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Japanese Tea Cultivars Listing

Japan has developed an extremely wide variety of tea cultivars, especially sencha. Through this list we can also see that although green tea is mainly developed in Japan today, the country does indeed have a past history of producing black and oolong teas as well.

Tip 1: Trying to search the internet in Japanese with just kanji, but keep getting Chinese-language results? Try adding とは to the end of your all-kanji search terms.

Tip 2: Despite most cultivars having kanji, they are usually written with hiragana only. You’re likely to get more accurate results by searching using the hiragana and adding characters like 茶 (tea, ちゃ) and 品種 (variety, ひんしゅ). E.g., やぶきた茶品種 (yabukita cha hinshu).

Key:

FCC indicates that the cultivar was registered as a Forestry Certified Cultivar (農林認定品種) under the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) (農林水産省).

SSLRC indicates that the cultivar was registered as a Seed and Seedling Law Registered Cultivar (種苗法登録品種).

Japanese Tea Cultivar List

ImageNameJapaneseRough Translation / Name MeaningDate of Reg.Used For
Akaneあかね【茜】Red-coloured1953 FCCBlack Tea
Asagiriあさぎり【朝霧】Morning Mist1954 FCCGyokuro
Asahiあさひ【朝日】Morning SunUnregistered
Asanokaあさのか【朝のか】Asanoka Tea1996 SSLRC
Asatsuyuあさつゆ【朝露】Morning Dew1953 FCCSencha
Benifujiべにふじ【紅富士】Red Fuji1960 FCCBlack Tea
Benihikariべにひかり【紅光】Red Light1969 FCCBlack Tea
Benihomareべにほまれ【紅誉】Red Honour1953 FCCBlack Tea
Benikaoriべにかおり【紅香り】Red Fragrance1960 FCCBlack Tea
Benifūki
Alt: Benifuuki or Benifuki
べにふうき【紅富貴】Red Riches1993 FCC
1995 SSLRC
Black Tea, Oolong Tea
Benitachiwaseべにたちわ
【紅立ち早生】
Red Early Standing Bud1953 FCCBlack Tea
Chachūkanbohonnō 1
Alt: Chachuukanbohonnou 1 or Chachukanbohonno 1
ちゃちゅうかんぼんのう1
【茶中間母本農1】
Intermediate Mother Tea [Tree] Agriculture #11992 SSLRC
Chachuukanbohonnō 2
Alt: Chachuukanbohonnou 2 or Chachukanbohonno 2
ちゃちゅうかんぼんのう2
【茶中間母本農2】
Intermediate Mother Tea [Tree] Agriculture #21998 SSLRC
Chachuukanbohonnō 3
Alt: Chachuukanbohonnou 3 or Chachukanbohonno 3
ちゃちゅうかんぼんのう3
【茶中間母本農3】
Intermediate Mother Tea [Tree] Agriculture #32002 SSLRC
Chachuukanbohonnō 4
Alt: Chachuukanbohonnou 4 or Chachukanbohonno 4
ちゃちゅうかんぼんのう4
【茶中間母本農4】
Intermediate Mother Tea [Tree] Agriculture #42008 SSLRC
Chachuukanbohonnō 5
Alt: Chachuukanbohonnou 5 or Chachukanbohonno 5
ちゃちゅうかんぼんのう5
【茶中間母本農5】
Intermediate Mother Tea [Tree] Agriculture #52008 SSLRC
Chachuukanbohonnō 6
Alt: Chachuukanbohonnou 6 or Chachukanbohonno 6
ちゃちゅうかんぼんのう6
【茶中間母本農6】
Intermediate Mother Tea [Tree] Agriculture #62008 SSLRC
Fujikaoriふじかおり【藤香り】Wisteria Aroma1996 SSLRC
Fukumidoriふくみどり【福みどり】Green Fortune1986 FCC
1988 SSLRC
Sencha
Fūshunふうしゅん【富春】Rich Spring1991 FCC
1993 SSLRC
Sencha
HarumidoriはるみどりSpring Green2000 FCC
2003 SSLRC
Sencha
New leaves of Harumoegi Japanese tea cultivar from AgriKnowledgeHarumoegiはるもえぎ【春萌え木】Spring Young Bud2003 FCC
2006 SSLRC
Sencha
New leaves of Harunonagori Japanese tea cultivar from AgriKnowledgeHarunonagoriはるのなごり【春の名残】Relic of Spring2012 FCC
2012 SSLRC
Sencha
