Fruit Park in Hamamatsu City!

Half way along our trip riding the Tenhama private Railway Line the other day we decided to pay a visit to the Fruits Park of Hamamatsu City.

We had only one hour until the next train and the walk to the Fruits Park takes 10 minutes.
We knew we would be limited in time and the blistering heat didn’t help!

At least looking at the pavement we knew we couldn’t lose our way!

The main entrance
The park is truly enormous and the car park is even bigger.
We realised that we had to limit this visit to the main attraction, the Tropical Fruit Dome!

The hall leading to the dome was full of information but the air-conditioning did not prepare us to the heat inside the dome!
By the way if you can read japanese check their HOMEPAGE as it will help you recognize some very strange fruit!

What is this fruit?

The temperature inside must have been well above 30 degrees with an incredible humidity.
The sweat prevented me to jot down notes and I’m afraid I don’t remember the names of some fruits! Let’s see if you can help me!

Fortunately there was plenty of running water to help cool down the dome!

Not only tropical fruit, but also plenty of beautiful flowers!
All in all, 80 varieties for 300 trees and plants!

Cocoa!

Start of the quizz!
What’s the name of those flowers?

What’s that fruit?

And what are these?

I’ve seen these flowers before…

It’s not a pineapple. What could it be?

Limes/ I doubt it…

Now, this a lime!

I’ve seen that one before, too!

Beautiful orchids there!

A pineapple!

What are these fruit?

Another pineapple!

Bananas!

Red bananas!

Insects and pests had better beware!

Banana flower!

Papaya!

More papayas!

And another pineapple!

Outside the dome a cafe/restaurant will welcome you inside a beautiful park.
But actually the Tropical Fruit Park and the big park with ponds outside represent only one fourth of the whole complex!
You will have to plan half a day for a complete visit even with the help of a mini train!

Among others, you will discover fields of plum trees, orange trees, apple trees, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, kiwi fruit, almond trees, figs, peach trees, pomegranate trees, a field of nut trees including chestnuts and a lot more inside greenhouses and experiment fields!

This park will warrant a least a couple more visits to describe it all!

FRUITS PARK
431-2102 Hamamatsu City, Kita Ku, Miyakoda Cho, 4263-1 (get down at Fruits Park Station on the Tenhama private Railway line. 10 minute walk)
Tel.: 053-428-5211
Fax: 053-428-52000
Business hours: 09:00~16:30 (October~April), 09:00~17:00 (May~September)
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments!

A huge standing drum from the South Pacific!

There is a lot of good food and drinks in Hamamatsu City, but there is also a lot of exceptional music!
With Kawai, Yamaha and Rolland all established in that city, more than half of all music instruments in Japan are made there!
It was no wonder that the City decided to open a Meuseum when it erected Act City and other buildings within walking distance of the Railway Station 18 years ago!

My favorite Japanese instrument, the biwa!

The City then proceeded to amass a mind-boggling collection of more 1200 pieces on constant display out of more than 3000 in their vaults!
The collection truly covers the whole World and the entrance fee of 400 yen (for adults) is truly ridiculous!
Next time you travel or go out in Hamamatsu City take some time to immerse yourself in the biggest public musical instruments collection in the world!
The more for it when you realize that photography is allowed!

Here is a tiny selection of pictures I took the other day to which I intend to add regularly!

Quaint samisen!

One-string koto!

Hand-painted 19th Century US banjo!

Musical Sea shells!

A piano for the Sun King?

Or a piano for his favorite?

Historical routes of the mandoline!

Bagpipes from the Scots!

For a Caribbean steel band!

They even have a collection of postage stamps on African Music Instruments on display!

Harps for the Celts!

Serpents/snakes from Europe!

Glasses are not always for drinking!
A full crystal glass musical instrument!

Some wind instruments are equipped with truly impressive mouths!

A somewhat frightening steel tongue plank from Africa!

impressive drums from the South Pacific!

