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IPPS Japan Scholarship 2013

IPPS Japan Scholarship 2013

Alice Buschl in Japan

I haven't been overseas before so to find out that I had been chosen to visit Japan on an exchange trip was an exciting chance of a life time.

I left Nelson on Sunday October 5th flying to Auckland then to Hong Kong before arriving in Narita, Japan. I was met by Mr Ishii, a member of IPPS Japan; we travelled on the train from Narita through Shinagawa to Nagoya. I was met by Mr Uchida and we drove to his farm in Suzuka where I stayed for 3 days. I worked on his strawberry farm planting strawberries ready for Christmas harvest.

I left Suzuka on Wednesday and travelled to Tsu where Mr Fujimora from Akatsuka group took me out for tea at a traditional Japanese restaurant, no shoes and sitting on the floor was a different experience for me.

The next day I travelled to Makuhari Messe to visit the International Flower Expo (IFEX), what a huge expo! It took a whole day to walk around with stalls from cut flowers to nursery plants, products, tools, water purifying systems, irrigation and machinery. I spent the evening with Mr Aoyama, eating sashimi for tea - raw fish, octopus, prawns, and squid. 

The following day, Friday, I was met by Mrs Mizutani who took me to Tokyo by train for 2 days of site-seeing. It was amazing, so many people, such a busy place and stunning at night with all the buildings lit up. We visited Mikimoto's pearl shop (Mikimoto is the Japanese king of pearls) some necklaces were $80K NZD! Amazing jewellery though!

On the Saturday we travelled to a different part of Tokyo and shopped at the markets, so many things crammed into tiny shops.

We then went from Tokyo station (3 million people travel through there every day) to Hamamatsu where I was met by Mr Hiyami and his friend Mrs Midori. The next day we went to a traditional Japanese festival, people from different tribes pulling carts by hand, playing music dressed in kimonos.

After the festival we visited Kakegawa Castle, an amazing work of art built in 1487, 4 stories high.

Monday rolled around quickly and we visited the Hamamatsu bird park, a huge variety of tropical birds live there and we were even in time to watch a falconeering show. From there I was driven to meet Mr Suzuki where I worked on his herb farm for two days, trimming and planting herbs in pots. During this time a typhoon was passing through, heavy rain and high winds. I left Hamamatsu on Thursday 17th October and travelled to Gifu where Mr Onishi picked me up and we visited Gifu castle where we took the gondola up the hill then walked up to the castle where you could see for miles in all directions.

We then visited Mr Onishi's business, Central Rose Company which is the largest potted mini rose company in Japan. I worked Friday for Central Rose packing roses for market, they produce 2 million roses per year, a very efficient operation.On Saturday the IPPS conference began with seminars during the day and a formal dinner and auction in the evening. Sunday was a day of field trips to cut flower growers, a hydroponic lettuce farm, Central rose company, hot house tomato growers then to the train station where I travelled with Mrs Mizutani to Kyoto. We had 2 days in and around Kyoto and Nara visiting temples, shrines and my favourite The Golden Temple.

On Tuesday the 22nd October Mrs Mizutani and I travelled from Kyoto back to Nagoya by train to the airport. It was a full on two weeks but extremely enjoyable and an experience of a life time, such a beautiful country with so much history. I feel honoured that I was chosen to represent NZ Horticulture in Japan, and am thankful to those who supported and encouraged me.

July 2013

Alice Buschl from Nelmac Nursery in Nelson has been selected as this year's recipient of the IPPS exchange scholarship and will attend the IPPS Japan region's conference in Gifu this October. Alice was a member of the 'Five pack' in 2010 at the Blenheim conference and has attended conferences since then.

Currently employed at Nelmac in Nelson as customer services administrator and production co-ordinator, Alice has spent the last six years in the nursery industry, starting with a casual position at Bay Nurseries in Nelson. Full time employment and an apprenticeship then followed for the next four years before Alice was given the job of running the tree and shrub department for a year before joining Nelmac, also in Nelson in May last year.

The exchange will allow Alice to see how nurseries are run in Japan with a view to bringing this knowledge back home to New Zealand. "I am always looking at ways to improve how we do things at Nelmac" says Alice.