The other day I had the opportunity to visit Shioya Kichie Wasabi Farm deep inside Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture!
We met at Shuzenji Station, the last station along the Izu-Hakone private railway line joining Mishima City andd Shuzenji.
From there it was a fairly long trip by car deep into the Amagi Mountains to Kichie’s Farm before boarding a lighter car to manage the narrow roads to his fields located at about 300 meter altitude.
It is still much lower than Utogi, the birthplace of wasabi, meaning different condtions in cultivation and maintenace!
Higher temperatures and lower altitude mean that utmost care must be given to a regular water flow, most of it coming from natural sources and the cleanliness of the soil made mainly of sand and fine gravel which must be regularly tilled in between new transplanting occuring in a staggered fashion to ensure a constant harvest all year round although quality and quantiry will evidently differ depending on the sseason!
All this means no holidays for the growers as they must chack daily on the possibility of natural disease and pests proliferation!
They do have techniques to prevent the latter far different from those used in Utogi. Generally speaking wasabi cultivation in Izu Peninsula is still recent going back only to three geanerations or so!
Water must funneled out of each water field along channels to prevent impurities from one field to accumuate inside another one! Of course the water running in the chunnels must be controlled and the chunnels regularly cleaned!
We did have to trudge along in between the water fields and it does demand some good athletic skills! no wonder Mr. Shioya is so thin and fleet-footed!
Roots are cleaned with water sprays instead of brushes which harm the skin! before that secondary rhizomes/subroots will be taken out for replanting!
Wasabi flowering occurs there more than a month before Utogi! Of course they are edible!
A beautful “mazuma” cultivar wasabi root Mr. Shioya took home to have us taste it!
The light lunch prepared for us by Mrs. Shioya!
Wasabi potato salad, wasabi and cheese, wasabi stem pickles!
Succulent sushi rolls!
With fresh wasabi root grated by Kichie!
And wasabi leaf tempura for dessert!
Talk about Japanese hospitality!
Kichie Shioya Wasabi Farm/塩谷吉栄山葵農園 (producer and seller)
410-2516 Shizuoka Prefecture, Izu Shi, Ikanaba, 35
RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES
So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
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