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History of Japanese tea and producing areas Japanese teas grown throughout Japan except northern Tohoku and Hokkaido districts. Tea-drinking came to Japan from China with the Japanese envoy to Tang Dynasty in Nara-Heian era, though some claim older origins. Roots of present tea plantations trace back to 12th century priest, Eisai, who planted tea bushes brought back from China in Saga. Their offspring spread to Kyoto, Nara, Wakayama, Shizuoka, Saitama etc. From Meiji to Showa era tea and silk thread played an important role in export to help Japan modernize and build a sound economy.

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