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Participants' Review

Alan Yee from Canada (March. 2024 - Onsite)

photoI would like to thank the Shizuoka Green Tea Association for providing this opportunity and to Otsuka Green Tea Company for allowing me to join them!


It was very important for me to build a strong relationship with my suppliers and for each company to understand our goals and objectives. Though I was only able to spend a few days in the program, Otsuka Company shared their knowledge of tea, the raw materials selection, and manufacturing process. I truly enjoyed learning how to taste the different Sencha flavors and notes as well as the business processes. I would be happy to share their quality of tea with my friends, family, and customers.

My time with the Nagata Family was truly memorable and a big thank you to Kohei for his extensive knowledge about the business. I hope to come visit again as soon as possible!

Xenia Blanco from The Japanese Tea Hub in Spain (Nov. 2023 - Online experience)


Although I already had some in deep knowledge about Japanese Teas, I wanted to undertake the Shizuoka Online Tea Study Program since there is always room for learning new things about processing methods, unique ways each company deals with the teas, as well as the latest innovations.

Personally, I had many questions about a number of topics and all were answered with a detailed explanation. It was also a good time for me to train my Japanese language listening skills which was definitely a bonus.

Coincidentally, I had met Hattori-san before during the Tea Study Trip organized by the Japan Tea Export Council back in 2018 so it was nice to be able to connect with him again after a long time.

All and all, I encourage everyone with interest in Japanese teas to apply for this program and take advantage of the opportunity to connect with Shizuoka tea producers directly.

Many thanks for the experience, I will definitely keep an eye on Hattori-san's work!

Ingrid Wang from the UK (June-July. 2023 - Onsite)


This Japanese Green tea study programme allowed me to understand and explored more about Japanese tea , more over, it also showed me how Japanese cares about their green tea, shows respects to teas, to tea farmers ,valued their tea culture and appreciated what they been inherited for hundreds of years from their ancestors. However, to cultivated the exceptional high quality of Japanese green tea, involved plenty of hard-workings, time, cares, and determinations, therefore, some of tea growers are worried about younger generation are not interested in this tea business. It is certainly my pleasure and honour to be here! I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thanks to Mr. and Mrs Nagata.

Now fingers crossed, once I back to UK will set up the web site, on-line shop shortly, and hoping my listed premises will get all sort of licenses that requested by local council in order to open my dream Japanese -Taiwanese style tea salon in 2024.

Justine Ng from Singapore (May. 2023 - Online experience)


Incredible knowledge and experience I gain during the Japanese Tea Workshop with Kanei Hitokoto. It was truly an enlightening and enjoyable event, and I feel fortunate to have been part of it. Their expertise and passion for the Japanese tea were evident throughout the workshop, and I was amazed by the type of information they shared.

The hands-on on activities was well organized, the explanation were clear and concise, making it easy for me to follow along.

Scott Brills from Asa Tea in the U.S. (April. 2023 - Onsite)


I was blown away by my two-week experience with Otsuka Seicha (Otsuka Green Tea Co.) during spring 2023. From the very start, the hospitality was exceptional. My time in Kakegawa City was spent exploring the tea fields that surrounded the city, experiencing how tea was harvested and processed in facilities nearby. Early mornings at the office were spent learning about blending, classifying, tasting, and selling tea. I also had the chance to participate in multiple tea ceremonies, as well as the day-to-day responsibilities of running a tea company (doing stock checks, deliveries, and pop-up sales events).

It was definitely a very unique experience, being a part of a Japanese tea company that had nearly 150 years of history. I highly recommend this program it to anyone else who is passionate about tea in general, especially Japanese tea.

A huge thank you to everyone at Otsuka, as well as my “host parents”, the Nagata family! I look forward to visiting everyone again during my next trip to Japan.

Marie Romano from the U.S. (Jan. 2023-Online, April-May 2023 - Onsite)


-Online- It was such a pleasure to meet with Ryutsu Service Co., Ltd. to le,arn about their company. I was especially intrigued by their efforts in sustainability, such as through the use of solar panels to power their facilities. The online program was a quick and informational look into their business, the process of making teas, tasting teas, and an introduction to their wonderful products. As someone who loves the breadth of varieties of Japanese teas, I thought I had tried them all -- I was wrong! Ryutsu blew me away with their Gaba Gyokuro and Koushun Kaoricha. It became evident that their business model is focused on innovation, striving to develop new strategies to grow and produce delicious and unique teas. All in all, the staff at Ryutsu Service Co., Ltd. and everyone behind the World Green Tea Association made this a wonderful experience. I am very thankful to have been able to participate and hope to connect with more tea businesses in Japan in the future!

