Wandering around after our meeting, while waiting for my bus, I chanced upon another ancient, artisanal food producer, making wasanbonto sugar. This is the "king of sugars"—primarily sold as ultrafine sugar bonbons, little balls the size of peas wrapped in tissue paper and made by hand from sugarcane for over two centuries. Legend has it that a pilgrim from southern Kyushu, at that time the only place allowed to grow sugarcane in Japan, walked all the way to Shikoku smuggling a chikuto sugarcane plant and, upon arrival, collapsed and died. They planted the sugarcane, and as it turned out, the soil and water here were perfect for its cultivation. The cane flourished, and when processed, by squeezing, then boil- ing the juice, and then stone-pressing the syrup to refine it, it produced much smaller, powder-sized crystals than the same plants grown in Kyushu. At ¥3,000 (around $40) per 2.2 pounds, it is today the most expensive sugar in Japan. I just had time, as my bus came into view, to buy some of the company's bonbons, which were extraordinarily fine. They dissolved quickly on my tongue, leaving a faintly flowery, sweet aftertaste.