Tea is an essential part of Japan’s food culture. Kyoto and Shizuoka are as the most well-known producers, but Kochi Prefecture is also highly regarded by those in the know. The mountainous Kochi Prefecture is the perfect natural environment for growing tea, and good quality Japanese camellia grows in the wild. The main areas of production are the steep mountain slopes where the clear waters of the Niyodo River and Shimanto River flow, and where there is a major variance in temperature between day and night. The beautifully golden, transparent teas grown here have long been a favorite, and are known collectively as “Tosa-cha” teas. Known for its strong aroma and deep, rustic flavor, it is a treasure used by artisans who blend teas to create better teas in blends to give more impact to their aromas. There are many areas in the prefecture which produce Tosa tea. You can enjoy comparing the slight differences in flavor, aroma, color, depth, and refinement created by differences in the environment and harvesting times. Other teas produced in the area include black teas grown in the Towa region and the town of Sakawa, as well as a fermented tea containing the lactic acid bacilli, called “Goishi” produced in the Yoshino River basin. The tranquil scenery of tea cultivation is also on full display. Deep in the mountains on precipitous slopes, the uniform furrows of brightly colored tea fields seem somehow nostalgic, acting as a window into the beauty of Japan as it was in ancient times. Tosa tea, the pride of Kochi, will refresh both your eyes and spirit with its beauty and deep flavor.