Koga Yokanbe Festival

When: November 1-2
Where: Koga Sogo Park, Koga

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The Koga Yokanbe Festival is a large industry festival that is organised around a different theme every year. This year’s theme is 「楽」(raku), which can mean a few different things, including, fun, enjoy, easy, and comfortable. There is plenty of fun to be found at this year’s festival with stage events and over 100 stalls for two days. The delicious products you can enjoy this year include Koga Shichifuku Curry Sauce, Yokanbe Crispy Curry Bread, and Yokanbe Green Tea Ice Cream.

Stage Events

Saturday
9:00 Opening Ceremony
9:30 Event Information
9:40 Performance by Yurikago Kindergarten
10:20 Performance by Seikei Day Care
11:00 Tahitian Dance ‘Te Mana O Te Moana’
11:40 Taiko Performance by the Koga Taiko Preservation Society
12:30 Okinawan Eisa Dance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Ibaraki Chapter
1:20 Wind Instrument Concert by Sowa Junior High School
2:10  Hula Dance Show by Hula Friends

Sunday
9:30 Performance by Freebel Kindergarten
10:10 Ressha Sentai ToQger
11:30 Hip Hop Jazz Dance by Studio Crew ikeda & DANCE STUDIO LINE
12:50 Ressha Sentai ToQger
2:30 Kuwata Kenkyukai Band Concert
3:50 Closing Ceremony

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Autumn Festivals in Hitachiota

27th Annual Satomi Scarecrow Festival

When: October 25th – November 29th
Where: Satomi Fureaikan Event Square, Hitachiota

Scarecrows are symbolic of agriculture, the guardians who watch over people’s fields. Appreciate the variety of entries made for the Scarecrow Contest that will be on display for a month in Hitachiota.

26th Annual Ryujin Gorge Autumn Leaves Festival

When: November 1-30, 8:30am – 5pm
Where: Ryujin Suspension Bridge, Hitachiota

Admire the colourful changing leaves of Ryujin Gorge during the Autumn Leaves festival throughout November. There are a number of fun events you can check out during the festival.

Hitachi Aki Soba New Soba Fair

Hitachiota is said to be the home of Japan’s most delicious soba, Hitachi Aki Soba! Autumn is the season for freshly made soba, so look for the green flags that mark shops as sellers of Hitachi Aki Soba and try some, you won’t regret it!

Soba-making Workshop

This workshop welcomes people of all skill levels to try their hand at making soba noodles with Hitachi Aki Soba flour.

When: November 23 (Sunday) 10am – 3pm (registration begins at 9am, the workshop takes an hour)
Where:  Tacchan no Yu http://tacchannoyu.ryujinkyo.jp/access.html
Cost: 1500 yen per person

Autumn Leaves Festival Photo Contest

Theme: Ryujin Gorge in Autumn

Rules:
1. The photo must be taken by the contestant, and it must not have been published elsewhere
2. The photo must be printed on quarto photographic printing paper (wide version is okay, ink jet printer paper is not accepted) and unaltered. On the back of the photo, write the title of the work, where it was taken, your address, name, age, gender, post code, phone number, and the type of camera you used.
3. There is no limit on the number of works you can submit. The works you submit will not be returned to you.
4. The publishing rights and the right to use the winning photos will be reserved by the Hitachiota Tourism and Local Products Association, and winners will be required to submit their film and data.
5. The winning photos will be displayed at Tacchan no Yu.
Deadline: December 8, 2014 (works with a postmark from this day will be accepted)

Send photos to:
〒313-0292  茨城県常陸太田市町田町163-1
(一社)常陸太田市観光物産協会水府支所(常陸太田市役所水府支所内)

Prizes:
Special Prize: 1 (30,000 yen)
Regular Prize: 2 (10,000 yen)
Honourable Mention: 3 (5000 yen)

All winners will receive coupons for Tacchan no Yu.

Autumn Leaves Festival Stamp Rally

Collect three stamps from three different check points on the provided slip of paper and submit it to go into the draw to win 3000 yen worth of local specialty products! 20 people can win!

Hitachiota Taiko Federation 8th Annual Ota Taiko Fest!

When: November 2, 1pm

Local Product Market

Enjoy local specialties of Hitachiota such as soba, udon, konnyaku, and vegetables, and savour autumn flavours such as salted ayu.

*On Ibaraki Prefecural Residents Day (November 13) crossing Ryujin Suspension Bridge is free (even if you’re from outside Ibaraki!)

