A 1-kilogram (kg) batch of Japanese green tea leaves sold for a record-breaking ¥1.96 million on April 18, 2022. A product of Shizuoka prefecture, Samidori leaves are green tea leaves that were grown in Fujinomiya and sold at the city’s annual Tea Market auction. According to the market’s president Yasuhide Uchino, the market “is working hard to ensure it provides delicious tea at fair prices” despite increasing fuel and raw materials prices. The market officials said that although this year’s tea grew slower than usual, its quality remains unchanged.

Many tea merchants and customers arrived early before the sale started at 7:00 a.m. “We were able to acquire tea of good color and shape,” said Natsuki Wada, a 35-year-old processed-tea wholesaler from Shizuoka city. Teas from Kagoshima and Okinawa were also sold at the event. Based on a report by the Shizuoka Japanese Tea Market, Samidori green tea garnered a trading volume of 1,732 kg by 8:10 a.m. with the average per kilogram priced at 5,027 yen. The end of April is expected to be the peak of tea-hand rolling work in Japan.