Yame Tea
600 years anniversary

600 years of yame ! let's celebrate

This April, Yame City will celebrate its 600th anniversary as the tea capital of Kyushu. Ikkyu will celebrate this special moment with special offers and events all year long.

To launch the festivities, Ikkyu has gathered some of the highlights of Yame tea history to share with you over the coming months. In order to benefit of the special offers, limited exclusive products, giveaways and much more, be sure to be registered to our Newsletter, or create an account in our shop, and benefit from our reward point system.

Our Yame tea promotion

20 - 31 January 2023

Benefit from a 10% automatic coupon on all YAME products ! 

March 30 - 4th april 2023

Benefit from a 15% automatic coupon on all YAME products ! 

7th April 2023

Introducing a new producer: Koga Seicha in Yame. We have 100 free bags of their best selling Premium Fukamushi Sencha.

Be the first to grab it : 1 free bag for each order above 50 USD (excluding shipping fees)

Our Yame tea gifts 2022

Do you love delicious and sweet tea? And free goodies? Good news! IKKYU is giving away some of the most incredible, fragrant and flavorful teas that Japan has to offer. Join us this whole month of February and get a free bag of Yame tea with any order over 50 USD(*).

In collaboration with Fukuoka prefecture, home to Yame, we’ve got over 300 bags from six different kinds of tea to give away, prepared by our award-winning producers. So claim your free tea bag now, and discover the incredible sweet taste of Yame tea.

But wait, there’s more! Share the love around you with your IKKYU account referral link or tag us on social media, and we'll pick three winners who’ll take home our entire gift selection of Yame tea. So share a little love for a perfect way to relax at the end of a busy day.
* Excluding shipping fees
Sweet, tasty, fragrant, fresh: our tea gift selections show you the incredible diversity of Yame-grown tea. All of them come packed in our IKKYU signature Washi wrapping, with a detailed information sheet including brewing preparation tips and tea origins.

HATSUNO - premium kabusecha, by Takaki san (50g)

SAE - premium dento Hon Gyokuro, by Kiya san (8g)

MIDORI - premium organic sencha, by Koga san (50g)

CHIHIRO - high-grade organic Koucha, by Harashima san (30g)

AKINA - high-grade matcha, by Mizota san (40g)

JIN - premium organic shiraore, by Irie san (50g)

What’s new in Yame?

Like all tea producers in Japan, Yame tea growers will soon get ready for the first harvest of 2023 starting in April for the most warm areas in Japan.

The Yame tea area won the Regional awards at the 75th All-Japan National Tea Competition in November 2021 for the incredible quality of its gyokuro. A dozen of Yame tea producers went home with the top awards in their categories, reflecting the hard work and skills of this community.


Located in Fukuoka prefecture, northern Kyushu, Yame is the sixth largest tea region of Japan and is home to 1,500 growers who have dedicated their lives to making some the best teas that Japan can offer.

While it produces only 3% of Japanese tea, Yame is renowned throughout Japan and overseas for its award-winning dento hon gyokuro, the King of green tea, the nec plus ultra of Japanese tea.

Thanks to the hard work of about two hundred specialized producers, Yame dento hon gyokuro has received the top national prizes for ten consecutive years, reflecting the skills and hard work of its producers.
But Yame isn’t only about this precious « jade dew » delicacy. Thanks to a wonderful micro-climate, its pristine water from the mountains, a rich soil and skills honed by hundred of years of experience, Yame tea growers produce a large range of Japanese green teas, from sencha to shiraore, kabusecha to matcha, as well as flavor-packed koucha (‘red tea’), known overseas as Japanese black tea.

Since the beginning of our venture, IKKYU has had the honor to work with several Yame producers, many of them behind some of our bestselling teas. Today, we bring the spotlight on them, including to a brand new member of the IKKYU network, Harashima san, who makes of the finest koucha (black tea)  that you can taste.

They were kind enough to answer our questions and share about their experience, goals and wonderful teas.  

IRIE Shunnosuke

" Weeding is the most challenging part of growing organic tea."
Irie San
Irie Toshiro became convinced of the health benefits of green tea when, at 20, he suffered from gallstones and recovered quickly thanks to taking up to drinking green tea from his hometown, Yame.For 35 years now, Irie san has invested his time and energy to grow 100% chemical- and pesticide-free green tea.

As such, he was one of the first tea producers in Japan to embrace organic tea production. Along with his son, he shows the utmost care for his fields and the environment, and is a fervent defender of sustainable agriculture and tea production.


