Municipal governments in Shizuoka Prefecture, the nation’s top green tea growing region, are coming up with various ways to promote the product, including setting up a green tea-colored post box and holding tea leaf picking tours for foreign tourists.
The city of Shimada in Shizuoka, which launched a project in November 2015 to promote green tea as the city’s main specialty brand, recently set up a green post box in front of the municipal government building. The government repainted the red post box green after making a request to Japan Post Holdings Co. and obtaining permission.
An open space near JR Shimada Station’s north exit was lit up green as part of the green tea promotion project, and a logo mark for the project can be seen
everywhere in the city, such as on green tea product packages, tea cups, bus stop signs, T-shirts worn by young baseball players and construction site signs.
In January, Shimada city released a rap music video “Shimada Greentea Song” online in Japanese, English and French to promote green tea at home and abroad. Last year in September, the city presented an original cocktail using green tea at ARETHE Paris, a festival of arts and teas held in Paris. In November, the city served green tea at 2016 Japan Vietnam Festival in Ho Chi Minh.
Between March 9 and 15, the city opened a temporary shop inside Loft variety store in Shibuya, Tokyo, and released the city’s first green tea brand which was jointly developed by JA Oigawa, an agricultural cooperative in Shizuoka, and youth associations of the city’s green tea industry promotion association.
Green tea growers in the city appreciate the municipal government’s moves, saying that growers are generally not good at promoting their products. JA Oigawa officials also said they hope people outside the prefecture and around the world would be attracted to Shimada’s green tea.
In the city of Shizuoka, green tea leaf picking tours are held to attract tourists, mainly from overseas such as China, taking advantage of the fact that the city is located close to Shizuoka Airport offering flights to and from China, Taiwan and South Korea, and Shimizu Port where many cruise ships from abroad call at.
Clean Tea Matsuno Co., a green tea producer in the city’s Aoi Ward, offers such tours even during the winter, and visitors to the farm can enjoy eating tea leaf tempura.
In mid-February, during the Chinese New Year, 22 tourists from Taiwan visited the green tea farm and experienced tea leaf picking. In May, the farm is planning to hold a tour for passengers of Japan’s largest cruise ship Asuka II.