Tag Archives: Nirayama

Shizuoka Beer Tasting: Kuraya-Narusawa/Hansharo Beer-“Yoritomo” Porter

HANSHARO-PORTER-2

If you are lucky enough to find out, AOI BEER STAND in Miyuki Cho, Aoi Ku, Sizuoka City sometimes runs out of its own beer and takes the opportunity to introduce a craft beer from another brewery, preferably that of a Shizuoka Prefecture-based establishment!
That is when the other day I discovered this craft beer by Hansharo Beer Co. in Nirayama, Izu City, Izu Peninsula!

HANSHARO-PORTER-3

Served on tap
Barley, malts, hops, live yeast
Unfiltered
Alcohol/ABV: 5%
Bubbles: Long head, very fine bubbles, creamy, light brown color
Color: dark brown
Aroma: dry, strong and complex. Coffee beans, dark caramel, dark toast
Tasting: dry, deep and very pleasant attack.
Not as strong as expected.
Complex. Coffee beans, dark caramel, toast.
Lingers long enough on palate for true tasting before departing on a slightly drier note.
Coffee beans will linger long on the palate.
Varies little with food.

Overall: very pleasant and easy to drink craft beer.
Excellent balance.
A light porter for all seasons!
Suggested pairings: nuts, cold meats, pizza.

Beer Junkie MOTEL

420-0035 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Shichiken Cho, 11-5, IMAKKOKO Bldg. 1F
Tel.: 054-253-6558
Opening hours: 18:00~25:00
Closed on Tuesday
Parties welcome
FACEBOOK

BEER GARAGE

Aoi Brewing Co.,Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyagasaki Chyo, 30
Tel.: 054-294-8911
Opening hours: 17:00~23:00 (Monday~Friday), 15:00~23:00 (Saturday), 15:00~22:00 (Sunday)
Closed on Tuesdays
COD, Cash On Delivery only for all orders.
MAP
FACEBOOK

AOI BEER STAND
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki Cho, 4-6, Den bill, 1F
Tel.: 054-260-5203
Opening hours: 11:00~23:00
Credit cards OK
FACEBOOK

Some Aoi Brewing beers are also available at the mother company’s other restaurant,

GROWSTOCK

420-0852 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koyamachi Naka Building, 5F
Tel.: 054-293-9331
Opening hours: 17:00~25:00 (Mon.~Thurs.), 17:00~27:00 (Fri & Sat.), 17:00~24:00 (Sun.)
Parties welcome (reserve!)
Credit Cards OK
FACEBOOK

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Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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Shizuoka Agricultural Products: The Yamaguchis’ Benihoppe Strawberry Fields (beginning of October)

Haruka/晴香, Tamako/玉子 and Mitsuo/光雄 Yamaguchi/山口

This the second part as promised of my interview of the Yamaguchi Family, a major grower of strawberries, exclusively of the Benihoppe variety, in Nirayama, Izu Peninsula. Read the first part for better understanding!

As mentioned before, “Benihoppe” or “Red Cheeks” strawberries is a cultivar which was successfully developed no later than in 2002 in Shizuoka Prefecture. It has since been voted as the best-balanced strawberry in Japan, and Izu Peninsula being near Tokyo, we do not see too many of our fruit on our own market stands!

To cut a long story short I was back at Mishima JR Station yesterday where Haruka Yamaguchi picked me up to give me a lift to her parents strawberry fields.

The Yamaguchis own a total of 15 greenhouses for a total of 1,500 tsubo (4,500 square meters), a fairly large property for a single family in this particular area counting for no less than 187 registered farms!
When you realize that their greenhouses stand in many different locations you can understand the sheer work of only opening and closing the roofs depending upon the weather, humidity and temperature every day! No need to say that when torrential rains fall upon them it becomes a real scramble!

The new strawberry seedlings were finally planted on the 15th of September. A couple of seedlings had been cut out and analyzed to ascertain that the flowers buds were forming.

Now, what is that box for?
A beehive will stand on it 5 days before the first strawberry flowers start blooming.
One just can’t pollinate the flowers without them!
Artificial pollination would be too cumbersome and will not be uniform with the consequence of misshaped fruits.
The Yamaguchis breed their own bees in 16 beehives, one for each greenhouse.
Don’t worry, they eat and share the honey!

Fruit size will depend on how well the flowers are pollinated.
Only the strict minimum of fertilizer will be dispensed until the soil is covered with vinyl sheets.
Weeds will have to be picked out by hand until then.
No pesticides will be used either.
Insects-eating insects will then be introduced!

