The Kamiyama town district is one of the most prominent plum production areas in Shikoku, which is a prefecture well-known for its plums. Plum flowers start to bloom in early March, so I’m visiting the Kamiyama Ruby Barrel Opening Event hosted by NPO Satoyama Mirai.
NPO Satoyama Mirai is a group put together by the Kamiyama region vitalization cooperative. Among other activities, the group adds new value to regional treasures, carries out product development, and does public relations and sales. One part of their activities is clearly visible with the Kamiyama Ruby.
Inspired by the fact that unripe plums used to be called “green diamonds”, plums that are pickled traditionally using only salt and perilla are sold under the name “Kamiyama Rubys”.
This barrel standing on a platform contains plums pickled last year… Even the barrel is made of plum tree timber.
I wonder if pickled plum barrel opening events are rare on the national level?
Clonk! After the barrel lid is split, this is what you see.
A safe, traditional Japanese food made without using any sweeteners, colorants, or additives. They are, however, made with a wish to convey this food culture to future generations. These pickled plums shine even brighter.
What do you think? To me, they’re starting to look more and more like rubies!
NPO Satoyama Mirai also sell a pickled plum “tasting set” that allows you to compare the various flavors of different farms. The set includes five different types (250g in total): ”Oume” (4L size Nanko plums, Farmer: Teichi Okubo), “Nanko” (Farmer: Kichiro Matsumoto), “Koume” (10-year products from Rinshu plums, Farmer: Michiko Kondo), “Rinshu” (Farmer: Hiroko Mori), “Koume” (Same: Kimiko Mori).
The set price is JPY1800 (+tax). As they are a limited edition of only 500 sets, be sure to get yours early!
NPO Satoyama Mirai
Location: Honuetsuno-147 Jinryō, Kamiyama-chō, Myōzai-gun, Tokushima-ken
Closed: Saturdays, Sundays, National holidays
Roadside station “Onsen no Sato Kamiyama” (until the end of May), Tokushima prefectural Awa Jurobe Mansion (Kawauchi-cho, Tokushima city), Nagaya Project (Okinohama-cho, Tokushima city)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Kumiko Tobita
Kumiko Tobita I was born in 1973 and currently live in Tokushima Prefecture. I have been working at a publishing company in Tokushima for over 10 years now, and in addition to being the editor-in-chief of a monthly magazine, I also am involved in producing mooks, business pamphlets and websites. I always want to learn as fast as possible about delicious, fun, or new things. Feel free to ask if you have any questions about autobiographies, self-publication editing, or e-books. Since April 2015, I have been a part of an area development group, and my lifework involves regional resources and emigration measures.
> A guided tour, including teatime, where you can see the former “Koshien Hotel” – “Frank Lloyd Wright type” architecture by Arata Endo. / Koshien Hall at Mukogawa Women’s University (Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo)
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
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