Agri-education sweet for Japanese

LIHUE — Eight students and two instructors from the Iwamizawa Agricultural High School in Hokkaido, Japan, hit the ground running Friday.

“They already have a taste for local,” said Art Umezu, the county’s culture, sports and sister cities coordinator. “They flew in from Japan on Hawaiian Airlines and had loco moco for their meal.”

The students arrived for a three-day whirlwind tour focused on agriculture and agricultural technology as part of their studies. Hokkaido is the northern most province in Japan, known for its dairy farms and agriculture.

Students also visited Kauai Nursery and Landscaping before making a trip to the Haraguchi Taro Farm.

“I want to be a farmer,” said Ryohei Yamamoto, the student-designated group leader. “My parents are farmers and I will continue.”

Saturday’s itinerary starts with the Kauai Community Market for a study in the different types of produce before touring Kauai Coffee. Dinner at the Common Ground will feature an organic farm-to-table menu. The final day will be a tour of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens and Waimea Canyon before the students return to Japan.

“This is wonderful,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. “This is yet another way we can establish relationships with Japan.”

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