KentaroThis was my first wwoofing
experience, and I am so glad it began with Kentaro San and his wife Makiko San.
The village of Toyomi is tiny, and I arrived as the cherry blossoms were still
in full bloom. Being a lover of nature, I felt I had died and come to heaven.
It is such a beautiful, serene place, and one could feel it pulsating with new
I am a woman, 62 years of age, and for me, I was not discriminated against
because of this. Kentaro does not expect you to do anything, he doesn’t do
Every day the fire had to be lit for the bath, which is a natural onsen Kentaro
has built himself, and is fed with the mountain water. It is amazing after a
hard days work.
I chopped wood, carried logs, lit the fire every day and helped keep it going.
I helped in the fields planting, hoeing, weeding, mulching.
Preparing fields for future rice planting, Raking and burning. I helped with
general maintenance around the studio and house. Every day was different. Even
though hard physical work, it was lots of fun.
I also got to pound mochi and help with an art installation.
Kentaro appreciates initiative, and will often leave you alone to complete your
It has been an unforgettable experience and I am forever grateful to Kentaro
for accepting me.
A final reflection as I walk up to the bath house this evening, with my new
friend, Chiro the wonder dog. It is that soft and glowy time of the day that I
truly love. The air is warm and it seems that every tree now is bursting with
renewed life. I am sad I won't get to see the finale. It is stunningly
beautiful and fills one with with such a sense of peace and harmony with
nature. I look out over the freshly dug fields and feel a sense of pride that I
contributed in some small way to the next crop of potatoes and rice.
I turn on the taps to fill the baths, and open the doors wide and gaze out over
tree tops to the mountains. The sun is slowly disappearing behind the mountains
bathing everything in its glow. Ah... feel the serenity!
Kentaro, is one of the hardest working men I have ever met. He never stops. I
have so much respect for his creativity, passion, and vision, and feel quite
privileged to have caught a tiny glimpse of his life and the dream he is
living. At 7O years old he has more drive and energy than someone half his age.
He is a creative genius, which is reflected in his many sculptures in his
studio, home , in the rice fields and in many parts of his village.
His wife Makiko is the most warm hearted, kind and generous woman. She loves
her sake and beer, has the most wonderful sense of humour, and is hilarious.
She is the most amazing cook and every meal was a work of art. She treated us a
special guests in her restaurant every day. Her love of cooking and sharing
that love made this foodies soul sing. My only regret is that I did not get to
spend any time in the kitchen with her to learn.
Hoziku, Kentaro's young student apprentice is also an extraordinary young
woman. She never complains, no matter how hard the task is that is set for her,
and has a beautiful happy nature. I loved working beside her. These people
really know and understand true happiness I feel. It exudes from them. They
welcome people from all over the world. I would surely encourage anyone to
spend some time with them.
I wish I knew more Japanese, as it was frustrating for me not to be able to
join in the conversation, however, laughter is the shortest distance between
any culture and speaks the same language. We certainly had many times with much