Tag Archives: Kakegawa City

Kiwi Fruits & Agritourism at Kiwifruit Country Japan

Masatoshi and Tsuneyo Hirano/平野正俊・常代 at Kiwifruit Country Japan in Kakegawa City.

“Let’s introduce the greatness of the nature, importance of agriculture and taste of the real thing! Let’s learn together! Discover the valuable life!” is Masatoshi Hirano’s motto, in his own words, for farm management.

Entrance to Kiwifruit Country Japan

Mr. Masatoshi Hirano (and his two sons, too) speaks fluent English, because he spent a long time researching about citruses in four different States in the US before starting agriculture at his parents’ farm. His family has seen a lot of history go by as he is the 19th generation!
Nonetheless, as a youngster he understood that tradition was one thing, and good farming management another.

Kiwi fruits across the parking lot!

This led him, originally against his parents’ disagreement, to enlarge the family enterprise and introduce new cultures.
One was that of kiwifruit which he started from a single spoonful of seeds he had brought back home!

Agritour programs in front of the shop.

Then for the last 21 years he has expanded the cultivated land to include the largest Kiwifruit Agritour Orchard in Japan, tea, organic citruses, organic vegetables, organic edible flowers, space for domestic animals (as food and pets), self service stand direct sale shop, a whole forest for kids and adults alike, a BBQ area capable of welcoming 500 guests, a campsite, onsite field classes for children and students and agritours for Japanese and foreigners.

Baby goat.

A pet sheep.

A pet goat.

Pet rabbits.

Mischievous baby goats!

A baby pig, not a wild boar!

A peacock (there are two varieties, actually!)!

Kiwifruits, according to varieties (he grows 80 of them and conduct experiments on 500!), are either grown in an enormous greenhouse (which also serves as an BBQ and event space) or in open-air fields.

This kiwifruit tree wood is actually very popular with local artists!
Another great way to recycle nature!

Greenhouse-grown kiwifruit on display for practical information!

Kiwifruit varieties ready for sampling!

One can study about kiwifruits in Japanese and English while eating them!

Chickens for their meat and eggs.

More chickens!

And even more chickens! These are pets kept together with rabbits!

And more chickens. These always seem hungry!

The whole range of edible organic flowers and mountain vegetables/sansai/山菜 grown on site!

Organic shiitake.

Organic pumpkins!

Peaceful sheep.

Organic mandarines/mikan/蜜柑.

The grass and plants are left to grow naturally from the soil mixed with natural compost.

Another variety of organic mandarines.

Tea fields.

Vast open-fields of kiwifruit trees. Would you believe that Mr. Hirano pollinate them all by hand? A back and shoulder-breaking work!

A view inside the very old forest. It is actually crossed by a centuries-old path!

Small concerts are organized in that space inside the forest!

A kids’ heaven!

Look at these air-breathing roots. Now, this is an ancient tree!

100% organic potatoes sold at the shop!

Kiwis on sale at the shop.
One can eat as many as one wants onsite for a fee!

All kinds of varieties and packaged kiwifruit can be sent all over Japan directly from the shop!

These are the ones I took back hoe!

Obviously this is only the first of a long series of articles as the place will have to be visited every month by your servant or reporters from Agrigraph!

Kiwi Fruit Country/Experience & Learning Farm
Masatoshi & Tsuneyo Hirano
436-0012 Shizuoka Ken, Kakegwa Shi, Kamiuchida, 2040
Tel.: 0537-22-6543
Fax: 0537-22-7498
Free dial: 0120-014791
E-mail: wbs02626@mail.wbs.ne.jp
HOMEPAGE(Japanese, but phone calls can be taken in English)

Business hours: 09:00~17:00
BBQ (even by rainy weather) and tours possible on reservation.

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Yamanaka Brewery-Aoitenka Junmai Hyakumangoku Rice

Yamanaka Brewery is a small, ancient and traditional brewery lost a long way south of Kakegawa Station and it is not easy to find their brews even in Shizuoka City. Luckily enough I happened to find this sake made with Hyakumangoku rice grown in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Rice: Hyakumangoku (Shizuoka-grown)
Milled down to: 65%
Dryness: +2.0
Acidity: 1.4
Yeast: Association No 1001
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in June 2010

Clarity: very clear
Color: transparent
Aroma: fruity, light, banana, chocolate, vanilla, hints of pineapple
Body: fluid
Taste: Dry soft attack with junmai petillant.
Complex and fruity: chocolate, coffee beans, banana.
Quickly disappears with notes of almonds.
Gets drier with food.
Easy to drink.

Overall: A sake for all seasons.
Very fruity, dry and soft.
Actually quite complex and showing more facets than expected.
A sure value!

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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Please check the new postings at:
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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Yamanaka Brewery-Aoitenka Toubinkoi Muroka Junmai Ginjo

Yamanaka Brewery i not easy to access as it is far away from Kakegawa Station near the sea and one can reach only by bus, car and bicycle (not from Shizuoka City for the latter!)!
It is a fairly small establishement, although very well known, the more for it that its neighbour is the famous soy sauce brewery, Sakae!

