A guide to fruit picking in Japan

Coming from America, fruit was just another item on the shopping list for me, with nothing special or celebratory. Japan takes its fruit seriously, but you can even spend an entire trip participating in an activity called “fruit picking” or “fruit hunting.” You’ll visit a local farm and pay a fee to pick and eat as many fruits as you can for the day. You usually pay an extra fee if you want to take something home.

Each season offers different fruits and farms to go wild and live your best fruitful life. Depending on your appetite, fruit picking can be an inexpensive way to get your fill of fruit at a bargain price!

So where do we go and what time of year do we show up at the farm to look for delicious treats? Here’s a cheat sheet to keep up with what’s in season.

Strawberries from January-February

In mid-January, many farms open for the strawberry harvest. Photo: iStock/ GF Days

In the cold winter months, strawberries are a delight with their wonderful taste. Since strawberries are often grown in greenhouses, the harvest window for strawberries extends over a few months. In mid-January, many farms start opening strawberry picking opportunities and it usually ends in late February.

My top recommendation for strawberry picking is to visit the Greenarium on Awajishima for a unique experience. The Greenarium takes strawberry picking to the next level by offering a relaxing picnic experience where visitors can lie under a cloud of strawberries floating overhead. At the same time they treat themselves to fresh berries from the region. You can also order shortcakes to decorate with your strawberries. It looks and feels like you are in your very own strawberry paradise.

IMG_20220223_142429_2.jpg

Visit the Greenarium for a unique experience. Photo: Lilly Seiler

If you’re looking for something closer to Tokyo, try Kawatsura Strawberry Farm, located about an hour and a half away in Chiba Prefecture. Like Greenarium, this farm uses pollination by honey bees and special gardening techniques that allow plants to grow and give their strawberries an exquisite flavor.

11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m

1550-10 Nojimatokiwa, Awaji, Hyogo – map

Price for Ichigo Picnic: ¥1,300

www.greenarium.jp

10 a.m. to 4 p.m

478 Hayafune, Sammu, Chiba—Map

¥1,300 ~ ¥2,200 (depending on the month)

www.kawatsura15.com/e

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