Hatsumidoriはつみどり【初緑】First Green1954 FCCSencha
Hatsumomijiはつもみじ【初紅葉】First Autumn Leaf1953 FCCBlack Tea
Himemidoriひめみどり【姫緑】Princess Green1960 FCCGyokuro
Hokumeiほくめい【北名】Famous North1992 FCC
1995 SSLRC
Sencha
Hōrainishiki
Alt: Hourainishiki or Horainishiki
ほうらいにしき2008 SSLRC
Hoshinomidoriほしのみどり【星の緑】Green Star1981 SSLRC
Hōshun
Alt: Houshun or Hoshun
ほうしゅん【鳳春】Spring Phoenix2006 SSLRCMatcha
InaguchiいなぐちNamed after a Mr. Inaguchi, the private producer who selected the tea.1988 SSLRCSencha
Indoいんど1953 FCCBlack Tea
IzumiいずみSpring Tea / Fountain Tea1960 FCCKamairi Tamaryokucha, Black Tea, Oolong Tea, Sencha
kanayaibukiかなやいぶき【金谷息吹】Kanaya Vitality. Kanaya is the name of a past town in Shizuoka which has become part of the city of Shimada.2009 SSLRC
Kanayahomareかなやほまれ【金谷誉】Kanaya Honour. Kanaya is the name of a past town in Shizuoka which has become part of the city of Shimada.2009 SSLRC
Kanayamidoriかなやみどり【金谷緑】Kanaya Green. Kanaya is the name of a past town in Shizuoka which has become part of the city of Shimada.1970 FCCSencha
Kibōnome
Alt: Kibounome or Kibonome
きぼうのめ【希望の芽】Bud of Hope2013 SSLRC
Kirakaきらか【きら香】Kira (possibly Sparkling) Fragrance2006 SSLRC
Kirari31きらり31Kirari (onomatopoeia for a momentary flash of light) 312016 SSLRC
Kōshun
Alt: Koushun or Koshun
こうしゅん【香駿】Swift Incense2000 SSLRC
Koyanishiこやにし【小屋西】West Hut Tea1953 FCCSencha
Kyōmidori
Alt: Kyoumidori or Kyomidori
きょうみどり【京緑】Kyoto Green1954 FCCGyokuro, Tencha
Makinoharawaseまきのはらわ
【牧之原早生】
Makinohara (city in Shizuoka) Early Bud1953 FCCSencha
Mantennokagayakiまんてんのかがやき
【満天の輝き】
Brilliance of the Sky2015 SSLRC
Marishiまりし【摩利支】Marishi (Buddhist Deity)1996 SSLRC
Midorinohoshiみどりのほし【緑の星】Green Star2001 SSLRC
Meiryokuめいりょく【茗緑】Green Tea. Mei is an additional word for tea, ryoku is an additional word for green (and bears the same kanji), see ryokucha.1986 FCC
1987 SSLRC
Sencha
*Meiryokuhō 1
Alt: Meiryokuhou 1 or Meiryokuho 1
めいりょくほう1
【茗緑方1】
Green Tea Type 1. Mei is an additional word for tea, ryoku is an additional word for green (and bears the same kanji), see ryokucha.1996 SSLRC
Mieuejimaみえうえじま【三重上嶋】Named after its creator, Mr. Uejima of Mie Prefecture.2003 SSLRC
Minamikaoriみなみかおり【南香り】South Aroma1988 FCC
1990 SSLRC
Kamairicha
Minamisayakaみなみさやか
Known by kana only.
Clean South (alt: Fresh South, Bright South)1991 FCC
1994 SSLRC
Sencha, Black Tea
Minekaoriみねかおり【峰香り】Summit Aroma1988 FCC
1990 SSLRC
Sencha
Mineyutakaみねゆたか【峰豊】Summit Abundance1996 SSLRC
Miyamakaoriみやまかおり【深山香り】Aroma of the Mountain Recess2003 FCC
2006 SSLRC
Sencha
Miyoshiみよし1953 FCCSencha
MusashikaoriむさしかおりMusashi Aroma. Musashi is a former province consisting of parts of Tokyo, Saitama, and Kanagawa in the present day.1997 FCC
2001 SSLRC
Sencha
New leaves of Nagomiyutaka Japanese tea cultivar from AgriKnowledgeNagomiyutakaなごみゆたか【和み豊】Relaxed Abundance2012 FCC
2012 SSLRC
Kamairicha, Sencha
Nanmeiねんめい【南茗】South Tea2012 FCC
2014 SSLRC
Sencha
Narinoなりの2002 SSLRCMatcha
Natsumidoriなつみどり【夏緑】Summer Green1954 FCCSencha
Okuharukaおくはるか【奥春香】Interior (Late-Budding) Spring Fragrance2015 SSLRC
Okuhikariおくひかり【奥光】Interior (Late-Budding) Light1987 SSLRC
