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Olive Grove in Shiogama’s Sabusawa Island

This is Hizashi, in trademark round glasses as always.

Sabusawa Island belongs to Urato Archipelago in Shiogama.
From Shiogama Marine Gate to the island, it took about 50 minutes by boat. During the cruising, you can enjoy the beautiful view of islands floating in Shiogama.


Surprisingly, in Sabusawa Island, there is a olive grove which normally grows in a warm climate.

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From a hill in the island, you are able to look over widespread rice fields.


According to the village mayor Shimadzu, Sabusawa Island is the only place which has rice fields in Shiogama.

Mr. and Ms. Shimadzu

Cultivating rice in the island comes with a lot of challenges. As an example, rainfalls are only water supply for rice farming. Therefore, rice farming there has developed in its own unique way.
Also, there’s sake called “Sabusawa” made from Sabusawa’s rice.


In the Edo era (1603-1868), the island flourished as a port of the Date Domain.


In that island, we found a olive grove.

This time we interviewed Naoki Watanabe, Shiogama native rock singer, who has supported the island since the wake of the 2011 disaster.

He noted it is sad to see no one come to this island three years after the disaster, and by taking actions, he wanted to provide people with motivation to visit Sabusawa Island.
Planting olives was one of those actions.
He hope to grow olive trees and foster a new business of Sabusawa, though there’s no precedent. He said he grows the trees with love.


The olive trees were planted in land that Mr. Watanabe rented from a local, and now they grew to 20 centimetre high.
Also you can find wooden name plates next to the trees.

Those names are of people who cultivate the field. Mr. Watanabe pointed out that with your name beside olives, you felt like putting more love into them, and he thumbed up. There are some names of famous people, too. These efforts surely attract more people to Sabusawa Island.


Ultimately, he wanted to make olive Sabusawa’s specialty. “As a new business of the island, I’m happy if new workers come here. It vitalizes the island.”
Mr. Watanabe cultivates a olive grove with sunshine in his heart.
Until an olive tree bears fruits, it takes 2 to 5 years. I’m looking forward to seeing full of adorable olives in Sabusawa Island.




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