Japan in Green Season

Hyst

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Oze is great for hiking! Spent a couple of days there one autumn, the cold fresh air and changing colours were fantastic.
But may be to many people, for my taste? Mrs. Hyst went there for her fathers Kendo teaching once very back in time, I was just told.:oops:
But looks very beautiful.
 

Lucky Pete

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Had a cracking afternoon cruise on the pushie yesterday and found a 'new to me' spot 5 mins from home :) Stopped for a coffee at the reloacted Bears Cafe and ended up having lunch too.


After there a few more spots, lovely sunset poorly photograghed from the apartments then a HUGE feed and a few beers 3 doors down at EMU. Our major reno project is winding up this week sans a few small jobs which is perfect timing as its getting time for hiking in the alps and getting serious about fitness for this season. Besides winter the next 2 months are my favourite time of year here.

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Ramenman

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Around September 20th, Japan has a national holiday weekend. I consider it as the end of summer. After the holidays, I consider autumn comes. Compared to last summer, I think this summer was a lot closer to the average summer. People are travelling, big music festivals are held and I also attended two big weddings, etc (more than 60% people in Japan have been vaccinated but I'm still too young to be vaccinated yet but could enjoy travelling). As I post a lot in "Fishing in Japan thread", I enjoy fishing quite often this summer. There are inland prefectures and I saw many of them on the beaches where I enjoy fishing (mainly people from Tochigi Pref and Gunma Pref). We can see where they come from if we see their vehicle registration plates. That said, ski resorts will suffer this coming winter as well unfortunately in that not many people from abroad will fly to Japan to ski.


This time, I'll show some green season videos which were filmed in Japanese ski resort villages this summer. The first one is hiking / climbing in Hakuba. I haven't watched the videos till the end, so not sure if they are interesting to watch. I just want to support ski related tourism business, so I randomly picked videos filmed in Japanese ski resort villages.




Cycling around Mt.Bandai (filmed this summer)




Furano (filmed this summer)




Geto Kogen (filmed this summer)




Ski resort villages = there are mountain streams = can spend summer like this (filmed this summer)
 
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Lucky Pete

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We are also winding up our reno projects for the year thankfully, with just some roof repairs and painting left. Even though I do very little of the actual work except the demo its quite draining at times and looking forward to the respite soon. Still Im stoked as we have fully renovated my MIL's place and turned a run down, falling down garden shed into a long term rental tiny home. Will post more pics of that soon.

Last weekend saw the Gran Fondo Myoko bike race come through Hakuba and it was awesome to be able to do a little volunteer work for that at one of the check points. Its an great event with some serious elevation and if you cycle really worth checking out.

Sept 22 reno.jpg


Sept 22 Fondo.jpg

great
 
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Ramenman

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With a break in the rain and the colour change starting its definetly cooler during our morning paddles but its also rice harvest time. Our extended family has some Tambos just below Cortina in a beautiful place and they some how intrust me with the rice harvesting machine :) Its a nice couple days helping out.

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We also had rice harvesting last week. It's interesting that it was almost the same time, considering the altitude difference between us (almost 0m above sea level) and your place (700 - 800m asl there, I guess). A lot of farms in Japan including rice fields are unused / abandoned, being called "耕作放棄地" and it's getting a bigger issue in Japan. We are renting one of them very cheap and producing many different vegetables and fruits(we might buy the land in the end in the future).

I've been thinking majority rice farmers in Japan are a bit inefficient. For rice harvesting, you need a lot of machines and equipment, but a lot of them are used for only several days of the harvesting period. For example, you see a big rice harvesting machine in your first picture. It's actually pricy machine but most farmers use the machine for only several days per year. Somehow, each of them own it. So, most of the machines are unused for 360 days out of 365 days. We rent the machine cheap too.

A lot of farmers in our ski property villages (around Mt.Bandai and Zao Onsen) work for ski related business in winter because their farms are covered with deep snow in winter, so they "basically" can't earn much from farming in winter, so they work at ski resorts, etc in winter. Ski Business in winter + Farming in green season = ideal life for me. Not sure how difficult it is for foreigners to try it, but some of them might be interested in owning a ski lodging business, trying farming in green season here in Japan;)
 
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Asama

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Asama our family does, its a REALLY low rate though. Would love to do some sort of value adding.

My extended family, too... I think it's basically pocket money for them. They were never fulltime farmers, but they have land, so they feel obliged to keep farming it.

One of my goals for next year is to borrow some of their space to improve my own veg growing skills. Attempted a couple of years ago at my place, but the location wasn't great and I lost enthusiasm mid-summer.
I've heard that to sell to JA you need to be using all sorts of pesticides and chemicals to satisfy their regulations. Personally I would want to go chemical-free as far as possible, so don't think commercial farming is on the horizon for me. Would like to be competent enough to feed myself though.
 

Ramenman

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@Ramenman , does your family sell rice/veg through JA?

