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Murayama Yamagata
All Year: No. Please check below
Area (ha): 1
Persons: up to 3
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 5249
Country: Japan

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Last Updated: September 15, 2017

****** Please read the reviews below for an insight into what its really like!!!! ********

Now urgently looking for volunteers for Autumn 2017, picking eggplant, rice harvest and much much more!!!

More about what we do:
We grow rice, cherries, apples, peaches, corn, pumpkins, aubergine, watermelons and soy-beans on our farm here in Murayama-Shi in the middle of the very beautiful Yamagata Prefecture in the north part of Japan. We grow a premium rice without chemicals and more labour intensive traditional methods which we sell direct to the customer. Our orchards unfortunately are not organic, but we are researching ways to substitute natural sprays. We have also opened a guesthouse!

We are a big (crazy) family: 3 generations, 9 people including our new daughter Hana! Apart from my wife and I, my family only speaks Japanese! Everyone is very friendly, but you will definitely need a sense of humour, patience and a willingness to try to communicate. You would eat with the family (traditional Japanese food - so rice for breakfast and lots of fish; no fussy eaters or vegetarians please) and sleep in our guest house. Depending on how busy the guesthouse is, you may be asked to share a room.

We need hard working but easy going people. Plans may change suddenly (due to weather etc.) dinner may be late, our kids might put glue in your shoes but if you can keep smiling then you are the sort of person we want!

There are lots of hot springs nearby, and lots of historic and famous temples and shrines nearby. This is one corner of Japan which does not get many tourists and is still very rural and traditional. Hence it is sometimes called 'Hidden Japan'.

We need people from early spring onwards for a wide range of farm work, help with the guest house and helping out at events where we sell our home-made jam etc.

Please note that all our farm work is physically demanding and involves getting up EARLY (4 or 5 am depending on the season)! Depending on the season work days can be long too. No special skills are required but good cooks and practical types are always welcome!

We don't usually take people in winter as there is no farm work, butif you want to shovel snow we might find space for you!

For details of jobs in any given season please contact us and confirm that you are willing and able to do the work required as some busy seasons will have longer days, earlier mornings and fewer days off than others. Farm work is not easy!

That said, we try to live well and play hard too. Visits to hot springs, hiking, gathering wild veg and mushrooms in the mountains, gathering shellfish, sea fishing, trips to the beach and days out to local places of interest would be usual when the hard work is finished.

We can also promise you great food, fine sake and a unique experience living with a traditional Japanese family, learning traditional Japanese skills! We make Japanese pickles, miso, tofu, bacon, beer, cider and homemade sake etc. We also teach traditional Japanese crafts such as making straw sandals.

The bullet train (shinkansen) comes here direct from Toyko. It takes about 3 and a half hours. Night buses run from Tokyo and are significantly cheaper (if slower). Buses running to Shinjo will stop in Murayama itself. If you get a bus to Yamagata you will need to get on a local train to Murayama. Please ask for help and advice.

We have had some really nice helpers so far and really enjoyed having people come and stay. We look forwards to meeting many more helpxers!

Find us on Facebook, see link above, where you can see more photos and videos about us and what we do. Please note that all helpers should approach us via this website and not via Facebook. Thank you.

You can also learn more about Yamagata and things to see and do in the local area on our website, see link above.

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