Local farm invites Misawa residents to Farm Day

  • Published
  • By Simon Griffin
  • Coordinator of International Relations Oirase Town
People overseas often have an image of Japan -- sky scrapers in bustling neon-illuminated cities or of bullet trains speeding along an endless corridor of urban sprawl. We here in Aomori are fortunate enough to experience a different slice of Japan. White snowy mountains in winter contrast brilliantly with a lush carpet of green in summer and the seasons in between offer an array of blossoms and foliage known all over the country. This country life is reflected in the local people's warmth and hospitality.

If you haven't been out and about yet there really is no excuse not to, and here in Aomori must surely be one of the easiest places to experience life "outside the gate." For the novice adventurer or those looking for something close to home how about a farm visit? Just along the road from Misawa base, in fact less than 10 minutes away is Kawayo Farm with a nice relaxed atmosphere where the kids can run free and the adults can just while away the hours enjoying fresh country food and scenery.

The farm is easy to find with plenty of parking available and even houses a youth hostel and outdoor bath for guests. Kawayo Farm has views of the Pacific and the Hakkoda Mountain range. This natural setting provides the livestock and guests a pleasant refreshing location where they are free to intermingle. There are horses, cows and sheep all within hands reach of visitors as they wander around the 50 hectare farm taking in the ambiance.

For the early morning risers, the first milking is at 6:30 a.m., with the evening milking at the more respectable time of 4:30 p.m. There is a viewing plaza in the milking shed and for 500 yen visitors get to milk a cow by hand. This is something everyone should experience at least once if not to just appreciate what we usually just drink out of the carton each day. There are at present 16 cows being milked twice a day and if you like fresh farm made ice cream, this is for sale at the reception building.

Next to the reception building is the restaurant which specializes in French cuisine using fresh local ingredients. The restaurant overlooks pastures, stables and the old milking shed. One really gets the feeling of rural dining and the food is always top notch. The restaurant is open for lunch, afternoon teas and dinner. This is also a popular place for dinner parties and numerous wedding receptions have been held there over the years. Exchanging wedding vows in a wide open pasture most certainly would be memorable if not just a little surreal. The lunch specials offer excellent value and on the 5th 15th and 25th of the month you get even more food for your yen.

For the more active people, try your hands at pasture golf. This is played out in the meadow with farm sized clubs and balls and can challenge even the most fervent golfer. If the weather is good take your bike out there and instead of just riding straight home follow the Nature Walk (off-road but easily ridden) and you can either turn back towards Misawa at Swan Lake or carry on down to the Statue of Liberty.

From the POL gate: Drive straight (Route 10) past Universe Supermarket and Honmac, keep driving and go under the toll road. The road curves gently to the right here but at the next light, a T intersection with a yellow Ramen shop on the corner, turn left. The farm is a mere 2 km from this intersection just after Mukaiyama station on the right. The entrance to the farm is on the left and after driving up the lane about 100 meters veer off to the right to get to the reception area and car parking. 

From the main gate: Turn left at the first lights and right at the first intersection. Go straight through the next two lights and turn right onto Route 10 at the Lawson convenience store. Proceed as above.

Farm Day is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 7. The event schedule is as follows: 

Main Stage
10:00 a.m. Opening ceremony. Kawayo Farm, 50th anniversary ceremony.
10:15 a.m. Taiko Drums.
11:00 a.m. Nepalese Songs
1 p.m. Shamisen
1:15 p.m. Taiko Drums
2 p.m. Yosakoi Soran Modern variation of 500 year old dancing.
2:30 p.m. YES or NO quiz game
3 p.m. Closing ceremony

Attractions and Events
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Pasture Golf Tournament
1-2 p.m. Frisbee Dog Demonstration.

Give it a go Events
Draughthorse Riding: ¥500
Plastic Bottle Rocket Workshop (First 60 people): free
Bamboo stilt workshop: ¥500
Birdcall making: ¥300
Tree Climbing (Limited to 30 people): ¥500
Pasture Golf: ¥300
Wool craft: materials charge.
Cut Paper Art: ¥100
Crayon Art: free
Burnt wood art: ¥500
Stamp Rally: free

Ashumaru (active kids) Corner
Disc golf: free
Scribble Corner: free
Photographs: free
Petting zoo: free