Okumidoriおくみどり【奥緑】Interior (Late-Budding) Green1974 FCCSencha
Okumusashiおくむさし【奥武蔵】Interior (Late-Budding) Musashi. Musashi is a former province consisting of parts of Tokyo, Saitama, and Kanagawa in the present day.1962 FCCSencha
Okunoyamaおくのやま【奥の山】Interior (Late-Budding) of the Mountain2002 SSLRCMatcha
Okuyutakaおくゆたか【奥豊】Interior (Late-Budding) Abundance1983 FCC
1983 SSLRC
Sencha
Rokurō
Alt: Rokurou or Rokuro
ろくろう【六郎】
Kanji not in use.
Unknown, appears to be a name.1953 FCCSencha
New leaves of Ryoufuu Japanese tea cultivar from AgriKnowledgeRyōfū
Alt: Ryoufuu or Ryofu
りょうふう【涼風】Cool Breeze1997 FCC
2001 SSLRC
Sencha
Ryokufū
Alt: Ryokufuu or Ryokufu
りょくふう【緑風】Green Breeze2002 SSLRC
New leaves of Saeakari Japanese tea cultivar from AgriKnowledgeSaeakariさえあかり【冴え明かり】Clear Glow2011 FCC
2012 SSLRC
Sencha
Saemidoriさえみどり【冴え緑】Green Clarity1990 FCC
1991 SSLRC
Sencha
Sagarahikariさがらひかり【相良光】Sagara (name) Light1998 SSLRC
Sagarakaoriさがらかおり【相良香り】Sagara (name) Aroma2000 SSLRC
Sagaramidoriさがらみどり【相良緑】Sagara (name) Green1998 SSLRC
Sagarawaseさがらわせ【相良早生】Sagara (name) Early Bud2000 SSLRC
New leaves of Sainomidori Japanese tea cultivar from AgriKnowledgeSainomidoriさいのみどり【埼の緑】
Kanji not in use.
Saitama’s Green (This is a best guess, as the cultivar originated in Saitama Prefecture.)2003 FCC
2006 SSLRC
Sencha
New leaves of Sakimidori Japanese tea cultivar from AgriKnowledgeSakimidoriさきみどり【幸緑】Green Harvest1997 FCC
2001 SSLRC
Sencha
Satōwase
Alt: Satouwase or Satowase
さとうわせ【佐藤早生】Sugar Early Bud1986 SSLRC
SatsumabeniさつまべにSatsuma Red. Satsuma is a former province in present-day west Kagoshima prefecture.1960 FCCBlack Tea
Sawamizukaさわみずか
Kanji not in use.
“Sawa” likely refers to a mountain stream or wetlands. “Mizu” as a word part often refers to things relating to water.1995 SSLRC
SayamakaoriさやまかおりSayama Aroma1971 FCCSencha
SayamamidoriさやまみどりSayama Green1953 FCCSencha
SeimeiせいめいClean / Pure Tea. Note: The first kanji character can also refer to the Qing Dynasty of China, and this choice seems to have been deliberate.2017 FCCSencha
Shizu-7132しず7132
【静7132】
Shizuoka #7132Unregistered
ShizukaoriしずかおりShizuoka Aroma2015 SSLRC
Shōju
Alt: Shouju or Shoju
しょうじゅ【松寿】Inspired by Shōjuin, a chief of the island of Tanegoshima (where this tea was created) in feudal times.1996 SSLRC
Shunmeiしゅんめい[unknown] Tea1988 FCC
1990 SSLRC
Sencha
Shuntarō
Alt: Shuntarou or Shuntaro
しゅんたろう2009 FCC
2011 SSLRC
Sencha
New leaves of Soufuu Japanese tea cultivar from AgriKnowledgeSōfū
Alt: Soufuu or Sofu
そうふう【蒼風】Green Wind2002 FCC
2005 SSLRC
Sencha, Kamairicha, Oolong Tea
Sunrougeサンルージュ
Not a Japanese word.
Red Sun (rouge is red in French)2009 FCC
2011 SSLRC
n/a
Takachihoたかちほ【高千穂】
Kanji not in use except when referring to the city of Takachiho.
Named after Takachiho Town in Miyazaki Prefecture.1953 FCCKamairicha
Takanawaseたかなわせ[unknown] Early Bud1985 SSLRC
Tamamidoriたまみどり
【玉みどり】
Green Jewel1953 FCCTamaryokucha, Sencha
Tenmyō
Alt: Tenmyou or Tenmyo
てんみょう【天明】Many possible translations. Could be “Sky Mantra”, “Wisdom of God”, “God’s Mantra”, or perhaps “Wisdom of the Heavens”