Hitachiota Consolidation 10th Anniversary Hitachi Aki Soba Festival Satoyama Fair

When: November 8-9, 10am-3pm
Where: Yamabuki Exercise Park, Hitachiota

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Enjoy Hitachiota’s famous Hitachi Aki Soba fresh along with a variety of other local products at the Satoyama Fair. Shuttle buses will take you from Hitachiota Station to the venue.

Ibaraki wo Tabeyo Harvest Festival

When: November 1, 10am – 4:30pm, November 2, 10am – 3:30pm
Where: Geijutsu-no-Mori Park, Kasama

Come celebrate Ibaraki’s local produce at the Ibaraki Harvest festival! Enjoy a variety of fresh and delicious local cuisine and watch amazing stage events all throughout the day.
There will also be free Hitachi Beef samples for the first 200 people in line on Saturday, a row of stalls where everything is 100 yen, a free kids’ corner with tons of activities for the little ones, and much, much more!

Parking is free (look here for a map of parking lots) and a bus will take you directly to the venue from the parking lot. For those arriving by train, there will be a free bus to the venue from the northern exit of Tomobe Station leaving around once every half hour.

Stage Events

Saturday
10:00 Mito Local Idol Concert
10:30 Antoki no Inoki Performance
10:50 NEVA GIVE UP Concert
11:20 Self Defense Force Band
11:50 Mascot Character and Tourism Ambassador Games
1:00 Opening Ceremony
1:30 Yoshimoto Ibaraki Publicity Band
2:00 Yoroizuka Chef Talk Show and Sweet Making Demonstration
3:00 Bingo Tournament (win local farm products!)
3:30 Ibaraki wo Tabeyo Dance Performance Contest & Award Ceremony

Sunday
10:00 Mito Local Idol Concert
10:30 Yoshimoto Sword Comedy
11:00 Mascot Character and Tourism Ambassador Games
11:50 Antoki no Inoki Performance
12:10 Shibata Satomi Concert
12:30 NHK Mito Natto Domo-kun Games
1:30 KATSUMI Concert
2:00 Taiko Drum Performance
2:30 Bingo Tournament (win local farm products!)
3:00 Kasama Chestnut Idea Sweets Contest Award Ceremony

Autumn Leaves in Ibaraki

Autumn, the season of changing leaves, is finally upon us. Blessed with a diverse natural environment, there are many places in Ibaraki that you can visit to appreciate the colourful leaves of autumn.

Fukuroda Falls (Daigo)

One of the three great waterfalls in Japan, Fukuroda Falls is sometimes known as ‘Yodo no Taki’, a play on words that can be translated as either the four-tiered waterfall, referencing the four levels of the falls, or the four-time waterfall, as it is said that in order to appreciate their beauty, you must visit them in every season. There is parking on site as well as a store and vending machines. There are also a number of beautiful hiking trails in the area.

Trees: Maple, sawtooth oak
Best time to visit: Early to mid November
Recommended spots: The waterfall viewing tunnel, viewing platforms 1 & 2
Address: Ibaraki-ken Kuji-gun Daigo-machi Fukuroda 3-19
Access: 10 minutes by bus from JR Fukuroda Station. Get off at Takimoto, it is ten minutes’ walk from there. If travelling by car, it is roughly 50 minutes from the Naka IC on the Joban Expressway.

Mt. Yamizo (Daigo)

The highest peak in Ibaraki, Mt. Yamizo stands 1,022m tall and offers spectacular views of Tochigi and Fukushima Prefectures. At the summit you will find Yamizomine Shrine, Nichirinji Temple, and a virgin forest containing a variety of beech trees. Around the eighth station, you will find a group of springs from the Yamizo River.

Trees: Beech, Erman’s birch, Japanese oak, maple
Best time to visit: Late October – Early November
Recommended spots: Mt. Yamizo Viewing Platform
Address: Ibaraki-ken Kuji-gun Daigo-machi Kaminomiya
Access: 50 minutes by bus from JR Hitachi-Daigo Station. Get off at Jakechi – it will take around 2.5 hours to reach the summit from there. By car, it is a 1 hour 50 minute drive from the Naka IC on the Joban Expressway.

Eigenji Temple (Daigo)

Eigenji Temple is nicknamed the Maple Temple. As the name would suggest, the Japanese maple trees around the temple create a fantastic view as they turn brilliant shades of red when autumn arrives. Eigenji Temple is dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of music, and its elevated location provides a splendid view of Daigo, allowing you to see all the autumn leaves in the town.

