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Local Color is a series that takes a look at colorful travel destinations around the world.

Green is the most abundant color in nature and the human eye sees more green than any other hue on the spectrum. But as these green destinations prove, common doesn’t mean uninteresting.

Japan’s Shizuoka prefecture produces 45% of the country’s tea—and this is a country that drinks and eats green tea in massive quantities. This fall, green tea connoisseurs from around the world will descend on Shizuoka for the O-Cha Tea Festival from November 7 – 10 to sample and buy tea, and learn more about tea culture. Visitors coming to Shizuoka at other times of the year can visit the Kaori-no-Oka teahouse where they can explore the verdant fields, pick their own tea leaves, and learn more about the manufacturing and distribution process that brings Shizuoka’s tea to the world.

The country of Wales is one of the world’s greenest places, in both the literal and figurative senses. The moist climate keeps the rolling hills of this small country a lush emerald green for most of the year, and the Welsh so enjoy spending time outdoors in such lovely scenery that they’ve built an 871-mile walking trail along the Atlantic coastline. In appreciation of the natural beauty of their countryside, the Welsh have been global leaders in energy efficiency and sustainability. Wales is the first country in the world to pledge to go carbon-neutral by 2029. The country has also made big strides in reducing the number of cars on the road, to protect both air quality and the gorgeous views.

For centuries the people of Iceland built homes out of turf, covering their houses in grass as a way to insulate themselves from the harsh winters. Today very few Icelanders live in turf houses, but there’s been a resurgence of interest in these buildings as people explore the cultural aspects of their craftsmanship. At the East Iceland Heritage Museum, you can tour the restored turf house of a nineteenth century Icelandic family and learn about how these green homes were and are built.

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Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith is a writer, traveler and lover of cities currently living in Austin, Texas. Follow her on Twitter at @shameonseamus.
Jamie Smith

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