" We grow our organic kocha tea leaves at our tea fields located at a fairly high altitude of 500-650 meters."
Harashima San
For three generations now, Harashima san’s family has dedicated their lives on the farms to grow and produce tea leaves of the highest quality. Harashima san is a Master in Sencha Tea Ceremony of the Kofu Sencha Reifu school, as well as a Nihoncha Instructor.

He joined his family tea company in 1983. Founded in 1950 by his grandfather, Chiyokichi, his tea business switched to organic and EU-regulations farming in 2008 under his direction.

Today, in addition to growing and processing tea, he runs a beautiful tea shop overlooking the Yabe river with his wife Eri and their daughter who prepares delicious tea-based lunches and desserts for their customers.


" The tea leaves of dento hon gyokuro are picked one by one. This tea is truly a piece of art."
Takaki San
Takaki san was born in 1973 in Hoshino Village, Yame (Fukuoka prefecture). He graduated from Yame High School and studied business and management for 7 years at Vancouver, Canada.

As the first son of Takaki Green Tea Farm he naturally took over his family business in 1999 from his father.His dynamism, the excellence of his products and love of his area have raised Takaki san to the position of leading voice among young tea producers in the Yame area.

His green tea has won some of the highest national awards during the recent years and many will follow in the coming years we are sure of that !

Koga kumiko

" Delicious tea starts with a healthy soil. Healthy soil nutrients make a uplifting and nourishing tea."
Koga San
Koga Kumiko san represents the fourth generation at her family business KOGACHA GYO in Yame, Fukuoka. Working alongside her mother, president of the company, and her father, director of operations, she is a tea instructor.
Dedicated to lead her company through the challenges of the green tea industry in the 21st century, she is in charge of overseas sales.

She also travels around the world to give tea seminars to introduce Yame green tea to foreign tea lovers.


" Drinking green tea and wine is quite similar. Both require land, farmers, cultivars, producers and masters who evaluate taste and quality."
Kiya San
Kiya Yasuhiko the Third (heir and third owner of Kiya-horyouen) is a certified Japanese Tea Appraiser (out of a total of 39 in Japan). He works to spread new ideas and concepts about Japanese tea and promote Yame tea, gyokuro and tea culture in general.

We are honored to propose Kiya san’s incredible teas and be able to collaborate together on new ways to enjoy green tea by going beyond the traditional approach.Kiya san has developed exclusive teas for IKKYU.

His deep and unique knowledge of tea along with the quality of Kiya san’s products will lift you to the highest levels of Japanese green tea.


" We wish to bring delicious and high-quality tea to everyone"
Mizota San
Mizota Chisako san was born in Fukuoka prefecture in 1937. She got married at age of 19 and began to farm green tea. She worked hard every day, even when it was rainy or windy.

The couple decided to open a tiny tea shop.After her husband won the top prize of the All Japan Green Tea Competition, a government award, their green tea became a sensation throughout all Japan.

Characteristics of Yame tea

a taste apart

In Yame, the first tea of the year (shincha) is picked between mid-April and May, with its peak in early May. The second harvest is done from mid-June to early July, and the third one at the start of August, although most growers don’t pick it.

Tea lovers praise Yame tea for its strong umami, round and full taste, its sweetness and deep color, with only a little touch of bitterness and astringency. They enjoy its distinctive lingering taste, that lasts quite longer than green tea made in other regions. Each sip is a journey that will awaken your senses.

While Yabukita is the main tea cultivar used in Yame, others that are less known are also used by growers to bring more sweetness and flavor to your cup, such as Kanaya midori, Oku midori, Sae midori or Yamakai.

Dento hon gyokuro is shaded using rice straws covers, and not plastic sheets. With humidity, the flavor and aroma of the straw transfers to the tea leaves. Today, this process is only found in Yame.

Yame dento hon gyokuro benefits from the Japanese Geographical Indication protection system that testifies of its origins, high quality and traditional production process. 
The Geographical Indication label

Green Tea in a Wine Glass

another tea experience

We all love a delicious brew of green tea poured in a delicate cup. But did you know that you can get a whole different taste and aroma experience with a wine glass?

The shape of wine glasses is the result of long years of research. Of course, there are dozen of types out there, but all of them share a similar concept rooted in science - a bowl that release and collect all the precious wine aromas. And this works perfectly with green tea, too, as this is also a beverage that has complex and delicate tastes.

As Kiya san shows us in his interview, you can pour either hot-brewed or cold-brewed sencha or gyokuro in a wine glass (any kind of will do). We did the same with cold-brewed houjicha (Irie san’s), and we were amazed by the result. A must for all of you green tea lovers!