This particular bottle was extravagant for many reasons.
The decoration was very original in the sense that the label on the bottle is actually made of cloth!
Coming into a great box with plenty of explanations, both the bottle and box are worth a collector’s attention.

The contents were also absolutely extravagant:
The real title is Yamanaka Shuzo/Yamanak Brewery, Aointenka (sake name), Tobinkoi (sake extracted drop by drop by being left hanging into sacke inside the tank and into a large glass jar), Muroka (unfiltered), Junami Ginjo (high premium with no alcohol added), Genshu (no pure water added), the whole meaning a completely untouched sake brew!

Now for the details:
Rice: Yamada Nishiki from Hyogo Prefecture
Rice milled down to 48% (high dai ginjo level!)
Yeast: 1401
Dryness: +2
Acidity: 1.7
Alcohol: 16~17 gegrees
Bottled in July 2010

Clarity: very clear
Colour: transparent
Aroma: Slghtly dry and very fruity. Almonds, coconuts with notes of pineapple. Extremely pleasant
Body: fluid
Taste: Very complex and fruity. Extremely pleasant and sophisticated.
Dry and fruity. Junmai petillant spreading over the back of the palate. Lingers on only a little.
Dry almonds, pineapple with hints of banana and vanilla.
Finishes on a very dry almond note, but turns a little sweetish with food. Later on reveals faint notes of dark chocolate and cofee beans.

Overall: Simply extravagant, although its pricetag is ridiculously cheap (that is for that quality!). The rice millage would be of another plane elsewhere!
Sophisticated, lmost “feminine” in spite of high alcohol content.
Best appreciated lightly chilled or at room temperature.
Personally the best aperitif one can come across!

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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Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Sogatsuru-Hagi No Kura Brewery-Kazutoyo

This could very well be the last bottle I drink from Sogatsuru-Hagi No Kura Brewery in Kakegawa City as Hagi No Kura Brewery has definitely left Sogatsuru after buying Yoshiya Brewery’s license and moved to Shizuoka City this April although they could have done it last year!

Sogatsuru-Hagi No Kura Brewery, “Kazutoyo” kakegawajyo/Kakegawa Castle Junmai Ginjo

Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Rice milled down to 55%
Bottled in March 2003

Clarity: very clear
Colour: transparent
Aroma: Fruity. Alcohol. Pineapple, banana.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Fruity and soft attack backed up with junmai petillant.
Dissipates quickly.
Complex. Almonds, nuts with memories of banana and coconuts.
Dry finish. Welcome acidity.
Holds its well with any food.

Overall: Despite its ginjo level, a sake fit for food.
Straightforward and unpretentious sake. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Delicious combination of sweetness and acidity.

Will miss that grand name, although I can expect the same from the new brewery!

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

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 3/7: Doi Brewery/Kaiun-Sakura Hana

In spite of the passing away of the nationally famous sake masterbrewer, Mr Hase, his apprentices have taken up the job of continuing producing brews in the greatest Noto tradition (Noto peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture) at Doi Brewery in Kakaegawa City and helped maintain the highest rank for the pleasure of all.

Kaiun Sakura Hana is a regular feature put out just before the cherry blossom season for which the magnificent Doi Brewery is celebrated for.

There are very few indications as to how the sake is made, but it is a Junmai Ginjo.

Doi Brewery: Kaiun Sakura No Hana

Rice milled down to 50%
Alcohol:15~16 degrees
Bottles in March 2010

Clarity: very clear

Colour: Faint golden hue

Aroma: Fruity and flowery: banana, pineapple, peaches. Strong and extremely pleasant

Body: smooth and solid

Taste: Dryish attack, junmai tingle, shortish tail.
Fruity and complex.
Bananas, dry almonds, later backed up by coffee beans and bitter chocolate and peaches.
Very soft at the back of the mouth.
Holds its own well with food with a drier note.

Overall: A beautiful, very flowery sake to be enjoyed on its own, although it goes well with any food. Best appreciated at room temperature, although many will like it slightly chilled. Feminine in aroma, but more direct in taste!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
Warren Bobrow
Tokyo Terrace

Shizuoka Agricultural Products: Candy Tomatoes


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Shizuoka Prefecture, especially its Western half has acquired a national reputation for its great tomatoes, notably plum tomatoes and “Aamera” varieties.

The other day, as I had some time, I decided to have a look at the small supermarket inside Kakegawa City JR Station as it specializes in Shizuoka Prefecture products from sake to vegetables, jams, spices and a lot more.

I discovered a new variety of tomatoes called “Candy Tomatoes” grown by Mr. Fukuda,a grower established in Kakegawa City.
They not only make for great presentation, but they are very firm, tasty and sweet. I had some difficulty to keep some for the Missus as I wanted to eat them at once!
Problem is that the Missus wants me to get some regularly on my way back from University!

Korreshika Dokoro
Kakegawa City Station
Free dial: 0120-471056