Trees: Japanese maple
Best time to visit: Early to mid November
Address: Ibaraki-ken Kuji-gun Daigo-machi Daigo 1571
Access: 10 minutes’ walk from JR Hitachi-Daigo Station

Mt. Nantai (Daigo)

Mt. Nantai is located in the south east of Daigo, and stands 654m tall. The northern and eastern slopes are quite gentle, while the western and southern sides are steep cliffs. Mt. Nantai has been a sacred places since ancient times, and is shrouded in a mysterious atmosphere. There are many hiking courses in the area that provide splendid views.

Trees: Maple, Japanese lacquer, Japanese oak
Best time to visit: Early to mid Novemeber
Recommended spots: Tsutsujigaoka Viewing Platform
Address: Ibaraki-ken Kuji-gun Daigo-machi Saigane
Access: 60 minutes’ walk from JR Saigane Station. 50 minutes’ drive from the Naka IC on the Joban Expressway.

Okukuji Valley (Daigo)

With the beautiful Okukuji River that flows through it offering splendid views along Route 118, Okukuji Valley is ideal for a leisurely drive. Mt. Yamatsuri, located in Okukuji Prefectural Natural Park among the southern-most peaks of Fukushima Prefecture offers splendid views from season to season. In particular, the changing leaves of late October to late November set the mountain ablaze with colour.

Trees: Keyaki, Japanese maple
Best time to visit: Early to mid November
Address: Ibaraki-ken Okukuji-gun Daigo-machi
Access: 40 minutes walk from JR Fukuroda Station. Roughly 50 minutes drive along Route 118 from the Naka IC on the Joban Expressway.

Hanazono Gorge (Kita-Ibaraki)

Hanazono Gorge is located upstream of the Hanazono River, and is part of the Hanazono Hananuki Prefectural Natural Park. During autumn red and yellow leaves fall from the trees and float down the river, creating another splendid piece of autumn scenery. At the bottom of the gorge you will find Hanazono Shrine. There are two hiking trails; the Nanatsu Taki Hiking Trail that begins behind Hanazono Shrine, and the Eizomuro Hiking Trail, located 15 minutes’ drive from Hanazono Gorge. On a sunny day, you can see Mt. Fuji.

Trees: Maple, Japanese maple
Best time to visit: Early to mid November
Recommended spots: Shiro Waterfall
Address: Ibaraki-ken Kita-Ibaraki-shi Hanazono
Access: 30 minutes’ drive from JR Isohara Station, or 25 minutes’ drive from the Kita-Ibaraki IC on the Joban Expressway

Jorenji Gorge (Kita-Ibaraki)

Jorenji Gorge consists of the middle section of the Hanazono River, which flows on the east side of Jorenji Temple. There are many small and large rocks in the middle of the river, and many waterfalls, which results in the river flowing at a variety of speeds. There are 33 Buddha figures carved into the rock on the western cliff face on the right side of Jorenji temple which are arranged in a loop you can walk around. They are believed to be from the Edo Period. Appreciate the beauty of this area as the leaves change.

Trees: Keyaki, Yamamomiji, beech
Best time to visit: Early to mid November
Address: Ibaraki-ken Kita-Ibaraki-shi Hanakawa-cho Azuhata

Sarugajo Gorge (Kita-Ibaraki)

Sarugajo Gorge is located upsteam of Hanazono Gorge. It is said that the Satake clan, after being defeated in battle, survived after receiving walnuts, akebi, and sake from monkeys that gathered in the area. Sarugajo Gorge is renowned for the beauty of its numerous waterfalls, which include Hako Waterfall, Rakuun Waterfall, and Senen Waterfall (which translates to ‘the waterfall of 1000 monkeys!). Listening to the sound of flowing water while appreciating the beauty of the changing leaves is an autumn experience you shouldn’t miss.

Trees: Yamamomiji, maple, beech
Best time to visit: Early to mid November
Recommended spots: Hako Waterfall, Rakuun Waterfall, Senen Waterfall
Address: Ibaraki-ken Kita-Ibaraki-shi Sekimoto-cho Ogawa
Access: 40 minutes by car from JR Isohara Station. 35 minutes by car from the Kita-Ibaraki IC on the Joban Expressway

Hananuki Gorge (Takahagi)

There are splendid views along the Hananuki River from the Hananuki Dam to Namerigafuchi and the Kotakizawa Camping Ground. The view from the Shiomidaki Suspension Bridge that stretches across the gorge is particularly spectacular, even more so in Autumn when the trees that grow along the river and stretch over the bridge create a gorgeous tunnel of fall colours.

