In a small western Japan village known for little more than its ancient burial mounds, an asparagus-loving Sri Lankan farmer has put her heart and soul into showing she belongs, despite sticking out like a green thumb.

Udara Kametani, 36, has grown a wide variety of vegetables in Asuka, Nara Prefecture, since she started out as the only foreign female farmer in her area about four years ago, but it is asparagus that has become her true passion.

"I fell in love with it," she said with a smile when asked to describe her relationship with the vegetable.