EUROPEA students to Kagoshima, Japan!

March 7, 2020
By: Drahomíra Vargová | juditcovic

Cultural & Practical training in Kagoshima, Japan

Have a safe journey, Natalies!  

 In March, two of our students, Natália& Natália, are travelling to Japan to join the company PRAHA & GEN Barrel Valley providing the practical and cultural training for our Secondary School of Veterinary Studies. It is located on Kyushu, in Kirishima city of Kagoshima Prefecture. It will be the 15th turn of our students who will work, live and represent the school in far Japan for next 5months.


The cooperation started in 2013 when we were offered an opportunity to send agricultural & veterinary students there by an interesting contract. Dr. Masahiro Yamamoto, Honorary Consul Of Slovakia in Kagoshima and Representative Director of Biogenkoji Research Institute, visited our school, provided us a lot of materials about their Koji research and introduced his vision of future cooperation.Koji

Genichiro Kawachi, the grandfather of the current director Dr. Yamamoto, discovered a particular type of Koji called Aspergillus Kawachi (White koji mold ) and popularized its use with the production of high quality Shochu and other Japanese health food products. Nowadays, the company activities are really wide. Biogenkoji Research Institute developed and established the GEN system which recycles by-products and wastes obtained from food production, manufacturing and consumption by adding Koji fermentation (distillery waste, tea by-products, tofu waste, dead fish, rendering waste and etc.) into dry feed for livestock. They also introduced a technology in projects utilizing raw garbage in pig farming. For human consumption they have developed health drinks and food products from e.g. rice, sweet potatoes, soy beans, bananas using Koji fermentation and brewing technology.The company PRAHA & GEN Barrel Valley

It is a zero emission theme park thriving on the production of local Shochu & blend of Koji and Czech Pilsner culture. It consists of three different parts – The restaurant, the laboratory and the pig farm – GENKI. Our students work there on the pig farm they describe as physically demanding work and in the laboratory where the interesting experiments are run.


Lately there have been three different types of experiments being done on animals. The mouse experiment (a target: hair growth – a new hair growth promoter was invented). The pig experiment (a target: research on the effect of koji on the pig´s digestive system, meat quality, reducing fecal moisture content and odour and producing a plant fertilizer). The last one has been the broiler experiment, the target is almost the same – research on how Koji effects the broilers meat quality.

Unforgettable memories

It is not easy for our students to spend much time away from home. One thing is for sure – they usually say it was an experience which undoubtedly taught them a lesson or two about life and they  brought home unforgettable memories and experiences  that they will keep forever.

The Japanese side covers all travel expenses, health insurance and also the quality lunches & accommodation are free. The students usually work 6-days per week (they get salary) and as a part of cultural training they spend days off travelling around Kyushu admiring the beauty of Japanese nature, tasting their delicious cuisine, walking around in huge malls and visiting traditional festivals.

We hope to maintain our established, friendly relationship and we are looking forward to further cooperation with our Japanese partners.


Have a safe journey, Natalies!



Acknowledgements: many thanks to EUROPEA-Slovakia, Henrieta (SK) and Drahomira (SK) 🙂

Photos: from Henrieta (SK) and Drahomira (SK)

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