Translated by Hilary Keyes
Writer, translator, designer, weirdo.
Want to experience something not many have the chance to in Japan? How about doing a farm stay in Tokushima, where you can try rice planting, harvesting wild vegetables and so much more?
"I want to experience cultural points that you can only find in Japan, I want to spend time in an open, rural setting - I want to have a unique journey different from anything else."
If this sounds like you, why not stay at an agricultural, forestry or fishery farm*? There you will be able to experience traditional Japanese life in a setting far different than that of the city!
** Agricultural, forestry, and fishery farms have different names, conditions, and standards depending on their municipality and facilities. This article exclusively concerns those farm stays available in Tokushima prefecture. For more information, please contact each facility individually.
** Please note that services and amenities provided vary by facility.
Image of a farm stay
A farm stay is a type of lodging system designed for international travelers where they can experience life in a rural mountain or fishing village while learning about the local culture and the lives of the residents of the town. In order to experience an authentic taste of Japanese country living, many of these inns are found in repurposed traditional buildings or are rooms located within actual farmers' residences.
In Japan there are farm stays all over the country, each with standards, features and names that all differ depending on the municipality they are based in. If you are interested in Japanese industrial culture, it might be a good idea to do a farm stay at inns all over Japan.
** There are both facilities that have and have not been certified by either the national or municipal governments among those that list themselves as farm stays or farm B&Bs. For details, please check the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery website and the websites of each municipality.
The view in the Iya area of Tokushima
As most agriculture, forestry and fishery farms are located in mountainous or coastal areas, the majority of these places offer plenty of clean air, beautiful starry skies and seasonally changing natural scenery. Plus, it is not uncommon for stays at these inns to include Japanese culture and nature experiences such as rice planting, soba noodle making, trekking courses and more.
In the majority of cases the size of the group or number of people accepted at a given farm stay is limited, so those wanting to really get into the local culture can practically monopolize the owner's time, and really savor the experience as a whole during your stay.