Big in Japan (1)

  • From the 18th to the 27th of June, 2010 the Hessische Landesfachgruppe Pilzanbau organised a studytrip to Japan. A group of Europeans from five different countries set out to discover the 'exotic' mushroom industry on central and northern Honshu and the north island, Hokkaido. A very fascinating trip it was. In Mushroom Business 41, 42 and 43 we run a series of three big articles on this trip, written by publisher Roel Dreve, who was one of the happy few. The pictures in this series on the website refer to the first part of the trip (and the first article), from Kyoto to Niigata.


    Here in the Nagano region, as elsewhere in Japan, villages and roads and mushroom facilities are surrounded by rice fields.
    Sorting and packaging hall at K.I. Ogiwara.
    Beautiful Pleurotus erengyii at K.I. Ogiwara.
    Driver at K.I. Ogiwara, where 4000 tons of erengyii are produced annually.
    Ulrich Groos, organiser of the study trip, surrounded by local press at Ogiwara.
    Enoki at Ogiwara.
    Rokuon-Ji (golden pavilion) temple in Kyoto was one of the hightlights of our visit to this fascinating city.
    At Ogiwara mushroom farm.
    At Ogiwara mushroom farm, a very modern facility, 5000 tons of enoki is produced annually. This picture was taken at the sorting hall.
    At the central enoki incubation and packaging centre of JA Nakano-Shi, the Chubu-Baiyo centre. Each year, 5380 tons of enoki go through this giant packaging hall.
    340 tons of bunashimeji is produced here, in 850 ml bottles.
    Bunashimeji at Shimada Mushroom Farm.
    Meeting with the HLP group and managers of JA Nakano-Shi cooperative in the northern perfecture of Nagano. No less than 30% of the annual Japanese enoki production comes from this region. JA Nakano-Shi produces its own spawn, distributes botlles (140 million per year) to growers and then gets them back for central packaging and delivery to customers.
    A rack with folders, info and mushrooms recipes for consumers at the supermarket.
    Free mushroom soup in the local farmer's market was enjoyed by everyone.
    Exchanging presents at Hokuto company.
    Ah, finally, a picture that has something to do with mushrooms! This is Akanuma Erengyii mushroom centre of Hokuto Co. in Nagano city. In 2009, this company produced 40.000 tons bunashimeji, 15.000 tons erengyii and 10.000 tons of maitake.
    Brainstormsession on board the coach which took us to Nagano region. We had some long busrides in our programme, but we only ever had one (1) traffic jam, after an accident. The roads and public traffic systems are very good.
    Peter Oei (Spore, Unicorn) poses with friendly schoolgirls who, for some reason, always make the V sign, at Rokuon-Ji, Kyoto.
    Temple complex in old Kyoto.
    A detail of the famous Ryoan-Ji karesansui (dry landscape), or 'Zen' rock garden. The boulders are placed so, that looking at the garden from any angle, only 14 of the 15 are visible at one time. The surrounding gardens are beautiful.
    Unstoppable, unfaltering, indefatigable, unbendable; our Japanese guide who stuck it out with us for 9 days. Here, he explains Ryoanji temple complex in Kyoto.
    Dutch tourists.
    After arriving in Kyoto, the Dutch are preparing themselves mentally and physically for the soccer worldcup match Holland-Japan and fraternise with the 'enemy', before being marched off to the pub. Martin v.d. Vorle, GP de Rijk, Riny van den Elzen, John Verbruggen, Bert Rademakers en Roel Dreve (ltr).
    Enoki mushrooms in bags for 100 yen at a farmer's market in the Nagano region.
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