The weather is getting warmer and flowers are blooming. Spring has come!!
According to the traditional Japanese lunar calendar in Japan, the 88th day since the beginning of spring is called HachijyuHachiya(八十八夜), which falls around May 1st-2nd. It is famous as an important date for farmers, especially tea farmers.
The number 8 is considered auspicious in Japan, so the 88th day sounds very lucky. Tea picked on this day is said to give the drinker long life. Nowadays tea is not always picked up on the exact 88th day, it depends on weather conditions and situation of growth, but this word is still commonly used among tea farmers or tea lovers to mark the beginning of tea season.
The tea picked on this day is called Shincha. Shincha in Japanese literally means ‘‘new tea‘‘ and it is usually know as ‘‘First Flush‘‘ in English.
In Kagoshima, tea trees will be shaded 1 week before harvest. We went vivst the tea farms in Kirishima, Northern Kagoshima last Saturday (25, April), and found that farmers were shading the tea trees. So that means the harvest here will start right on the 88th day of this year.
In the picture above shows that the color of shaded leaves is obviously darker than unshaded leaves.
The unshaded part is more like yellowgreen color.
Flowers looks very lively among teas :D
We also found a beautiful bug rested in the organic tea farm.
After a long wait, the harvest has finally come!
The tea farms look very peaceful and everythings look pretty good. We thanks to the God and farmers's hard work and effort, the tea of this year also looks great and delicious, too.
Let us drink some teas and celebrate to the new harvest together!!