I visited the Daio Wasabi Farm in Hotaka, Azumino on August 15th.
It is Japan’s largest genuine wasabi (sometimes called as “Japanese horseradish”) farm and also a popular “sightseeing” spot located between Matsumoto and Hakuba. One reason it is popular among Japanese and also foreigners is that you can stroll around the farm like a park without an admission fee.
The best season to visit there is spring because you can see cute wasabi flowers and there is no covering to protect the wasabi against strong sunlight (see this spring photo).
But in summer, the watery stream with the green of trees and grasses is beautiful and cool. The water is a natural spring, so it is extremely clear. You can take a boat trip to peek at the water and fish through the boat’s transparent bottom.
Wasabi can be grown only in clear and cool water so it matches with the Hotaka area, abundant in natural springs.
Not only the picturesque fields and streams, but also the Wasabi Farm’s unique wasabi culinary delights are popular. Visitors can try wasabi ice-cream (the most popular), wasabi tempura, wasabi soba noodles, wasabi beer, wasabi wine, and so on. This time, I tried wasabi croquette and wasabi juice.
I think the Daio Wasabi Farm is a must-visit place if you visit the Nagano area and like nature and unique agricultural and food culture.