Reviving abandoned farmland in Boso Peninsula, just south of Tokyo.

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Japan

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    Last activity

    17/11/2019

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  2019 

 Min stay requested: at least 1 month

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  • Description

    Description

    Join me, friends and Workawayers to help regain abandoned farm terraces in the hills of the Boso Peninsula, just an hour south of Tokyo. Some history is needed: During the food shortages of Pacific War, the terraces were urgently created to grow sweet potatoes as a quick and secure staple food. When the war ended, however, the farmers went back to the valleys to grow the more profitable rice and the area was allowed to fall into disuse.

    From our site at Oihama, near Ohara, facing the Pacific and a string of excellent surfing beaches, we continue to clear jungle from some of this abandoned land and to maintain the cleared terraces as ocean-front gardens, lawns and fruit/vegetable growing plots. We are also looking to recover some abandoned kiwi and blueberry hillside further inland - at the Kiwi Farm as it is called.

    All our development is organic, with no fertilisers used, and all jungle waste returned to the soil. We are also planning a mikan (tangerine) orchard on some mountain-top rich loam soil near our Oihama base.

    We are looking for people who want to spend time -more than a month if possible - to work and get to know the area. In principle we encourage and help you to grow as much of your food as possible. But we will also provide an allowance to purchase necessities from our local supermarket. We also like to invite Workaways to meals at local Japanese restaurants.

    Brought up in Australia and after spending many years first as a diplomat and then as an educator in Japan I have retired to my original Australian passion for developing difficult land into productive use. Please come and help me.


    Gregory

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay
    Help in the house
    Language practice
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Copy and paste the link below. Use this to explore the area and get to see some of the many temples and shrines.

    The Isumi district area hosts numerous events and festivals, including the Japan-famous Hadaka (Naked) Matsuri in September.

    The nearby Ohara fishing port holds weekly fish markets and local fishermen organise deep-sea fishing trips.

    We can also arrange with a local temple for Zen meditation and calligraphy classes..

    We recommend the two-hour trip across the Boso peninsula and back on the tiny Isumi Tetsudo train which leaves Ohara roughly on the hour. You will see a good cross-section of rural Japan.

    We can also recommend a visit to the colorful Onjuku beach resort (one hour by bike, much less by car or train), and to the world famous Sea World at Kamogawa (40 minutes by train).

  • Help

    Help

    We have two work areas - Oihama Base and the Kiwi Farm

    Tasks at the Oihama base are mainly helping develop farm land and maintain gardens, plus help with basic repairs. A handyman with some craft skills most welcome. Farming skills and a strong back also a plus, though not essential; patient weeding and bush clearing is also needed. A strong interest in plants, both domestic and wild, is helpful. Computer skills also very welcome.

    At the Kiwi farm conditions can be more strenuous. They include taming the prolific vegetation, repairing occasion wild pig damage, house and deck repairs and restoring former vegetable plots which are now jungle-covered. We may ask you to base yourself in the Kiwi farm house.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    I speak English, Chinese, Russian, Japanese and Spanish

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    Accommodation at the Oihama base consists mainly of an independent two-room cabin , complete with air conditioning, shower room, kitchen, simple toilet, tatami two-person bedroom , all facing a large lawn with a jade table for six and spectacular ocean views, surrounded by a national forest. Oihama Heights residents, both Japanese and non-Japanese, will be your neighbors.

    The large, full-range supermarket, Gats, is only five minutes bike ride away. While we hope you will get to grow much of what you eat, we will of course cover reasonable food and grocery costs. We also hope to invite you occasionally to join us at local eateries.

    We have alternative accommodation at Workaway House 2 and elsewhere if Workaway cabin is occupied.

    Kiwi Farm: Self-contained house, with kitchen and bathroom and forest surroundings. House is somewhat old and secluded. Location is about 20 minutes drive westward from Oihama. Shopping is five minutes drive or 30 minute bike rid to Kuniyoshi supermarket,.

    Close-by is our sister operation at Nakadaki Art Village where Workawayers are also to be found.

    You will need a Sim card package for Internet communications.

    You are free to use any of our bicycles to explore the area and run errands. A small runaround truck may also be available, but please make sure you have a valid national driving license or international license.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We speak several languages and would be happy to help you in your language efforts..

    Biking trips into the hills of the deep Boso Peninsula nearby will take you a Japan which few ever see.

    The nearby very large Kiyomizu Kannon is a regular pilgrimage site in the Kanto Area. The Yoro Gorge about 30 minutes drive is famous of its hot springs. The entire coast line from Oihama down to the popular Kamogawa surf beaches is studded with small fishing ports and beaches - the Riviera of Japan it has been called.

    The Kamogawa Sea World with its trained sea animals is rated as one of the best in the world.

    Sunset Breeze resort on the other side of the peninsular and with which we have a very close connection has three championship squash courts. We can also provide access to our own squash court and omni tennis court, both available free of charge.

    To the north about 30 minutes is the famous Kujukuri (99 mile) beach with wind surfing facilities.

    We provide a small two seater, run-around vehicle for trips to nearby cultural sights (there are many), surf beaches and to Ohara station just 70 minutes by express to central Tokyo. International licences are needed.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Around 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Workaway Cabin
View from Greg's garden
Jade table gardens, as seen from Workaway Cabin
Farmer Greg
View from Ocean Lookout
More ocean Lokout
Carolina with the potato harvest
View from Secret Beach
Omni tennis court at Ohama Hills
View from Oihama Heights
Wild Blueberrys at Kiwi farm
This year's kiwi crop
Kiwi Farm House
1980 kiwi-fruit harvest celebration

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