Hayashi family organic teas from Kirishima

Mr Hayashi's tea gardens in Kirishima.

Shutaro Hayashi belongs to the fifth generation of a family of tea growers in Kirishima, in the south of Japan. These tea gardens were founded in 1897 by his great-great-grandfather. Located at the foot of the Kirishima mountains on a plateau, most of the family's garden plots are grouped together in a large area almost entirely surrounded by forest.

In 1993, Osamu, Shutaro's father, started growing without pesticides because every year he felt discomfort from the use of pesticides. He was afraid of the consequences for his family's health, but above all he noticed that the pesticides were not having the desired effect on his tea plants. Father Shutaro then transformed his gardens step by step, varying the diversity of tea trees present. There are now several species of tea bush, some of which are increasingly rare in Japan. For example: Yabukita, Kanaya Midori and Zairaishu (from tea seed plants).

After studying tea science as part of his agricultural studies, Shutaro Hayashi returned to the family gardens and has since taken responsibility for the production of certain types of tea, including one of those he is most proud of, Kirishima Tennen Gyokuro. Today, he works with several members of his family.

Shutaro Hayashi and his family

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