Farm shop opens with 250 varieties of hibiscus flowers

Farm shop opens with 250 varieties of hibiscus flowers

On December 13, at Yaka, Kin Town, Takashi Gushiken (left) and Masatetsu Nakama (center) welcome visitors to see their colorful flowering trees.

December 19, 2012, Ryukyu Shimpo

This December, the Yaka Farm Shop, in Yaka, Kin Town, opened selling more than 250 different varieties of hibiscus from all around the globe. An array of colorful flowers welcome the customers to the shop, which is a joint project run by the owner, Takashi Gushiken, and his former teacher Masatetsu Nakama who taught him at Hokubu Agricultural High School.

Visitors to the shop can enjoy over 250 different varieties of hibiscus, 90 types of croton plants as well as 60 kinds of subtropical fruit trees. Opening the farm shop was Gushiken’s idea, something he had dreamed of doing for decades. He has worked in the landscape business and has been looking for ways to help vitalize the community by making the most of what nature offers.

The farm has a great view. From the bottom of the farm, Kin Bay expands out to the horizon, and if you look up the mountainside you can enjoy a view of the subtropical fruit trees with Mount Yaka in the background. The tree in the middle of the farm is a 50 year-old cork tree that Gushiken planted 30 years ago for this very occasion.

“I always wanted to have my own farm,” said Gushiken. After retiring, he visited Hawaii and Malaysia to learn more about hibiscus. The impact of the previous typhoons was considerable and has an adverse effect on the plantation, but Gushiken says, “This is also a part of nature. At some stage typhoons will work to our advantage.” His son Tatsuya also helps the farm.

Nakama said, “The flowering trees are still in the growing stage, but I enjoy seeing how they grow and blossom.” Gushiken also commented, “We welcome visitors to the farm to see how the flowers are blossoming in this beautiful environment.”
The farm is open from 9:00am to 6:00pm. Yaka Interchange is the nearest exit of the Okinawa Expressway. From there, head towards Onna on Route 88 and turn right before the Yaka Tunnel. High-school students and adults are asked to pay a 300 yen contribution as an entrance fee.

(English translation by T&CT, Kyoko Tadaoka and Mark Ealey)

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