Did you know that the green paste used in most sushi shops abroad, which goes by the name “wasabi,” is actually an imitation made of dyed horseradish? On this wasabi farm tour, you will discover the real wasabi root, which is rare and expensive even in Japan. Due to its specific growing conditions, authentic wasabi is quite special, and it must be enjoyed freshly grated, as its aroma dissipates after a few minutes. During this tour in Okutama, discover Japan’s precious fresh wasabi and taste the real deal.
The tour guide, David Hulme, is a former journalist from Australia who decided to move to Okutama in 2014 after chasing a story about a wasabi patch he stumbled upon deep in the woods. David made friends with the local farmers and is now an official guide for the area. He will take you to his wasabi patch, which was once abandoned but is now thriving under his care.
The group will meet at Kawai Station (Ome line), about 2 hours from central Tokyo by train. During the 20-minute walk to the wasabi farm, you’ll get to know each other and David will answer your questions. Along the way, there are many interesting plants and special features to observe. David will also discuss the context of wasabi – meaning some of the historical, cultural, economic and environmental aspects.
At the wasabi patch, you will take a look at the structure of the growing area, see how water is regulated, and carefully examine the plant itself. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to try using a dedicated wasabi farming tool, called a “kazusa,” to harvest a plant.
You will clean one or more wasabi roots on the spot and practice grinding it into a fine paste. Then you can try the freshest, tastiest, most pungent wasabi (usually paired with sliced roast beef – but we’ll take your preferences into account). On the walk back to Kawai Station, accompanied by the sound of the crystal clear stream that feeds the wasabi plants, you’ll feel at home in the calm of the mountain forest.
Knowledgeable tour guide
Tasting with fresh wasabi
Meeting Point and Meeting Time
Meet at Kawai Station (1:33 p.m. on weekdays, 1:10 p.m. on weekends and public holidays)
Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions in advance.
We will prepare roast beef to pair with wasabi for a tasting. If you prefer another food, feel free to bring your own food.
No charge for children age 12 and below.