中日農業賞を受賞しました

このたび,宮ザキ園の代表,梅村篤志が,中日新聞社が主催する中日農業賞優秀賞をいただきました。平成最後の年,愛知県内からは唯一の受賞者となりました。嬉しい限りです。受賞のことは,翌日2日の中日新聞朝刊にも掲載していただきました。関係者の皆様,ありがとうございました。

中日農業賞優秀賞表彰状
中日農業賞優秀賞表彰状

中日農業賞は,1940(昭和15)年から,中部9県(愛知、岐阜、三重、静岡、長野、富山、石川、福井、滋賀)で新しい農業と地域振興に取り組む青年農業者などに贈る中日新聞社が創設した歴史のある賞とのことです。現在は高齢化や後継者不足を背景に青年農業者を対象に選定されており,今回が第78回。

宮ザキ園では,かつて全国的な銘茶の産地といわれた地元岡崎市(旧額田町)宮崎地区のお茶産業の復興を図るため,有機無農薬栽培(JAS認証)のお茶づくりや,国産紅茶「わ紅茶」の栽培・加工・販売に取り組んできた他,海外販路開拓にも積極的に挑戦してまいりました。いずれもまだまだ緒についたばかりの長い道程のほんの入口に居る段階ですが,こうして伝統ある賞に選んでいただいたことは大変光栄です。表彰状で,祖父のことに触れていただいたことにも大変感激しています。若輩者ですが,これからも農を通じた山村振興に尽力して参ります。

2019年3月1日第78回中日農業賞贈呈式にて
2019年3月1日第78回中日農業賞贈呈式にて

Featured in “Oishii”, an English-language Japanese food magazine in Singapore

Miyazakien is featured in “Oishii”, an English-language Japanese food magazine in Singapore

We have obtained the consent to translate the article and post it on this site.

Eat and rest well in the Aichi Highlands – 愛知高原でよく食べて,よく休んで

After a detox holiday in the countryside here, Aichikogen-Okumikawa, you’ll return feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

ここ,奥三河の愛知高原で休暇をすごせば,すばらしい休養となり,元気をもらえます。

Miyazakien Tea Garden and the Master , Atsushi UMEMURA
Miyazakien Tea Garden and the Master , Atsushi UMEMURA
Location map of Mikawa highlands in Aichi Prefecture in Japan
Location map of Mikawa highlands in Aichi Prefecture in Japan

Must-eats in Aichikogen-Okumikawa – あいち高原/奥三河で見逃せない食

Symbolic rice and miso come together as one in gohei-mochi; remember to try the region’s signature ayu fish too.

glazed gohei-mochi
glazed gohei-mochi

In Japanese cuisine, rice is more than a meal staple. Cultivated in Japan for 2,000 years, the grain also has much financial, historical and cultural significance. In the past, rice was used as a currency (or as tax money for farmers). Today, Japan’s most important crop isn’t only eaten during meals; it is used in a myriad products, from sakes to vinegars.

It’s no wonder that there’s the Otaue Matsuri or “rice field planting festival”. Celebrated in spring to mark the start of a new year, this sees the Japanese praying for a successful harvest. In some versions of the festival, seeds are planted in fields while in others, the planting process is acted out. Then, when autumn arrives, harvest festivals are held to give thanks, too.

Japanese rice, a short translucent grain that turns sticky when cooked, is grown in the country’s valleys, terraces and fields, with terraced rice plantations being one of the rarer sights. The Yotsuya Senmaida fields in Aichi Prefecture is famous for having more than 1,000 “steps” and produces the grains for some of the region’s signature rice cakes or gohei-mochi.

If you do visit Aichikogen-Okumikawa, have this as your main meal or as a snack. Resembling a big lollipop, this rice cake is grilled on a skewer and glazed with sesame or miso paste, or even topped with crushed walnuts. One of the traditional shops serving this is Matsuya, which has been around since 1935 and sells

grilled ayu fish skewers
grilled ayu fish skewers

300 gohei-mochi every day on weekends. Owner Yachie Maruyama pounds the rice by hand, uses a secret recipe for her miso paste and grills the cakes over a charcoal fire.

Miso paste is another example of a Japanese diet staple. Once reserved for nobles and monks, miso, which has health benefits like preventing gastric disorders and lowering blood pressure, is made from fermented soybeans. It is now most commonly used in soups that are best paired with steaming hot Japanese rice for a simple yet comforting meal, or on gohei-mochi as a sweet, robust seasoning.

Besides miso-paste gohei-mochi, Aichikogen-Okumikawa is known for the freshwater ayu fish, which can be eaten at restaurants like Chiyohimeso. A skewer is pierced into the fish mouth and through its body before it is cooked over charcoal. Although ayu fish can be stewed in soya sauce and sugar, the locals like it best grilled in its own deliciously briny oils. We can’t agree more. –>

Meet the Game Changers ゲームチェンジャーに会う

Atsushi Umemura, Miyazakien 宮ザキ園 梅村篤志

This dapper 39-year-old looks nothing like a traditional tea farmer. Not surprising since Umemura, the sixth-generation owner of the Miyazakien tea house that has been around since 1820, wants to modernise the art of tea drinking .

