In the 8th century a monk visited Japan bringing with him tea from China for the very first time. Tea quickly spread throughout Japan with gardens springing up across the country.
Unlike other tea producing nations Japan produces only green tea from the district of Shizuoka, at the foot of Mount Fuji, where most of Japans Sencha tea grows to Kyoto where the highest quality green tea, Gyokuro, is grown.
When selecting leaves the general rule is the darker green the leaf the higher the quality. There is one exception to this, Hojicha, which unlike other green teas is roasted rather than steamed.