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3. Jul 2022

Hokkaido Trivia – Green Fields of Hokkaido

I just returned to Abashiri from Tokyo.  It was the green fields from Memanbetsu Airport to Abashiri City that greeted me after 7 weeks of city life😊

These green fields are mostly potatoes, sugar beets and wheat (with some pastures for the cattles).  This goes to entire Hokkaido.  They are Hokkaido’s leading 3 farming products, all of which top Japan’s total production. In the Tokachi area, down southeast, “beans” are added to this list and are referred to as “Hokkaido’s top 4 farming products”.  

It’s interesting to note that buckwheat, the ingredient for soba noodles, is another product that Hokkaido has the No1 yield in Japan (43% of total production).  Few Japanese are aware of this.  The reason goes back to the 19th century, Hokkaido’s pioneering history.  Buckwheat has a very short harvesting cycle of 3 months and further more can grow in poor soil. These characteristics of buckwheat fitted into Hokkaido’s agricultural conditions during its harsh pioneering days and eventually rooted itself into Hokkaido’s farming. 

The rolling fields change their “color” depending on the season.  When you know what’s being grown there, it makes the activity of landscape watching all the more interesting!  If you’re renting a car here, take some time to wander into the side roads 😊 (to be honest, this country landscape of green fields is what makes me stay here💓)

Looking down from the airplane
Rolling green fields – different shade of green for different crops
Potato (or spring sown wheat?) buds just sprouting
Wheat fields in the front and at the back