New green tea leaves (Shin-cha) harvest

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– May 1, 2021 –

The beginning of May is a week-long national holiday season called “Golden Week.” An eventful period of celebration, the timing also culminates in Hachiju-Hachi-Ya, one the most important and exciting days of the season. “Hachiju-Hachi” means eighty-eight and “Ya” means night. It represents eighty-eight nights from Risshun, or the beginning of spring. In Japanese traditional calendars “beginning” often means passing the peak of the previous period.

Haichiju-Hachi-Ya gives a broad signal for farmers to start picking the tea leaves around this time and/or to start planting rice in the rice fields. New tea leaves are called Shin-cha, meaning new tea, and Shin-cha is rich in flavor yet less bitter. From old days in Japan, drinking Shin-cha brings healthy living and longevity.