Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I spent my birthday up in Ibaraki prefecture with Tony Boys and his family. We went around his town, Hitachiomiya, to look at farms and talk to the people who actually know about rice, vegetables and so on.
Tony took a lot of photos for the survey he has been working on, to investigate if a town the size of Hitachiomiya with around 50,000-60,000 people can be self-sufficient if there are no food imports (say, if peak oil suddenly means farmers and the food industry and supermarkets cannot import cheaply anymore).
We also went to a wonderful vegan restaurant up in the mountains.
CEO/health food adviser Izumi Tomoyuki started the Marin-no Oyatsu to serve only the best vegan food, together with a very dedicated staff - that were probably a bit surprised to see a Swede and an Englishman!
Do pay them a visit: they served us terrific vegan ramen, with their own original dashi sauce, and the best tea and organic fruit juice.
Izumi-san showed us the farms and we had a long talk about food and health and spiritual matters...
Ibaraki is only about two hours from busy Tokyo by train or bus, yet you feel like you are in a different world. Further up in the hills there are ancient temples and shrines, as a reminder that people have walked (and walked and walked) on pilgrimages to these parts of the world for a long, long time.
And perhaps, each time a new priest arrived, he carried with him some vegetable seeds, or something new from Kyoto or Nara, or Edo, that would help the people here continue to develop their survival skills.
Living off-the-grid was practically invented in these parts of the world!
Blogs I Like
- Ad B: Japan Navigator
- Adventures of a (Swedish) Salariman in Tokyo
- Amy: Blue Lotus
- Boing Boing: Wonderful Things
- Brendan: UNU OurWorld 2.0
- Hiroko & Rick: Itadakimasu
- Jared B: Tokyo Green Space
- Joan: Popcorn Homestead
- Jon: Toshogu or As I See Japan... From L.A.
- Justin B: The Rational Pessimist (Climate & Risk)
- Kat: Food Adventures in Japan
- Ken: KenElwood in semi-rural Japan
- Mari: Watashi to Tokyo
- MTC: Shisaku
- Otakimura: In The Pines
- P: Pacific Islander
- Peko Peko: Kyoto Foodie
- Richard H: Spike Japan
- Risa & Kirk: Savory Japan
- Robert: Pure Land Mountain
- Shizuoka Gourmet
- Ten Thousand Things
- Tom: Kitchen Garden in Japan
Links I Like
- News: About Sweden in English
- News: BBC
- News: Der Spiegel (Germany) in English
- News: Deutche Welle
- News: FT Asia (UK, EU)
- News: Kyoto Journal (Japan)
- News: NHK World Society & Others (Japan)
- News: People's Daily (China)
- News: Telegraph (UK)
- News: The Local (Sweden)
- News: Yomiuri Online (Japan)
- News: Yonhap (Korea)
- NGOs/News: Organic Consumers Association (US)
- NGOs: Amnesty
- NGOs: Consumers Union (US) Food
- NGOs: Consumers Union of Japan
- NGOs: Greenpeace
- NGOs: Greenz.jp
- NGOs: Japan for Sustainability
- NGOs: Japan Organic Agriculture Association
- NGOs: Japan Vegetarian Society
- Shops: Alishan Organic Center
- Shops: Eco to Waza (GreenJapan)
- Shops: Warabe Mura
- Stuff: Japan Probe