CultureExperience Fruit picking in Japan

Tourists from overseas may find fruits amazingly delicious in Japan. Fruit picking is a popular hands-on activity for those who love to pick and enjoy eating their own fruits.

Japanese fruits are said to be sweet and juicy. Pick-your-own fruit farms share their abundant harvests, allowing you the delight of picking and savoring premium fruits as much as you want. Thanks to the distinct four seasons and the weather variations, the country is fortunate to enjoy seasonal fruits all year round: strawberries in spring, peaches and cherries in summer, grapes in autumn, and mikan mandarin oranges in winter. Many facilities offer fruit picking of more than two different kinds of fruits, farming experience, soba buckwheat noodle making, and BBQ across the country. Each farm has its unique fruit picking packages. Some are located near urban areas with great accessibility. A holiday outing at a pick-your-own-fruit farm is one of the most popular leisure activities in Japan.

Strawberries

There are many strawberry varieties in Japan. Large and sweet Japanese strawberries are the most popular fruits at pick-your-own tours. There are many strawberry farms in the country.

Season: Jan-May
Areas: Kyushu to Hokkaido

Typical fruit picking programs
Most of the farms have “all you can eat in 30 minutes” packages. You can pick and eat your fruits within designated areas. Visitors usually eat 30 to 40 strawberries on site in about 30 minutes. Some farms offer different strawberry varieties to compare the tastes and sweetened condensed milk for dipping.

Varieties
Tochiotome
Originated in Tochigi Prefecture, which is known for being the No.1 strawberry production area in Japan, Tochiotome boasts the leading share of the Japanese strawberry market. Slightly crunchy textured flesh is sweet and not very acidic.

Toyonoka
Toyonoka
Fragrant and juicy, Toyonoka has a good balance between sweetness and acidity. It is a popular variety in western regions of Japan, such as Kyushu.

Amao
A recently developed variety from Fukuoka. It is known for its large, deep red flesh and sweet, rich juice. Amao is a premium strawberry that is cultivated only in Fukuoka Prefecture.

Grapes&Cherries&Peaches&Mikan Mandarin Oranges

Grapes
Yamanashi Prefecture is the leading producer of grapes in Japan. Some facilities
offer you wine tasting at their wineries and fruit picking in one visit.

Season: Aug-Oct
Areas: Kyushu to Hokkaido

Typical fruit picking programs
Most of the farms offer “all you can eat” in 40 minutes or with unlimited time.

Varieties
Kyoho
Native to Japan, Kyoho is a black grape that grows large and is very sweet.
Shine Muscat
Shine Muscat is a large, green grape with a high sugar content and edible skin.

Cherries
Japanese cherries are smaller and tenderer than the overseas varieties.

Season: Jun-Jul
Areas: Kyushu to Hokkaido.
Yamagata Prefecture is the
largest cherry producer in Japan.

Typical fruit picking programs
Most of the farms ofer “all you can eat” in 40 minutes or with unlimited
time. You can enjoy several diferent cherry varieties at many farms.

Varieties
Sato-Nishiki
One of the typical cherry varieties in Japan. It has a mellow texture with a good balance between sweetness and acidity.
Beni-Shuho
This recently developed variety is larger and sweeter than Sato-Nishiki.


Peaches
Peaches that have a sweet aroma and are darker in skin color are sweeter and richer in favor.

Season: Jul-Aug
Areas: Honshu (main island) and Hokkaido. Okayama and Yamanashi prefectures are famous for their peach production.

Typical fruit picking programs
You pick your own peaches or, at some facilities, you can eat already picked ones as much as you want. Some farms share with you freshly picked peaches as a souvenir at the end of the visit.

Varieties
Hakuto (white peach)
Hakuto has a delicate sweetness with a hint of astringency.
Hakuo
Hakuo is a variety with juicy flesh and less acidity.


Mikan Mandarin Oranges
Mikan mandarin oranges have soft skin that you can peel with your fngers. Eating mikan while sitting warm at kotatsu (heating appliance) is one of the traditional scenes in winter of Japan.

Season: Nov-Dec
Areas: Kyushu to Kanto. Wakayama, Ehime and Shizuoka prefectures are famous for their mikan production.

