Monday, June 6, 2011

Saitama Tea Farm Visit

We had the great good fortune to visit a friend's tea farm or chabatake this past weekend. Small growers just over the border from Tokyo in the mountains of Saitama-ken, they are concerned about traces of radiation found on this year's harvest. Standing in the fields just below the farmhouse in the sunshine, it's hard to believe there could be any problems other than the deer and monkey's that eat everything, apparently, except tea bushes. (Readers with deer problems should thank their lucky stars they don't also have to worry about clever monkeys with no compunction about using their opposable thumbs to dig up crops and gardens.)






I'll be writing up the trip in more detail soon at another blog, but wanted to share a photo or two as it was such an extraordinary day. We weren't allowed to help with any of the work, so we took advantage of the opportunity to explore, nap, pepper the family with questions in our bad Japanese, and simply soak in the place.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. What lovely pics. Sounds like you enjoyed the trip. Roanne

Julia Munroe Martin said...

Those really are beautiful photos -- I especially love the first one because the tea looks so soft and velvety! I've seen coffee plantations but never tea. Beautiful!

Anjuli said...

ah, this brought back memories of my visits to Saitama...loved the pictures and look forward to your future blog post about this trip- it sounded very enjoyable.

Sheila Callahan said...

The photos look beautiful.

Sheila Callahan said...

Beautiful photos. Funny how the deer and monkeys don't eat the tea. Maybe they prefer it brewed?

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Thanks all! It was a great trip, and I'm working on the post even now. It's always a challenge to capture all the sights, sounds, and feelings of a trip like this one. Will post a link once it goes up!

Sheila, perhaps they do? Given how close the river is you'd think they'd nibble a few branches and plop them in an eddy.