Tea planting in Niseko as Lupicia aims to commercialize ‘Hokkaido tea’

Niseko Chaen CEO Kourogi (right) and employees planting tea shrubs

Tea sales company Lupicia, which transferred its headquarters to the town of Niseko in the Shiribeshi region of central Hokkaido, planted approximately 700 tea shrubs in the town on June 23. In two years’ time, the company hopes to commercialize tea produced in Hokkaido.

Approximately 10 company employees planted the shrubs on a ridge created on part of a 1.3-hectare plot of loaned agricultural land in town. Next year, experimental harvesting will take place to confirm the results and, if growth is satisfactory, the plan is to plant a further 1,000 shrubs to expand the scale.

According to Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries surveys, there were no fresh tea leaves harvested in Hokkaido last year. In order for Lupicia to run its tea plantation, last May it established the new ‘Niseko Chaen’ company. According to CEO Kourogi Yoichi, “The production of tea shrubs in Hokkaido, where the growth period is short, is to challenge the unknown. We aim to produce aromatic tea.”