Source : www.tourist-note.com
Japan is a beautiful place with many different things to do besides exploring its vast cities and humble temples. Why not enjoy some time in the country by taking a trip to the fruit picking farms that lay outside the city limits?
Strawberries, despite the name, aren’t berries but what are called aggregate accessory fruits. Strawberries are usually farmed from December to May. Strawberries are grown throughout Japan, but the region of Tochigi is famous for them. One farm that you can visit in Tochigi is Sano Agricultural Town Strawberry Field.
The field is especially made for picking the fruit and you can get the specialty strawberry of the region, ‘Tochiotome’, there. It opens from around December until May and the price range is from 500 yen to 1,500 yen for children and from 1,000 yen to 1,700 yen for adults.
Another spot you can try if you don’t want to venture too much away from Tokyo is the Kawatsura Strawberry Farm in Chiba. It is one of the most popular and longest running of the strawberry farms and is foreigner friendly. It is open from around December until May and the price range is from 300 yen to 1,500 yen for children and from 1,100 yen to 2,000 yen for adults.
Kaki are Japanese Persimmons, a sweet fruit that is usually harvested in October and November. They are said to have been introduced from China and cultivated into their own variety here in Japan. Nakagomi Orchard offers many fruits for picking and there are some Kaki trees which are harvested during the autumn months. It opens from around October until November and the price is 500 yen for children and 1,000 yen for adults. It’s free for children who are 2 years old or younger. Check out their calendar of picking times to find the best month for picking Kaki.
Apples are one of the staple fruits of human agriculture and Japan has been known for their famous “Fuji” apples, though the origin of said apples apparently came from a city in Aomori.
Apple farms are usually harvested from August to November. Try picking apples in the region of Nagano, which has become one of the top producers of the fruit. Crown farm offers a chance to pick Fuji apples as well as other varieties that have been developed in the region. It is open from around October until December and the price is 500 yen for children and 1,300 yen for adults. It’s free for children who are 3 years old and younger.
Japanese pears are pears that can be eaten straight off the trees and do not require any ripening time. Japanese pears are produced in many places from around July to September, but Yokohama has a very special type of pear called ‘Hama Nashi’ which you can only find in that region.
One place to get your hands on Hama Nashi is at Kajiya-en, but please be aware that the website and site seems to be catered only to the Japanese so bring along a friend who can interpret for you. It is open from around August to September. To take away what you pick, the price is 700 yen per 1kg of fruit.
If you want to enjoy pear picking without the language barrier, try Blend Farm in Kyoto. Blend Farm also offers other fruits during other seasons, but there are tours here for English speakers should you find yourself short of a bilingual friend.
Peach is a very popular flavor in Japan and can be found in many drinks. Japanese peaches in particular are larger and softer than western peaches. Yamanashi is said to be the largest producer of the fruit that is harvestable from June to August. Try Misaka Farm for your peach picking needs. The facilities also offer a large area for BBQ and local cuisine, so it makes a great stop for numerous reasons. The price range is from 600 yen to 1,000 yen for children and from 900 yen to 3,500 yen for adults.
Mikan are known in the west as Satsuma oranges. They are smaller than the usual oranges and are seedless. Mikan are usually picked from October to December. They are mostly produced in Wakayama and Ehime, but a famous place to find Mikan is in Hamamatsu City where they are known to have the ‘Mikkabi Mikan’ which is supposed to be a very sweet variation of Mikan which you can especially find there. If you find yourself in the region, try Hamamatsu Fruit Park Tokinosumika.
It is a great place for first timers and offers more than just Mikan for its visitors to pluck off trees. It offers harvesting, beautiful Christmas lights and other options for the entire family. It is open from around October until December and the price range is from 350 yen to 700 yen. It is free for children under a certain age and for people that have certain conditions.
Although cherry trees are more than abundant in Japan, they do not produce fruit. They were introduced from the west and cultivated in the Yamagata Prefecture where they are the most famous. Japanese cherries are bright red, comparatively to their darker western counterparts, and are harvested between the months of June and July.
One of the greatest places for cherry picking is Ohashi Cherry farm, where their large fields are covered to protect you when it rains and there is even free wifi! It is open from around July until August and the price range is from 1,000 yen to 3,000 yen and free for children under a certain age. Ohashi Cherry farm is good for small children and foreign guests so it is a great place to take your family!
*For the current prices and opening time, please refer to the each field’s website.