Typical fruit picking programs
Most farms allow you to walk around freely and pick the fruit in their huge orchards.

Varieties
Unshiu mikan
Unshiu mikan is a typical Japanese variety. Mikan are classifed accord-
ing to their harvest times, from the early season variety Wase Unshiu,
through the mid-season Nakate Unshiu, to the late season Okute Unshiu.

Enjoy fruit picking in Japan!

On some sites, you can pick fruits that you may never have seen before or experience interesting activities other than fruit picking.

Yamagata: cherries, grapes, peaches
Okayama: grapes, peaches
Wakayama: mikan
Yamanashi: grapes, peaches
Tochigi: strawberries

Akizuno Garten (Wakayama Prefecture)
Built on the site of a closed school building, Akizuno Garten is a green tourism facility for city visitors to experience farm activities and enjoy meeting and exchanges with local people in a rural setting. The tours include harvesting of mikan as well as making citrus jam and cakes.
Kii-Tanabe Sta. on the JR Kisei Line → Local bus →
Kami-akizu Bus Stop → 5 min on foot
http://www.agarten.jp/(Japanese version only)

Farm Park Shigisan Nodoka-mura (Nara Prefecture)
The facility offers you various experiences such as strawberry, grape, blueberry and mikan picking, vegetable harvesting, konjak making, and soba making.
Shigisanshita Sta. on the Kintetsu Ikoma Line → Local bus → Shigisanmon Bus Stop → 5 min by courtesy bus
http://www.sigisan-nodokamura.com/ (Japanese version only)

Nakagomi Orchard (Yamanashi Prefecture)
The farm offers picking of various fruits such as cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, pears, grapes, prunes, apples and persimmons, as well as on-farm experiences. You can even enjoy picking two or three different fruits in one visit.
JR Kofu Sta. → Local bus → Mishina Bus Stop → 5 min on foot
http://nakagominouen.com/en/

*The period of harvest may change depending on the weather condition. We suggest checking before going.
*Let’s respect the following rules during the fruit picking experience.
1 All the participants must pay their admission fee before going inside the farm. 2 You are not allowed to bring the fruits back with you without permission from the farm. 3 You are allowed to pick only the fruits within predetermined areas. 4 You are not allowed to pick fruits not ready to be eaten. 5 Please take only as much as you can eat and eat all the fruits picked. 6 In addition, let’s respect the farm rules.

Fruits picking seasons
Strawberries: Jan-May
Cherries: Jun-Jul
Blueberries: Jun-Aug
Peaches: Jul-Aug
Grapes: Aug-Oct
Pears: Aug-Oct
Mikan: Nov-Dec

During the period which goes from January to April you can also taste strawberry sweets!

Orchards Only 78 min from Tokyo! Enjoy Fruit Picking in Chichibu, Saitama!

You can find quite a few pick-your-own fruit farms near Tokyo. The Chichibu region of Saitama Prefecture is one of the most popular areas where you can enjoy fruit picking all year round. The towns and villages are dotted with tourism farms offering picking of various fruits, including strawberries from winter through spring, blueberries in summer, and grapes in autumn. The region is of easy access from the metropolitan area: only 78 minutes from Ikebukuro Station by the limited express train “Red Arrow” of Seibu Railway.

An Italian man experiencing fruit picking!
“This is my first time to pick and enjoy fruits in a farm. I was completely satisfied to have eaten more than 20 strawberries in 30 minutes. They were really sweet and delicious. I would love to come again in another season!”

Fruit picking seasons in Chichibu
Strawberries: Dec-Jun
Blueberries: Jun-Aug
Plums: Jul-Aug
Grapes: Aug-Nov
Apples: Sep-Nov

Visiting Komatsuzawa Leisure Farm
Tochiotome strawberries and Shine Muscat grapes are the most popular varieties at this farm. The large-scale site has a number of facilities. A fruit picking and soba buckwheat noodle making package is popular among tourists.

1408 Oaza Yokoze, Yokoze-machi, Chichibu County, Saitama (The free shuttle bus service is available from Yokoze Sta.)
TEL: 0494-24-0412
Fruit picking and soba making package: sign-up starts from 9:30 ends at 14:00.

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