News On Japan

First Auction of New Tea Season Sets Record

SHIZUOKA, Apr 12 (News On Japan) - The first auction of the new tea season took place at the Shizuoka Tea Market in Shizuoka City, with the highest bid reaching over 1.11 million yen per kilogram.

The initial auction, a tradition since 1957, was held at the Shizuoka Tea Market in Aoi Ward, Shizuoka City, one day earlier than last year's already early date, on April 12. Trading began around 7:00 AM, and this year's top price was fetched by a variety named "Yabukita," specifically the "Takane no Kaori" variety, which commanded 1,111,111 yen per kilogram. As the deal was struck, the celebratory sound of "teuchi," where three people clap their hands three times simultaneously, resonated throughout the market.

Hideki Mochizuki, president of the Ryogochi Tea Industry Association, commented, "We have created a tea with a high fragrance. We hope people will enjoy its flavor and aroma."

This year, due to cooler temperatures in late March, the growth of tea was restrained, and the new tea from Shizuoka Prefecture dealt on April 12 amounted to just over 50 kilograms, the smallest quantity to date. As a result, the average price soared to 77,637 yen per kilogram, nearly five times the previous record high of 15,928 yen set in 1995.

Source: NHK

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