Tam tams or boats?

A South East Asian triple xylophone decorated with carved silhouettes!

These feathers will certainly mark out the musician in a band!

I wonder if this peacock contributed its feathers to the precedent instrument?

Yamaha electric guitars from the early 60’s! True antiques for rockn’ rollers!

Make sure to visit the experimental room to try your own hand at music!

Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments/浜松市楽器博物館
430-7790 Hamamatsu City, Chuo Ku, Chuo, 3-9-1
Tel.: 053-451-1128
Fax: 053-451-1129
HOMEPAGE
Opening hours: 09:30~17:30
Closed on Mondays, 2nd & 4th Wednesdays. Open all throughout August.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Products at Hamamatsu City Railway Station

As a general rule it is always a good idea to check inside major railway stations in Japan for local food and products.
And since Shizuoka Prefecture has no less than 6 (the record in Japan) major shinkansen/bullet train station, you ought to spend some time looking around before boarding your train!

This time I will take you around Hamamatsu Railway Station, or JR Station as they call such a building in Japan!

It is quite easy as most shops are concentrated inside the “May One Ekimachi” Store!

Right at the entrance you will discover the biscuit of the area: unagi pie/eel pie! There is no eel in this sweet biscuit. It’s only the color which is reminiscent of the famous fish bred and caught in the Hamamatsu City area!

Have a good look at the ekiben/railway bento before boarding your train. Ekiben are always the best indication of what people eat in the same region!

Here are the real unagi/鰻/eels prepared in various fashions!

Processed products of wasabi. Shizuoka Prefecture grows 80% of the total national crop!

More wasabi processed products including salt, mayonnaise and dressing!

Real fresh wasabi!

Sakes brewed by Hana no Mai Brewery, one of the two breweries in Hamamatsu City!

Tea and orange roll cakes!

Another specialty of Hamamatsu City: simmered eel livers!

More ekiben/railway station bento!

Green tea rusks (hard biscuits!)

A closer look at unagi pie!

Uogashi Sushi Company (from Yaizu City!) has big restaurant inside where you will be able to get all kinds of meals including purely local sushi!

Great plastic models for collectors and fans!

And more!

Another specialty of Hamamatsu City: gyoza dumplings always served with beansprouts!

Oden! More a specialty of Shizuoka City, although all big cities and areas in the Prefecture have their own!

A great health food from Lake (salted) Hamana: seaweed!

Orange cakes and jellies!

Now, what will be the next of the 6 stations I will introduce! LOL

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Exploring Shizuoka by Train 1: Along the Tenhama Railway Line!

When it comes to visit Shizuoka Prefecture off the beaten tracks the both simplest and most pleasurable way to do it at leisure is to board one of the half-dozen private railway lines or four regional tracks that cross our region in all directions.
The Tenhama/天浜線 runs from Kakegawa Station halfway between Shizuoka City and Hamamatsu city to Shinjyobara/新所原, the last station in Western Shizuoka.

First of all buy a one-day ticket inside the tiny station which will allow you to use the Line all day regardless how many times you get off the train for 1,500 yen (almost half of the full trip without being allowed to get off!)

This is our train, a single-carriage affair, fairly comfortable and properly air-conditioned!

A view of the inside!
Don’t be misled, it is full at some times of the day with students and commuters as this is the only railway going around across the Tenryu River/天竜川 and Lake Hamana/浜名湖!

Sakuragi Station/桜気駅

Now, there are lots of pictures to be taken as no less than 11 stations have been nominated Shizuoka Cultural Property/静岡県文化財!
The first one is Sakuragi Station/桜気駅!
Also keep in mind that the trip is worth doing at any time or season ofthe year as you are travelling the Shizuoka “outback”!

Haranoya Station/原谷駅!

Deep through country!

A local stream whose name I couldn’t find!

Enshyuumori Station/遠州盛り駅!

