Big in Japan (2)

  • 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 second part of the trip (and the second article), from Niigata on Honshu to Sapporo on Hokkaido.

    Left on the photo: fine beech sawdus. Coarse beech sawdust on the right at Tagg Agricultural Cooperation. The beech is used for maitake substrate.
    Driving back into Sapporo on 24 June to spend another night in this nice city, before flying back to Honshu for the third part of our trip to Japan.
    The visitors were really impressed with the spawn and spawn bags of Tagg. Here, they check out the bagging machine.
    In the middle, Mr Nomai. With Tagg, he produces 1.2 million p.p. bags of 2.5 kg per year.
    At Hitt.
    Miyaata purchases his enoki spawn on extremely thin tissue paper, which is then liquified in water.
    Mr Miyaata welcomed us at his enoki company at Aibetsu.
    Beautiful yields of Nameko.
    Agricultural Cooperation Hitt, where 3300 tons of enoki are produced each year.
    In 2009, 4,4 million bottles were produced at Nameko Centre!
    The Nameko Centre was as wet inside as it was outside.
    Nameko Centre.
    Autoclave of Nameko Centre, where Pholiota Nameko is grown on 800 cc bottles with 600 gram substrate.
    Visiting the mushroom laboratory of the Hokkaido Forest Products Research Institute.
    Ulrich Groos, Shozo Yoneyama and the director of the Hokkaido Research Organisation (ltr), meeting on 24 June.
    Discussion with Three B management on cooperation possibilities.
    At Asahikawa, the HLP travellers enjoyed a traditional Japanese dinner evening (with mushrooms ofcourse).
    Golden oyster mushrooms or tamogitake as the Japanese call them.
    Golden harvest.
    At Three B.
    Bottles with golden oyster mushroom substrate at Three B.
    At Three B.
    These golden oyster mushrooms are cultivated on botlles.
    Three B company in Nanporo-Cho produces and processes 340 tons of Pleurotus cornucopiae var. Citrinopileatus each year.
    Our tour guide with Mr Yuichi Miura, president of Kinoko-soken.
    Packing shiitake at Kinoko-soken.
    Shiitake ready for shipping.
    Filtered bags at Kinoko.
    Jelly ear at Kinoko.
    John Verbruggen having fun with Auricularia judae (Jelly or Judas ear).
    Friendly personel at Kinoko.
    Rusty autoclave.
    Bag filling at Kinoko-soken.
    Bags and bus.
    Filtered bags with substrate at Kinoko-soken, Ishikari.
    Pickers return to work after a coffee break at Kinoko-soken.
    Harvesting shiitake at Kinoko-soken. 800 tons are produced at Ishikari annually, as well as 2000 tons of other mushrooms.
    Shiitake on shelves, Kinoko-soken.
    Torsten Jonas of Pilzgarten GmbH in discussion with our translator/guide while Peter Kalberer listens in (l).
    Shiitake growing shed at Ishikari factory by Kinoko-soken in Ishikary city.
    Driving through the night to Sapporo, having fun in a rather freaky bus.
    No lack of Japanese mushroom consumption!
    Abundant display of mushrooms at a giant supermarket in Niigata.
    A worker can slice, weigh and check 20 kgs of maitake per hour.
    Strict hygiene conditions throughout the factory.
    Fresh maitake yield at Bioplant. Ichimasa is the third largest maitake producer in Japan (15% of the domestic market).
    Maitake have been harvested.
    Maitake harvest at Bioplant.
    Mixing oak with wheat bran, corn bran and water. The mixture goes in p.p. bags as substrate for maitake.
    Storage of oak at Bioplant. 25 tons is used daily.
    Ulrich Groos (HLP), Alex Lussi (LUPI Austernpilze) and Bert Rademakers (CNC Exotics) at Bioplant, ready to tour the factory.
    The massive Bioplant maitake factory of Ichimasa Kamaboko Company near Niigata on Honshu.
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