Yanis Siadous

Val d’Oise, France

Intern #143

Hello everyone! 

I am Yanis, intern #143.  I came to Obubu from January 2023 to April 2023.  I’m 23 years old, I like tea, maps, and walking in Wazuka.


Two years ago, I was studying Rural and Agricultural Geography near Paris. I was supposed to join Obubu as a scholar internship, but due to COVID my visa was canceled, and I stayed at home. I graduated shortly after, and the next months were a bit chaotic, I tried many things: I taught in elementary school, I almost got run over by bumper cars, I workind in an amusement park…. I never really left the pandemic instability. Obubu was still in a corner of my mind, and I reapplied. For me it was an opportunity to make a break and reconsider where I want to go in the next years.


Reading about tea is fascinating, but so abstract.  I really started discovering tea in high school, with flavored tea, then learned how to brew, and discovered the history behind a cup. I continued to drink tea in university, but I was also studying the history and issues of this drink. Yet, I was still unable to clearly understand how sencha or tencha were processed, and I wanted to have a more concrete experience of tea.

As a geographer, I also wanted to discover the territories shaped by tea agriculture. And for me, these territories are deeply made by the people producing, selling, and promoting tea. I was looking for more than academic depiction: I wanted to hear their stories, see their daily life, and learn more about the challenges they are facing today.

Finally, Obubu mission really echoed to me.  “Bringing Japanese tea to the world” is something I wanted to do. Because I experienced the lack of communication around Japanese tea, and because I’m deeply convinced that we need to communicate about quality Japanese tea for tea farmers to continue growing the tea they want to produce.

And, of course, I discovered that Obubu was the right place for that.


It’s so hard to sum-up three months of intense discoveries in just a few words! 

I discovered a lot about tea. Ask a question anytime, and Georges and Hiro-san will start to look at info, explain the details, or search for the right book to help you. But it’s also more than that. Going and meeting people making tea is a wonderful experience and I wish every tea lover could do that, to appreciate all the efforts in a single cup of tea, especially when you help produce it.  It’s even more true when farmers are as crazy as Miwako-san and Akky-san. Their dances and the endless energy made farming so fun I will treasure what I learned with them.

This internship is not a touristic stay in Japan. Sure, you will probably visit Kyoto Osaka and Nara, go to Fushimi Inari, feed the deers and try takoyaki in Dotonbori. But you will also experience the chance of living in Japan. Instead of staying for a few weeks, travelling across the country, I started feeling at home in Wazuka and enjoyed experiencing Japanese daily life. The lovely people I met there were an endless source of motivation, for everything. Cooking everyday was so fun but trying sansai with Kayo-san’s recipe (please if you come in spring, try them all!!) was a unique experience. Araki-san and Higashi-san are my first motivation to learn Japanese, and I searched for so many Japanese words just to have a normal Japanese conversation with her, Mochi-man, or Nakai-Sensei, and I hope they will motivate you too in the hard path to master Japanese. 

I’m happy I stayed 3 months in Wazuka, and I know I will miss this village, the night walks to Lawson, the Tsunagiba pizza Thursday, or the dinner at Tanpopo with Hiro-san. 

I also hoped that I made bonds for life, and I have a special thought for my co-interns and Justin. We did a lot during this three month: I’m still processing some of our weekends.  I can just hope that every intern will share the same friendship. Because we spent so much time together, I know the separation will be hard, and I hope we will keep this links after that, like so many interns before us.


It’s hard to consider this part, because we started counting the days, and the departure is getting closer and closer. I know that I will come back to Japan, to discover more teas. There is so many things I want to see: regional bancha, how tea is grown in the biggest farms of Shizuoka and Kagoshima, the beautiful seaside landscape of Nagasaki plantations…  But I also want to come back to Wazuka, to study this territory and how people are facing challenges, how their creativity is building a new territory based on tea and worldwide community.I would like to have some final words to the future interns reading that. Please enjoy Japan! This is a unique experience. We justified everything with these magic words, so please don’t wait and take every opportunity until the very end! You can do so much, but three month is short. Go to sentō four times in a row, enjoy trimming in Tenku, and try strange-looking ferns, because I did, and I will never forget these three months!