How old is the longest-lived tea tree in Japan?
The answer is over 300 years old!
Currently, the longest tea tree in Japan is over 300 years old.
This large tea tree is located at an altitude of 210 meters on the eastern slope of Mount Kokuzo, which straddles Higashisonogi Town in Nagasaki Prefecture and Ureshino City in Saga Prefecture.
This large tea tree is said to be one of the tea trees cultivated by Shinpei Yoshimura, who is said to be the founder of Ureshino tea.
It consists of a single tea tree and is 4.6 meters high with a branching area of over 80 square meters.
It was designated as a national natural monument in October 1926, and is now protected by a windbreak to protect it from typhoon damage and a protective fence around its base to prevent it from being trampled.
It is also a valuable evidence that tea cultivation started in this area more than 300 years ago.
Incidentally, one of the largest existing tea trees is the Fujieda tea tree in Setonotani, Fujieda City, Shizuoka Prefecture. This tree is also 300 years old and over 4 meters tall.
It is said that tea seeds were brought to Japan at least 800 years ago.
It’s exciting to imagine that there may be other old tea trees that have yet to be discovered.