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What Is Genuine Tea (honcha)?

Tea produced in Togano’o in Kyoto was called Genuine Tea in the past.  This honorific title comes from the legend that the priest Myōe planted tea seeds he was given by Eisai, the monk who reintroduced tea around the end of the twelfth century, and raised them to create the first tea plantation.  However, as we said before, there are records of Japanese tea plantations from the ninth century, so this is no more than a myth.

Even so, people in the medieval era admired Togano’o tea as the best.

As tea plantation spreads and Uji replaced Togano’o as the main region of tea plantations in the fourteenth and fifteenth century, the tea culture of Togano’o declined

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