|Wasabiya Chaen's sign at the end of the driveway.|
"We're going to be in the clouds today," one member of the group commented as we drove. Ahead of us, our side of the Tanzawa range sat blue-green and heavy with clouds. Rain drops scoured the windshield as we wound our way slowly out of the city for the farm.
Started by the Yamaguchi family roughly 100 years earlier, the farm is only 20 minutes away from Hadano, but as the road narrows to follow a tumbling mountain river lined with ancient cherry trees, every vestige of the city is soon left behind. Terraced rice and tea fields soon appeared with farmhouses dotted in between. Forest filled the steeper slopes behind them, and as the rain increased in intensity, we pulled into the driveway of Wasabi-Chaen.
Five generations of the family have worked these fields, and soon a sixth will take the reins, Takako tells me. "I'm very happy," she simply said, her tanned face breaking into another smile.
|River level look at the wasabi growing space.|
|Wasabi enjoying the rain.|
|Our treats at the end: homemade yokan, Kiridakari tea, and chiffon cake.|