Women clad in traditional "kasuri" dyed fabric clothes pick new tea leaves in the central Japan city of Nishio, Aichi Prefecture, on May 2, 2022. New tea leaf picking began at the Inariyama tea garden park in the city -- known as one of the major matcha production areas in the country -- on the 88th day since the beginning of spring in the traditional Japanese calendar, from when farmers typically become busy. The tea farm is covered with sunlight-shielding sheets, which make leaves thin and soft. These leaves apparently help make tea bright green and increase its sweetness and umami. According to the tea business association in Nishio, as much as some 337 metric tons of "tencha," the tea leaves used to make matcha powder, were produced in the city in 2021. Full-scale tea leaf picking will start after the Golden Week holiday between the end of April and early May.
(Japanese original by Koji Hyodo, Nagoya Photo Group)