AWAJI / SHIKOKU

Nanohana Maze

Spring has arrived on Awaji Island

There is a farming family in the Ono area of Sumoto city who have been making a really fun attraction every spring for the last 5 years. They plant a giant maze of Nanohana (rapeseed flowers) which is open to the public every school spring break.

The circumstances were a bit different this year, because of coronavirus, but they still think they had about 2500 visitors. As an outdoor activity it feels safer than something indoors, and people definitely want to get out of the house if they can. We didn’t have a recommended lockdown at this point.

Look at all that yellow!

We visited in the late afternoon and the sunshine was beautifully golden. Yellow is such a cheerful colour. I’ve just got a new camera so it was fun to try it out. (I’ve got a lot to learn!) I think this maze is great fun for photographers or photoshoots. Some kids had their ‘entering kindergaten’/ ‘entering elementary school’ etc. ceremonies this week and its popular to take pictures or have professional pictures taken at that time. Its often done with cherry blossom, but I think this maze would work well too, and a bit different!

Our little boy had a whale of a time running up and down the little paths. Totally full of beans.

Making nanohana oil

The flowers used in the maze will be made into nanohana oil (rapeseed oil) in about May. The farmers also work with local children to make oil, so they can learn about the process. isn’t that great?

Sumoto’s Nanohana Himawari Eco Project

(Sumoto’s Rapeseed oil and sunflower oil eco project)

Sumoto city has this ongoing carbon neutral project using and reusing rapeseed and sunflower oils. They collect old cooking oils to make into bus fuel.

https://www.city.sumoto.lg.jp/site/enepa/7618.html

There is more information here in Japanese.