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Japanese green tea for two in porcelain cups - Green tea for two - close up of traditional Japanese beverage
Green tea (緑茶 Ryokucha?) is ubiquitous in Japan and therefore is more commonly known simply as "tea" (お茶 ocha?). It is even referred to as "Japanese tea" (日本茶 nihoncha?) though it was first used in China during the Song Dynasty, and brought to Japan by Myōan Eisai, a Japanese Buddhist priest who also introduced the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism. Types of tea are commonly graded depending on the quality and the parts of the plant used as well as how they are processed. There are large variations in both price and quality within these broad categories, and there are many specialty green teas that fall outside this spectrum. The best Japanese green tea is said to be that from the Yame (八女 yame?) region of Fukuoka Prefecture and the Uji region of Kyoto. Shizuoka Prefecture produces 40% of raw tea leaf.
Over the last few decades green tea has been subjected to many scientific and medical studies to determine the extent of its long-purported health benefits, with some evidence suggesting that regular green tea drinkers have lower chances of heart disease and developing certain types of cancer.