Trees: Japanese maple
Best time to visit: Mid to late November
Recommended spots: Shiomidaki Suspension Bridge
Address: Ibaraki-ken Takahagi-shi Ono area
Access: 25 minutes by taxi from Takahagi Station. 20 minutes by car from the Takahagi IC on the Joban Expressway.

Ryujin Suspension Bridge (Hitachiota)

Ryujin Suspension Bridge is located in Okukuji Prefectural Natural Park, and is located 100m above Ryujin Dam, which dams the Ryujin River. It is a 375m long pedestrian bridge and offers unique panoramic views in every season. The bridge is open from 8:30am to 5pm and costs 310 yen (210 for children) to cross.

Trees: Maple, Japanese maple
Best time to visit: Mid to late November
Address: Ibaraki-ken Hitachiota-shi Kegano 2133-6
Access: 45 minute bus ride from JR Hitachota Station. Get off at Ryujin Otsuribashi; it 20 minutes’ walk from there. By car, it is 45 minutes from the Hitachiota IC on the Joban Expressway.

Seizanso (Hitachiota)

Seizanso is the retreat where the second daimyo of the Mito Domain, Mitsukuni Tokugawa, spent his twilight years, from 1691 until his passing in 1700. It is a simple, single-story house with a thatched roof. From the round window in the study, you can gaze out upon the artificial miniature hill and the pond, which is shaped like the Chinese character for heart. Here Mitsukuni Tokugawa supervised the editing of the Japanese history book known as the Dai Nihonshi.

Trees: Japanese maple, ginkgo, konara oak
Best time to visit: Mid November to early December
Address: Ibaraki-ken Hitachiota-shi Arajuku-cho 590
Access: 5 minutes by taxi from JR Hitachiota Station. 30 minutes by car from the Hitachiminamiota Interchange

Kagoiwa (Hitachiomiya)

This cliff face on a mountain south of Mt. Nantai in Okukuji that towers over Yuzawa Gorge has been shaped by years of wind and rain to look like a basket weave, giving the area its name. The viewing platform at the summit provides a splendid view.
Trees: Japanese maple, Japanese lacquer, mountain ash
Best time to visit: Mid November
Address: Ibaraki-ken Hitachiomiya-shi
Access: 30 minutes by car from Yamagatajuku Station. 1 hour by car from the Naka IC on the Joban Expressway

Kairakuen (Mito)

One of the three great gardens of Japan, Kairakuen was built by order of Nariaki Tokugawa, 9th daimyo of the Mito Domain, in July 1842.

Trees: Japanese maple
Best time to visit: Mid to late November
Address: Ibaraki-ken Mito-shi Tokiwa-cho 1-3-3
Access: 15 minutes by bus from JR Mito Station. 20 minutes from the Mito IC on the Joban Expressway.

Ibaraki Prefectural Museum of History (Mito)

The Ibaraki Prefectural Museum of History has permanent exhibits covering history from ancient to modern. There is also a traditional farm house from the Edo Period and a western-style school building from the Meiji Period that have been dismantled and reconstructed in the grounds of the museum. In November, when the leaves of the gingko trees begin to change, the museum holds the Museum Gingko Festival. With most events falling on weekends and public holidays, you can enjoy traditional Japanese music, tea ceremonies, and other activities that celebrate Japan’s history and culture.

Trees: Maple, Japanese maple, ginkgo
Best time to visit: Mid to late November
Address: Ibaraki-ken Mito-shi Midori-cho 2-1-15
Access: 15 minutes from the Mito IC on the Joban Expressway

Gozenyama Prefectural Natural Park (Hitachiomiya)

The Gozenyama Prefectural Natural Park is a treasure trove of natural beauty. The view from the Naka River Bridge is reminiscent of Arashiyama in Kyoto, and is thus called the Arashiyama of Kanto. Autumn truly brings out the beauty of this region, as the leaves of the keyaki forest change and colour the landscape a variety of brilliant shades.

Trees: Keyaki, konara oak, evergreen oak
Best time to visit: Mid to late November
Recommended spots: Fujikura Waterfall, Belltower ruins
Address: Ibaraki-ken Hitachiomiya-shi
Access: 60 minutes by bus from JR Mito Station. Roughly 25km by car in the Gozenyama direction from the Mito IC on the Joban Expressway.

Kitayama Park (Kasama)

In Kitayama Park, you can see the beauty of the seasons reflected in the lake that lies between the mountains. Take a walk through the park and be rejuvenated by its natural beauty. The park includes a viewing platform with 360 degree panoramic views, resting facilities, a camp ground, a barbeque area, and a roller slide. Spend time with your family and friends in this tranquil area.

