Satsumasendai is a vast city with plenty of land and farmland. As soon as you step out of the downtown area near the JR station, you'll be greeted by a scenic expanse of farmland.
Experience Japan in a Unique Way "Farm Stay"
In Satsumasendai, many farmers are managing extensive farmlands with only their family members, leaving them feeling exhausted. To solve this problem, Satsumasendai City is promoting a farm stay program under the theme of"Green Tourism"and supporting local farmers and participants to find matches. Recently, a group of high school students from Tokyo joined the program and experienced various activities in the city. Let's take a look at what you can experience in Satsumasendai City!
Exploring the Activities You Can Experience During a Farm Stay
This time, we are able to take a closer look at a group of Japanese high school students who participated in this farm stay tour. Most of them are coming from international schools and have studied abroad, but they all lack any experience in agriculture. However, they still eagerly took on the challenge of learning about farming and working on the fields.
Experience the Excitement of Taro Harvesting!
Our first destination is a taro farm! Three high school students who had a farm stay here, have already three hours of hands-on training for harvesting taro. They had learned the proper techniques for digging taro. The first step in harvesting taro is to observe the position of the crop, and then dig it up by using a shovel carefully.
The taro can be sorted into three parts: "oya-imo," "ko-imo," and "mago-imo." However, only the smaller parts, "ko-imo" and "mago-imo," are sold on the market. The students picked up the desired parts from the center of the taro, and then the skilled farmer will select the unblemished taro, and this is where the initial preparation for shipping is done.
Occasionally, they take breaks from farming and relish hot green tea and freshly harvested green soybeans while admiring the expansive farmland. It's truly rejuvenating! Moreover, the taro farm cultivates numerous other crops like goya (bitter melon) and the edible pumpkin variety"Colinkey".Join the farm stay then you can also enjoy these delicious veggies and fruits!
The Fun and Challenging Experience of Making Handmade Baumkuchen!
Upon our arrival at the second farmhouse, which specializes in bamboo production, we were greeted by two high school girls who were already busy cooking yakisoba and baked sweet potatoes with the farmers.
In the afternoon, the farmers guided the high school students to the next activity, which was making "Baumkuchen" using bamboo. Initially, they prepared the bamboo and baked it at a high temperature to extract oil, which made it easier to remove the cake once it was ready. The students also started preparing the dough by separating the egg yolks and egg whites, whipping the egg whites, and then mixing all the ingredients to complete the process.
With all the ingredients prepared, the group proceeded to make their own Baumkuchen. They started by spreading the batter evenly on the bamboo, heating it up and turning it by hand until it turned golden brown, and then adding another layer. This was the first time we had ever made Baumkuchen using bamboo, but Sendai is known for its abundant bamboo production, and it was a unique experience to make use of this resource. The high school students also found it to be a valuable and enjoyable experience.
Get Crafty with Bamboo: Join the DIY Workshop and Make Anything You Desire
At last, we visited the residence of the "Green Tourism" chairman, Mr.Terada! His house was very spacious and had a vast bamboo forest and farmland. The place also had a DIY workshop and a pizza stone oven, where one could dig bamboo shoots and plant vegetables. The students even had the opportunity to make their own pizza!
After harvesting bamboo with the students, Mr. Terada demonstrated how to make a bamboo cylinder box for cooking rice in the workshop, utilizing the vast bamboo grove effectively. That day was also the night of the lunar eclipse, and to commemorate the occasion, the students made a simple bamboo lamp under his guidance. It was impressive to witness Mr. Terada's proficiency in using local resources.
Satsumasendai City offers "Green Tourism" experience plans that utilize its abundant agricultural resources. Local residents are warm and welcoming to foreign tourists, and this has led to the development of farm stays. While there may be a language barrier with farmers who do not speak foreign languages, their passion for farming is evident and easily conveyed. If you're interested in experiencing agriculture in Satsumasendai, please apply through the website below!