-Onsite- I had a wonderful two weeks with Ryutsu Service. During my internship, I was able to gain an inside perspective on Japanese tea harvesting, processing, packaging, and marketing. Mr. Hattori and the staff were all very welcoming and supported me through my studies. In addition to helping with spring harvests and product packaging, I was even able to visit the tea research institute in Shizuoka to witness the new production techniques in making Kaoricha. I am very happy to have had the opportunity to participate in this program and am very thankful to everyone at Ryutsu Service and o-Cha!


Marc Alexandre from Ooika in the U.S. (Dec. 2022 - Onsite)


My time with Ryutsu Service Co., was both valuable and memorable for anyone interested in deeping their understanding of Japanese tea. Over my three days with Ryutsu, I was able to visit their production facilities, tencha and gyokuro fields, and even their picturesque mountain-side tencha processing facility.

Ryutsu has a focus on sustainability, revitalizing abandoned farmlands (known as 耕作放棄地), utilizing extensive solar farming, and using ecological-friendly growing methods. The company's owner, Hattori-san, was able to convey has passion and expertise of Japanese tea. Keiko-san of Ryutsu put together an itinerary that covered all elements of tea making from the factory tour. It was apparent how much effort went into the program, and I'm so thankful for Ryutsu providing me with so much effort instruction while visiting. Perhaps most importantly was the tea itself, of which was excellent in taste and profile. It was because of my time at Ryutsu that I was able to experience their delicious tea. I am pleased to offer it to my customers via Ooika.

Knowing of my interest in traditional Temomicha (manual hand rolling), Hattori-san invited me back to the farm during the tea-harvest season to participate. This is just one small example of the care and consideration Ryutsu had for me during my tea study. With deep gratitude, I thank both the STSP, and Ryutsu for this meaningful experience I've received.

Oskar Szymanski from Poland (Sep. 2022-Online experience)


It was a great pleasure to take part in Shizuoka Tea Study Program with Kanei Hitokoto.

This course was a pleasant and well used time.

I will definitely remember new facts about japanese green tea and i would love to continue learning about it. It was wonderful to hear about tea from its producers, I am grateful for their time and knowledge.

Yasufumi Nakahira from JFC International Inc. (Miami Sales Office) in the U.S. (Dec. 2021-Online experience)


Both instructors from Kanei were very enthusiastic and nice. It is very easy to understand the lectures. The lectures were very organized. Even a tea begginer like me easily understand it.

Drinking tea without the knowledge of the tea productions is much less valuable for my life. I would like to continue learning more and more about Japanese tea.

Thank you for the great learning opportunity.

Maurizio Di Paolo from Master Horeca Srl - Colonials Tea & Coffee in Italy (Oct. 2021-Online experience)


First of all, I would like to thank all organizers (World Green Tea Association and all producers), who together made this wonderful online study project possible.

I have had the opportunity to taste directly with producers some different green tea samples according to Japanese professional tea evaluation way: a rare experience, if we only consider the long distance among each other. This on-line study program STSP, although very short in terms of duration, certainly has to be recommended to all those people who have choosen the world of tea as business.

I carefully look at all the future opportunities that will gradually arise in order to deepen this healty beverage universally known as Tea: hopefully in the Japanese land of Shizuoka.

Thanks again for the opportunity.

Best regards from Rome;

Cristina Kobayashi from Philippines (Oct. 2021 - Onsite)


First of all I would like to thanks Shizuoka Tea Study Program especially to my host Mr. Yoshino and Sanwa Co. , I appreciate for having this unique valuable experience.

I had a wonderful experience when I have an opportunity to see personally the Sanwa‘s Company factory and able to meet their friendly staffs.
The content was detailed very well, how to prepare tea, know how to brew, inspecting and tea evaluation, so much interesting points that will give you knowledge about tea. I enjoyed so much the tea evaluation, tasting different types of teas, knowing different information of tea products, it’s characteristic, flavor, and the umami.

I had an opportunity also to see Sanwa’s Co. high tech equipment, observed their actual processing, very clean, safe and healthy processing, their passionate in making tea is noticeable. They have an excellent techniques in roasting and blending teas. I strongly recommend this program to those who’s in Japanese tea business, and for those who wants to know about Japanese tea.

BIG thanks to the World Green Tea Association, I really appreciate for having this unique program .
“SANWA CO.” Thank You So much for all the time and extra efforts to help me make more understand the valuable information and facts about tea production. I hope the relationship will continue for a long time. And for future projects, may we promote and support together the Japanese tea.

