I learned something unexpected. A local told me the details about this crop on Tanegashima.
"The island is a sugar cane empire.
It leads Japan in yield per square meter.
And farmers on Amami Oshima and Okinawa strive to match what Tanegashima has achieved."

When I asked for more information, I was surprised at what I found.
I was told that Tanegashima has a research facility for raising the quality of sugar cane across Japan.
Also, Tanegashima is the most advanced island when it comes to sugar cane.
My image of the plant suddenly changed.


The Okigahamada Brown Sugar Workshop is the place to observe and get a hands-on experience making this sugar cane empire's brown sugar.
All of the manufacturing at the workshop is done by hand in the old-fashioned way.
The Okigahamada Workshop is the only place with a proper production line in operation, so I recommend it if you're a stickler for authenticity.


The interior is what struck me most during the tour.
A roaring wood-burning fire lit and animated the workshop in a beautiful light, as if a deity had flashed into the room.
The setting looked like a re-creation from a bygone era.
I don't think there are many scenes that are beautiful because of the presence of people, but this workshop is one of them.

The Okigahamada Brown Sugar Workshop. It is a treat to see, even if you do not participate in the hands-on experience.

Okigahamada Brown Sugar Workshop
Note: Be sure to contact them ahead of time if you're interested in visiting or having a tour.

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