Located in in the middle of Okayama prefecture, Kibichuo town is one of Okayama prefecture’s foremost areas for blueberry production. Due to its low precipitation and large temperature differences characteristic of plateau areas, this region is perfect for blueberry cultivation. From early July to late August, during the blueberry-picking season, you can enjoy earnestly grown, freshly picked blueberries to your heart’s content.
Though fresh blueberries are only available during a short period in summer, roadside station Kayou located here in Kibichuo has a wide variety of blueberry products to enjoy all year round.
At Himitsu no Pan-ya-san (“Secret Bakery”) located within the roadside station, you can find rice flour bread made of locally grown rice.
Their most popular product is the “blueberry anpan” (anpan = bread rolls filled with sweet bean paste) shaped like a blueberry with its stem. The purple sweet bean paste is filled with blueberry juice, which makes the texture very juicy and moist. It’s a refreshing kind of sweetness and we recommend cooling them before eating.
The slightly pink-colored and cute “Blueberry taiyaki” (taiyaki = fish-shaped pancakes often filled with sweet bean paste) has a chewy texture packed with blueberry-flavored sweet bean paste. After taking one good bite, the blueberry’s faint sourness and fragrance spread throughout the mouth.
The blueberry curry, made by carefully simmering Kibi plateau grown onions and carrots to produce a deep flavor and then adding dried blueberries, is also an original roadside station product. Two types are available to purchase: the mild type and the spicy type.
At roadside station Kayou, you can experience jam making using 100%, top-quality, ripe blueberries grown earnestly on the Kibi plateau.
The freshly made jam is put in jars for you to take home and enjoy as you please.
The blueberry has been even been certified as an Okayama specialty. Abundant with a type of polyfenol (anthocyanin) that has antioxidant effects, along with protecting against eyestrain, they are said to have many health benefits.
How about a visit to roadside station Kayou to shop for original products made with sweet blueberries from ‘the sunny country’, Okayama.
Roadside Station Kayou
Address: 1974 Kita Kibichuo, Kaga district, Okayama prefecture
Business hours: Direct sales shops: 7.00-16.00, Takahara Market Kayou: 9.00-18.00, Restaurants: 9.00-20.00
Closed: New Year’s holidays
Parking area: 3 large sized vehicles, 45 Passenger vehicles
HP: www.eki-kayou.net/ (Japanese)
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