For tea producers in Japan, the new harvest season after the winter starts from the end of April. At the beginning of April farmers are waiting for their tea leaves to mature enough. Once the leaves reach full maturity, the harvest starts. Farmers wake up 4 o’clock everyday and work until late at night. They have to work such long hours because they have to finish the harvest before the new leaves start to harden. Also in Japan consumer demand for Shincha (the name for the first tea of the year) is very high, and this high demand puts even higher pressure on the farmers to spend every minute they can making tea.
Even if I have to work like crazy, I like this season. My town is enveloped in the flavor and aroma of steaming tea leaves (because in Shizuoka prefecture, there are thousands of tea farmers, and they start the harvest at the same time). The flavor of tea leaves gives me energy and lets me relax after the work is done. If you have chance, I highly recommend visiting Shizuoka during the Shincha harvesting season.