In Wazuka, just like other Japanese mountain villages, population growth has reached its zenith and the much needed labor force for agriculture is shrinking. Despite the fact that Japan has a very high life expectancy and in fact the average age of farmers in Wazuka is above 65 years, there is dire need of a new set of young leaders to learn and continue the 800 years tradition of green tea production.
The current challenge is how can entrepreneurship be a solution under such conditions of geographical and nationwide economic stagnation? The team at d:matcha started with a vision rooted in an appreciation for the unique quality of Japanese tea and a desire to revive an industry threatened by Japan’s aging society.
They are a team of young Japanese who grew up in Tokyo and worked in the fields of banking, consulting, food and agriculture. Most importantly, they are very passionate about educating Japanese and foreigners about the craft of green tea and telling the story of the evergreen tea plants of Wazuka and the history of the 300 families that initially inhabited this town a thousand years ago and kept the tradition of producing the most authentic tea varieties.
Yesterday, I visited some abandoned farms that the farming team is trying to restore and revitalize. There is no doubt that the production of green tea is a profitable venture and the health benefits of green tea makes it highly sought after all over the world.
We invite you to come visit us and join us on a tour as we showcase the rich tea craft on the hills of Wazuka, Kyoto.