“天”, or ten, usually refers to the sky, heaven, or God. “明”, or myou, may refer to mantra, wisdom, or the Ming Dynasty.

2006 SSLRCMatcha
Terakawawaseてらかわわせ【寺川早生】Terakawa Early Bud. Named after Toshio Terakawa, who registered the cultivar.1990 SSLRCMatcha
ToyokaとよかUnknown1976 FCCSencha
TsukasamidoriつかさみどりMay be “Green Hill” or “Chief Green”.1984 SSLRC
Tsuyuhikariつゆひかり【露光】Dew Light2003 SSLRC
Ujihikariうじひかり【宇治光】Uji Light. Uji is a city in Kyoto.Unregistered
Unkaiうんかい【雲海】Sea of Clouds1969 FCCKamairicha
Yabukitaやぶきた【藪北】North Bush1953 FCCSencha
Yaehoやえほ【八重穂】Too many possible translations. See 八重穂 on Jisho.1954 FCCSencha, Gyokuro
Yamakaiやまかい【山峡】Mountain RavineUnregistered
Yamanoibukiやまのいぶき【山の息吹】Breath of the Mountain1997 SSLRC
Yamanamiやまなみ
Known by kana only.
Mountain Wave1965 FCCKamairicha, Black Tea
Yamanoibukiやまのいぶき【山の息吹】Vitality of the Mountain1997 SSLRC
Yamatomidoriやまとみどり【大和緑】Yamato Green. “Yamato” is the name of a former province in present-day Nara Prefecture, but also refers to ancient Japan.1953 FCCSencha
New leaves of Yumekaori Japanese tea cultivar from AgriKnowledgeYumekaoriゆめかおり【夢香り】Dreamy Aroma2006 FCC
2009 SSLRC
Sencha
Yumesurugaゆめするが【夢駿河】
Kanji almost never used.
Suruga Dream. Suruga is a former province located in central and northern Shizuoka Prefecture.2012 SSLRC
New leaves of Yumewakaba Japanese tea cultivar from AgriKnowledgeYumewakabaゆめわかば【夢若葉】Dreamy New Leaves2006 FCC
2008 SSLRC
Sencha
Yutakamidoriゆたかみどり【豊緑】Abundant GreenUnregistered

To be added in future updates:

  • Houryoku (unregistered)
  • Surugawase (unregistered)
  • Fujimidori (unregistered)
  • Kuritawase (unregistered)
  • Kurasawa (unregistered)
  • Ouiwase (unregistered)
  • Gokou (unregistered)
  • Komakage (unregistered)
  • Samidori (unregistered)
  • Oguramidori (unregistered)
  • Ujimidori (unregistered)
  • Karabeni (unregistered)
  • Tadanishiki (unregistered)
  • Benitsukuba (unregistered)
  • Misaki (unregistered)

This page is a work in progress – watch this space!

If you’re really interested in Japanese tea cultivars, come back every so often. We plan to continually update this space until we have a wide database of as many Japanese tea cultivars as we can, information about them, what they are used for, etc.

Some of this information is incredibly difficult to find in English, but we wanted to make it available to the English speaking world who appreciate Japanese tea. Thank you kindly for your patience!

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