Tuesday, February 23
Kyle Sheaffer, Marc Bremer, & Grant Noland – Presiding Fellows
Today was an interesting trip to a soybean importer and Tofu manufacturer. We started the day by taking a bus south to Yokohama, where we visited Nisshin OilliO. This company is currently the world’s largest soybean and canola processor in the world. Nisshin Oillio crushes soybeans into cooking oil, soy sauce, for industrial uses, and for women’s cosmetics. It also exports by shipping the by-products (soybean meal and canola meal) to other areas of Japan. The bean meal is used for cattle and hog feed where as the canola meal is used for organic fertilizer.
After leaving Nisshin OilliO, We traveled by bus to Gotenba and enjoyed a wonderful box lunch on the way. In Gotenba we toured Shikoku Kakoki, a tofu manufacturing plant located at the foothills of Mt. Fuji. The company sources 50% of its soybeans from the USA, which are then processed into Tofu. It sells the product locally or via exports to the EU. Tofu can last between 12 days and 1 year depending on the packaging. Shikoku Kakoki also develops all its own processing and packaging machines.
Next, we made our way by bus to the JR Mishima station, where we boarded the famous bullet train for Tokyo. With speeds above 180 MPH it cut a three-hour bus ride into a 55 min Bullet train ride. All in all it was a very great and interesting day.