Autumn Season Internship Recap by Gabrielle

Konnichiwa!! This is Gabrielle (intern #161). Sadly, it is my last week here at Obubu.. Where has the time gone?! It has been an unforgettable 3 months full of many memories. My internship period was for the Autumn season and I lived in Wazuka from September-December. Here is a recap of my time at Obubu!

First Month:

My first official start day at Obubu, my group was very lucky and got to harvest! We harvested at Aoi Mori tea field for Obubu’s “Autumn Moon” tea. I had no idea what I was doing and felt like I was so bad at harvesting haha. This was the only harvesting we did for the month, so after this, there was a lot of weeding in the fields and construction for the second floor factory happening. It was extremely hot and humid during this time, so it was a bit rough! 

Taking a break from construction work to enjoy iced matcha. The factory looks completely different now!

The start of the Autumn season happened at the end of September and there was a festival in Wazuka to celebrate! It was very nice to see the whole village join together to celebrate the seasonal change. The spider lily flowers also began to bloom during September. They are very beautiful (but poisonous)! They are such a vibrant red and they’re all over Wazuka. The flowers die pretty quickly so it was nice to appreciate the flowers while they were still here. 

Second Month:

We held a special hand rolling event! We all got to go out to the tea fields and hand pick leaves, then come back to the factory to learn hand rolling! We made kamairicha tea which is pan fried. Kayo-san also made her delicious tea tempura and we used the matcha granite grinder to make fresh matcha! It was a very fun experience. 

The final result of our hand rolled kamairicha, shaped in the  “Cha” kanji

There were many other fun activities during this month such as: large group tours, tasting and comparing hand rolled wakoucha made by my senpai’s, clearing the road to get to Aoi Mori tea field after a bad storm, helping the Japanese Tea Master Course, and hosting the goodbye party for the senpai’s (we cooked some amazing food!). The weather also began to cool down which was a huge relief!

Last Month:

The harvest season kept us very busy, yay!! I loved harvesting and spending all day in the tea fields. It was very hard work but it was nice to get a workout in and feel myself get stronger! We also spent a lot of time in the factory processing all the tea we harvested. It’s an amazing and rewarding feeling to be able to experience the whole process it takes to make a bag of tea. 

When I wasn’t out harvesting or processing tea, I was either doing tea tours or spending more time having “insider” days where I was able to work on some social media and blog posts (like this one!). It was nice to get a break from farming and sit in a nice, warm office!  I worked on my JTB lesson (a short lesson we give to our kohai interns to teach them about tea!) & really enjoyed learning more about the history of tea 😀 During my last week, we began trimming the tea fields to prepare for the Spring season. Trimming is a bit similar to harvesting but also very different. We trim the fields to prepare for the Spring season so it was a strange feeling to know that the work that I was doing now will show months from now when I am gone. The Autumn foliage was at its peak color during my last week here which made the views around Wazuka even more special! If you get a chance to be in Japan during the Autumn season, it truly is an amazing sight to see the Japanese Maple Trees.

The beautiful Autumn foliage was one of the highlights during my time in Japan.

I’m so thankful for my time spent at Obubu and all the wonderful people I met. There were so many more moments I enjoyed that I could write a whole novel about it. Thank you for reading & good luck to all the future interns! Enjoy Japan!!!!


Posted in Adventures In Tea!, Interns, Local Events.

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