Visitors to Nara when coming here will most likely visit many temples and historic sites around Nara, and only see the countryside speeding by when they travel around the prefecture on trains. Most of Nara prefecture is made up of mountains, valleys, and rice fields. It is fairly rare for the average city person to come into contact with farm animals and see them up close.
Well, you can do that in Nara city!
Located in Hannyaji-cho, just opposite the Hannyaji temple, is Uemura farm, which has been operating as a working farm for four generations, since the sixteenth year of Meiji (around the early 1900’s). Run by Kurose Reiko, the farm has over thirty head of cattle and in one day produces over 1500 bottles of milk. Refrigerated trucks come from as far away as Osaka and Kyoto in order to take delivery of fresh milk, as well as deliveries made to local households. The farm also supplies local hotels and restaurants with their milk.
The size of the farm is about 1800 “tsubo” (one tsubo is about 3,952 square yards). The cowsheds also originate from the Meiji period and are still standing.To help run the farm, about fifteen "special needs" staff are on hand to assist with feeding and milking the cows. As well as the cows, there is also a goat and a small pony to welcome visitors.
Unfortunately due to sanitary regulations and to avoid possible transmission of diseases, it is not possible for visitors to help in milking cows, though the small shop at the front entrance it is possible to buy milk and snow cones made from the farms milk. Sponge-like cakes such as Madeleine and financiers, as well as strawberry, chocolate or vanilla “monaka” (a kind of Japanese sweet made from rice) are also on sale at the shop or can be delivered, 1600 yen for a pack of ten.
Reservations are not required but if you plan to eat in the restaurant then a reservation may be a good idea. The farm also offers lessons and lectures for interested parties available on request, and this can be done through the farm's website at http://www.uemura-bokujyo.co.jp