Emeric visited the Otsuka family in the spring of 2023. The Otsuka family has been making tea in the coastal region of Kakegawa for almost 150 years. This Ichiban is their pride, made from the tea fields that surround their factory. The area is so dominated by tea that one hill has a tea bush topiary trimmed to the shape of the Japanese character for "tea." Ichiban is harvested on the first days of production in late April. It is made at an old, traditional factory and then finished at their plant. Compared with the polished and almost pastoral quality of Matsuda's Sencha, this Ichiban has the punch and intensity of Tokyo's rush hour.