Friday, July 1, 2016

Enjoy an Organic Lifestyle at “English Garden House”

The roses bloom from early spring to
October, with their peak in early May.
   The scent of roses warmly enveloping the area, colorful and vibrant flowers, the faint sound of insects going about their business, and creative cuisine made from naturally farmed ingredients—you take peaceful refuge from the day-to-day and treat your five senses to something special. At least, that’s what we felt when we visited English Garden House in Kagami-cho, Konan City in search of an organic lifestyle.

From “A Farmer’s Life of Gratitude for his Wife”
The Yasuokas, delivering peace of
mind with their warm smiles.
   “Let’s remember the northern land and make many flowers bloom. We started this garden for you, and now flowers of bliss bloom here. I have nothing, but I dedicate this rose to you and thank you for the last 50 years.” (From: “A Poem for my Wife”) The happy couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in this rose garden, which they painstakingly crafted over 5 years. It was an event fitting for the Yasuoka family home and garden café built on a small hill, also known as the English Garden House.
   “I was shocked by the difference between Japanese country life and the houses with gardens full of blooming flowers I encountered when I visited Europe 40 years ago for agricultural training,” Kenji Yasuoka, who goes by “Otousan” (“Dad” in Japanese) told us with a warm smile. His feelings resonated with his whole family, and thus began the construction of their garden. In addition to their regular crops, they cultivated a mikan orange field, planted “Okaasan’s” (“Mom’s”) favorite flowers, and hand-made a garden for the whole family to enjoy. After that, they designed a house to match the garden, and the “Garden House” was born. The Yasuokas soon started providing tea for the many friends and their acquaintances that began showing up to view the beautiful garden, and eventually through the demand of their guests, they decided to open the “Garden Café” that we know today.
   Seeing Otousan, who has made his 60th wedding anniversary which is in two years his next life goal, actively told us about his farmer’s life and his gratitude to his wife, family, and those around him was truly inspiring.
The daily lunch, always full of fresh
vegetables, is the recommendation.
The Desire for Natural Farming
   From the crisp and refreshing aromatic herbal tea and freshly squeeze juice, to the colorful, creative dishes that are a feast for the mouth and the eyes, the Yasuokas are picky about their menu. The couple makes sure that customers can eat their cooking with ease of mind by committing to no- and low-chemical farming.
Peace and Happiness to Visitors
   Otousan says, “We aren’t working for a profit. We treat our visitors not as customers but as family. We truly want people who visit us to feel at ease and to feel happy.” Just as Otousan said, our visit left us relaxed, peaceful and joyful.
English Garden House ——————————————————
   Address: 1953 Yamakita, Kagami-cho, Konan City
   Business Hours: 9:00AM – 6:00PM (closes at 5:00PM January to March)
   Closed: Fridays
   Directions: Get on a bus for Takaze from the Tosa Kuroshio Railway Noichi Station. After 15 minutes, get off at Ichiba-mae, and walk for 5 minutes.
◎For more chances to enjoy an organic lifestyle, we also recommend the Kochi Organic Market held every Saturday at Ike Park.
Kochi Organic Market ——————————————————
   Address: Kochi Prefectural Ike Park, Ike, Kochi City
   Open every Saturday 8:00AM – 2:00PM (until noon during July and August)

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