Home > Tours > Saitama > Experience Seasonal Green Tea Picking in Sayama and Nostalgic Walk in Kawagoe!

Experience Seasonal Green Tea Picking in Sayama and Nostalgic Walk in Kawagoe!

Enjoy the wonder of picking tea and local food!

Overview

This tour is a traditional tea picking experience of green tea in Sayama in Saitama Prefecture located northwest of Tokyo,
It is a one day tour for a limited time from May to November where you can enjoy walking along the old town in Kawagoe where traditional townscapes remain.

The Sayama Hills are located in the western part of Saitama Prefecture. It is the origin of "Sayama Tea". Sayama tea is regarded as one of Japan's three major teas alongside Shizuoka tea and Uji tea, and because of its northern location, the leaves produce a deep taste after fighting through the cold winters.

Kawagoe flourished as a castle town from the 17th century, and was often compared to Edo (present day Tokyo). Because of this, it came to be called "small Edo". The first area where the buildings were erected is known as the "townscape of the storehouses", a site that was seen less and less in Edo Tokyo. The Kawagoe area retains many traditional Japanese culture history not seen in other cities, such as the old Edo architecture, the sound of ringing bells from the old bell tower, and mysterious side streets and back alleys that still have rickshaw’s running through them.


The tour schedule:


IMG20240515093937.jpg① Meet at Iriso Station (10:00)
On the day of the tour, meet with the guide at 9:30 at the east entrance of the Iriso Station in order to head for the Sayama tea plantation "Miyano" via the pick-up car. Miyano Plantation was founded in 1869. There you can enjoy picking tea leaves while wearing a traditional "tea girl costume" in the open tea fields. Afterwards, you can savor the fruits of your labor along with freshly picked tea leaf tempura. It is a truly special cup from farm to table prepared by you. For a separate fee, Matcha sweets and other tea products are for sale at the plantation for any who wish to purchase them.


IMG-20240515-WA0005.jpg② Get ready and learn some tea-picking tips (10:00-10:15)
Get dressed in your tea plantation clothing and hear some tips for how to pick tea leaves from the master.


IMG20240515103634.jpg③ Tea Picking (10:20-10:50)
Participants will experience tea picking at Miyanoen's tea plantation. Each group will be assigned to a tea picking spot. After the tea picking experience, the owner of Miyanoen will take a commemorative photo with your phone.


IMG20240515112518.jpg④ Tea Leaf Making (10:55-11:20)
Tea leaf making will be conducted under the guidance of Miyanoen's owner. To make a delicious tea leaf, it takes time and patience for the tea leaves to dry completely, as they are steamed at a low temperature and gently rubbed repeatedly. The tea leaves will be ready after about 10 times of steaming. The original tea leaves can be packaged and taken home as a souvenir. During the experience, you can ask the owner questions about tea growing and brewing.


IMG20240515113155.jpg⑤ Tasting Tea Leaf Tempura (11:20-11:40)
Tea leaf tempura will be served. Please note that this is a small portion and does not include white rice, etc., and is not a substitute for lunch. You can have Sayama-cha and Hojicha tea from the self-service tea machine.


IMG20240515150519.jpg⑥ Kitain Temple (12:40-13:25)
Nestled in the heart of Kawagoe, Kita-in Temple offers visitors a captivating glimpse into Japan's rich history and spiritual heritage. Renowned for its exquisite architecture and serene gardens, the temple is home to the only remaining structures of the original Edo Castle. As you wander through the temple grounds, you'll encounter the enchanting Gohyaku Rakan statues, each with its own unique expression, and the tranquil beauty of the main hall.


original_a703fdf7-6bc7-4d63-b1e4-e44fb14d2e35_IMG20240515150936.jpg⑦ Hikawa Shrine (14:35-14:45)
Hikawa Shrine in Kawagoe is a sacred site that has been a cornerstone of spiritual life in the area for over 1,500 years. Known for its enchanting wind chimes during summer and the romantic atmosphere that draws couples seeking blessings for love, Hikawa Shrine offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. Explore the ancient traditions and tranquil ambiance of the shrine, and let its history and spirituality enrich your journey through Kawagoe.


IMG20240515141919.jpg⑧ The Warehouse District (14:45-15:25)
Explore the Kawagoe old town and local food scene dating back to the Edo period. There is a 250 year old Matsumoto Soy Sauce companies factory where you will be able to witness the traditional manufacturing process of soy sauce (open on certain days only). You will also visit Kashiya Yokochō, otherwise known as "Candy Alley". 20 old-fashioned sweet shops remain on this street, each selling their own traditional Japanese candies.


IMG20240515143222.jpg⑨ Koedo Kurari (15:35-15:50)
Located in a former sake brewery, Koedo Kurari offers a unique blend of history and local culture. Sample a variety of local sake, browse artisanal crafts, and savor traditional sweets, all while soaking in the nostalgic ambiance of "Little Edo."


⑩ Finish the tour at Honkawagoe station or Kawagoe station (16:00)

Highlights

· Tea picking experience at Miyano Plantation
· Commemorative photo taken at the tea plantation while wearing tea girl costume
· Walking through Kawagoe while enjoying the atmosphere of the old town
· See and learn about the production process of soy sauce at Matsumoto Soy Sauce
· Japanese garden tour of Kita-in

Note

・The tour is bookable from May to November. From December to April is out of service.
・The tea-picking session lasts about an hour and takes place in an unshaded tea field, in small groups. The tea plants might touch your legs or feet, so long sleeves and long pants are recommended to avoid insect bites. It's also advised to bring insect-repellent spray. As you will be walking in the fields, it is a good idea to wear shoes that you don't mind getting dirty.
・Because there's no shade in the tea field, we recommend bringing UV protection. Consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat and applying sunscreen.
・After tea picking, you can enjoy tea tempura under a tent, though sunlight can still filter through. On hot days, it's recommended that each person bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated during the tea-picking session.


  Price ¥15,000(tax included)

¥15,000 for 2 persons or more 
¥28,000 for 1 person
Children(Age 5 -13):¥10,000

  Duration 6 hours
  Hours of availability

Start Time: 10:00 am
Scheduled Finish: 16:00 pm

  Inclusions

・Green tea picking
・Costume
・English Guide
・One-way transfer from Miyanoen to Iriso station to by car
・One-way train ticket from Iriso station to Hon-Kawagoe station
・A cup of green tea and tempura
・Tax

  Exclusions

・Hotel pick up & drop off, train ticket

  Participants 1〜8 people

Meeting Point

Iriso station, east exit

Reviews (1)

Joyce Lo(USA)★★★★★

Green Tea Picking & Kawagoe Walking Tour Review

Our family really enjoyed this tour. Great way to learn about tea making and history of the little Edo neighborhood. Our tour guide, Yumi, was excellent. She was very open to our suggestions and changes to the schedule. She did a lot of preparations in advance to make the tour interesting and educational for my children. I highly recommend this tour.

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