こちらの粋な39歳の男性,伝統的な茶農家のイメージとはかけ離れている。だが,それも当然だ。1820年ごろに創業した宮ザキ園の6代目園主,梅村氏は,茶芸の近代化を目指している。

Atsushi UMEMURA, Miyazakien 宮ザキ園 梅村篤志
Atsushi UMEMURA, Miyazakien 宮ザキ園 梅村篤志
How different is Miyazakien from other tea businesses in Japan? 宮ザキ園は日本国内の他の茶園とどのように違うのか。

We are unusual in how we see through the entire process, from processing the tea to selling the leaves wholesale and even serving tea on our premises. In 2006, we also became the first organic tea farm in Aichi Prefecture.

お茶の加工から茶葉の卸売販売,そして当園でお茶を飲んでいただく喫茶部門(「一匙(ひとさじ)」)の併設まで、私たちはお茶に関わる全過程で他とは違った珍しい取り組みをしています。私達は2006年に愛知県で最初の有機茶の認証農場となりました。

How do you attract new customers? どのように新しい顧客を開拓されていますか?

As a wholesaler, we usually supply our products to businesses elsewhere but I want people to come visit us directly instead. So, on the second level of our teahouse, we conduct experiential workshops like flower arrangement lessons.

お茶の供給業者としては一般的な,事業者様向けの茶の卸売販売もしていますが,最近は特に,当園を直接訪れてくださる方を大切にしたいと考えています。ですので,「一匙(ひとさじ)」の二階で,華道のレッスンのようなお茶の体験ワークショップを開催しています。

How else are you modernising your tea business? その他に変えてきた点は?

As a wholesaler, we can’t really change the style of our tea products too much. So, we try and serve tea in different new ways. For example, we sell houjicha flavoured shaved ice. This attracts long queues of customers, and we can sell about 100 bowls in a day. But with the shaved ice, we serve tea too, so customers can taste it and be encouraged to purchase our tea leaves. We also experiment with different ways of drinking tea: serving green tea in teacups with ice chips or in a wine decanter-inspired bottle and in wine glasses.

お茶の販売業者として,私達はお茶に必要以上に手を加えることをしたくありません。ですので,お茶を変えるのではなく,お茶に親しんでいただく方法を新たに提案しています。例えば,私どもはほうじ茶味のかき氷を販売しています。この商品は大変好評で,一日に百セットほど売れますが,かき氷を食べていただくことで,お客様に当園のお茶に接してもらう機会を作り出しています。かき氷を通じて当園のお茶の味を知ってもらい,茶葉をお買い求めいただくことにつながっています。他にも,お茶の飲み方でいろいろと試しています。例えば,緑茶を氷入りでお出ししたり,ワインデキャンターのようなボトルに詰めたお茶をワイングラスに注いで提供したりしています。

Miyazakien
8 Aino, Ishihara-cho, Okazaki City, Aichi 444-3601
Tel: 0564-83-2710

宮ザキ園
〒444-3601 愛知県岡崎市石原町相野
Tel:0564-83-2710

Modern Korean correspondents has come to Miyazakien

The other day, the modern Korean correspondents coming to Japan from Korea visited Miyazakien and experienced tea picking.

In Okazaki they were touched upon the history of Tokugawa Ieyasu and the Korean correspondent in the Edo period, and they also enjoyed interacting with local high school students. Ms Naoko JIN, the representative director of NPO Bridge for Peace, presided over by the West Mikawa version of the Chunichi Shinbun on 11th August, that this international exchange activity is being reported.

 

It was a very meaningful opportunity for Miyazakien to be able to play the part of international friendship activity. Thank you very much for everyone involved.

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The Chunichi Shimbun posted an article about Miyazakien

On last Monday, the Chunichi Shimbun introduced Miyazakien and tea industry in Miyazaki district where we are located in.

2017年1月,中日新聞に掲載していただきました
The article in Chunichi Shimbun on 30th, Jan., 2017

It is the first time to see such a so long article about us.
I am happy that the importance of tradition and agriculture infrastructure transmitted from the Warring States Period are spread wide again by this article.

To all the reporters, the people concerned, thank you very much!

Hanasaka times

Today we welcomed CBC “Hanasaka Times” crew and guests, Ms Azusa Babazono and Ms Naomi Watanabe to our tea garden.

亞洲人・馬場園梓和渡辺直美來宮崎園參加收穫茶葉
The Asian, Ms Azusa Babazono, Ms Naomi Watanabe has come to our tea plant!

Our picking staffs are very encouraged by those two talented artists.

Thank you, Azusa-san and Naomi-san!

P.S. The programme will be broadcasted on next weekend, the 4th June. It starts at 9:25 am on CBC tv in Nagoya area, central Japan.

花咲かタイムズの取材を受けています
CBC crews work hard on our 2016 year new crop Miyagzakien’s Japanese green tea and Japanese black tea.

Miyazakien on Yomiuri Shimbun

Thanks to the Yomiuri Shimbun. The Japanese most popular newspaper, picked up our Japanese black tea and Miyazakien in an issue of this morning.

Black tea has a similarity with the wine which we can enjoy a variety of production place, material, processing method and so on. Every tea plant farmers have been challenged on the combination of the various elements. So we can enjoy many taste and flavour of Japanese black tea, not limited to our Wa Kocha, the Japanese black tea of Miyazakien.

Enjoy the difference of various personalities of the domestic tea to everyone.

http://www.miyazakien.com/