"Nakasatsunai Bean Village Museum" - Join me on a journey filled with beans!
Just a 30 minute drive from Obihiro is Nakasatsunai Village.
Here you can find a unique, Western-style house with a strikingly blue roof.
I headed to the front door to see what lay inside.
The name "Mamehata Takuo" is written by the door. but just who is this Mr. Takuo? Let me explain.
■ Real Name: Mamehata Takuo
■ Nickname: Mr. Bean
■ Occupation: Bean cultivation・Bean Research・Bean Book Author
■ Address: Nakasatsunai, Hokkaido
■ Hobbies: Exploration・Travel・Fishing
Originally built in 1952 as the office of Obihiro's potato seed breeding farm, the office was relocated and now the building is used as a bean museum!
The Tokachi plains are a major bean production area, growing everything from red beans, soy beans, and kidney beans, and Nakasatsunai's specialty is green soybeans.
Mr. Bean (a fictional character, by the way) opened up his home as a bean museum to help spread the joy of Tokachi bean agriculture.
The first room you enter is Mr. Bean's hobby room.
Here you can find many keepsakes that he has collected on his travels throughout the world.
Next is a living room complete with fireplace. This spacious room has a well decorated interior featuring a comfortable sofa with books and information on beans for you to peruse. There are even bean toys to play with!
If you look closely you'll see that the pattern on the sofa is actually beans!
Some of the books are hand-made, detailed looks at the different species of bean, while others are filled with bean trivia!
Next to the living room is a kitchen filled with bean-based recipe books, and in the rear of the house is a laboratory! Bottles full of beans from around the world line the tables, and there are globes and microscopes available to assist in your studying.
Mr. Bean's passion for Tokachi beans is easy to understand after spending time here.
Also available in the laboratory area is a special bean quiz! You can't help but come away with a greater knowledge and respect for these little guys.
In the corridor is a special exhibition of materials used to inspect beans and keep records. The history of bean cultivation and distribution is easy to see here, there are even telegrams from bean deals which took place long ago.
Who would have thought that such a unique museum is located in Tokachi! If you want a taste of the world of beans, be sure to stop by the next time you're in the area.
●中札内村豆資料館 (Nakasatsunai Bean Village Museum)
(Next to Roadside Station "Nakasatsunai" Minami 7-14, Odoriminami, Nakasatsunai Village)
Open from 10:00 to 5:00.
Open every day from April to October. (Closed on Mondays from November to March, and every day from December 30th to January 1st)
※Information from mid-June, 2013.
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Chikki)
Photographs by Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Megane.