Kyoto Uji Sabou Yamamoto Jinjiro is a specialty store in Uji that focuses on tencha, the raw material for matcha. The shop is operated by Mr. Yamamoto Jintaro, who cultivates tencha within Uji city.
Mr. Yamamoto Jintaro is the sixth generation of a farming family with a history dating back to the Edo period. The shop is open only on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, where he sells products made from the tencha and matcha cultivated in his own fields.
Since tencha is typically processed into matcha, shops that sell tencha in its original state are quite rare.
Mr. Yamamoto practices the traditional tencha cultivation method known as “Honzu cultivation,” a practice that has been passed down for 400 years in Uji. In the conventional method of tencha cultivation that involves shading the tea plantation from sunlight, black synthetic fibers are commonly used as the shading material. However, “Honzu cultivation” uses natural materials like straw to cover the tea plantation, resulting in a unique aroma and color of tea leaves due to the different shading effect compared to synthetic fibers.
In Mr. Yamamoto’s tea processing factory, he possesses a valuable “Horii-style Tencha Manufacturing Machine” dating back to the Taisho era. This machine is still operational and used for drying tencha cultivated using the “Honzu cultivation” method.
At the shop, you can enjoy tasting the carefully crafted tencha by Mr. Yamamoto while learning about the tea-making process through conversation.
Choosing tea while listening to Mr. Yamamoto’s valuable insights is a special experience. Currently, the shop accepts reservations for visits, making it recommended to make a reservation in advance if you’re interested.
Address: 36 Uji Myoraku, Uji City, Kyoto
Opening hours: 12pm-5pm
Open on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays