小さなお茶の旅

小さなお茶の旅
静岡から車で北へ1時間、標高約600mの山間にある茶畑へ。静岡の街中から1時間。どんどん緑が深くなり、道の脇は断崖絶壁。車がやっと1台通れる程の山道をぐんぐん登っていきます。見渡す限りの山と川。「ここに茶畑があるの?」と疑問に思ってしまう程です。

Little trip to Tea Farm
From Shizuoka city, it takes one hour by car. The car head north for tea farm that is in a mountainous area, which is 600 meters above the sea. The view becomes deep green forest. The road’s side is a precipice. The car climbs a narrow mountain path. Only mountains and rivers are there as far as the eye can see. Maybe you doubt that there is tea farm such a place.


たくさんのわさび田が出迎えてくれます
綺麗な水と空気で育つ山葵は、静岡の山間部が、発祥の地。渓流の、あちらこちらに、わさび田が見られます。青々と茂る葉が目にも鮮やか。古くは徳川家康も、この地域で採れたわさびの香りと、独特の辛味を絶賛し門外不出になったと言われています。

Much wasabi farm greets you.
Mountainous area of Shizuoka is the birthplace of wasabi that grows well in a clean air and water. There are some wasabi farms at the side of mountain streams. That leaves are fresh green. Ieyasu Tokugawa (The great first Shogun of Edo period) preferred the wasabi made in this area. Those have good aroma and special hot taste. And he prohibited the wasabi form being brought out from this area.


さぁ、天空の茶園へ
緑輝く茶園と、眼下に広がる山河。周囲を緑に囲まれた山間にひっそりと茶園はあります。車がほとんど通らないので、空気が綺麗。あまりの気持ちよさに、思わず深呼吸してしまいます。収穫量は平地に比べて少ないですが、ミネラル分が豊富で水はけのよい土壌、日光を遮る朝霧などお茶の生産に最適な場所。ここで、香り高く、旨味が強い、おいしいお茶が育ちます。

Let’s go to the tea farm of the open sky.
Under the tea farms of brilliant green, rivers and mountains are spreading. They are surrounded with many green mountains. The air is very clean because there are few cars. The people who visit this place can’t help taking a deep breath because of good feeling. A crop of tealeaves is not so much than that of flat land. But the soils contain much mineral, and morning mist helps to block the sun. Here is the best place of growing high quality tealeaves that contain good aroma and much UMAMI taste.


自然との共生
大河内地区では、日照時間や品種、作りたいお茶などに合わせて、肥料や手入れの仕方を変えて、お茶づくりをするそう。例えば、1年に1度しかお茶を摘まない、大河内地区平野にある有機の茶畑では、自然に逆らわず、必要以上に手をかけずにお茶を育てます。茶園の手入れで一番大変な作業が、雑草取り。こまめに雑草を抜く、地道な作業が続きます。また、鹿や猪、マムシや蛇など動物が出ることも、しばしば。動物との共生も大切です。

Symbiosis with nature
In OOKOUCHI area, farmers grow tealeaves, according to the daylight hour, the species, the tea that they like to make, they change the fertilizer and method of care. For example, in the organic tea farm of HIRANO OOKOUCHI area, where only once a year tealeaves are cropped, tea farmers do not go against nature, and not with too much care. Weeding is the hardest work at the tea farms. Labor of weeding diligently is needed all through the year. Deer, wild boars, snakes and some wild animals live in this area. Sometimes they appear in the tea farm. Symbiosis with animals is important, too.