STAY JAPAN INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
Ever wonder what it’s like to live and work on a farm?
Now’s your chance. Tokushima currently has a shortage of young farmers. The population of farmers decreases every year, leading to shortages on various fruit and vegetables products.
Four brave and excited English teachers and translators tried it for themselves! Coming from as far as Hyogo prefecture, a four hour bullet train brought the new farmers to Mima city, Tokushima Prefecture. The program lasted from November 7th (Th.) – 11th (Mon.) for 4 nights and 5 days of farming.
STAY JAPAN and Riverside Association collaborated together to bring the first of many “Farming Internship” experiences in Tokushima. This was in no way a light or easy experience but a 100% authentic, farm life Internship. All participants went through an application process and four were selected to join.
Waking up early and doing hard labor day in and out is normal for Tokushima farmers.. so the interns had a lot to learn. The farmers opened their homes and shared not only their farming knowledge and generous hospitality but also lots of sweat, dirt, and laughter.
Did you know that in order to harvest yuzu, you need to use a grapple-like stick to cut the stem from the leaf, one by one, all while avoiding the prickly branches. This gets tiring real quick, but farmers in Tokushima do this everyday.
A typical day:
6:00 - 7:00 Wake up & Eat breakfast
7:00 - 11:30 Deconstruct green houses and pick yuzu
11:30 - 12:30 Lunch Time
12:30 - 15:30 Search for mushrooms and harvest sweet potatoes
15:30 - 16:30 Load the truck with picked vegetables/fruits
16:30 - 17:30 Unload and take product to harvest plant
17:30 - 19:00 Dinner (homemade Japanese food)
19:00 - 20:00 Relax
20:00 - 22:00 Shower and prepare for next day
Hearty breakfast, delicious dinners, and organic foods are what made our interns happy ! There was no need to go to the supermarket when you have everything you need right in front of you.
"Every part of the internship I experienced was amazing! I think that this was such a great experience and that it must be spread out to many other foreign residents.Thank you for an unforgettable experience."
The Oba-Chan's were very kind. The taught me a lot, even though I can barely speak Japanese. They showed me how to do things and answered my questions. The food was so good, this week has been the best meals of my entire time in Japan. I had an amazing time, I am very grateful for the experience !"
"This was one of the coolest and most fulfilling experience that I have had in Japan. The host were overwhelmingly kind and I was able to learn a lot about the rural and farming community in Tokushima. I hope more foreigners in the future can join as well."
"2019 TOKUSHIMA INTERNSHIP PROGRAM"
Hearty breakfast, delicious dinners, and organic foods are what made our interns happy ! There’s no need to go to the supermarket when you have everything you need right in front of you.