Plenty of flowers in gardens along the track!

This is also green tea country!

Tootouichinomiya Station/遠江一宮駅!

A local high school student going through the cute station exit!

This line has been in service for a very long time as shown by this signboard in Kaminobe Station/上野部駅!

Tenhama Futamata Station/天浜二俣駅!

A friendly chat with a local commuter!

Futamata Honcho Station/二俣本町駅!
I stopped at this station (not a cultural asset) as I wanted to have a lunch in a famous if small local soba shop!
The chair all made of local wood was donated by the locals for the comfort of the travelers!

Nice old (very) small station!

Hazuki Soba Shop/葉月そば!

Delicious hot gobou soba/牛蒡そば/buckwheat noodles topped with plenty of local burdock roots!

Running across the Tenryuu river/天竜川, one the main rivers in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Gansuiji Station/岩水寺駅!

Miyaguchi Station/宮口駅!

Have you ever heard of the “Three Monkeys Not Taking Responsibility of the Fourth Thief Monkey”?

Bye-bye Monkeys!

Your servant at Fruit Park Station, not a cultural asset, but still a cute little station!

I got off there to visit the Hamamatsu City Fruit Park!

Definitely worth the stop as you will have a full hour until the next train!

Quaint public toilets!

A panel announcing the Miyakoda Princess parade Festival/都田姫様遊中祭 taking place on the first week of of April every year!

Kanasashi Station/金指駅 just after the Hamamatsu University Station!

Kiga Station/気賀駅!

Nishi Kiga Station/西気賀駅!

The first sight of Lake Hamana/浜名湖!

An inlet just along the track!

Orange toilets! This is orange country!

Lake Hamana is the largest salt lake in Japan, celebrated for its oysters, eels, cockles and doman crab!

Mikkabi Station/三ケ日駅 , the last cultural asset station!

These toilets at Ona Station/尾奈駅 are not cultural assets but they represent a pot used to carry eels, the specialty of the region!

To continue…

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizen No Chikara Organic Farm: Visit by “47 Japanese Farms” in Shizuoka City!

Syunsuke Sano/佐野俊介 of Shizen No Chikara Organic Farm explaining his craft to Roshni Nirody and Sara Harriger of the U.S. Department of State

Ms. Roshni M. Nirody (from New Jersey) and Ms. Sara Harriger (Alaska) employed by the U.S. Department of State working for the Foreign Service Institute, Japanese language and Area Training Center at the U.S. Embassy in Japan paid us a visit in Shizuoka City!
Not only these young ladies speak very good Japanese on top of their native language but even more languages, a undisputable proof of their ability for their jobs!
They have initiated their own grand three and a half year project at 47 Farms to examine Japanese agriculture through interviews and working farm stays with farmers in each of Japan`s 47 prefectural entities!
Read more HERE, it is certainly worth a very long look!
To cut a story short they contacted me as they wanted to discover what Shizuoka Farms had in store for them!
Actually Shizuoka does have a lot, but to make easier for their first visit I and a staff at M2 labo decided to take them to new but already very influential Organic Farm in Shizuoka City and Prefecture called Shizen No Chikara Farm.

Organic Tomatoes!

Shizen No Chikara Farm has plots in Sena, Shimo, Nippon Daira and many others in the Prefecture.
We took them to Sena where the man in charge, Syunsuke Sano/佐野俊介 was kind enough to explain his crafts and answer quite a few very pointed questions from our lady guests!

All the cultivation is organic in the strict sense with no insecticides, or any agrichemicals.
The insects are fought off with natural repellents concocted by the farmers, catch fly sticky tapes or with natural enemies such as ladybugs!

Temperature and humidity are constantly checked and monitored!

For the moment they grow five varieties of tomatoes there!

These will go to the top restaurants in the Prefecture!

Now, Shizen No Chikara succeeded a very difficult organic cultivation at their first attempt: strawberries!

