Cherry Blossom Tea Renews Hope for Japan

Profits from specially created Sakura Karigane tea from the Tea Docents of Chado-En support victims of Japan’s recent disasters

BODEGA BAY, Calif., March 24, 2011 -- As the cherry trees bloom throughout a devastated Japan this spring, so, too, should a renewed sense of hope. To help nurture that hope, Tea Docents of Chado-En, cultivators of fine Asian teas, are branding an honorary tea with the cherry tree’s symbolic, sacred blossom and selling the beverage to raise relief funds for those affected by the recent earthquake, tsunami and power plant disasters.

A full 100 percent of the profits from sales of the tea, called Sakura Karigane, will go to Second Harvest Japan (2HJ -, a non-profit organization that has provided food and other aid to people in Japan since 2000. Currently, 2HJ is actively involved in disaster relief in Japan (, delivering support and resources to the needy. In addition to teaming up with 2HJ with its tea fundraising effort, the founding family behind Chado-En plans to donate $10,000 in matching funds.

“I have roots in Hiroshima, and have lost both family and friends to nuclear radiation,” says Tea Docent Nozomu Tokugawa, who co-owns Chado-En with Donna Tokugawa. “When I heard about the earthquake, tsunami and power plant radiation, it became a mission to find a way to help the Japanese people overcome this catastrophic pain.” Sakura Karigane ( is a blend of Karigane tea and Sakura (cherry tree) leaves. Of all teas, Karigane has the highest content of the amino acid derivative L-theanine, known to promote alertness and calm. These soothing, organic properties, along with the delicate cherry flavor, transport tea drinkers to an aromatic “blooming spring.” “With Sakura Karigane, we want to encourage a sense of hope and rebirth and enable people not to focus on devastation, but to turn that energy toward powerful healing,” says Donna Tokugawa. “Part of our passion is to use our teas to affect the world in a positive way, and, right now, our goal is to support Japan through this challenging restoration.” Sakura Karigane tea comes packaged in a rice paper bag depicting the cherry blossom and the tagline “Help Japan Blossom.” Tea may be purchased through donation amounts of $20-$500. The tea’s production has been heavily discounted to ensure maximal donations go to Japan and to continue supporting Japanese tea farmers, whom the Tokugawas will visit later this spring.

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