tourism

[Kumamoto, Tsunagi] Fresh, pesticide-free Amanatsu citrus juice & a lunch of local vegetables!

Citrus workshop with Mr. Toshikazu Iwasaki:
Harvest Amanatsu Citrus in an Orchard with a Fantastic View

Toshikazu Iwasaki, Amanatsu farmer
Mr. Iwasaki's orchard overlooking the former Akasaki Elementary School
Hear Mr. Iwasaki talk about Amanatsu farming
Harvest Amanatsu
Enjoy fresh pressed juice made from the Amanatsu you picked
Lunch made from local vegetables

Visit Toshikazu Iwasaki’s Amanatsu orchard on a hill overlooking the former Akasaki Elementary School. Tour the orchard and try your hand at harvesting Amanatsu. Enjoy fresh pressed juice made from the Amanatsu you picked. Hear about what it takes to maintain the trees and soil in an Amanatsu orchard on a daily basis. This program is designed to give participants an idea of just how much time and effort goes into organic citrus production.

  • Visit a citrus orchard that uses as few pesticides and fertilizers as possible
  • Experience harvesting Amanatsu oranges in a beautiful orchard
  • Taste fresh juice made from the harvested Amanatsu
  • Enjoy a lunch plate made from local vegetables
Toshikazu IwasakiAmanatsu farmer
Mr. Iwasaki worked in the Kansai region for 45 years before retiring and returning to his hometown of Tsunagi and taking over his father's abandoned farm. After encountering many allergy sufferers in the Kansai region and experiencing a major illness himself, Mr. Iwasaki decided to grow citrus fruits without relying on the use of fertilizers or pesticides.
Program Contents

Harvest in Mr. Iwasaki’s amanatsu fields

Mr. Iwasaki worked in the Kansai region for 45 years before retiring and returning to his hometown of Tsunagi and taking over his father’s abandoned farm. After encountering many allergy sufferers in the Kansai region and experiencing a major illness himself, Mr. Iwasaki decided to grow citrus fruits without relying on the use of fertilizers or pesticides.

Toshikazu Iwasaki, Amanatsu farmer

Learn about citrus fruits in a fun way

If you are interested in organic citrus and how to grow it, or you have inherited a citrus tree from a parent or friend but do not know how to care for it and make it bear fruit, then this program is right for you. We hope this tour will not only be a valuable learning experience but will also provide opportunities to exchange ideas about how to continue safe and reliable farming and make the most out of citrus fruits.

Exchange opinions about citrus fruits

Harvesting Amanatsu

Enjoy fresh pressed juice made from the Amanatsu you picked

Take home some of the Amanatsu you pick, and enjoy fresh pressed juice on the spot.

Fresh Amanatsu juice on the spot

Nothing beats the taste of fresh juice right in the orchard

Lunch made from local vegetables

In addition to citrus fruits, Tsunagi Town produces vegetables and rice using environmentally friendly methods. For lunch, enjoy a meal featuring organic vegetables and rice from the town and its suburbs. Risa Hamaguchi of 「SEN&CO」, a local pesticide-free rice farm and nature experience company, will serve the meal.

Enjoy a lunch plate made with local organic vegetables and rice.

Ms. Risa Hamaguchi

Destination Info

Tsunagi: A Town of Citrus and Art

With a population of around 4,500, Tsunagi Town is located in southern Kumamoto Prefecture. It is a beautiful town on the calm Yatsushiro Sea with abundant citrus groves dotting its hillsides. Tsunagi has been working on “Community Building Through Art”, an art-based initiative to reinvigorate the region in the wake of Minamata disease. Additionally, through a community farm, it aims to promote natural farming that uses as little pesticides and fertilizer as possible.

Scenery of Shiranui Sea (Yatsushiro Sea) and Citrus Fields

Tsunagi FARM Project

Tsunagi is one of the towns that was ravaged by Minamata disease. The project called “Tsunagi FARM” aims to grow produce using as few pesticides and fertilizers as possible to keep the waters clean. The farm holds regular workshops with experts like Masanori Doho, known for his revolutionary pruning methods, and Tomonori Yano, who works to spread the word about his unique soil preparation and grass-cutting methods

Mr. Masanori Doho’s Farming Method

\Tour Participant Comments/

  • ・Mr. Iwasaki’s explanations were very thorough. I really learned a lot. It was also great to hear his reasons for committing to natural farming methods.
  • ・Mr. Iwasaki was very kind and easy to talk to. I was concerned about visiting his orchard by myself because of the narrow roads, but someday I hope I can go visit him again.

Tour Code

GKTN06

Dates

March 3rd, 2024 (Sun) 11:30-14:30
In the event of bad weather: March 10th (Sun) 11:30-14:30

Duration

About 3 hours

Schedule

11:30
Gathering and Introductions (Tsunagi Hyakkado). Learn briefly about Tsunagi’s development through art and environmentally conscious agriculture.

12:00
Enjoy a lunch plate made from local vegetables.

13:00

Make your own way to Mr. Iwasaki’s citrus orchard (15 mins. by car, one-way)


13:30

Enjoy a tour of the Amanatsu field, harvest Amanatsu citrus, and enjoy fresh Amanatsu juice.