Trees: Maple, Japanese maple
Best time to visit: Mid to late November
Address: Ibaraki-ken Kasama-shi Hira-cho 1416
Access: 20 minutes’ walk from JR Shishido Station. 5 minutes on Route 355 from the Tomobe IC on the Kita-Kanto Expressway. 20 minutes on Route 355 from the Iwama IC on the Joban Expressway.

Mt. Sashiro (Kasama)

Mt. Sashiro is a 15 minute walk from Kasama Inari Shrine. It stands 182m above sea level, and is located in the middle of Kasama Basin. It is covered with thick forest. More than 100 varieties of plant life grow there, and it is sometimes called a natural botanical garden. The autumn leaves in the park at the foot of Mt. Sashiro are a sight to behold.

Trees: Japanese maple, ginkgo
Best time to visit: Mid to late November
Recommended spots: The bell tower
Address: Ibaraki-ken Kasama-shi Kasama 2810
Access: 5 minutes by car from JR Kasama Station. You can also take the Kasama Sightseeing bus from Tomobe Station and get off at Nichido Museum of Art. By car, it is 9 minutes from the Tomobe IC on the Kita-Kanto Expressway.

Mt. Tsukuba (Tsukuba)

Mt. Tsukuba is sometimes called Shiho (the purple mountain) due to the colour it turns when the sunrise hits it. Over 1000 species of plant grow on Mt. Tsukuba, making it a treasure trove for botanists. Its hiking trails and cable car bring many visitors all year round. From the top, you can see autumn colours across the entire Kanto Plain.

Trees: Japanese ivy, oak, yamaurushi
Best time to visit:  Early to late November
Recommended spots: Mt. Tsukuba Shrine, Mt. Tsukuba summit, Miyawaki Station in the Tsukuba cable car
Address: Ibaraki-ken Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba
Access: 40-50 minutes by direct shuttle bus from TX Tsukuba Station; get off at Tsukuba-san Jinja Iriguchi or Tsutsujigaoka. 55 minutes by bus from JR Tsuchiura Station; get off at the last stop Tsukuba-san Jinka Iriguchi. You can take another bus from there 6 minutes to Tsutsujigaoka. 40 minutes by car from the Tsuchiura-Kita IC on the Joban Expressway.

Sairenji Temple (Namegata)

Sairenji Temple is an ancient Tendai sect temple said to have been built in 782. It contains a number of cultural assets. There is a Deva gate built in 1543 that was originally two stories high. In 1790 it was rebuilt to be the main temple gate and changed into a Deva gate. The big gingko tree in the grounds is a prefecturally designated natural monument that is said to be 1000 years old. The autumn leaves are not to be missed.

Trees: Ginkgo
Best time to visit: Late November to early December
Address: Ibaraki-ken Namegata-shi Sairenji 504
Access: From the Joban Expressway, take Route 355, go straight through the traffic lights at the Route 354 intersection and turn left into Sairenji in roughly 3km.

Yasato de Toreta Restaurant

Yasato de Toreta Restaurant, located within the boundaries of the Flower Park in Ishioka City, was opened as part of an initiative by the Ishioka local government to revitalize and promote produce grown in the region. The name literally means “taken from Yasato”, Yasato being the name of the region of Ishioka (previously a separate town before merging with Ishioka in 2005) where the restaurant is currently situated. This name comes from the fact that, to the highest extent possible, the ingredients used in the restaurant are grown locally in Ishioka.

Yasato de Toreta RestaurantWhile being maintained by Ishioka, the restaurant is managed and run by Kiuchi Brewery. Although Kiuchi Brewery is well-known for their Nest Beer and umeshu (plum wine), it has also been very successful in the restaurant business as well, running two restaurants in Mito (True Brew in Mito Station and Nakaya, a soba restaurant in Keisei Department store), and one restaurant in Naka (Also a Nakaya). Kiuchi also was behind the “seasonal restaurant” that was set up temporarily at Uwaoka Elementary School in Daigo back in 2012.

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The interior of the restaurant is clean and has a modern feeling in its design. The warmth of the dark wood of the walls and ceiling offer balance to the gray cement flooring. Each table and set of chairs is different, being designed and crafted by a local artisan. One of the artisans even created a wooden crocodile which is on display just below the servers’ window.

