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March 2, 2023
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Kirishima Fresh Tea Stay at KAI Kirishima in the Kyushu Islands

A hot spring stay at Kirishima to discover the charms of Kirishima Tea

KAI Kirishima is a hot spring ryokan surrounded by breathtaking nature and overlooking Sakurajima. Discover the charms of Kirishima tea in the little-known tea city of Kirishima with this program starting from April 20, 2023, to June 20, 2023.  Shizuoka and Kyoto are famously known for their tea in Japan but tea production in Kagoshima Prefecture has thrived since ancient times, marking second in tea production after Shizuoka. With tea culture being part of everyday life, locals in Kagoshima greet each other with the phrase "cha ippe nonde ikkyanse (Have a cuppa a tea!)." This stay plan offers a rich variation of Kirishima tea grown in Kirishima City and is hosted in one of the best seasons for tea. Enjoy tea cocktails of Kirishima tea paired with local shochu and join in the tea leaf-picking at a tea farm surrounded by the spectacular scenery of the Kirishima Mountains. Finish off by roasting your freshly picked tea to enjoy its aroma, compare it with aged tea on the terrace overlooking the fields, and discover the full charms of the first tea of the season.

Kagoshima Prefecture is one of Japan's leading tea producers and a prefecture highly praised at national tea competitions. Kirishima tea, in particular, is grown in the unique natural environment of Kirishima, a warm region in southern Kyushu covered in fog in the morning with a large temperature difference between day and night. Kirishima tea has a nourishing and fragrant flavor and stands out for its clear color. However, it is little known outside the city. In the hopes to spread the charms of this tea with insight into how locals enjoy it, this stay plan was developed for KAI Kirishima.

Characteristic 1: Eight types of carefully brewed Kirishima teas paired with shochu selected by four master brewers
Kirishima tea used for this pairing is eight varieties from Gensen Kirishima Tea, which is certified by Gensen Kirishima, a gastronomy brand of Kirishima City. Each tea is brewed at specific temperatures and times to bring out the true flavors of the tea leaves. Shochu, selected by four master brewers from different local breweries is mixed to create a variety of tea cocktails. Snacks unique to the season of fresh tea, such as boiled fresh tea leaves in broth and local brown sugar are served. Relax and savor this tasty pairing from your rooms with views of Sakurajima and Kirishima Plateau stretching across the window.

Example of cocktails:
Henta Seicha: “Organic Matcha No. 6” x Kokubu Shuzo: “Tsurunashi Genji”
Organic matcha is first whisked in cold water and shaken with ice, thoroughly dissolving it. Tsurunashi Genji will be poured into a separate glass with crushed ice. Enjoy a sip of the shochu first and taste the well-chilled organic matcha afterward as a chaser to savor the rich yet refreshing bitter taste of matcha through the thick and sweet shochu.

About Gensen Kirishima Tea
Kirishima City certifies Kirishima's excellent food-related products, services, and initiatives under the Kirishima Gastronomy Brand "Gensen Kirishima" and promotes their appeal inside and outside the city. Gensen Kirishima Tea is the product of a collaboration between seven Gensen Kirishima-certified tea farmers and Kirishima City to produce eight varieties of Kirishima tea in a unified package. It includes a wide variety of tea leaves from Kirishima City-endorsed tea farmers, allowing you to enjoy the diverse flavors of Kirishima tea. Kirishima City and tea farmers continue to cooperate in promoting the appeal of Kirishima tea throughout Japan.

Characteristic 2: A hot spring stay with Kirishima tea
The plan includes a Kirishima tea special pack for a relaxing hot spring stay unique to KAI Kirishima. Chilled green tea in a bottle is available to hydrate the body to prepare for the hot springs, roasted green tea to relax before bedtime, and hand-dripped Japanese black tea to wake up in the morning.

Kirishima Tea Special Pack
Stay hydrated with a bottle of chilled green tea while hot spring bathing
A bottle of chilled green tea named Saemidori is prepared to help you stay hydrated for when using hot springs. Saemidori stands out for its floral aroma achieved by incorporating a production method that is normally used for black tea. The tea is brewed with hot water and then cooled, giving it a strong aroma despite being served cold. It is also said that drinking green tea while bathing increases the absorption rate of catechins, positively impacting your body.

Relax and have a good night's rest with the aroma of roasted green tea
Hojicha or roasted green tea is full of pyrazine, an aromatic brain-relaxant produced during the tea leaves' roasting process. Warm yourself at night with a relaxing cup of hojicha and go to bed with the soothing aroma of roasted tea leaves using tea incense.

A fresh morning with hand-dripped Benifuki tea, Japanese black tea
Start your morning with hand-dripped Benifuki tea, Japanese black tea, from Arimura Seicha, a tea farmer in Kirishima City known for its Japanese black tea. Benifuki is carefully made from organically grown tea leaves and is notable for its flowery aroma and refreshing bitterness. The caffeine in Japanese black tea will wake you up for a refreshing morning.

Characteristic 3: Tea leaf-picking at a tea farm surrounded by spectacular views of the Kirishima Mountains
Guests can handpick tea leaves while appreciating the scenery of the tea fields and the Kirishima Mountains at Henta Seicha, a tea farm at the foot of the mountain range. Tea from Henta Seicha grows tea leaves organically and pesticide-free in the tea fields at 200 to 300 meters above sea level, producing Kirishima tea notable for its fresh aroma. Pick tea leaf sprouts grown amid mother nature with your own hands and experience the environment that nurtures Kirishima tea. Then, pan-fry the tea on the spot and take it back with you. Kamairicha is tea that has been pan-fried over an open flame, notable for its original aroma. Experience pan-frying your freshly picked tea and enjoy its gradually rising aroma.

Characteristic 4: Tasting of fresh and aged green tea
After picking your fresh tea, enjoy it by comparing it with aged tea on the terrace overlooking the tea fields and the Kirishima Mountains. Aged tea refers to tea that has been aged for at least six months after harvesting, characterized by its mild flavor. Compare it with the lush and fresh aroma of freshly picked tea and experience how the flavor of the same tea leaves can differ over time. Served with Japanese confectionery made with Henta Seicha’s organic matcha, sit back and relax for a leisurely time sipping Kirishima tea in the spring tea fields.

Details of “Kirishima Fresh Tea Stay”
Time Period: April 20 to June 20, 2023
Price: Starting from 63,000 JPY (for 1 person in a 2-person room, includes tax and service charge)
Included in price: 8 different tea cocktails, Kirishima tea special pack, tea picking experience, fresh and aged tea tasting, accommodation, dinner and breakfast
Reservation: Required 7 days in advance
Available to: 1 pair per day (a pair of up to 2 persons)
Others: In case of bad weather, tea-picking may be subject to cancellations.

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