Kagoshima’s hands-on farm Tenonde Farm opens restaurant, serving freshly picked vegetables

PUBLISHED Dec 20, 2021

Masatsugu and Rie Imamura

Tenonde Farm, which offers agricultural experiences in Chuzancho, Kagoshima City, opened a farmhouse restaurant on December 4.

Imamura and his wife run the farm and have been providing opportunities for children and their parents to experience hands-on agricultural activities such as planting and harvesting all year round. This autumn, they expanded the farm experience to include cooking and built a new restaurant to offer food prepared with freshly harvested vegetables.

Masatsugu, the husband, built the wooden deck overlooking the farm himself. The main room of the farmhouse has a large table in the center, which seats eight people. There are also two private rooms: the room on the side overlooking the farm has one table seating four people, and the room facing the road has a tatami room for four to five people.

The Tenonde Lunch (1,200 yen), the main item for lunch, changes monthly and includes a main dish of seasonal vegetables, rice cooked in an iron pot, salad, side dishes, and a dessert. December’s main dish is a hot pot of radish, shiitake mushroom, Chinese cabbage, green onion, and spinach. It is served with a dipping sauce such as ponzu or mikan orange grown at the farm.

For Christmas, Cream Stew, with chicken and kohlrabi, will be added to the menu, and the main dish for January will be Oden using daikon radish. The dressing and pickles to accompany the dishes are made from wax gourds grown on the farm by members of the Potager Femme, an organization of female farmers in Kagoshima City. These items are also available for purchase at the restaurant.

In addition to Tenonde Lunch, Pizza Lunch (850 yen) is also available. The tearoom menu includes juice made from mikan oranges grown in the orchard, cake sets, and Matcha tea sets.

Rie, the wife, is the chef. Although she had no experience in the restaurant business, she has often suggested recipes to customers of the farm’s vegetable stand, as they often asked her how to eat a particular vegetable. “The flavor is enhanced by combining several vegetables. But I thought it would be easiest for people to understand it by actually eating the food, so I decided to prepare and serve the food myself,” Rie said. “Since the opening, things have been hectic, but we have had people who help us with the farm work knowing that we are busy and people who stop by and give us advice. Everyone is helping us as if it was their own.”

Masatsugu added: “We live in an age where we can get anything we want at the supermarket. Even if a child is born into a farming family, he or she is rarely involved in farming. I hope that through this experience, children will learn how the food they eat every day is grown, and at the same time, I hope to let them know how delicious freshly picked vegetables are. In the future, we plan to install a pizza oven at the farm.”

The restaurant is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. They recommend reservations, and customers can choose their lunch starting time from 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., or 2:00 p.m. Reservations can be made by phone and Instagram DM.

  • Inside the farmhouse restaurant at Tenonde Farm

  • A private room of the farmhouse restaurant at Tenonde Farm

  • A private room of the farmhouse restaurant at Tenonde Farm

  • Tenonde Lunch from the Tenonde Farm restaurant

  • Pizza Lunch from the Tenonde Farm restaurant