Some more details of the lovely early autumn morning I spent at the wasabi farm in Nagano prefecture. With the clean water, fresh air and abundant nature you can easily tell it is the perfect spot for growing the highly prized wasabi. The black cloth is there to protect the plants from direct sunlight in summer, simulating the natural growing conditions of this wonderful plant: in or near mountain streams shaded by lush forests and trees. There were also quite a few shinto shrines about the farm. Enjoy!
Here are some more photos of the wasabi farm I visited in Nagano a few weeks ago. The farm is quite large and has a few pretty woodlots, a river, even some old houses with watermills and a forested ridge. In some ways it felt almost like entering a nature reserve! If there is one thing you need to grow wasabi it is fresh, clean, water and plenty of it! The cleaner the water the better your wasabi is going to grow and this farm had access to some fantastic water. Look at these pictures and remember that this river is more than a few meters deep. They even had a rubber boat out with people keeping the water free from dirt and garbage. I’ll post more photos of the farm in a few days, so I hope you enjoy this starter!
Living in Japan there was one thing that bothered me a little right from the start. I couldn’t put my finger on it until I started blogging about life here and actively looking at my photos, but when I did it hit me: there’s no horizon in Japan. Where I grew up the land was flat as an ironing board. Riding my bicycle to school I could just stand up on the pedals and see an additional couple of miles into the distance. I grew up surrounded by the horizon and didn’t realize how much I took that for granted until I moved to Japan where there’s mountains, buildings or hills in just about any direction you look except for out to the ocean. So even when I get a sort of half-way to the horizon vista, I get excited, like when I was traveling through Nagano Prefecture on a small country road and realized I could see at least a mile in any direction! So forgive me for these two shots of little or no artistic or documentary value. I just wanted to show you what makes my day, in a little way. Or, if you are into agriculture, you can notice the different stages of rice fields in these pictures, with one in a curious state, visited by white birds.
Tying up with the wasabi post a couple of days ago, here’s some photos of art I found among the wasabi plantations fields in the Nagano prefecture farm I visited. Not exactly the most stellar representations of the human form, but I love the little detail of the wasabi root. I can think of few root cultivars that are better suited for an art career than the wasabi. I’m sure that if Tom Robbins had seen these before he wrote Jitterbug Perfume, the book would have been about wasabi instead of beetroot!