A very popular gourmet in Hyogo Tamba! Introducing the exquisite cheese that was awarded the best in Japan

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We would like to introduce you to ``Tamba Cheese Factory'' in Kasuga-cho, Tamba City, the factory that makes the most delicious cheese in Japan. In 2021, “Tamba Cheese Factory” won the grand prize at the “ALL JAPAN Natural Cheese Contest,” one of the largest cheese contests in Japan.

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Awarded at Japan's largest competition! What is the best cheese in Japan?

This rich, flavorful cheese that melts in your mouth is handmade in a farm that has been around since the Edo period, taking time and effort to complete every step from milking cows to ripening the cheese! In 2021, they won the grand prize at the ALL JAPAN Natural Cheese Contest, one of the largest cheese contests in Japan.

The history and commitment of Tamba Cheese Factory

The Tanba Cheese Factory is located within the Fuki Farm, a farm that has been around since the Edo period. This farm produces 120 different crops each year, using as few pesticides as possible. Keisuke Fuki, the 11th generation owner, started making cheese eight years ago by setting up a workshop as the farm's cheese-making division.

[According to Mr. Fuki] ``Fuki Farm originally had a cowshed and was home to Holstein dairy cows. We practice a traditional cycle-based agriculture, feeding the cows with grass from the fields, milking them, and using their droppings as fertilizer for the fields.'' You could say that he is a pioneer and top leader of SDGs.

"The reason why he started making cheese was that he wanted to make cheese for his parents. He traveled around the country eating cheese at workshops all over Japan, and became an apprentice at Sarabetsu Cheese Studio in Tokachi, Hokkaido."

"The following year, in 2015, he returned to Tamba and started "Tamba Cheese Factory." The family raises the cows using rice straw and grass from the farm, and does everything from milking them to making cheese."

[Mr. Fuki] ``Cheese is made by extracting the ingredients in raw milk and solidifying it, so you can't make delicious cheese without good raw milk. That's why I believe that cheese making begins with raising good quality cows.''

Generally, a commercially available lactic acid bacteria starter is added each time for fermentation, but at Tamba Cheese Factory, lactic acid bacteria are also cultivated in-house.

[Mr. Fuki] ``The culture concentration is adjusted while monitoring the active state of the lactic acid bacteria, so it takes a lot of time. However, the lactic acid bacteria will change to match the location and my production method, so the taste and quality will be stable. I believe that cheese grows depending on the climate of the area.''

The cheese aging cellar, which uses zelkova and cherry trees from Tamba, is located in an 80-year-old storehouse on the farm grounds. Their signature product, ``Kura Jyukusei Gouda,'' -cellar-aged cheese- is lined up on the shelves. This "Kura Jyukusei Gouda" won the 2021 Grand Prix Minister of Agriculture.

[Mr. Fuki] ``General Gouda cheese is aged for about six months before being shipped, but this one is aged for over a year. It requires daily care, but if you take the time and care of it, the flavor will greatly increase and it will melt better in your mouth. It's a semi-hard natural cheese, so we want you to eat it as is.''

After winning the award, it's always in high demand, often causing shortages of the product.

In addition to ``Kura Jyukusei Gouda'', they sell a total of 8 types, including ``Tanba Snow White'', a soft type that was first commercialized by Keisuke Fuki, and the new product ``Kura Jyukusei Raclette''.  Each product is made by hand, using raw milk squeezed morning and evening from 10 carefully raised Jersey cows, and adding in-house cultured lactic acid bacteria.

You can enjoy delicious soft serve ice cream on the farm, too! 

A sales shop has also opened on the farm. They are currently open from 11am to 4pm on the 1st and 3rd Sundays from March to November. The shop offers a cheese tasting service, so you can compare the cheeses before purchasing the one you like. There is also free milk tasting.

There are two types of soft serve ice cream that everyone loves. "Fresh Soft Serve Ice Cream" allows you to enjoy the taste of freshly squeezed milk, and "Premium Soft Serve Ice Cream" has cheese added to the rich icecream for an outstanding taste! ``Milkshake'' and ``Milk Dashi Hojicha ''-Houjicha latte- made with freshly squeezed milk have also been introduced. 

On the 1st and 3rd Sundays from March to November, the cafe is open for lunch and serves mainly cheese dishes. You can enjoy direct sales of agricultural products and a farm tour at the same time. For a Sunday day trip, be sure to come to the delicious farming village "Fuki Farm" in Tanba City!

Basic information: Fuki Farm

Address: 83 Nomura, Kasuga-cho, Tamba-shi, Hyogo 669-4132

Contact: info@fukifarm.com

On-farm cheese shop Business hours: March to November 1st and 3rd Sundays 11:00-16:00

Lunch on the farm Business hours: March to November 1st and 3rd Sundays 11:00-16:00

[Official website] Fuki Farm

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Welcome to Hyogo Hyogo is a gateway to the Kansai region, which nurtures the blessed land that connects the Sea of ​​Japan, the Chugoku Mountains, and the Seto Inland Sea, as well as the blessed climate. There are many spectacular views that will catch your eye, such as Himeji Castle, a World Heritage Site that was selected as one of the 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots, and the panoramic night view from Mt. Rokko. The world-famous Kobe brand, KOBE BEEF, which is synonymous with Tajima beef, is one of Japan's leading beefs, and the sake rice ``Hyogo Yamada Nishiki'' is a gem that will surprise your tongue. Arima Onsen is a famous hot spring, and Kinosaki Onsen has appeared in many literary works. Surrounded by nature, you can relax your mind and body. You can come across memorable sounds such as the thunderous sounds of the whirlpools of Naruto on Awaji Island, and the dynamic sounds of the fireworks festivals held in various places in the summer. In the herb gardens and botanical gardens in the prefecture, you will be healed by the gentle and pleasant scent of herbs and flowers throughout the four seasons. Enjoy a new journey in Hyogo that stimulates the five senses of sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell.

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