Learn water-grown wasabi cultivation from an Australian wasabi farmer in the mountain forests of Okutama. Learn about the forest and issues facing Japan's wasabi growers as your explore rich nature, and relish the rare treat of freshly ground wasabi.
Just 90 minutes from downtown Tokyo, discover the mountain forest of Okutama, Tokyo and visit a farm producing water-grown wasabi along the Tama River. Your host will be David, a former journalist from Australia who now lives in Okutama where he farms water-grown wasabi and helps revive the local community. David will take you to one of his forest wasabi farms to show you how water-grown wasabi is cultivated. On the hike from the train station to the farm, David will teach you about the mountain forests of Okutama as well as local reforestation efforts. On the wasabi farm, you can taste freshly ground wasabi, an experience with no comparison — sure to be one of your most lasting memories of Japan. No matter how much Japanese food you've enjoyed, the simple truth is that most people have never tasted authentic wasabi. Authentic wasabi does not come out of a tube. Authentic wasabi is freshly ground – most pungent within 3–5 minutes of grinding, and most delicious within 30 minutes. In short, authentic wasabi is likely to be far more aromatic than anything you've experienced before. Amid an aging and shrinking population, many of Japan's traditional water-grown wasabi farms in the mountain forest of Okutama have been abandoned. David has been actively involved in improving the forest and re-establishing local wasabi farms, and is the perfect guide to introduce this little-known side of Tokyo.