-free process. In 2017, they received the Special Farming Products Certification from Saga prefecture. Today, Tsuru san is one of only four green tea producers in Kyushu, along with Irie san in Yame, who grows tea in a completely pesticide-free manner, bringing him 'above' organic standards.

Tsuru san explains: "More than 80% of our tea trees are over fifty years old. Our constant care and pruning have allowed their roots to go deep in the ground, and benefit from all the advantages of a soil rich in nutrients. The trees absorb large quantities of minerals, making them resistant to insects and illness, even without the use of any pesticides.

We grow our leaves in a pesticide-free environment, in a location high in the mountains, where a large temperature difference and deep mists make it possible for the leaves to create the nutrients that will yield a sweet and umami-rich tea."


Chigiriyama, 300 Meters Above sea level

Tsuru san's tea fields on top of the mountains.
Tsuru san -in the middle -talking to our son who now works as a translator :)
Tsuru san showing us the different tea fields.
Tea trees with an incredible color and completely free of any pesticide.


Everything has to be done by hand

Tsuru san goes on: "Our fields in Chigiriyama (Motoayama-cho) in Saga are located on the eastern end of the mountain, at an altitude of 300m above sea level, right next to Yame area (Fukuoka pref.). Thanks to the important temperature difference between day and night, our fields are often covered by a thick fog. Combined with fresh and clean water, this makes it the perfect place for tea cultivation.

Although the conditions are nearly perfect, the remote location of our fields makes it impossible to bring any picking machine up in the mountain, therefore all our family must work hard during the harvest season and throughout the year to remove by hand all the weeds that grow so fast."


The Birthplace of Green Tea in Japan

If you want to understand the history of green tea in Japan, Saga prefecture is where you should start.

The town of Higashi Sefuri in Saga is the birthplace of Japanese green tea. This is where the monk Eisai planted the tea tree seeds he brought from China in the 12th century. A soil rich with minerals, clear spring water, morning mists and river fogs create ideal conditions for growing tea.

The most famous tea growing area in Saga is Ureshino where tea cultivation began in 1440, although the industry truly picked up in the mid 17th century, and the area became the leading production area of Japan.

Today, a 300-year old tea tree, with a 80-meter span, stands as a memorial in Ureshino.

Thanks to its proximity to Nagasaki, green tea from Saga was the first to be exported to Western countries and introduced to European consumers.

Closer to us, it is again from Saga that the first modern green tea export business started in the mid 19th century, thanks to a female tea merchant from Nagasaki, Ourai Kei, who sold green tea to Europe, America and Arabia.

Saga prefecture is also the birth place of the kamairicha specialty in Japan, introduced to this region in the early 16th century by potters from China who brought over the so-called Nanking-style kettle.


Five Centuries of Skills in Your Cup

Saga prefecture is famous in Japan for its curly tamaryokucha, pan-fried kamairicha and deep-steamed sencha. Green tea grown in that area is praised by tea lovers for its full-body aroma and rounded flavor. Centuries of experience, hard work and skills of Saga tea growers are concentrated in the leaves grown in the mountains of the prefecture, and end up in our cups for a spectacular green tea experience.

Today, after 570 years, green tea is an integral part of the way of life of Ureshino and Saga as a whole, and is still the most favored beverage among the population. Next time you visit Kyushu, experience the unique "Chaburo" in Ureshino - an open-air hotspring bath filled with Ureshino green tea leaves packed with bacteria-killing catechin, and vitamin C.


Hardwork and Passion in a All-Natural Way

Tsuru san grows two kinds of tea cultivars in his fields at the top of the mountain - the well-known yabukita and the more sensitive and frost-sensitive asatsuyu, which is also called the 'natural gyokuro' due to its delicate taste.

Shade-grown gyokuro is one of the teas produced by Tsuru san and is a rarity. The fact it is pesticide and chemical free makes this gyokuro extremely rare and precious. Organic gyokuro is as hard to find as a white elephant, because it requires even more hard work than normal gyokuro, which is already one of the most demanding green teas.

Tsuru san and his son look over their tea trees like dotting parents take care of their children. This patience and dedication is expressed in the floral and honey tastes of their teas that reflect the beautiful nature in which they grow, where bees, wild flowers and a rich, nutrient-packed soil contribute to confer to the tea leaves a unique and distinctive touch.
high grade sencha from Japan

REGION : saga
A 100% organic sencha, wtih a perfect balance between sweetness and bitterness, and a delicious honey touch.  
50 Gr (1.76Oz) starting from: $
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high grade sencha from Japan

premium gyokuro
REGION : saga
A rare and 100% organic gyokuro, sweet with a touch of bitterness, with a floral aftertaste, woody note and beautiful golden hue.
50 Gr (1.76Oz) starting from: $
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