All photographs by Robert-Gilles Martineau when not cited.
(Courtesy of Orache Co.)
In 1997, when Mr. Tomoyuki Shimono came all the way from Tokyo to Kannami, near Mishima City, he surely had a grand idea: not only he wanted to create his own bio dairy products and beer, but he also knew how to develop it to contribute to a better environment and cooperation with locals.
He certainly needed a lot of courage to achieve his goals: Kannami is far away from urban life regardless of the great numbers of Tokyoites-owned villas sprouting all over a nearby mountain. At the time he arrived there, the land was poor and grew little but oranges due to its exposure to cold winds in winter and searing heat in summer. Oratche’s beer was not called “Wind Valley Beer” because it sounded good, but because it was a fact of life!
I had already written a few articles about their surprisingly good cheeses when I met their young business department executive, Mr. Satoru Nishimura, by pure chance in Isetan Department Store in Shizuoka City. The gentleman most readily assented when I asked him if I may visit and investigate his company. He went as far as picking me up at the station, about ten minutes away from his establishment.
Welcome to Orache!
It is a bit away from Kannami JR Station and you don’t have your own car, it is a good idea to share the taxi!
You are in a spot right between Mount Fuji and Izu Peninsula!
A great place to start a car tour from!
All great vegetables sold in Orache all year long have an interesting story of environmental cooperation!
Orache is located in an area called Tanna which also bears a deserved nickname, “Windy Valley”, which is also the name of the craft beers!
When they first came to Tanna, they found farmers toiling for very little in a harsh environment with prevailing winds and poor soils.
Local farmers have their own space where they can sell their own bio vegetables to visitors. Orache had a good idea to recycle the refuse from the many cows they keep for milk and calves they raise for meat. They just give it to the local farmers who can use it as biological fertilizer!
They certainly never run out of it, I can tell you, as everything is well planned and quickly disposed of! They grow their own corn for feed combined with hay directly imported from the States. Knowing the Japanese Customs’ pickiness, I do not harbour any worry about its quality!
All kinds of events are regularly organised not only in collaboration with local farmers but also with local restaurants, chefs and other gastronomic shops!
They are also very popular with animal lovers with their small menagerie and very often organic feed for animals, especially dogs, is sold there!
The regular series of craft beers at Orache!
Incidentally Orache was the first brewery officially recognized by the Japanese Government for producing organic beer!
A limited brew for the season!
Of course I took a bottle back to Shizuoka City!
A beautiful Craft Beer limited to the Atama City area! For the beer lovers and label collectors!
Orache keeps all kinds of animals on their premises: Sheep, goats, cows, ducks, and even a human cow mascot!
It can be cold country there, so they have a special space called “Flower Greenhouse”!
They hold all kinds of events inside for kids and adults alike1
Their restaurant caters for all kinds of food and drinks (beers, of course!) and a big shop offers the whole gamut of their own products!
Plenty of souvenirs to bring back home!
ORATCHE & WIND VALLEY BREWERY
419-0105 Shizuoka Ken, Tagat Gun, Tanna, 349-1
Business hours: 10:00~18:00 (week days), 10:00~20:00 (Sat., Sun. and National Holidays)
Free car park.
RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES
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Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 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, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,
Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents
HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City