Have you been to a no-en farm in Japan? The farm I’m writing about here is a little different from normal farm (no-jo, no-chi in Japanese). It is no-en, like a small nature-oriented amusement park with restaurants and shops etc. Matsui No-en is one of the best known no-en in East Nagano area. It was about 30 minutes drive from our house in Karuizawa. When I and our family went there, it was still during summer vacation. So its car parking lot was almost full even before the lunch time. Matsui No-en had a lot to offer for families. First of all we had a BBQ lunch with fresh vegetables (which we believed were cultivated in the Matsui farm) at a restaurant inside the farm area. We fished trouts in a fishing pond. Then we went to apple picking. And before we went home, we had a big, blueberry flavored ice cream. Matsui No-en is in Komoro, West bound from Karuizawa, about 30 mintutes by car. It was a good, easy half-day get away from home. There are only Japanese spoken staff, but they are all friendly and helpful.
http://www.matsui-farm.co.jp/ (Japanese only) On the homepage, it says it’s been running since 1941! In the no-en, you can enjoy blueberry picking and cosmos pickinig too. No admissioni fee. At charge for each service. Free parking.