Photo: iStock/ kohei_hara

A guide to fruit picking in Japan

By Lilly Seiler

Coming from America, fruit to me was just another item on the grocery list, with nothing super special or celebratory about it. Japan is serious about its fruits, but you can even spend a whole outing participating in an activity called “fruit picking” or “fruit hunting.” You visit a local farm and pay a fee to pick and eat as many fruits as possible for the day. You usually pay an additional fee if you want to take some home.

Every season offers different fruits and farms to go wild and live your best fruitful life. Depending on your appetite, fruit picking can be a cost-effective way to get your fill of fruits at a bargain!

So where do we go and what time of year do we show up at the farm to hunt for some delicious treats? Here’s a cheat sheet to stay on top of what’s in season.

Strawberries from January–February

Mid-January is when many farms start opening up for strawberry picking. Photo: iStock/ GF days

In the chilly winter months, strawberries load up on their delightful flavor. Since strawberries are often grown in greenhouses, the harvesting window for strawberries extends over a few months. Mid-January is when many farms start opening up opportunities for strawberry picking and it usually finishes by the end of February.

My top recommendation for strawberry picking is to visit Greenarium on Awajishima for a one-of-a-kind experience. Greenarium takes strawberry picking to the next level by offering a relaxing picnic experience where visitors can lay below a sky of strawberries suspended above them. At the same time, they indulge in fresh, locally grown berries. You can order shortcakes to decorate with your strawberries as well. It looks and feels as if you’re in your own strawberry paradise.

Head to Greenarium for a one-of-a-kind experience. Photo: Lilly Seiler

If you’re looking for somewhere a little closer to Tokyo, try Kawatsura Strawberry Farm which is about an hour and a half away, located in Chiba Prefecture. Like Greenarium, this farm utilizes honeybee pollination and special gardening techniques that allow plants to grow and give their strawberries an exquisite flavor.

11 a.m. ~ 5:30 p.m.

1550-10 Nojimatokiwa, Awaji, Hyogo - Map

Ichigo Picnic Price: ¥1,300

10 a.m. ~ 4 p.m.

478 Hayafune, Sammu, Chiba - Map

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

Click here to read more.

© GaijinPot

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Good info, but I can't believe the writer left out apples. We had a fantastic time in Karuizawa in November on a hillside orchard devouring the best apples I've ever tasted and then shipping a crate back home.

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My wife would find that a dream. Good prices.

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When my kids were growing up, we used to take them to a whole variety of weekend fruit picking expeditions - apples, cherries, strawberries, grapes, you name it. But one thing you have to really make sure before you choose a venue is how much pesticides they use (or if they advertise that they are pesticide free).

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Not sure if they’re back in business in full but Hato bus has nicely planned out packages for fruit picking by seasons. I’ve done blueberries and grapes. They were group tours and meal services are planned ahead as well.

Really good time : )

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