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Tochigi’s Strawberries: Red Jewels for the Crown of Japanese AgricultureJulian Ryall

Tochigi, north of Tokyo, is Japan’s top producer of strawberries. Visitors to the prefecture’s farms enjoy all-you-can-eat picking tours and come away raving about the sweet, juicy berries. Tochigi is also the source of the very finest specimens of the red fruit, shipped around the country for inclusion in exquisite desserts.
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Seeking Peach Immortality in Fukushima

A Fukushima orchard has succeeded in growing peaches with almost 50% higher sugar content than the sweetest peaches on record. We visited with proprietor Furuyama Kōji, one of a group of young producers who are changing the face of agriculture in Japan.
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Farm-to-Table in Fukushima: Local Chef Serves up Fresh-Picked Treasures

Chef Hagi Harutomo has received regional, national, and international recognition for his creative cooking spotlighting luscious fresh-picked heirloom vegetables and other agricultural products from Fukushima Prefecture. We visited him at his French restaurant in Iwaki, where he offers the ultimate farm-to-table dining experience to no more than one party per day.
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Do I Dare to Eat a Peach? Behind Japan’s Freakish Fruit Prices

Tourists often marvel at the beauty, size, and uniformity of Japanese fruit, but they are even more astounded at its price—as much as $200 for a muskmelon at an upscale urban fruit parlor. We provide a snapshot of this unique retail market, along with a brief look at some of the cultural and economic factors that have nourished it.
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What Japan’s Farmers Really Need Is FreedomAsakawa Yoshihiro

While welcoming Prime Minister Abe’s decision for Japan to participate in the TPP free trade talks, agricultural journalist Asakawa Yoshihiro takes issue with the Abe administration’s farming policy, calling for bold moves to free Japan’s farmers and food producers.
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Enjoying Life One Day at a Time: A Grandma and Her Cat (Photos)Ihara Miyoko (Photographer)

Ihara Misao lives a peaceful life in the countryside with her beloved cat, Fukumaru. Her granddaughter Miyoko recently published a charming collection of photographs of the two inseparable friends that has struck a chord with people all over Japan.
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The Road to Japan’s Top Rice

A number of new varieties of rice are posing a formidable challenge to the established, high-grade Koshihikari brand. Prominent among them are the newcomers from Hokkaidō. How was a region unsuited to rice cultivation able to develop what may become the finest rice in the land?
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