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The Complete Guide to Kakegawa-Cha

One of the origins, and still one of the best producers of Fukamushi Sencha.

The Kakegawa-cha, or the Kakegawa tea, is one of the best known "area brands" within the "area brand" of Shizuoka-cha.

Why is Kakegawa-cha special? Let's dig in!

Introduction to the Kakegawa Area of Shizuoka

The Kakegawa-area is located right in between Shizuoka city and Hamamatsu city of the Shizuoka prefecture.

The population of the city is moderate with roughly 112,000 in population for 2021, according to the Kakegawa city website.

It's a quiet area which really isn't much of a tourist destination outside of the Kakegawa Castle. As you can see from the map above, it sits in the path of the Shinkansen railway. So if you have travelled Japan, chances are you may have come across the scenery.

So there's nothing much there, except that they grow exceptional tea. We'll dive into details later, but they are arguably the most successful producers of Fukamushi-Sencha tea.

They also produce in quantities too!

Kakegawa-cha accounts for roughly 10% of Shizuoka-cha, as its vast tea plantations cover over 2300 ha of land in the western side of the prefecture.

Kakegawa-cha is definitely one of the pillars of the Shizuoka-cha, considered one of the "3 Great Teas of Japan".

A cup of fukamushi sencha

Best area brand of Fukamushi-Sencha

Kakegawa-cha has done it again.

In the 75th National Tea Competition of Japan, which just took place November of 2021, Kakegawa have taken home the "Area Award" for an incredible 23rd time.

The National Tea Competition of Japan is the most important tea competition in Japan, supported by the Japanese government to promote the progression of Japanese tea.

The area award is given to the top three cities for each category of tea, based on the overall quality of contestants in the competition.

Therefore, you can say that the area award is like a "team award" and recognizes the city with the highest overall quality of tea.

The 23 times won by the Kakegawa city is the greatest number of times by an area. This track record itself cements its position in the conversation of Fukamushi-Sencha.

One of the origins of the Fukamushi-Sencha

This Kakegawa area is said to be one of the areas which the Fukamushi-Sencha had first originated.

However, there are several differing theories on the history of Fukamushi-Sencha, and there’s no evidence to fully support any one of those.

The fact is that the Fukamushi-Sencha has been produced through the multiple layers of experimentation of the tea producers in different areas of Shizuoka, and they all contributed to establishing this wonderful tea.

The traditional tea-grass Integration System

The Kakegawa area is also famous for their unique agricultural method - the Cagusa-nouhou, or the Traditional tea-grass Integration system.

This was recognized as a "Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System" by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in May of 2013.

So, what is this system?

It’s a farming method where grass are placed in the furrows of the tea farms. Usually grass such as Japanese pampas and bamboo leaves will be used.

This improves the taste of the tea as it helps nurture the biological culture within. At the same time, it helps the maintenance of the natural environment from the excessive spreading of these pampas and bamboo plants. This helps maintain the natural habitat for wild animals and plans, which is a big reason it was recognized in that way.

It definitely requires a lot of effort, but it’s a naturally friendly and effective way to produce their splendid tea.

You can take a look at the video below for more details.

What is the criteria of a Kakegawa-cha?

Since "Area Brands" are also intellectual property, they usually have strict criteria for tea that can use their area name brand.

However, for Kakegawa-cha, the criteria is very simple and relatively broad.

According to the patent registration of Kakegawa-cha, tea that is produced in the Kakegawa city of Shizuoka applies.

(Usually area brands have clear definitions on the percentage of make-up of crude tea, or where the tea production is to be completed. However, not the case for Kakegawa-cha)


Fukamushi-Sencha can't be mentioned without the area brand of Kakegawa-cha. That's how important it is to this type of tea.

I hope you do get a chance to enjoy this wonderful tasting tea. And of course you can take a look at ours too!


When is the Ichibancha season in Kakegawa?

For Kakegawa-cha, the first harvesting period of the year, or the harvesting of the Ichibancha, will usually be late April.

What are the cultivars grown in Kakegawa area?

According to Kakegawa city's website, the Kakegawa-city recommended variety are the Yabukita, Hikari Tsuyu, and the Samidori.

Author Yuki


Yuki is the Editor-in-Chief AND Community Manager at Tealife. He bleeds Japanese Tea and loves being a part of the Japanese Tea journey of others. Writes, does events, conducts tasting sessions, drinks, drinks and drinks tea! Easily accessible - hit him up on whatsapp (+65) 85882980.