Click here if you would like to read an overview of my 3 months wwoofing experience in Japan.
Fujino is located just an hours by train from Tokyo (about SGD$17). I didn't know that it is a Transition Town till i was there. How fortunate that I had gotten myself into such an interesting town. The permaculture centre of Japan is also located there! I felt really lucky to be able to join a tour conducted by the Founder, Mr Kiyokazu Shidara himself, around the permaculture farm. If you would like to find out more about The Permaculture Centre of Japan, do visit my friend Olivia's blog, she wrote a very detailed entry about it.
Being in a transition town and meeting Olivia, a fellow Singaporean and an environmental activist, who happened to be wwoofing there too, made me believe in the Law of nature and unity. This whole japan trip in fact, with the climax at Fujino, made me realised that we are all connected and that every action we make creates a ripple effect in the universe. Well i should probably share about it in another entry, let's get back to the main topic.
Fujino club was my last wwoofing place and i stayed there for a month. The good thing about wwoofing there (besides it being located at a very interesting town) is that YOU ONLY HAVE TO WORK FOR 6HOURS! haha. That's the standard wwoofing regulation but most places requires wwoofer to work at least 8 hours. At Fujino Club, work starts at 9am and ends at 4pm (there were only a few occasion where i had to work longer than that due to some event functions).
What's more, the owner of Fujino club provides 2 free onsen tickets per week to every wwoofer! The onsen is just 7mins walk away. How awesome?!
The only not so good thing is that the wwoofer's accomodation is not that well-insulated, so it gets really cold especially in Winter. But i hope they are doing something about it now, it seems that they were planning to do something about it when i was there.
A little more about the Job scope.. Fujino club has 3 main operations - Korean Restaurant, farm, and guest houses. We usually work at the farm on weekdays and restaurant on weekends and public holidays. At times we also had to clean the guest houses and wash and dry the bed sheets.
The little green house where we helped with transplanting.
I also helped with harvesting, washing and packing produce.
They grow their own tea leaves and sell them too.
Here's a picture of one of their guest house, caravan style with a bbq pit. Many people from Tokyo comes to Fujino on weekends to get a breather.
As for restaurant work, i usually helped prepare side dishes, pre-heat some of the pre-made meals, and of course lots of washing and cleaning. It gets extremely busy on sundays and public holidays, so it can be kinda tiring, but i love working in the kitchen, so it wasnt such a pain for me.
Fujino club holds a Morning Marche event twice every month where farmers of the town come by to set up booths to sell their produce. It's their way of showing encouragment to the young farmers by offering them more opportunities to sell their food.
Another interesting thing about this town is that there's a Steiner School there. That's also one of the main reason why many families, especially from Tokyo, decided to move to Fujino. '
The town is also well-known for it's artwork, you can find an art scupture every few kilometres there. Many artists live in Fujino and you can even get a chance to visit their art studio to learn some basic art skills from them.
The people at Fujino Club are extremely warm and friendly and each one of them seems to have a very interesting story behind why they choose to move to this town and their dreams. If only i could understand Japanese, which i'm currently working very hard on. Hopefully one day i can get back there to have a deeper conversation with each of them. :)
I definitely recommend you to wwoof at this town especially if you are interested in things like Transition town and Permaculture.