Yes, but not all. Our contract is like, we can judge if we buy the farmland or not in 2024 after renting it till 2024. Before 2024, the owner can't sell it to someone else without our permission and we have to sell some amount of rice and vegetables through JA under the name of the owner (the retired farmer) till 2024. The owner couple has one daughter, who is currently working as a pharmacist in Tokyo. Her husband is also a pharmacist. They love their current life in Tokyo and it's very unlikely that they'll use the farmlands, so they have decided to sell their farmlands (not all, though) to someone (=us). There are many farmers like them in Japan, so a lot of farmlands in Japan are unused / abandoned now.


This is my JA Ibaraki cap. JA = Japan Agriculture. The cup is Gran Deco's cup (Gran Deco = ski resort in Aizu region, Fukushima). I posted the picture in the Gardening Thread, a long time ago (2019 or 2020, IIRC)
grandeco-jpg.125216
 
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Asama

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NW Gunma, Japan 1100m asl
Yes, but not all. Our contract is like, we can judge if we buy the farmland or not in 2024 after renting it till 2024. Before 2024, the owner can't sell it to someone else without out permission and we have to sell some amount of rice and vegetables through JA under the name of the owner (the retired farmer) till 2024. The owner couple has one daughter, who is currently working as a pharmacist in Tokyo. Her husband is also a pharmacist. They love their current life in Tokyo and it's very unlikely that they'll use the farmlands, so they have decided to sell their farmlands (not all, though) to someone (=us). There are many farmers like them in Japan, so a lot of farmlands in Japan are unused / abandoned now.


This is my JA Ibaraki cap. JA = Japan Agriculture. The cup is Gran Deco's cup (Gran Deco = ski resort in Aizu region, Fukushima). I posted the picture in the Gardening Thread, a long time ago (2019 or 2020, IIRC)
grandeco-jpg.125216
So from what you say, it sounds like you would rather not use JA if possible, but you are contractually obliged until 2024?
 

Ramenman

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So from what you say, it sounds like you would rather not use JA if possible, but you are contractually obliged until 2024?

It depends. We sell some amount of our harvests to restaurants, etc as well without JA, and it's more profitable (in that they pay us more). However, they might suddenly say "We won't buy from you any more". In that sense, using JA is more stable, IMO. So, if we can find our customers by ourselves, we'll sell our harvests directly without JA.

Edit: I'm NOT against JA. Farming business with JA is helpful in many ways.

I earn as an instructor of 3D Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Engineering such as CATIA and Solid Works and my family earn a bit from our lodge and farming as well. So, farming is not my main job. Plus, each JA is different (there are quite many JA all over Japan), so I can't say much about JA in your region.
 

Asama

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It depends. We sell some amount of our harvests to restaurants, etc as well without JA, and it's more profitable (in that they pay us more). However, they might suddenly say "We won't buy from you any more". In that sense, using JA is more stable, IMO. So, if we can find our customers by ourselves, we'll sell our harvests directly without JA.

Edit: I'm NOT against JA. Farming business with JA is helpful in may ways.

I earn as an instructor of 3D Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Engineering such as CATIA and Solid Works and my family earn a bit from our lodge and farming as well. So, farming is not my main job. Plus, each JA is different, so I can't say much about JA in your region.
Yeah, that more or less matches what I've heard from other people, too.
I think the biggest (cabbage) farmers sell pretty much exclusively through JA. I guess they have economies of scale. Farmers with less land like to sell to restaurants etc. when they get the chance.
 
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Ramenman

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Yeah, that more or less matches what I've heard from other people, too.
I think the biggest (cabbage) farmers sell pretty much exclusively through JA. I guess they have economies of scale. Farmers with less land like to sell to restaurants etc. when they get the chance.

Being a foreigner, I think it can be advantageous for you to sell vegetables directly at 直売所 such as roadside stations. I mean, each farmer brings the harvests of the day to 直売所 and many 直売所 have this kind of pictures, introductions and messages of the people harvesting the vegetables and fruits. For example, 20 people are selling onions at the same 直売所, one of them is a person from the UK. People like me feel like supporting person like you by buying from the British guy, not from the other 19 people. Being different from the other farmers can be advantageous when selling vegetables and fruits at this kind of 直売所.
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Asama

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Being a foreigner, I think it can be advantageous for you to sell vegetables directly at 直売所 such as roadside stations. I mean, each farmer brings the harvests of the day to 直売所 and many 直売所 have this kind of pictures, introductions and messages of the people harvesting the vegetables and fruits. For example, 20 people are selling onions at the same 直売所, one of them is a person from the UK. People like me feel like supporting person like you by buying from the British guy, not from the other 19 people. Being different from the other farmers can be advantageous when selling vegetables and fruits at this kind of 直売所.
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Appreciate the support!! :D

Gotta learn how to grow non-pathetic onions first...
 

Lucky Pete

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Well thats a wrap for green season here in Hakuba. The weather is changing tonight. Its time for winter prep which I normally start a little later but am slowly learning each year working in the cold generally sucks so made a start on it today wrapping our little hedge up. The plow truck stacks the icey road snow up on this so the wrap helps protect the plants, with the ground cover always recovering nicely. Still a lot more to do in the coming days. No exciting pics sorry :)

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