The Japanese Silk Road
The soil of Oya is perfect for growing delicious sweet potatoes.
A representative from Sokan, a maker of dried potatoes, informed us that storing Oya sweet potatoes in the underground spaces of Oya mines helps increase their sugar concentration.
Dried potatoes are made almost entirely by hand, and this can be a very time-consuming process. It’s more efficient to use big potatoes when making dried potatoes, but that means the sweet potato seedlings must be planted early and given plenty of time to grow in the fields.
But seedlings shouldn’t be planted before May 3rd, as frost may ruin the crops.
Therefore, Sokan has worked together with Mr. Onoguchi, the union leader, to teach local farmers on how to plant the seedlings. This effort has paid off, as now 20 to 30 local farmers have started planting Beni-Haruka, a strain of sweet potato known for its golden color when dried.
If you ever come across an exceptionally sweet dried potato with a transparent gold color, it may be one that was matured in the vast Oya mines.