Cultivating vegetables in highland, Mizunomaru

Tsutomu Kitaoka
(Farmer in Higashi Miyoshi)

Mizunomaru, located in Higashi Miyoshi, is renowned for strawberry production because of its cool climate. This region is situated at an altitude of approximately 1,000 m.

Chikara Kitaoka, a resident of Ofuji village in Mizunomaru, has been cultivating vegetables in Mizunomaru for approximately 40 years. 

Initially, he cultivated daikon radishes later than normal season and exported them as off-season vegetables during the summer. During that period, daikon radishes were rare in the summer, resulting in a high market value of 200–300 yen per daikon. Subsequently, he cultivated tomatoes and beans within the confines of greenhouses.

Mr. Kitaoka says, "Mizunomaru has a high-cool climate with large temperature differences during the summer, so we can grow any vegetable sweet and tasty.”

Recently, he cultivated a variety of popular vegetables that are commonly found in local farmers’ markets.

Above all else, he values the satisfaction derived from people’s enjoyment of meticulously cultivated and affectionately nurtured vegetables. He said, "Even though I can't work as hard as I did when I was younger, I want to continue cultivating vegetables while enjoying myself at my own pace."