Green tea is 緑茶 (ryoku-cha) in the Japanese language, but in Japan it is commonly referred to simply as お茶 (o-cha). It is sometimes referred to 日本茶 (nihon-cha), meaning Japanese tea, although it wasn’t introduced from China until the Song Dynasty, between 960 and 1279 AD.
The Japanese Buddhist priest Myōan Eisai is credited with introducing green tea to Japan from China.
Common varieties of green tea in Japan:
番茶 Bancha (common tea)
玉露 Gyokuro (jade dew)
焙じ茶 Hōji-cha (roasted tea)
冠茶 Kabuse-cha (covered tea)
窯煎茶 Kamairi-cha tea (pan-fried tea)
茎茶 Kuki-cha (stalk tea)
抹茶 Matcha (rubbed tea)
芽茶 Mecha (buds and tips tea)
煎茶 Sencha (broiled tea)
The best Japanese green tea is from the Yame region of Fukuoka Prefecture and the Uji region of Kyoto.
Shizuoka Prefecture produces 40% of the raw tea leaves in Japan.