Yame is synonymous with Japanese green tea in Japan. Here, we introduce our recommended route to best enjoy the beautiful nature, tea plantations, tea-based delicacies, and experiences. Rent a car to make the most out of your excursion.
Your trip around Yame starts here. This tea plantation spreads as far as the eye can see, and the verdant rolling hills are breathtaking. You will feel refreshed standing among the tea plants. Drive up to the observation deck, from where you can see downtown Yame and the Ariake Sea, the largest bay on Kyushu Island, on clear days.
Stone bridges over a century old dot the Hoshino River that passes through the district of Jōyō. Stop over at the Hotaru-to-Ishibashi-no-Yakata (Firefly and Stone Bridge Hall), which is located beside the double-arch bridge (megane-bashi in Japanese) called Yoriguchi-bashi. Visit the hall to see the exhibition on the fireflies and stone bridges, which are symbols of Jōyō, and relax on the deck that overlooks the river. Be sure to check out the shop, Chasaikan, for fresh, local farm produce and the Konatcha Soft-serve Ice Cream that is filled with Yame tea!
This is a restaurant in a quaint, old, traditional Japanese house located in a mountain hamlet. You can enjoy original, meat-free dishes made with fresh vegetables and other local ingredients (different every month; 1100 yen with coffee and dessert) and dessert sets (700 yen). Get your fill of the delicious and healthy fare as time flows slowly. Reservations are recommended, as this restaurant is open only on Saturdays and Sundays. (Scheduled to open from April 2022.)
Established with the concept of becoming a “secret base for snacks” (kashi is snack and kichi is base in Japanese), this shop is filled with treats made from tea and other ingredients produced in the district, Hoshino-mura. Check out Smooju, which are frozen drinks made with matcha (finely ground green tea powder) or seasonal fruits. The beverage prices differ according to the grade of matcha used (1620 yen, 864 yen, 540 yen), but each are richly flavorful and highly recommended! Takeout only.
This is a tea farm that produces Yame Dentou Hon Gyokuro (Yame Traditional Authentic Gokyuro), the highest grade tea in Yame. The farm also sells its own teas such as gyokuro (shaded green tea), sencha (steeped green tea), and matcha (finely ground green tea powder), which it has carefully cultivated with organic fertilizer based on green grass, as well as the especially fragrant and delightful matcha- and hojicha (roasted green tea)-flavored ice creams.
Learn about the history and manufacturing process of Yame tea at this museum. You can also enjoy meals and desserts that use green tea as well as experience making matcha (fine powdered green tea) on traditional stone grinds and hand-rolling green tea leaves, among other workshops. The Shizuku Tea Set is a must try, to truly savor the exquisite Yame Dentou Hon Gyokuro tea!
This is a “power spot” (known in Japan to be sacred areas where visitors can experience the earth’s energy and healing) that is said to have once been a religious training ground for Japanese mountain ascetic hermits called Yamabushi. When you reach the top of the 365 moss-covered stone steps, take in the shrine’s worship hall, the sacred trees said to be over 500 years old, and boulders and strangely-shaped rocks that surround the area, which together create a mystical atmosphere.
This hotel is an onsen ryokan (traditional inn with hot spring baths) whose camping ground, bathing facilities, and restaurant are also available to day-trip visitors. Make the most of your time here, taking in the nature surrounding Hoshino Village.
Visitors can enjoy the astronomical telescope and planetarium here.
Stay overnight at the adjoining small hotel and experience this facility to the fullest.