Tourism is important for Shizuoka and Japan, but because of the pandemic, there have been no foreign tourists. As a result, the Japanese government is promoting tourism with the residents of Japan with several discount travel campaigns.
The prefecture I live in, Shizuoka, is well known for the green tea grown here. Even though I've lived in this prefecture for several years, I didn't know anything about the tea grown here. I was invited to participate in a tour of all things green tea last weekend. The participants included our very knowledgeable tour guide, six foreigners (Canada, France, Vietnam, and the US) who all live in Japan, and an employee of the Suruga Marketing and Tourism Bureau, as well as two photographers.
Our first stop was HAZ Cottage. We had a tour and explanation of the outside area first, where there is a drinking establishment, as well as an area for camping and a gorgeous view.
Next we moved indoors for the tea brewing and tasting experience.
Then we went out to the tea fields and learned about the growing and harvesting of the tea.
The next stop on the tea tour was the Fujinokuni Tea Museum, a beautiful new museum and Japanese Garden.
Inside the museum were many interesting exhibits about tea all over the world. It was nice to be able to read about the exhibits in English.
We ate lunch at the museum restaurant and it was wonderful.
There is still more to this tour. Please come back to read Part 2!