Takachiho Farm: fun hands-on experience of life on a farm

The Kirishima volcano system in Kagoshima Prefecture is fascinating for the variety of landscapes visitors can experience.  The flanks of some of the volcanoes are covered with grassland conducive to raising cattle.  Takachiho Farm is a kind of “show farm” within sight of Mt. Kirishima where visitors can see a working dairy and experience several aspects of farm life.  In our increasingly urbanized world, such experiences could even be characterized as unusual.

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The farm is open to visitors every day during ordinary business hours (generally closed the third Tuesday of the month).  Visitors can wander the farm and observe its occupants and activities.

There is a small “petting zoo” with sheep, goats and rabbits, a popular experience for children. Or check out feeding time for the milk cows.

On weekends and holidays there are various activities available to give visitors farming experience.  Among these are churning butter (40 min.; JPY500), making ice cream (40 min.; JPY1,000), making sausages (40 min.; JPY800), and even milking a cow (15 min.; no charge).

The farm also has a souvenir shop and a couple of restaurants.  Among the items sold at the shop is soft-serve ice cream in the specialty flavor of “milk”, pure and unadulterated.  But if milk flavor seems mundane, soft serve also comes in apple-camembert.

Since the farm is fundamentally a working dairy, the dairy’s products dominate in the souvenir shop.  Milk, cheese, and yogurt are particularly popular; bread, cookies, and cheesecake are also available. In a nearby farm building it’s even possible to observe the milk, from the dairy’s own cows, being pasteurized and processed.

As you might expect, the farm’s restaurants particularly feature beef and mutton dishes, including table-top barbecue and, in the casual restaurant, hamburgers and pizza (okay, so it’s not all beef and mutton).

Although most visitors probably wouldn’t notice it, the farm also has its own biomass plant that generates electricity from methane for an environmentally friendly outcome.

Besides the chance to experience a farm, some visitors may come just for the scenery or to enjoy the great outdoors.  The farm has a hot spring footbath with a spectacular view of the Kirishima volcanoes for those visitors or for visitors who’ve simply wandered the farm enough to become footsore.

As a working farm, there is always something interesting going on at Takachiho Farm.  As you might expect, the scenery and the farm’s activities vary with the season.  The farm’s meadows might be snow-covered in Winter, but covered with Sunflowers in Summer and Cosmos in Autumn.  And, of course, there are cherry blossoms in Spring.

Visitors could spend a few hours or an entire day experiencing life on the farm at Takachiho Farm.

© 2020 Jigsaw-japan.com and Vicki L. Beyer
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