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The price is only more worth it if you go in groups. The guide is very helpful and informative. Even volunteered to call for a cab back to station from the farm. She also helped to get discount for wasabi ice cream.
Eriko is fantastic! As a pickling geek I wanted to learn all I could about Japanese fermented foods. Eriko answered all my questions, and explained all about tsukemono (Japanese pickles), miso making, soy sauce making!, nukazuke (pickles in rice bran), amazake. It is possible to learn about sake as well.Eriko catered the day to my requests and pre-arranged everything. We visited communal organic gardens in an idyllic setting by a river. We watched rice being husked in a communal (coin operated!) rice processing facility where locals bring their rice to be husked . We had a home visit with a Japanese cook who showed me her special traditional pickling techniques and had the most splendid and delicious lunch with a full explanation not only of the unique foods but also the traditions in setting the table and eating it. I chose miso making over sake making as a last activity and Eriko was very happy to arrange the day to my needs. She is a good communicator and even researched some of my questions further and emailed me with more history.I had travelled in Japan for almost a month before getting to Nagano and still tasted so many new foods on my day with Eriko. I am an experienced gardener and cook and I learned so much about traditional Japanese vegetable food preparation and gardening from our one day together. I would spend much more time in Nagano,do a temple stay here, on my next visit and absolutely use Eriko as my guide. I recommend this trip and guide whole heartedly
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