On June 28th – June 30th, our class went on a small trip to Takahata in Yamagata prefecture. It took about around 2 hours by taking the shinkansen. The goal of this trip was to let us have a first-hand experiences through the fieldwork at the local farms, to get an understanding of the environment not only through the physical surroundings and people there, but also understand the environment through culture in Takahata and how culture shapes for environment and sustainability.
When we first arrived at the station, we were told that it is one of the few stations that has an onsen inside of the station. Then we visited高畠石採石場, the Takahata quarry, and I was amazed by the immensity and the sleekness of the quarry. It has been used to construct graves, fences, and so forth, but always used in a sustainable way. Then we visited a local school where the students there as one of the club activities, farm all sorts of fruits and vegetables.
On the second day, we were divided into different groups to experience the and also help with the local organic farmers. I was in Minoru-san’s group, where our job was to put paper umbrellas on the grapes to prevent the rain from dripping onto the grapes, which may cause the grapes to be damaged. For lunch, the Minoru family prepared us a variety of different taste of mochi: red bean, natto, and kinako. Personally, my favorite was the natto mochi.
Last Day & Conclusion
On the last day, we visited a library and had a small lecture “子供に自然を、老人に仕事を” to provide sustainability. To conclude, I want to thank this class for letting me to have this opportunity to experience and visit Takahata. Also, Minoru-san shared with us his web page where he introduces his farm: http://mahorobanosato.gooside.com