The strawberries are not allowed to come in contact with the floor or soil!
No need to mention this is all daily back-breaking work!

The greenhouse has its own beehive!

Even the beehive is kept super clean!

The bees are vital for a regular pollination and beautiful berries!

Organic mini daikon!

We then proceeded to the plot in Shimo to have a look at the their root and leaf vegetables!

Row of mini daikons!

Komatsuna left to look after their harvested rows!

Hosonegi/scallions/mini leeks!

Leeks are great to fight common colds!

Big white daikons!

Japanese gastronomy wouldn’t exist without these!

Beautiful radishes and turnips just harvested!

The same in their rows!

This visit was all too short for my own satisfaction and I already have invited our sweet visitors to come again as soon as possible!
I’m already planning visits to Numazu and Fujinomiya Cities!
Our two ladies are not only lovers of agriculture but also gastronomes. I have a few breweries and izakayas in mind for them!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Kitayama Organic Farm: Great Chefs meet Great Farmers in Fujinomiya City!

Fuminori Nishitani/藤谷文紀 of Nori in Fujieda City, Tooru Arima/有馬亨 of Pissenlit in Shizuoka City and the Hirakakis, Masaaki and Kiko/平垣正明・紀子 at Kitayama Organic Farm/北山農園 in Fujinomiya City!

Today I finally had the honor and pleasure to introduce two of the very top chefs in Shizuoka Prefecture, namely Fuminori Nishitani/藤谷文紀 of Nori in Fujieda City and Tooru Arima/有馬亨 of Pissenlit in Shizuoka City to the Hirakakis, Masaaki and Kiko/正明・紀子, owners and producers at Kitayama Organic Farm/北山農園 in Fujinomiya City!
This had been long in the offing and the three of us decided to drive this Tuesday all the way from Shizuoka City to Fujinomiya City at the very foot of Mount Fuji to visit the Organic Farm of the Kitayamas not only for a formal meeting but also to establish a gastronomic event to take place in the very near future!

The Hirakakis have refurbished this ancient farmhouse on their own!
Both were professional photographers before deciding to venture in organic farming!

Pure water gushing down the slopes of Mount Fuji is one reason why Fujinomiya City is so celebrated for its superlative agriculture!

Having gone through the necessary introductions I made myself scarce after a while to let them discuss their plans.
The two chefs had struck on the idea of a collaboration dinner at Restaurant Pissenlit on the 10th of March based on the vegetables grown by the Kitayamas whose merits I had praised for some time.

Some of their vegetables on the table around which they were sitting…

Delicious pickles from the same vegetables.
Sorry for the fuzzy pictures but it was very dark inside the farmhouse!

More pickles…

While they were deep in talks I took a peek inside a greenhouse behind the farmhouse.
What are these?

All kinds of sliced radishes and turnips left to dry!

Swiss chards!

I came back to find them snacking on dried sweet potatoes!

Artichokes that will be harvested beginning of next summer!

Time had finally come to make a grand tour of the 3 ha where the Kitayamas grow more than 190 varieties of organic vegetables at different times of the year!

Golden carrot!

Burgundy carrot!

Cute orange carrot!

Purple daikon field!

The purple daikon!

To be frank, there were so many kinds I didn’t have the time to write down their names! Shall we call these mini thread purple and white daikon?

Komatsuna!

Romanesco broccoli!

Red daikon field!

Organic cabbages!

Organic red cabbages!

Shimonita leeks field!

Highly valued variety of leek in Japan!

Some of the beauties I took back home!

Looking forward to visiting the Kitayamas again next spring!

KITAYAMA ORGANIC FARM

Masaaki and Kiko Hirakaki
418-0112 Fujinomiya Shi, Kitayama, 3102
Tel./Fax: 0544-25-2795
Mobile phone: 090-2261-8821
HOMEPAGE
Private orders welcome over the phone!

