When I was young, my father took me to the Oisakien factory and that is when I decided to start the Oisakien tea shop. I have been in this business for nearly 40 years but it is only recent that I figured out a well-balanced way to run and manage the store.
A new attempt as a tea shop… We want to offer everything that is necessary for tea time. That is why we have tea, tea ware, sweets, and other refreshments.
We help and support entrepreneurs that want to start a tea shop. I teach them what is required in this business. I wish for more and more young Japanese people to start a new business. (Yoshio Motohashi, President)
About Oisakien’s paper bag: Motohashi-san's father-in-law of the was a painter in Japanese-style art. He was also active as a kimono designer in Kyoto. The beautiful illustration of the paper bag used in Oisakien is the work of this father-in-law.
In 1600, Gonzaemon, the ancestor of Oisakien, brought back the seed of a tea plant from Uji to Sayama and started tea cultivation. This was the beginning of Sayama-cha and the tea plant grown was called oisaki (老茶樹), known as the origin of Sayama-cha. With such history behind Sayama-cha, we named our tea shop Oisakien.
This tea plant lived for over 300 years but in around 1945, the tea plant withered and the present one is the child of the original plant. Such long living tea plant is very rare in Japan and so few years after the first tea plant withered, the imperial family visited the place where the plant grew.
In the past, Oisakien did both manufacture and sales but today, manufacturing and sales are separated.
Nihongi, Iruma-shi, Saitama 358-0015, JAPAN
We buy aracha from contracted farmer and the finishing is done at the factory in Nihongi. Usually, we do not perform any farm labor but during the busy shincha season, we help picking the tea leaves. Every year, we gather the local people to enjoy and experience tea-picking.