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The First Record of Tea in Japan

The earliest record of tea in Japan is in Nihon Kôki, an official history of the ninth century. According to this book, Emperor Saga visited Ômi-no-kuni, contemporary Shiga prefecture, in early summer 815. He was welcomed at Banshaku-ji, a Buddhist temple, and served a cup of tea by Eichû, who had recently returned from China. He may have offered tea as an exotic foreign beverage.

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