PISSENLIT

420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 2-3-4
Tel.: 054-270-8768
Fax: 054-627-3868
Business hours: 11:30~14:30; 17:00~22:00
Closed on Tuesdays and Sunday evening
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
E-Mail: pissenlit2008@ybb.ne.jp
Credit Cards OK
Entirely non-smoking!

NORI

426-0204 Shizuoka Ken, Fujieda Shi, Tokigaya, 864-3
Tel./Fax: 054-641-4778
Opening hours: 11:30~14:00; 18:00~22:00
On reservation only for dinner
Closed on Tuesdays and first Monday
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese, but do check it for great photographs of the house and garden!)
Entirely non-smoking!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Nashi-Japanese Pears at Ichikawa Garden in Iwata City”

Two generations of Japanese Pear growers: Takeshi and his parents, Toshiyuki and Kumiko Ichikawa/市川、利行、久美子さん!

Nashi/梨/called Japanese Pears, Nashi Pears or Sand Pears and many other names are the fruit of hot summers par excellence!
One has to bite into one of these crunchy and extremely juicy, and absolutely delicious, fruits once to understand why Nashi Pears are also venerated as the true fruits of life!

It was another blinding hot day again yesterday and I was certainly grateful for Takeshi San to come all the way to Toyoda Cho Station and then to take me all the way again to their fields and house!
The same fields are heavily protected by nets for all kinds of obvious natural reasons!

Housui Pears/豊水梨!

The Ichikawas mainly grow two varieties of nashi pear, Housui/豊水 and Kosui/辛水, the former ripening in August and September and the latter in full production right now.
Both are extremely juicy and tasty!

Hosui Pear, still comparatively small.

Kosui Pears/辛水梨!

The Kosui Pears are lighter in color wth a different skin pattern.

Growing nashi pears organically at sea level is practically impossible but all that grass proves that the Ichikiwas use only the strict minimum of pesticides! Actually, they have cut all ties with official “Agriculture Associations” so as to conduct the agriculture they think is right!

A lot of pears fall naturally and they will be included with other natural fertilizer to be mixed with the soil when they till the ground between the trees in winter.

I can assure you it is tough work to keep these orchards clean in their three locations for a total of 40 acres, what with typhoons and other unpredictable weather conditions!

For all the hard work harvesting lettuces in winter, corn in spring, pears in summer and rice in autumn, they never stop smiling!

The crop of the day!

A lot of manual and mechanical work involved!

Takeshi’s father started his orchards 30 years ago and gradually replacing all these trees takes time and care.
The above have a difference of more than 25 years! The old one is actually about to collapse!

The orchards have to be protected not only with nets against birds but also with electric wires against civets!

Takeshi san took me to another field where new trees had been planted 5 years ago and bore their first commercial crop!
A lot of investment is involved there!

These new branches will be bent down into a canopy at head level for better reach and control!

These are actually a new variety called nikkori/にっこり that matures as late as October!

You will not find the Ichikawas’ pears in any shop as they sell them only directly at their orchards or from personal order!
Even so they have a hard time satisfying all the demand. A proof of the extravagant quality!

Already all packed and ready to go!
Don’t worry, I managed to get mine!
Actually I can help you get them personally!

As any farmers worth their salt, the Ichikawas grow all kinds of vegetables for their own use and extra earnings!
I took a big batch of those beautiful okra back home!

To be continued…

ICHIKAWA GARDEN
Takeshi Ichikawa/Chouchou Farm
438-0804 Shizuoka Ken, Iwata Shi, Kamo, 200
静岡県磐田市加茂200
Tel/Fax: 0538-34-0629
Mobile: 080-1614-2271

Lettuce: October~April
Corn: June~July (May for greenhouse)
Japanese pears/nashi: August~September
Rice: Middle of September
Other vegetables (please call for more information!)
Private orders welcome!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

The Hidden Gems of Japan!