Friday, June 7, 2013

Back in Japan (Osaka - June 2013)...Farm lunch at Sugi Gohei in Osaka

(Monday, June 3)

After spending a night in Iga, we rented a car and headed to Kyoto in the morning. We drove through countryside with the beautiful mountain and river.

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On our way, we stopped by at a historic farm, called Sugi Gohei, for lunch.

This widely spread hillside land in a quiet suburb of Osaka has been cultivated by farmers since late 15th century. The current generation owner of the farm focuses on organic sustainable farming, and he also started serving meals for visitors by using all the ingredients grown in the farm about 40 years ago. Back then, there was no such concept of "farm restaurant" in Japan, so Sugi Gohei is the pioneer of it and the real "farm to table" restaurant with the sustainable farming.

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A farm's staff member kindly gave us a tour of the farm. It was so nice to walk around the farm and see all the fruits vegetables grown there. "Gumi" (silver berry) was just in season, and we got to taste them right out the the tree. So sweet and tangy, and very nice.

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I was truly fascinated by all what I saw.

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Donkeys are the core of the sustainable farming cycle at this farm. Compost to grow vegetables is made from donkeys' feces.

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After the tour of the farm, it was lunch time. We sat right by the window above a pond.

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"Oyaki" buns were first brought to our table. They are made from rice flour. We had bamboo shoot and burdock leaf stuffings. Then our main plates arrived...they were basketful of all the seasonal vegetables and fruits, grown in the farm. The plate was so satisfying, but that was not the end! The main plate was followed by the "Onishime" buffet-style rustic cooked items in a separate room. Any leftovers are collected in a separate bucket to be used as feeding for donkeys.

The very rustic and simple dishes gave me such a luxurious experience...because it was like experiencing the entire farm by taste.

Very natural and very special experience.