Mechanised harvesting

16 June 2023
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In Japan, the most prestigious harvest of the year takes place between late April and early May. This is when the famous Ichibancha, or first-flush teas, are made. The next plucking takes place in early June. This produces some interesting teas, but they aren’t up to the standard of the previous harvest. Here, on the outskirts of Shizuoka, I’m taking part in my own way, riding a Kawasaki that’s very different from the ones you see on our city streets. Because of the cost of labour, Japan is one of the few countries in the world that uses machines to pick its tea leaves.

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