This citrus fruit was brought from China long time ago. It almost looks like an orange, but its thick yellow peel is rough and irregular. It’d a difficult fruit to harvest because of the sharp long thorns on the tree. Moreover, its taste is hardly delicious. It’s Yuzu.
Yuzu is famous in Kochi prefecture, specially in “Umajimura”. Now , Kochi is famous about production of yuzu . So, yuzu is indispensable when people speak about Kochi. Actually, If people come to Kochi ,they can see many goods of yuzu at shops or so.
Description & Taxonomy
Yuzu belong to mikan family mikan genus , and citrus fruits. The scientific name is Citrus junos. Trees of yuzu is about 3 meter and have stinging leaves . Fruit of yuzu is round shape and yellow color and strong sour taste and perfume and skin has protuberance. Yuzu is strong to cold environment in kinds of mikan, so, it can grow up in the Tohoku district in Japan and is long lifed. People plant seeds of yuzu in March to April, flower come out in May to June, next , people harvest fruits in autumn to winter.
Range & Ecology
The place of origin of yuzu is around the Changjiang in China. Yuzu came to Japan about at the Nara Era or Asuka Era. Now, yuzu is cultivated between the Tohoku district and the Kyusyu district in Japan.
Use & Conservation
In Kochi, cultivation of yuzu started in about 1965. But, yuzu was not good seller at first. In about 1990, people developed a vinger and a jam and a miso or so tastes yuzu . In 1988, people produced yuzu juice namede “gokkun Umajimura”. Then, sales of yuzu goods suddenly went up . Yuzu is traditionally put into bath in the winter day in Japan. Yuzu contains citric acid , tartaric acid , malic acid in fruit and contain many vitamin in skin of fruit , so , yuzu is effective to prevent cancer, sickness and stress. Yuzu is also used as a seasoning for Japanese dishes.
I came to Kochi recently. I knew that yuzu was famous in Kochi for the first time. When I go to a shop in Kochi , I see many goods of yuzu . For example , juice “gokkun Umazimura” . Gokkun Umajimura juice is very good taste. If you come to Kochi, I want you to drink yuzu juice . I think that you will become to love yuzu surely. Finally , I want to go to Umajimura famous about cultivation of yuzu , and harvest yuzu sometime.
As more time passed, the more beautiful nature appeared but at the same time there were a lot of winding road and I was hoping to arrive there soon. Just then a lovely sign announcing Umajimura appeared and we entered the village where some buildings and houses surrounded by a beauties of nature.
Arriving to Umaji village office, a big object made of Yanase cedar caught my eye. Mr. Kiyooka, our guide, asked us how much we thought it was worth. I didn’t expect it to be more than 1,000,000 yen! Yanasesugi (Yanase cedar) is quite valuable. Continue reading Yamashi Tatsujin Sensyuken
“Are we there yet?” We are driving deep in the mountain. There are no konbini (convenience store), gas stations, no buildings of any kind, but only mountains! mountains! mountains!!! Can we really see and reach the village ? We just keep driving up the mountain roads. At last, about 2 hours later, we finally see the village.
When we arrive at this village, the rain welcomes us. Umaji-village is surrounded by a lot of mountains, and the weather changes easily. So we run into the town hall where we are soon surrounded by the comfortable smell of wood.
Mr. Kiyooka, the interviewee that we asked about many information in Umaji, took us willingly. He is a man who has worked in the town hall of Umaji for a long time, and works for the people living there. He said, “the young in Umaji are not interested in the railways in the forest, actually,” and laughed. But his eyes looked sad to me, a little. And he started to tell us the history of the railway in the forest… Continue reading Railway in the Forest
The way to Umaji village from Kochi University takes us two and half hours. After one and half hours have past, we start lowering the car windows even though is summer, now in middle of July. We are surrounded by mountains and rivers. You might can’t even see a factory here, or i should say not even big supermarket. After seeing the green for an hour, finally we arrived. A Mr.Kiyooka guides us pleasantly and serves us “gokkun” which is a famous yuzu drink from Umaji village. When we were entering the village office’s meeting room, the air is fragrant with wood smell. We can see most of the furniture and part of the building is made from wood. Continue reading The Yanase Sugi
Arriving in Umaji village, we can breathe the clean air. This village is surrounded by trees, we find the sign of Umaji village. We feel our souls healed and we have been here before somehow.
Despite the excitement we have, we have a little fear at the same time. There is no one we can see from our car. Where are the people of this village? Are we going to interview animals? We are getting nervous. Driving through the arch of trees, we find Umaji village office.