Obuku is the first place where tea trees were planted in the Uji region of Japan. They were planted by Kohken, a Buddhist monk, around 1271, after Eisai popularized the idea of tea drinking in Japan around 1191.
Obuku is a small area of land with a diameter of just 0.4 miles (600 meters). Even today, Obuku is known for producing very rare, highest grade Sencha. In Japan, there are only a few places where top grade Sencha is produced , and the Obuku area in Uji is one of them. Obuku is located in mountain ravines, where tiny streams run, and the soil is full of minerals. The misty climate, sloping hills, warm days and cool nights provide a very ideal setting to grow the highest grade tea. Indeed, Sencha produced in the Obuku area was presented to the Japanese Emperors for many years. (The tea leaves for our Sencha Pinnacle and Sencha Super Premium are harvested in the Obuku area.)One special advantage of the Obuku region is that it never frosts, even on very cold winter mornings. Because of Obuku’s unique geography, it is always mildly windy. It is said that the wind blows the frost away and that this is the reason why there is no frost in Obuku. Some farmers who own tea farms in the Obuku area wonder if the Buddhist monk, Kohken who planted tea trees at first in the Obuku area had known of these complex geographical features and optimum conditions for tea trees. If so, why and how had he known this a long time ago?