Life in Seika, Japan

Howdy there! My name is Kai and I am the Coordinator for International Relations in Seika Town, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Hopefully by reading this blog you all will get a good picture of what life is like in Seika town, and all the great things that happen down here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

楽農体験ツアー (稲刈り) Agricultural Experience Tour (Rice Harvesting)

On June 9th, 2007 I participated in the Agricultural Experience Tour which I have written about in this blog. At that time we planted rice at the Inuidani Farm. Having never had any agricultural experience I was pretty interested in trying it out, so I jumped in the muddy field barefoot and planted rice by hand like in the old days. Then last weekend I went back to the same field to harvest the rice that I helped plant. The Agricultural Experience Tour is organized by the Yamadasho Regional Agriculture Association and the Seika Town Industry Promotion Division and is held every year. This year there were about 40 participants ranging from young children to senior citizens. It was a fun experience for everyone.

This time we harvest the rice by hand like they did in the old days. It was much more tiring than I would have thought. After cutting the rice plants by hand we fed the plants into a combine machine and the rice grains were automatically separated from the reeds and neatly sifted into bags. When we finished I was surprised by the amount of rice we were able to harvest. I thought that for a rice field of that size we would get a lot more rice. We ended up getting about nine 30kg bags of rice. I was told that that would be enough to fed a family of four for one year. Also while we were harvesting the rice Mayor Kimura unexpectedly showed up and daringly jumped into the muddy rice field in his nice business suit to shake hands with everyone who was working.

After we finished all the work the Inuidani Family treated us to takikomi rice (rice steamed with vegetables) and tsukemono (pickled vegetables). After laboring in the fields the food tasted really good. I am really glad that I participated in the Agricultural Experience Tour this year. Next year why don’t you join in too!

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