Indulging in food and spectacular sceneries in Tokachi, the farming frontier of Japan!
Regional：Tokachi / Hokkaido
Tokachi, the largest farming area (approx. 3,600㎢) in Hokkaido, is an enormous plain surrounded by 2000-meter-high mountains with the Hidaka mountains to the west and Daisetsuzan to the north where you can enjoy the magnificent sense of openness unique to Hokkaido. One of the key attractions is the agricultural and livestock products raised on the soft, nutrient-rich volcanic ash soil with the longest daylight hours in the country. People come to enjoy the rich cheese made from high-fat raw milk in Tokachi, where the majority of natural cheese in Japan is produced.
The Mochi culture of Japan and the eternal
Regional：Ichinoseki - Hiraizumi / Iwate
The Japanese food culture featuring mochi (rice cakes) dates back 400 years to the Hansei period when the Date-han started offering mochi to the gods every month in prayer for peace and health. Nowadays, the practice of making and eating mochi on important days during life and at the end of seasons, including important family ceremonies and on New Year's Day, is still going on as “hare-no-shoku” which means Japanese celebratory cuisine. Even in Japan, Ichinoseki-Hiraizumi is one of the few rare areas where you can experience the traditional food rituals.
Experiencing food and culture in the UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy
Regional：Tsuruoka / Yamagata
Surrounded by mountains, fields, rivers and the sea, Tsuruoka city is rich in seasonal blessings. With more than 50 varieties of indigenous crops including dadacha-mame and Atsumi turnip, superior varieties of these indigenous crops valued as "living cultural assets" are the inheritance of this region. Tsuruoka has the unique food culture and family ceremonial dining/local cuisine which are closely related to the spiritual culture rooted in “Shugendo” (Buddhist mountain asceticism) of the Three Mountains of Dewa and “Kurokawa Noh,” and such culture has been passed down through generation even to the present time in this region.
Building the most beautiful village in Japan
Regional：Maze, Gero / Gifu
Sweetfish in Maze River are highly regarded for its superior taste. The reason for this is that the delicious sweetfish are protected by the local people. Since the 1940s, they have systematically stocked and managed the sweetfish, while also proactively engaging in volunteer activities, such as river cleaning activities and declaring its surrounding forest as a “fish conservation forest.” The local people have spared no effort in order to protect the taste of the sweetfish.
Nishi-Awa:Shangri-la - A thousand years, a hidden hamlet.- Going deep into the valley.
Regional：Nishi-Awa / Tokushima
Going back in time. For more than a thousand years, traditional agriculture and farming culture have been passed down in Nishi-Awa, Shikoku, the historical site of such legends as Heike Ochudo. The traditional food culture, which centers on long-standing products such as grains, soba (buckwheat) and potatoes, can still be seen in the lives of the people who are known as the “people of the sky.” The mountain villages that spread out like a fan across the steep mountain range are so beautiful that they can be rightly called “Shangri-la”.