The Yamaguchis will use large vinyl sheets to close the soil between the seedlings and rows. Instead of making holes in the sheets which tend to damage the seedlings, they join the sheets between the plants with staplers.
Now, do you see the blue tube running between the plants?

They are actually water hoses (or pipes, as you like)

The water springs out of the tube exactly between the plants.
That is, there will be enough space left between the vinyl sheets for the seedlings to be watered twice a week for 15 minutes.
Clever, isn’t it?

Maintaining the plants and picking the fruit is impossible work to do standing or kneeling.
The Yamaguchis and many other strawberry growers use that clever contraption to “run/roll” between the rows and work in relative ease!

Strawberry season lasts from about November 15th and 31st of May.
The best season are December and May as for sweetness. February see the largest fruits while the largest production occurs in March.

Look forward to my next report in December!

Yamaguchi Benihoppe Strawberry Farm
410-2114, Izu no Kuni, Nan-jo, 8
Tel.: 055-949-2330

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Shizuoka Agricultural Products: The Yamaguchis’ Benihoppe Strawberry Fields (end of July)

“Benihoppe” or “Red Cheeks” strawberries is a cultivar which was successfully developped no later than in 2002 in Shizuoka Prefecture. It has since been voted as the best-balanced strawberry in Japan, and Izu Peninsula being near Tokyo, we do not see too many of our fruit on our own market stands!

Now, by sheer coincidence a university student of mine, Haruka Yamaguchi/山口春香, just happened to come from a family, based in Nirayama located in the newly named Izu No Kuni City/伊豆の国市, who have switched to the growing of Benihoppe Strawberries as soon as their cultivar was made available through their cooperative!

To make things even easier, Mr. Izuzawa/伊豆沢秀慶, belonging to the government-sponsored local JA (Japan Agriculture) office, was there on hand to provide me with piles of welcome information. Mind you, I had done a bit of preparation as I had asked Haruka to distribute some business cards to the local farming community!

Mitsuo/光雄 and Tamako/玉子 Yamaguchi are the second generation of strawberry growers in their family. Strawberry culture is big in that particular area as it counts no less than 187 registered farms!
The Yamaguchis’ plot covers 1,500 tsubo (4,500 square meters), a fairly sizeable land in this country, and I don’t include other pieces of land here and there they use for re-planting and so on!
As I said, they switched from Akihime Strawberries to Benihoppe Strawberries as soon possible, and this was certainly a good move.
They employ 3 people on a permanent basis and a couple more at harvest time.

Strawberry culture is more complicated than it looks at first, and I didn’t realize how much I would have to go through (and more later) through this interview.
Abroad, for purposes of commercial production, plants are propagated from runners and, in general, distributed as either bare root plants or plugs. Cultivation follows one of two general models, annual plasticulture or a perennial system of matted rows or mounds. A small amount of strawberries are also produced in greenhouses during the off season.
Now, the Japanese seem to do all that at the same time.
End of March every year the original strawberry seedlings are first acquired from Cooperative nurseries and planted under into a “parent soil”.
Runners are encouraged to developped and are re-planted in small elongated pots called “Nira” (as of Nirayama) pots, an idea locally developped.

Interestingly enough, the “nira” pots are not filled with soil, but with a mixture of peat moss and shredded palm fronds and some fertilizer.

The fertilizer is “IBSI 1” sold at the Cooperative. The Yamaguchis were kind enough to show me a bag of it and

its contents. If one can manipulate it with bare hands (Mrs. Yamaguchi’s in this case) there is little doubt the fertilizer is easy on the environment!

The runners are encouraged onto new seedlings into at least 3 successive “nira” pots.

The strawberry plants will be cultivated separately in open air until the middle of August.

Then the vynil covers will be drawn over the greenhouses and ventilators will reduce the temperature as low as 15~18 degrees Celsius to “trick” the strawberries into believing thay are back into winter.

This is the easy way…
Until 15 years ago, when giant refrigerating ventilators were not used, all the seedlings had to be carried by truck up on the slopes of Mount Fuji as high as the Second Trek Station!

By the middle of September, one seedling will be completely cut out and examined to decide whether the time is ripe for re-planting in real soil inside greenhouses.

The greenhouses are already being prepared and this does involve more work and costly specialized equipment.

The method will then be more traditional with plasticulture system. In this method, raised beds are formed each year, fumigated, and covered with plastic to prevent weed growth and erosion.
Holes will be opened for individual re-planting.

The greenhouses along the road crossing the rice paddies.

Harvesting will start in November and lasts until May with up to 6 peaks.

But that is for the next report!

Yamaguchi Benihoppe Strawberry Farm
410-2114, Izu no Kuni, Nan-jo, 8
Tel.: 055-949-2330

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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

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