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As mentioned before, the head chef, Mr. Mogi, tries his best to use only ingredients grown in Ishioka. The lunch menu consists of four main dishes: pasta, pork, fish, and beef. Each main dish comes as a course and includes an appetizer salad, choice of bread or rice, a dessert, and coffee or tea. The same menu, minus the pasta, is offered during dinner. As different vegetables go in and out of season, Mr. Mogi recreates the dishes every so often with what is available at that time. This means that no matter how many times you visit, chances are you will never experience the same exact plate twice.

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During our visit, I enjoyed the pork course with rice. It came with a delicious 20-ingredient salad for an appetizer (the salad often changes, and all the ingredients used that day are written on a blackboard inside), sautéed pork with steamed vegetables as the main dish, and a cream cheese mousse with Asian pear gelatin and fruit for dessert. We were also treated to a three-squash soup, complements of the chef. The portions seemed a little small at first, but after eating the entire course it was definitely more than enough to fill you up. If you’re looking for a delicious meal for a reasonable price, I would definitely recommend Yasato de Toreta.

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To make your trip to Yasato de Toreta even more worthwhile you can visit the farmer’s market that is located adjacent to the restaurant. Inside you will find the same tasty fruits and vegetables used in the restaurant, and plenty more (for a very reasonable price)! Mr. Mogi also writes recipes, which you can find in the market, so you can try your hand at making simple and delicious meals at home as well.

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If you have a day to spare, why not visit the Flower Park, have a wonderful lunch at Yasato de Toreta, and do a little shopping for some tasty and fresh fruits and vegetables? You definitely won’t regret it!

Contact Info
Address:
200 Shimoaoyagi, Ishioka, 315-0153 (Map)
(Located within the parking lot of the Flower Park)
Hours:
11:00AM – 5:00PM Tues – Friday (L.O. 4:30PM)
11:00AM – 8:00PM Weekends and Holidays (L.O. 7:30PM)
Farmer’s Market: 9:00AM – 6:00PM
(Both restaurant and market are closed on Mondays. If Monday is a holiday, they will be open, and then closed the following Tuesday)
URL:
http://yasato.com/ (Japanese only)

Nashi-gari (Asian Pear Picking) in Ishioka

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Ishioka City has a flourishing agricultural industry, and is particularly famous for its fruit orchards. Like many orchards in Japan, Adachi Orchard in the Yasato area of Ishioka is family run. Mr. Adachi graciously allowed us to enter his orchards and pick a few Asian pears, which he sliced up for us to eat on the spot. The trees are inside a netted area to keep bugs away. A wire roof stretches over them, forcing them to grow outward rather than upward, making it easier to harvest the fruit. In a second orchard with a higher roof, however, Mr. Adachi has planted a number of trees in rows and is allowing them to grow upward. He keeps adding rows of trees on the outside as the inner rows grow. He told us that he does not know any other growers who are using this technique.

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According to Mr. Adachi, the Asian pear trees were planted by his parents, who used to use the land to grow tobacco. In fact, Yasato is one of Ibaraki’s tobacco-growing areas.

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Several types of Asian pear are grown at Adachi Orchard, including the popular Housui and Kousui varieties. Kousui pears ripen earlier and can be harvested from mid to late August. They are softer, juicier, and sweeter than many other varieties, but do not last for as long so need to eaten soon after harvesting. Housui pears are also sweet, but have a tartness that balances the flavour, giving them their distinct rich taste. They are slightly larger than Kousui pears, and while also very juicy, they last longer. Some of the trees in Adachi Orchard are spliced with cuttings from other trees, allowing more than one variety to grow on a single tree.

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I was surprised by how easy it was to pick the pears from the tree – all you had to do was twist the fruit slightly and tilt it upward, and it would break away from the branch.

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Adachi Orchard sells its fruit directly. They sort the fruit by weight using a machine.
If you are interested in fruit picking in the Yasato area, contact the Yasato Kankō Kajuen Kumiai (0299-43-1111).

Sky Marché

When: October 12, 11am – 5:30pm
Where: Muramatsusan Kokuzoudou, Daijingu Shrine, Tokai

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On October 12 a market will be held in the Muramatsusan Kokuzoudou in Daijingu Shrine to celebrate the history and culture of Tokai. There will be craft, workshops, food stalls, art displays, performances including a live acoustic performance, a quiz rally, and much more.

There will be shuttle buses leaving from Tokai Station East Exit for 100 yen (children elementary school age and below ride free). Drivers can locate the venue by entering 茨城県東海村村松8 into their navigation systems. Limited parking is available nearby.