Let's stuff our stomachs with seasonal strawberries!
Strawberry picking in Miharashi Farm
Southern Nagano Area Ina City
Why not indulge in red, ripe strawberries until you’re stuffed? Here at the strawberry fields in Miharashi Farm, you can pick as many strawberries as you want in three varieties in a warm greenhouse from January to June.
Strawberry picking is one of the most popular leisure events where you can pick strawberries grown in a greenhouse. The high season for strawberries is usually spring, but those grown in a greenhouse can be harvested for a longer term from January to around June. Strawberry picking is good for various reasons. Both children and adults can enjoy the experience equally since you are only responsible for the picking and the eating. Additionally, unpleasant weather conditions can’t bother you since it is done in a greenhouse.
Three appealing points of Miharashi Strawberry Fields
Miharashi Strawberry Fields are located in Miharashi Farm, an agricultural park in Ina City, Nagano Prefecture, where you can see grand views of beautiful mountains of the Southern Alps; "miharashi" means "a grand view" in Japanese. The farm has 19 strawberry greenhouses in total, which is proudly one of the largest in the prefecture. Here are three special appealing points which you cannot find in other fields.
Point 1: No time limit. You can eat strawberries as long as you want!
Point 2: Variety. You can harvest three varieties of strawberries!
Point 3: Jam making. You can participate in an optional program of jam making !
E-mail reservation is required in advance for the picking. Once getting to the farm, you register your name at the reception desk and pay for a ticket. The staff will tell you which greenhouse you are going to ready for picking on the day. It may take about 1-5 minutes to get to your greenhouse, depending on where it is located; walking while seeing the great mountains will make you feel refreshed.
Does each strawberry variety really have a different taste? Let's check them and learn how to eat them at their best.
Entering the greenhouse, you feel enveloped in warm air. Each greenhouse is kept at a temperature of about 20 °C so that the strawberries can grow well. After getting a container for the strawberries and for the leftover green leaves from eating them, your strawberry picking starts right away!
The red color is a sign of ripening. When picking, hold the strawberry gently lift tip up and twist its stem, and you can get it quite easily. Please remember not to pull the fruit strongly, as you may get flower buds as well as other strawberries. You are not allowed to take home the strawberries you pick, so eat up.
Miharashi Strawberry Fields mainly cultivates three varieties of strawberries. The photo below shows the Benihoppe, Nyoho, and Akihime varieties from the left. Each variety has a different taste. You should, therefore, try and compare all the varieties. Women and children tend to prefer Akihime, which is sweeter than the others.
Which part do you eat a strawberry from? The staff member of the strawberry fields advised us to eat from the green leaf side. According to his explanation, this is because the sugar contained in a strawberry increases from the leaf side to the top end. Eating it from the leaf side which is sourer therefore makes the top taste sweeter, allowing you to better understand the taste. The visitors on that day also greatly enjoyed the strawberries, saying "I didn't know how sweet strawberries could actually be!"
Reasonably-priced jam making experience along with strawberry picking
How about experiencing jam making for a souvenir after eating a lot of strawberries? At Yatte-mirasshi, a facility for various experiences and culture-exchange, located next to the strawberry fields, you can try making jam with seasonal fruits harvested at Miharashi Farm. It takes only approximately 30 minutes. Staff members give detailed instructions so that anyone can easily make delicious jam.
It took only 30 minutes to make their own jam! With only a little sugar added to it, you can taste the sweet and sour flavour strawberries have by nature. For those who picked strawberries, you can do this program at a 100-yen discount. The jam you just made works great as a souvenir.
＜Many souvenirs for sale in the shop＞
Those who want to bring fresh strawberries back home, please drop by at Toretate Ichiba, a shop attached to the facility. You can buy not only strawberries harvested in Miharashi Strawberry Fields, but also some strawberry desserts, seasonal vegetables, and processed foods. A strawberry soft-serve ice cream ranks among the most popular items there.
Seasonal strawberry picking, along with jam making, make for perfect travel memories. In addition to strawberry picking, Miharashi Farm also hosts many other fruit picking and vegetable harvesting programs. Please visit us and enjoy our unique events according to your schedule.
・Reservation in advance is required. You may not enter the fields when you have no reservation.
・You are not allowed to take home any strawberries you picked at the fields. If you would like freshly picked strawberries as a souvenir, please purchase them at the shop.
・You are not allowed to re-enter the fields.
・The fee for making seasonal jam starts from 600 yen per jar. (Those who take part in the strawberry picking can get a 100-yen discount. No reservation in advance is required.)
*In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Miharashi Farm has decided to end their strawberry-picking for this year as of April 5th, 2020.
A strawberry picking program is recommended for families since anyone from a young child to an adult can enjoy it. Even on rainy days, you can pick strawberries inside a greenhouse, so you do not need to be worried about the weather and easily fit it into your travel schedule. It is also a good idea to drop by at Takato Castle Remains Park, one of the best cherry-blossom viewing sights.
What Tour Participants Have to Say
I was surprised at having such sweet strawberries for the first time in my life! All of the staff members were very kind, and gave instructions on how to pick and eat strawberries. I wanted to eat more, but 20 strawberries were enough for me. I had never made strawberry jam by myself, but it was actually very easy, and I was very happy to bring it back home as a souvenir!
Miharashi Strawberry Fields, Miharashi Farm
|Operating Period||Strawberry picking season: From January 2 to early June in 2020 (closed as of April 5th*)|
|Time||Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Registered by 3:00 p.m.)|
|Reservations||Miharashi Strawberry Fields (reservation is required)|
|Price||Strawberry picking fees:
From February 1 to March 31: 1,700 yen for adults and children ages six and up, and 1,200 yen for small children from three to five years old
From April 1 to May 10: 1,500 yen for adults and children ages six and up, and 1,000 yen for small children from three to five years old
From May 11 to the end: 1,200 yen for adults and children ages six and up, and 1,000 yen for small children from three to five years old
※Free for children under three years old