Hello, I am Hiroshi SATO and live in Minami-Alps City, Yamanashi Prefecture, about two hours away from Tokyo by car, with my wife and a daughter. I believe you would love to stay at and help out my farm when you are interested in a Japanese rural life, nature and environment, and cultural exchanges.
It has been four years since I started an orchard of peaches, plums, grapes, cherries and many others over 1 ha farm lands. I do not apply any chemically synthesized fertilizes and herbicides. I have been trying to practice organic farming on fruits. I successfully grew my peaches organically in 2018, and I applied minimal amount, like once or a few, agrochemicals on other fruits while a regular farming practice in this region applies more than 20 agrochemicals throughout the year. I am trying to minimize impacts from my farming practices on the environment and make farming sustainable here in Japan.
My career is quite unique. My major at college was Law and Politics. I got my first job in the field of IT and telecommunications. Then, I got Masters of Environmental Studies in the US to change my career in the field of Environment. I joined the HQ of UNEP in Nairobi, Kenya as an Intern. Then, I went into the Space Business in Tokyo, Japan and had to travel all over the world to sell Japanese Space System since I could not get the job related to the Environment. In 2015, I finally quit the job since I was too busy to stay in Japan with my daughter borne in 2013 and moved here in Yamanashi where we have a fantastic view of Mt. Fuji to enjoy life in a country side of Japan as a fruit farmer. We have a Japanese word for fruits, and it is “Kudamono.” So, I call “Kudamono” as high quality fruits made in Japan. I believe the word of “Kudamono” will be disseminated throughout the world like other famous Japanese food such as “Sushi” and “Tempra.”
Now, we are preparing for opening my farm to tourists from all over the world along with a small guest house. I also would like to expose my daughter to different cultures around the world. So, when you expect a peaceful and boring rural life and farming experience to produce high quality fruits in addition to cultural exchange, you are very much welcomed to our farm!! We hope you will be a “Kudamono” Ambassador who knows the real rich taste of Japanese fruits and a local life of Japan when you go back to your country!!
Your visit will not be only helping us running our farm and business but enrich our life!
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
You will be exposed to experiences from various aspects. You will see how a new farmer moved from Tokyo are managing their business in the agricultural field and enjoying their life in a remote area of Japan. Our day shall begin with a sound of bell at 5:55 in the morning from a Japanese temple next door, followed by one hour pray by a monk every day.
We can always see Mt. Fuji just 30km away from my place. The snow-capped Mt. Fuji, between early October and the middle of May, looks bigger than usual, and it is truly magnificent. You do not want to miss it!!
When you are a day off, you can enjoy beautiful and great nature of Yamanashi. You surely want to go to Mt. Fuji or hike mountains near by my place. You have a free bicycle to borrow or use a public bus.
Not to mention, you can enjoy Japanese high quality rich taste variety of fruits, called Kudamono, when you luckily stay here at the harvest season usually starting from late May to early September.
You can also play with my pretty Japanese dog.
We would like you to help us around between March and the middle of August on regular farm tasks, such weeding, watering, picking twigs, help for harvest, moving things etc. Those works do not require specific skills and qualifications and you had better assume those are usually not exiting unless you like to work outside and keen to see the small daily change of nature.
You may be asked to help a project to build a hut at my farm and to renovate old Japanese house.
Five hours work a day, depending on the weather, season, workload and so on, is expected. You have two days off every five working days. It is negotiable when you take days off. We would like you to stay at least TWO weeks. All meals, except for alcohols, such kinds of a specific drink and sweets things, shall be provided for working days.
Please be noted that the kind of help you will be asked shall differ depending on the timing of and weather during your stay. Non-smoker is expected. When you contact me, more specific conditions will be provided.
We have seven rooms in my home and you will stay at a room about 9 square meter at the second floor. I and my family stay at the first floor. You have a toilet and small washroom at the second floor, but you can still use them in the first floor as well. We have a big bathtub and to be used when it is cold.
We usually eat bread and milk for breakfast, Ramen, Japanse noodle, or such kinds for lunch at our place or my mother’s place 5 minutes by car, and dinner. We can try something upon on your request if we are capable of cooking so. Off course, free WiFi is available.
We do not have much night life here at all. Instead, as mentioned earlier, we have plenty of nature to explore. Local people who live here for long years say this is just a local small town. But, actually, ten minutes bike takes us to the nature where wild monkeys walk around when you are lucky. So, I recommend you to bike around to see the nature, Japanese temples and local restaurant and meet people!! I will assist you for the exploration!! I have been traveling more than 20 countries over five continents as a backpacker and a business person. I reached at the summit of the mountain close to 6,000m and many mountains in Japan. I believe some of you have been traveling many countries and deeply experience many cultures all over the world. I and my wife speak English. So, we would love to talk many things all over the world!! Hope my kid will speak English sometime soon!!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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