Citrus workshop with Mr. Toshikazu Iwasaki:
Harvest Amanatsu Citrus in an orchard with a fantastic view (~5 hours)
On this tour, you will meet with farmers who aim to grow citrus fruits without relying on pesticides and fertilizers as much as possible, do some work with them in the orchard, see how trees are pruned and the soil is maintained, and actually taste the citrus fruits. 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 lunch made from local vegetables.
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.
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
Harvest in the amanatsu fields of farmer Mr. Iwasaki
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.
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.
Enjoy fresh pressed juice made from the Amanatsu you picked
You can take home some of the Amanatsu you have picked, but you can also enjoy fresh pressed juice on the spot.
Yukinori Yanagi: Inn of Souls
Yukinori Yanagi is a contemporary artist who was born in Fukuoka, Japan. His works contain messages that question social issues and can be found in museums around the world. Inn of Souls is a large-scale outdoor piece that features a renovated swimming pool in the former Akasaki Elementary School. This work questions the history of mankind and was inspired by Michiko Ishimure’s poem called Souls. Michiko Ishimure has produced many works about Minamata, a town next to Tsunagi. In one of her poems, Michiko Ishimure described this body of water as a place where “the sea and sky join together”. Guests will stop by on the way to Mr. Iwasaki’s farm to view this work.
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.
＼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 days: Up to 10 people per group; 2 tours per group per year
About 5 hours
|No. of Participants||
Minimum: 5 / Maximum: 10
Tsunagi Hyakkado (Tsunagi Store)
・ Clothing that can get dirty, hat (to provide protection from the sun)
|What to bring||
・ Work gloves
|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.
・ This is a program that requires participants to travel to the meeting place on their own.
If you wish to cancel your reservation, please contact us as soon as possible.
We recommend visiting the following places before or after your program:
An outdoor project created by artist Tatzu Nishi where 33 Buddha statues have been carved directly into the forest’s trees.
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.
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.
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.
Open 9:00-18:00. This store sells local specialty products selected based on environmentally friendly farming methods as well as tastiness.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
- Late February - early March (tentative)
- ~5 hours. *End time may vary depending on weather conditions and other factors.
- Target ages
- All ages
- 4,500yen (tax included)
- ※ Items included in the tour fee:
About 2 kg of Amanatsu, lunch, juice