Gochiso Chaji: the Documentary That Will Change Your Perception of Japanese Tea

Amélie Geeraert
Kokoro Media
Published in
10 min readJan 31, 2024

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Some time ago, one of our readers, Luisa, kindly messaged me to introduce me to the movie “Gochiso Chaji — A Film About Japanese Tea.” She had just watched the movie at a preview with the Global Japanese Tea Association and, like the rest of the audience, was “amazed at how it really delivers the true picture of Japanese tea.”

The movie, which took three years to make, has the objective to show the spirit of tea culture through interviews of diverse people related to the world of Japanese tea. “I reckon this aim is not too far from yours,” our Luisa wrote to me.

Japanese Green Tea as Told by the People Who Know It Best

Our reader was not mistaken when she said that the documentary’s aim was not far from ours in the sense that “Gochiso Chaji” explores the many facets of Japanese green tea through the eyes of the people who have devoted their lives to it. From tea producers who care for the soil the tea trees are planted in, to the “charistas” [tea baristas] who serve it with precise skills, each professional and tea lover tells what they think is special about tea, what things they are careful of in their work, and their philosophy.

Throughout the documentary, we discover the few steps of the green tea making process and learn that its simpleness is what makes each tea so unique. Just like wine, green tea reflects its environment: its soil, its climate, its water. For several of the documentary’s interviewees, Japanese green tea reflects the beauty of Japanese nature that can be served in a cup.

To show that beauty to the audience, who cannot taste or smell the teas presented on the screen, the movie uses some impressive and artistic shots, beautiful photography, and heartwarming lighting. At the same time, it shows the…

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Amélie Geeraert
Kokoro Media

Living in Japan since 2011. I love interviewing inspiring people.