Introduction to Wakoen
Our company was founded in 1948 by Hitoshi Horiguchi with only 1 and a half hectares. In 1975 we established our first factory and added more farms to make a total of 10 hectares. Since than we have been growing exponentially. and fortunetly have still maintained that family owned culture culture with all owners being part of the Horiguchi family. The company is currently run by Hitoshi’s son Yasuhisa and grandson Daisuke Horiguchi.
We are one of the largest green tea manufacturers in Japan with the largest family owned green tea factory in all of Japan. We are based on the Osumi peninsula in Kagoshima prefecture which along with Shizuoka is one of the top 2 tea growing regions of Japan. Together we produce 76% of all green tea produced in Japan (39% and 37%.) We grow, process and package the tea ourselves which helps keep our carbon footprint to a minimum.
Click the drop down sections below to learn more about our company.
In total we manage over 270 ha * of tea fields, the largest in Japan. The vast land with few undulations in the Osumi region is ideal for mechanization and consolidation of agricultural work. During the tea-picking season, our tea-picking tractors runs around the tea plantations to efficiently pick tea. Also, abundant agricultural water is one of Osumi peninsula's strengths. The operation rate of sprinklers that prevent frost, one of the most detrimental factors to tea diseases, is one of the highest in Japan.
* In-house tea gardens 120ha, affiliated tea gardens 150ha
"Yutaka Midori" is bright and umami. Beautiful light and fresh green "Sae Midori". With the warm climate of Kagoshima, and the refreshing flavor of “Okumidori”, we can create a wide variety of unique teas. In addition, we are proactively introducing various new varieties such as "Benifuuki", which is expected to have an allergy improving effect. The abundance of cultivars makes it possible to extend the range of our plucking periods and to meet various consumer needs.
"Tea field squadron Tea Rangers" was born from the idea that "good tea comes from a healthy environment." We are currently operating five original machines, such as "Hurricane King" that blows off harmful insects with water and wind, and "Steam Buster SL" that wilts weeds with steam. We are promoting the "IPM farming method" with the aim of making safe tea that does not rely on pesticides or herbicides.
We have begun automation of tea picking machines and weeding machines. In addition, we are promoting "smart agriculture" by using information networks and using AI to deal with the damage of insects and frost. This will help reduce labor costs in our fields and solve the problems of aging farmers and labor shortages. Fusion of "smart agriculture" and "IPM farming". That is the next-generation agriculture "smart IPM farming method" that we take care of.
Our affiliated tea farmers who grows tea locally and supply tea leaves is indispensable for us. We have shared information on tea production and certification and have built strong partnerships over the long term. With the aim of stabilizing the management and promoting employment of local tea farmers in Shibushi, Kagoshima. This will continue to boost the overall tea industry in Japan.
We have the largest family owned tea factory in Japan. At our own factories such as the Sencha Factory "T Dome", the Tencha Factory "TeaPOLE", and the Finishing Factory, we are responsible for processing fine authentic Japanese tea from scratch. In addition to focusing on scale and production capacity, we aimed to create a tea factory that is friendly to the local community, such as consideration for the local environment through the adoption of a low-noise structure, and the establishment of an entertainment plaza for various events.
The processing of authentic Japanese green tea covers a wide range, including steaming, rolling, roasting and sorting. Even in the modern automated tea factory, it is the artisan's sharp sense that determines the taste of tea. The tea master of each process strictly checks the texture, taste, and aroma of tea and practices tea production without compromise. We also thoroughly disclose quality and hygiene management and traceability (production history) to pursue not only delicious but safe tea production.
Our Tea Factory, which has the largest tea plantation in Japan and accepts 100 tons of tea leaves a day at its peak, has its own tea making facility, which is rare for other tea factories. It has a huge refrigerated storage facility with 8 storage bays. It is possible to keep about 8,000 kg of tea leaves in the refrigerated storage facility and keep them fresh for a long time. In addition, we are always trying to optimize the manufacturing environment, such as the consistent acquisition of FSSC22000 (food management system) for rough tea, tencha, and processed tea.
You can purchase authentic Japanese tea from Wakoen in the retail our retail stores, on Amazon and from our website. With many varieties to choose from, such as our popular Fukamushicha (deep-steamed green tea), easy and delicious green tea powder "Arabikicha", Hojicha, Genmaicha, Japanese black tea, our award winning original Oolong tea, Benifuukicha which is expected to improve allergies, etc. We are sure to have a tea that you will enjoy.
We have launched our new brand "TEAET" from Wakoen with the concept of creating sophisticated, healthy and delicious products that young women and overseas customers will enjoy. We offer teas such as powder, drip, and tea bags to suit various lifestyles. We also offer flavored teas made from roses and yuzu from the Osumi region. We will continue to propose new types of tea.
"I would like to propose not only drinking but also eating delicious foods as tea culture."
The original Chazen restaurant “Saon no Kura” next to our tea factory started with such a strong desire. In the comfortable Japanese space where JAZZ flows, you can enjoy course meals using tea from our own tea garden and seasonal ingredients. With the fusion of tea and Japanese food at the forefront, I hope that tea and people will be connected again. We look forward to seeing you at Saon no Kura.
We hold our annual "Shincha Festival" every spring, where you can see, feel, smell and pluck new tea. Experience the hands of tea, and create new tea dishes. In addition, we are proactively providing services where you can experience tea with your whole body, such as enjoying shaved ice and sweets using tea, tours of tea factories and tea fields, tea hand rolling experience and a hojicha roasting experience. We hope that you will be able to experience tea making on a variety of occasions and gain new tea fans with a wide range of natural shapes.