Paula Braga Batista from Brazil (Sep. 2021-Online experience)


I had the opportunity to participate in the Shizuoka Tea Study Program online in September 2021, through two sessions with different companies.

I have been studying Japanese tea for a few years and there is always something to learn. But I think the most legitimate learning experiences are when we have the opportunity to meet the producers, hear their stories from them, know how they produce, see how they prepare and evaluate their tea. Thus we build real and affective knowledge!

So, during the two sessions of the program, I can say I learned more than in all my years of study. It was fantastic!!! Quality theoretical and practical content. And as I was in Japan during the sessions, I was able to receive tea samples to taste and practice some evaluation methods. So I had a complete and amazing training!

I can't imagine how it could be better than it was!!! My feedback about my online experience with the STSP is really as positive as possible! I strongly recommend!!! In addition to the perfect organization, constant support and quality content, I feel I have built good relationships that I hope will last forever. And may we support and promote future projects involving Japanese tea together.

I take this opportunity to congratulate the Association for the initiative. Even with the limitations imposed by the pandemic, the program can take place online and satisfactorily, enabling real learning experiences and information exchange. And a special thanks to SANWA and OSADA TEA, my host companies.

Long live Shizuoka tea! Kanpai!!!


Anne from Switzerland (Feb. 2021-Online experience)


photoI can highly recommend the online class about Sencha to anyone interested in Japanese tea.

The content was extremely detailed and dense: Japanese tea statistics, production, and refining, tasting, evaluation and brewing. The class was packed with interesting content and time went too fast!

I also enjoyed the possibility to virtually meet the tea farmers and listen to/watch their explanations about the various steps of the tea production process. There is so much work, time and passion involved in Japanese “green gold”.

I would like to thank the organizations and companies involved in the Shizuoka Tea Study Program. It was a wonderful online experience, and I will do my best to visit the companies when we can travel to Japan again. My sincere thanks to the World Green Tea Association, Ryutsu Service Co., Ltd., Otsuka Green Tea Co., Ltd., and Kanei Hitokoto Seicha Inc.



Chiara Bartolozzi from Italy (Feb. 2021-Online experience)



It has been a great pleasure to take part in the first online SHIZUOKA TEA STUDY PROGRAM and meet, albeit virtually, some of the local green tea producers.

I was inspired by their passion and dedication for their daily work and exquisite products. Gaining insight into how Sencha is harvested and produced, and learning how to brew a proper cup of Japanese green tea has been a unique experience.

I really look forward to visiting their lush and vibrant green tea plantations and learning more about tea trade.


Han Le from Salon de Thé Oasis, Thés Guru in Canada (Feb. 2021-Online experience)



First of all, I would like to thanks the organizers of this event, the tea producers and all those who made this fantastic event possible. The event covered all that is needed to know about Japanese teas and detailed very well Shizuoka’s tea production industry. This program covers all the interesting points to help and gives you the knowledge tools to make you an “expert” about Japanese tea.

It is also a very good way to know and connect with tea producers from Shizuoka.

I strongly recommend this program to those who wish to know about Japanese tea and those who do business in the Japanese tea field. I see this program as an essential tool! I will definitively participate again if the chance occurs!

Thank you.


Sascha Kobitz from SHO CHA in Germany (Jan. 2021-Online experience)


First of all, I want to thank the people of Shizuoka Tea Program, Sato san of Kawabata Tea Farm as well as Shiratori san of theanoholic for giving me a great opportunity to pick the brain of the owner of an organic tea farm. I learned a lot about the challenges of producing organic green tea, inspecting tea quality, and steeping methods.

It was really a unique experience. On top of that I was able to make a business connection with Kawabata Tea Farm and really hope the relationship will continue for a long time. I hope to be able to again participate in the future.


Keller Melanie from greenuance in Germany (Sep. 2020 - Onsite)

First of all, I'd really like to thank you everyone from the Shizuoka Tea Study Program, especially my host company Ryutsu Service Co. Ltd. for their time and for sharing so much information and knowledge about Japanese tea. Not only was I able to learn a lot of valuable information and facts about tea production, but I was even able to create my own "Kaori Sencha" tea and therefore could experience all the necessary tea production steps in a hands-on approach. Furthermore, I could join in the harvesting and even weeding the organic tea fields, which helped a lot to appreciate how much hard work is necessary even before the actual production process starts. I also really enjoyed the several tea tasting and Matcha preparation sessions as well as the information regarding different cultivars and tea products.


I am really grateful to everyone for this valuable experience and happy for the great partnerships and friendships that were created during the Shizuoka Tea Study Program. I am looking forward to coming back to Shizuoka the next time.


