Zen Green Tea’s founder Erin spent the month of May in Japan for the Zen Green Tea Spring matcha harvest.
She want’s to share with you her top Japan travel tips!
In May this year I was lucky enough to spend a month in Japan during the Spring matcha harvest to meet all our wonderful tea farmers and be a part of all the action!
During this month I took quite a few trips around Japan and I discovered some really great experiences I wanted to share with you! Here they are!
Shinjuku Yakitori Alley: When you exit the train station at Shinjuku in Tokyo your senses are bombarded with billboards and masses of people. Just 1 minute walk away however you will see a little alleyway with cherry blossoms across the top. This entrance way leads you into Yakitori Alley cladded in traditional Japanese style wood there are gorgeous little bustling four- eight seater restaurants with one cook behind the bar. It’s a brilliant experience
to sit at the bar and sample delicious sizzling meats on sticks or gorgeous Udon Noodles!
Golden Gai: Just a ten minute walk from Shinjuku station is Golden Gai, a small block of over 200 bars. These bars are tiny- generally only housing four to eight people at a time. It’s great to bar hop drinking Sake, Plum Wine and also sampling the bar snacks and chatting with the owners.
While visiting the World Tea Festival in Shizuoka I took a little overnight trip to the Izu Penninsula. It really surprised me with its blue coastlines and beauty. I stayed at a gorgeous hotel/hostel called “K’s House” which was a hundred year old tradional inn. It was right on a stream so at night you can hear the trickling of water. It also had beautiful hot spring baths – both a private one to enjoy on your own or a larger one to enjoy with other guests. I did a beautiful walk around Mount Omuro- you catch a cable car up to the top and there is a short walking track around the rim of the grass covered volcano. Stunning views!
Mirajima Island (off the coast of Hiroshima)
I took a half day trip from Hiroshima by ferry to Mirajima. It’s a gorgeous little island that houses a famous floating Tori Gate, it has all the beautiful traditional style Japanese buildings and some great Shrines. The island is full of friendly deer too! I took a 2 hour hike up the mountain to reach a lovely view point and Shrine at the top. Highly recommend a trip here and if you can afford it a stay overnight in a traditional Japanese Ryokan.