I helped weeding in organic rice paddy in Chiba Prefecture in Japan.
It was such a sunny day and very hot but had a great time.
The guide and the proprietor of the rice paddy Mr. Kosaka was once run organic Izakaya (Japanese Style Bar) in Tokyo and I myself sometimes visited there.
Now he moved to countryside of Chiba to lead a slow life and work on eco project as well.
I introduce organic rice padding and slow life in Japan.
I also took YouTube video here.
Visited Sosa in Chiba Prefecture.
It was about 2 hours from Tokyo.
Yes, a kind of short trip.
Here is the closest station Yokaichiba station to the rice paddy.
I imagined all nature around but it was, yes, town.
There were 6 people including me to join this weeding in a rice paddy.
The owner welcomed us in front of the station.
Before moving to the rice paddy, he showed us NPO.
It is called SORA Project.
They are working on creating job in the community through organic farming and interaction with local people.
Representative of SORA Project told me how it is like to live in this countryside.
There was a small house next to it outside.
To my surprise, it was all handmade.
Here is second floor of the house.
Battery for solar power.
Lights on the ceiling turn on by the solar power.
Nice wooden door, isn’t it.
Scenery around the house.
SORA Project (Japanese Website)
Now we came to the organic rice paddy!
Surrounded by forest!
There were wooden tables and small house made through SORA Project.
They are all handmade!
This is compost toilet.
Things returns to the soil in this toilet.
It reminds me of anime Gegege no Kitaro as Kitaro lives in a house like this.
Nice wooden table!
I got rush and itch on my skin last time I helped weeding so I prepared rain boots this time.
Go inside rice paddy!
Konagi is the weed which often grows with rice plant.
And there is also weeds similar to rice plant for the look.
We are going to weed them.
Actually I mistakenly pulled rice plant out from the ground.
I mistook rice plant for the weed 2 or 3 times.
So I put rice plant which I pulled out mistakenly back in the ground again.
There were small living creatures such as Japanese crayfish, pond skater, Kooi insect, Japanese brown frog, etc.
Japanese brown frog and Kooi insect are actually on the Red List of endangered species.
It was first time to see even to me.
Only in organic rice paddy, you can see all those creatures.
It is good to see them.
In the middle, I got an itch on my arms.
And then, I remembered I got an itch and rash on my arms last time when I helped weeding.
Oh, my, I should have prepared some kind of protection for my arms.
Those who have sensitive skins or allergy to the weeds should have protections for the arms as well as rain boots.
During weeding, I felt like I had to claim lives of weeds.
I’m semi-vegan but I felt like I had to kill plants to live.
And I wondered what is “Natural” for plants whether it is organic or not.
Either way, I thought to feel and experience on the spot is very important.
Mr. Kosaka prepared lunch for us.
Wow, rice cooked in an iron pot and miso soup, too!
Looks really good!
They were really good taste!
We moved to the place in which solar power had been generated.
This is a project called Sosa Mega Solar Sharing.
They also grow organic vegetables on the ground under solar panels at the same time.
To grow vegetables, they need people to take care of them so it also creates employment for the locals.
This is also one of the main targets of this project.
All the profits are used for the activities for environment in the community.
This is great project!!
Looks like there was a harvest festival of this Solar Sharing Project last year 2017.
Local Enerty Chiba (Japanese Website)
We moved and saw traditional Japanese house.
It was a nice house!
Open the sliding door and sit, then you can enjoy water melon here.
That’s the scene in summer in Japan.
This kind of house is now rare, especially in city area.
Lastly, Mr. Kosaka invited us to his house.
It was located in sea side area so I could hear the sounds of wave.
He also uses solar power for the electricity in his house.
Tatami mat and chest of drawers.
Yes, Japanese style room.
We could also see his garden.
Various types of organic vegetables were grown in the garden.
Tomato, cucumber, eggplant, etc.
Straws were used to restrain growth of weeds on the ground.
I tried tomato and it was, yes, strong taste of tomato!
Not like plain taste at supermarket’s.
We enjoyed dinner next to the garden.
It was such a great day!!
Sometime we need time to touch nature and relax in nature!!
Tamaniha Tsuki Demo Nagamemasho (Japanese Style Bar Mr. Kosaka run in the past) (Japanese Blog Ameblo)