14:30 (approximate)

End of tour

Language

Japanese

No. of Participants

Minimum: 5 / Maximum: 10

Meeting place

Tsunagi Hyakkado (Tsunagi Store)
1601 Iwaki, Tsunagi Town, Ashikita-gun, Kumamoto Pref.
※By public transportation
1) Take the Kyushu Shinkansen from Hakata Station to Shin-Minamata Station (about 1 hour and 10 minutes).
2A) From Shin-Minamata Station, take a cab (about 15 minutes).
2B) From Shin-Minamata Station, take the Hisatsu-Orange Railway to Tsunagi Station (10 minutes). Take a cab from Tsunagi Station (about 10 minutes).
2C) Rent a car from in front of Shin-Minamata Station (about 15 minutes)

※By Car
Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes from Hakata. Free parking is available.

Dress code

・ Clothing that can get dirty, hat (to provide protection from the sun)
・ Boots or hiking shoes

What to bring

・ Work gloves
・ Writing utensils
・ Water bottle

Notes about the Citrus workshop

・ Farmers from the orchard or our staff will lead the way from Tsunagi Hyakkado (Tsunagi Store) to the orchard. Please follow in your own car or a taxi. Please let us know if you need help arranging a taxi.
・ Due to the weather or other factors, you may not be able to harvest Amanatsu on the day of the tour, and you will be given other Amanatsu to take home with you. Thank you for your understanding.
・ Students of elementary school age and younger must attend with a parent or guardian. We ask parents to keep an eye on their children as this is a working orchard, not a tourist site, and there are some dangerous areas like stone walls.
・ If you want to purchase more Amanatsu, you can place an order at Tsunagi Hyakkado (Tsunagi Store).

Other Notes

・ This is a program that requires participants to travel to the meeting place on their own.
・ UNA Laboratories staff will not accompany guests on this program.
・ All photos are for illustrative purposes only.
・ We recommend that you purchase domestic travel insurance for your participation in the tour.
・ The tour will be canceled in the event that it becomes difficult to smoothly conduct the tour due to the new coronavirus infection situation, wind and wave conditions, or other factors. If the tour is canceled, the full amount of the tour fee will be refunded.

Cancellation Policy

If you wish to cancel your reservation, please contact us as soon as possible.
In the event of cancellation due to the customer’s convenience, the following cancellation fees will apply:
– Cancellation 7 to 2 days prior: 30% of the fee
– Cancellation on the day before: 50% of the fee
– Cancellation on the day of the reservation: 100% of the fee
Please note that we may not be able to accommodate requests for changes due to the time of year or availability of reservations.

Recommended Spots

We recommend visiting the following places before or after your program:

Tatzu Butsu (Carved Buddha Statues):

An outdoor project created by artist Tatzu Nishi where 33 Buddha statues have been carved directly into the forest’s trees.

Stone Spirit Forest:

An outdoor work created by contemporary artist Yukinori Yanagi that was inspired by the works of a local writer, Michiko Ishimure. Here, in a ginkgo grove, recitations of Michiko’s poems can be heard. This is located next to the artwork, Tatzubutzu.

Tsunagi Art Museum:

Open 10:00-17:00. This municipal art museum opened in April 2001 and has served as a hub for artistic and cultural activities in the Minamata and Ashikita areas of Kumamoto Prefecture. Closed every Wednesday.

Tsunagi Cultural Center:

Located just a 3-minute walk from the Tsunagi Art Museum. Open 9:00-21:00. Yukari Ohira’s artwork, Tsunagu , is on permanent display in the lobby. Closed on Mondays.

Tsunagi Hyakkodo:

Open 9:00-18:00. This store sells local specialty products selected based on environmentally friendly farming methods as well as tastiness.

Tsunagi Town Area Guide:

Please see the Tsunagi Area Guide more recommendations around town.

Travel Planning: Implementation

  • Tsunagi Town Hall (2123 Kotsunagi, Tsunagi-machi, Ashikita-gun, Kumamoto)

Contact for consignment sales and inquiries

  • UNA Laboratories Inc. (Fukuoka Prefectural Governor Registration #2-951)
  • 3-12-22-302 Yakuin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture 810-0022
  • TEL: 092-982-7956E-MAIL: tour@unalabs.jp
  • Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors:
    Aya Tamura, Noriko Yahata, Rei Watanabe
  • Business Hours:
    9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (Closed Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays)
  • *Requests received outside of business hours will be processed the following business day.
  • *Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors are responsible for transactions held at the sales office that processes customers’ travel. Please do not hesitate to contact the aforementioned Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors with any questions or concerns regarding the travel contract.

Tour Information

Dates
March 3rd, 2024 (Sun) 11:30-14:30
In the event of bad weather: March 10th (Sun) 11:30-14:30
Duration
~3 hours. *End time may vary depending on weather conditions and other factors.
Target ages
All ages
Price
4,400yen (tax included)
Remarks
Adults:4,400 yen (tax included)
Children (Elementary school students and under): 2,000 yen(tax included)

About 2 kilograms of Amanatsu. (3-4 pieces), lunch plate from Sen&Co, fresh Amanatsu juice