On the coast of Chiba, a secret herb garden thrives

Surrounded by the blooming greenery of Herb Chikura, Hiromi Sasaki couldn’t be more in her element.

While leading a small group of tourists through his lush, fragrant farm along the southeast coast of the Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture, Sasaki teaches his guests what feels like advanced lessons in botany. She could invite them to snack on a fresh raspberry or shiso (perilla leaf) that meander through the winding paths. She could then analyze the differences in texture and flavor between her different varieties of sage and mint, or explain the subtle seasonal changes of particular herbs and plants among the more than 100 she grows. Whatever his mood, you are bound to learn something.

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Terri S. Tomasini