History and location of yame

600 years of history

In 1423, a Japanese Buddhist monk, Master Shuzui, came back from China with tea seeds and founded in Yame city a temple where he planted them.
With these first tea trees, tea production was introduced to Yame area. Today, 90% of Fukuoka tea production is grown in Yame area.

southern japan, the perfect climate

Yame City is in a vast expanse of plain in Chikushi Region (Chikushi Plain) in the south of Fukuoka Prefecture (4,987 km2, pop. 5 million).

Chikushi Plain is blessed with an ideally wonderful climate and fertile soil conditions for agricultural production.

In particular, the area ranging from Chikugo River basin to Yabe River basin (called as Yame Region) has produced green tea for centuries.

Thanks to the area's particular soil, most of the green tea produced in this region has a full-bodied taste and a remarkable sweetness.
Morning mists and river fogs are very frequent. Curtains of fog wrap green tea plantations, properly blocking sunlight. 

This helps generating more amino acids (including theanine, glutamic acid, arginine, etc.) within the tea leaves.

In  addition, Yame enjoys an inland climate-high temperature during daytime and very low temperatures at  night. 

Finally,  the region receives an annual rainfall of 1,600 mm to 2,400 mm. These  features are ideal for green tea production.

visiting yame

the gallery

Behind the scenes

an incredibile team at work

To bring you this special Yame Tea promotion project, IKKYU collaborated with the talented DOKOCHA team. DOKOCHA is a young start-up also located in Fukuoka and dedicated to help Japanese tea lovers find the best addresses in Japan to enjoy a delicious cup of tea.

Along with the representative of Fukuoka prefecture, we spent exciting days traveling around Yame to interview tea farmers and masters. The weather was beautiful, and it was a perfect opportunity for us to meet our partners in person again after many months of pure online communication.
We share with you today a few shots taken behind the scenes.

A lot of hard work but also many smiles and laughs, around such unique people and exclusive cups of tea!


Date of Birth
Year I joined tea farming / business
Year our business started
I am the 4th generation president of Takaki Chaen.My grandfather started tea farming around 100 years ago.
Nihoncha (Japanese tea) Instructor No.05-1455
Platinum Prize of the Kabusecha Division at Nihoncha Award 2014
Most favorite Yame tea
Tea field location
All of our tea fields are located in Hoshino Village.
Production volume per year, Altitude
Dento Hon Gyokuro: Area 50a, Altitude 150-200m, Production 150kg/year
Sencha & Kabusecha: Area 550a, Altitude 150m-660m, Production 3,500kg/year
Place of production
All tea leaves are grown and processed within the Hoshino Village

Kumiko KOGA

Year our business started
Company was founded in1938
Gold Award at Monde Selection (with Yame white tea)
Most favorite Yame tea

Yasuhiko KIYA

Date of Birth
Year I joined tea farming / business
Joined Kiya Hoyu-en Co., Ltd. in 1992, became CEO in 2006
Year our business started
April, 1930
Japanese Tea Appraiser, Tea Master 5-dan
Most favorite Yame tea
Yame Dento Hon Gyokuro: Gokou
Kabusecha: Okumidori
Sencha: Yabukita
Production volume per year, Altitude
Yame Dento Hon Gyokuro 
Cultivar: Gokou
Production area: 790㎡,
Altitude: 200m,
Production Volume: 30kg
We have been involved in all the process of tea making, from the farm to the brewing. We constantly make every effort to deliver best of the best Japanese tea to our customers.


Year I joined tea farming/business
Year our business started
Started to grow and process tea in 2008. (non-chemical residue according to the EU regulation)
Started to grow and make Wa-kocha in 2012.
Got organic JAS certification and started to grow non-pesticide and nonchemical teas in 2015.
Nihoncha (Japanese tea) Instructor N.0205
Sencha: Received the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Awards 3 times
Gyokuro: 5th place of the First Rank at National Tea Competition
Koucha:  Benifuki Spring Pluck Fine Product Prize at Nihoncha Award 4 stars at Japan Tea Festival's Premium Tea Contest
Koucha: Benifuki Summer Pluck 5 stars at Japan Tea Festival's Premium Tea Contest
Kuocha: Okuyame Kohaku 3 stars at Japan Tea Festival's Premium Tea Contest
Haru-no-ka (natural-flavored tea with Kocha and cherry leaf) : Fine Product Prize at Nihoncha Award

Shunnosuke IRIE

Date of birth
Year I joined tea farming/business
Year our business started
Nihoncha (Japanese tea) Advisor
Silver medal at the World Green Tea Contest
Prize of the Chikugo Federation of Business Executives
Production volume per year, Altitude
Area of tea field: 1.7ha
Certification information
Eurofins certified
Organic JAS Certified
Passed residual pesticide test