Ever wanted to taste a tart apricot picked right off the tree? Curious about how much minute care goes into growing an apple in Japan? Want to see grapes as they are growing on the vine instead of at a supermarket counter? Then Chikuma City is the place for you with a plethora of fruit orchards. Practically year-round there is some type of fruit picking that can be enjoyed:
Apricots and Cherries from late June to early July
Grapes from early September to early October
Apples from late September to December
Greenhouse Strawberries from December to early June
The fruit picking season for 2013 is now under way, with sweet, juicy cherries and fresh, tart apricots ready for you to come and pick.
Kamiyamada Cherry Picking 2013
Watashima-san (Kamiyamada’s Yasaka district)
Tel (026)276-1834 (Sorry — Japanese language only.)
Cherry Picking Start: Sunday 23-June
Cherry Picking End: Thursday 04-July
Price: 1500 yen for 30-minutes all-you-can-eat (while picking)
Quantities are limited, but feel free to contact me c/o Kamesei Ryokan tel# 026-275-1032 for help in making arrangements.
Watashima-san's cherries (taken when I visited in 2012)
Mori and Sarashina Apricot Picking 2013
Here in Chikuma City, the Mori district is known as Japan’s #1 ‘apricot village’. The blossoms in early April are so famous that this year even the emperor and empress came to see them. Mori is a 20-minute drive from the main resort area, onsen town Togura-Kamiyamada. A short 15-minute walk away from the onsen, along the Chikuma River, are the apricot orchards of the Sarashina district. And Kyohoen Apricot Orchards are one of the most modern growers, trying to develop better varieties and using cutting-edge techniques to maximize yield.
This past April our area had some devastating low temperatures that are effecting the apricot trees’ production. But the folks at Kyohoen believe strongly in giving guests the opportunity to enter the apricot field and pick fruit themselves. This year’s apricot picking schedule is as follows:
Kyohoen Orchard near Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen
Office: 1092-2 Wakamiya, Chikuma City, Nagano
Tel: (026)276-6018 Kaneko-san (limited English)
Apricot Picking Start: Around 24-June (Monday)
Apricot Picking End: Around 05-July (Friday)
Price: 1000 yen per Kilogram (Showa variety)
Our son Kenny eating as he picks at Kyohoen's apricot field this year.