Yvette Arizala from yv et té boutique artisan teas Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Feb. 2020 - Onsite)


Overall, the experience was truly meaningful and impactful. I still talk about it today with our tea community. The relationships, partnerships, and friendships created was probably the most important take away for me. 

As a Tea Practitioner and Small Business Owner, it’s important to understand all the players & processes involved in the supply chain. The program provided an in-depth knowledge and deepened my understanding of Japanese Green Tea from production, brewing, blending, evaluation and tasting, while working side-by-side with Tea growers and Japanese Tea Experts.  

I also highly enjoyed the interactive hands-on activities and workshops on Matcha preparation and learning how to create Nerikiri Japanese sweets.  


Everyone was very generous with their time and willingness to share their knowledge and experience. I’d recommend this to anyone interested learning about Japanese Green Teas directly from the source. Once again, I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity.


Kingston Gee from ChaTo in the U.S. (Feb. 2020 - Onsite)

I want to once again thank everyone involved with allowing me to join the inaugural Shizuoka Tea Study Program. An extraordinary opportunity. My time in Shizuoka was incredible. Everything was first class. Every question I asked was answered in full.

 I visited top-notch tea farms, Shizuoka Tea Market, a Gyokuro tea farm and tea house. I visited factories where aracha was refined, factories where the finalized product was set for delivery/export.


I met so many people, so many Masters on this trip. What I was amazed at was; it was so obvious that each and every Master I met was so willing and gracious to voluntarily share information and knowledge. The information they dispensed was invaluable, yet they so willing and explained everything with no hesitation.  

I truly feel the Program has changed my life, I feel such an obligation to share and give the information I have learned to anyone who is willing to receive it. (hopefully our customers, at ChaTo).



Marjolein from Simon Lévelt in Netherlands (Feb. 2020 - Onsite)

As a tea practitioner, I am always keen to learn more about tea. Being able to see tea farms, meet farmers and producers is something very special and offers many opportunities to learn.


Although I have attended a tea study programme before in Shizuoka two years ago, I still have learned many new things on this tour. The programme had a good variety to show different aspects and perspectives within the tea industry.


P. Andre from Les Jardins de Gaïa in France (Feb. 2020 - Onsite)


For any Japanese tea lover, doing the Shizuoka Tea Study Program in the province of Shizuoka which is the largest production area in Japan, located by the sea and mountains, is a dream... The World Green Tea Association's team is made up of enthusiasts and especially their members have given me a very warm welcome. I lived an experience which enriched me considerably and I no longer see Japanese tea in the same way.

Meeting a temomi master, understanding how a tea master can transform a characterless aracha into a sublime sencha through the art of shiage, visiting the tea fields with the great Mount Fuji in the background is a unique experience.

The internship lasted only five days but I learned a lot. I was finally able to discover the world of Japanese tea from the inside. And above all, everything went wonderfully well with always great attention to detail and quality. I hope to be able to return to Japan after the health crisi and I will not fail to greet the members of the team if I go through Shizuoka.

Thank you again for everything!


Yuri Hayashi from Escola de Cha Embahu – Tea School in Brazil (Feb. 2020 - Onsite)

This program offers a great experience for those who want to immerse into the world of Japanese teas.

In addition to all the technical information (cultivation, processing, tea cupping, etc.) with hands on lessons from local specialists, participants have access to the entire tea production inside various factories. The whole experience adds to our knowledge and helps to increase the perception of drinking Japanese tea.

All the producers we visited were extremely receptive to the group. The program staff is very supportive as well, with english speaking guides.

I have always enjoyed Japanese tea. But those days in Shizuoka had taken me to another level of appreciation for this culture.
Thank you for this unique opportunity!


Pavel & Veronica from tesuko brand in Spain (Feb. 2020 - Onsite)


The experience was very very good. Great to know the internal knowledge about tea industry.



It’s a great opportunity to meet new farmers and tea company, always it's good to continue spread the differences ways to view the tea and to have new products in our tea business.


Everything was perfect: the time, the schedules, the different experiences and learnings... Two years ago I had participated in another tea in Shizuoka and if I compared, this one was great.


Boris & Niels from LEMONCHA LLC in Switzerland (Feb. 2020 - Onsite)


Everyone was so nice. This program was great. Very happy to participate.



We work in the Tea Industry in Switzerland and it was a perfect occasion
to learn more about Japanese tea and meet farmers (something almost
impossible normally).


The program was amazing! All the people we met were genuinely nice and
welcoming. All the activities and visits were interesting and well organized.