My trip to Foodex in Japan this year was extra special! I want to share that with you here.
Every time since 2009 I travelled to Japan for Foodex, which starts on March 5th, I miss a special day for me since this is our marriage anniversary; either I am on flight or preparing booth or speaking about tea somewhere in and around. So, this year I planned taking my wife, Manisha, with me and having our 39th wedding anniversary there. Chitose san, our partner there, was kind enough to have a tea party on 5th March, and on 11th March Masami san was having her company’s 10th anniversary in Yokohama China town Hanting hotel near the famous Chinese temple there, and Rose san organised an outing for us on 12th March to Kamakura Buddha temple thru the Tokyo bay Aqua tunnel from where you can see the Fujiyama from the sea.
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When one is in Japan the trip is not complete without seeing Fujiyama, so to the travelers who are limited to visiting Tokyo only there are few spots from where you can see a glimpse of this extremely shy mountain from few points: first from Narita, second from APA Chiba hotel 50th floor restaurant, third from Tokyo Bay Aquaduct, and lastly from new Sky Tree. I have been to Fujiyama after many aborted attempts, but Manisha could see it from these view points only and that too with limited success. It is considered fairly lucky to visit or view Fujiyama to complete your Japan trip successfully.
For us this year was special because we launched a Darjeeling aerated fizz drink in 200ml glass bottle during this year’s Foodex. The tea was from Mahalderam of Jungpana tea estate and the cost was pretty affordable at 2,000 yen per bottle which is far lower then the Makaibari blue label one litre glass wine like bottle marketed much earlier by another company and was much expensive. Indian Ambassador Mr. Shinoy visited our booth especially for this occasion and he also inquired about our Bihar Doke project which he noticed last year where Itoh showed their interest to get the surrogate production of teas to their specifications in India.
A very good book in Japanese educating the general consumers about black teas was also gifted to us during this trip and we value the literature in local languages world over about Darjeeling tea which I personally feel is very badly marketed and heavily undercut by Nepal now.
About the Author: Rajiv Lochan is a veteran of the tea industry with over 30 years experience, mainly in the Darjeeling area of northern India. He and his family now also run the Doke Tea Garden in Bihar, India, and Lochan Tea, Ltd., a tea vendor. He is also now serving as a “tea diplomat” with tea professionals in China. His personal site.
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