Meet Jana and Yuka, IKKYU's new team members


2020 has been quite a year for IKKYU, and 2021 holds many promises and today, we are happy to announce that our team is growing, and we couldn't be more excited about it!

As we celebrate our fourth year in business, it's a pleasure to introduce Jana and Yuka. Jana is a certified medical yoga instructor and business consultant, and Yuka a Japanese tea instructor and sommelier. Together, they bring decades of experience on the table and will help IKKYU transition to the next stage of our venture. Thanks to their collaboration, in 2021, we will share with you new in-depth content about the world of Kyushu green tea and wellness, bringing together Japanese traditions and modernity.

Jana Charles Kinoshita
Wellness advisor & sales manager

I am maybe the latest addition to the IKKYU team, but I've lived in Japan already for more than 17 years, including 14 in Kyushu. I've had many opportunities to participate to Japanese Tea ceremonies, through my love of kimono and nihonbuyo, the Japanese traditional dance.

I've had the chance to taste high-quality teas as I've lived in the most famous green tea regions of Kyushu. My French upbringing  and my love of good cuisine helped me with developing a good palate, but I was not convinced by the traditional Japanese food-green tea combination of tastes… mainly iced-sugar delicacies.

I take great pleasure in deepening my knowledge of Japanese green teas, but above all in imagining a more modern approach to tasting that could broaden green tea's appeal overseas. Today, I am grateful for the opportunity to think about developing new ways for you to taste these very high-quality teas, with new, modern and surprising food associations.

Tomoike Yuka
Japanese tea instructor & sommelier

Born in Fukuoka City, I am still living in this great city. I love traveling, yoga, Netflix and learning French. Growing up in a traditional family, green tea has always been part of my life. There was a time when I was very interested in coffee and tea, but in the end, I realized that green tea was the best for my palate and my daily life.

My real passion started when I tried to self-brew a very famous tea, Yame Gyokuro. It is such a delicious tea... but for some reason I couldn’t brew it well.  It was the start of my quest for green tea best tasting and preparation. I eventually became a Japanese tea instructor.

Recently, I have been working on trying different combination of tastes, tea-food matching, desserts and sometimes cocktails, too. Tea is such a fun product to work with! It is a part of me, all day long.

During a recent tasting session, Yuka prepared a wonderful cocktail of Japanese saké (nihonshu) blended with organic matcha. Look at this bright green liqueur!


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