Fresh fruit, who doesn’t like it?
Just as freshly baked bread is “Fresh from the oven”, the best way to enjoy your fruit is
“Fresh from the trees”
Scroll down and I will show you what “fruit, fresh from the tree” looks like in Tohoku, Japan!
I have heard many people say that if you eat too much of something, you will soon get sick of it. However, there are some foods that the more you eat the more you want, and you could never get bored of, even if you tried!
ICHIGO – STRAWBERRY
The Tohoku region of Japan is famous for producing many kinds of delicious fruit, but one of the most well-known varieties is STRAWBERRIES and it is still PICKING SEASON ! You will regret it if you do not try this event at least once in your lifetime.
What is Strawberry Picking?
First of all, it is a one way ticket to Strawberry Paradise with thousands of strawberry vines growing side by side along hundreds of rows in a large green house.
It is no less than your own Strawberry Buffet where you can eat as many ruby-red strawberries as you want (!) including expensive varieties that would usually set you back up to 1000 yen a piece!
There are many Strawberry Picking Farms dotted throughout the countryside of the Tohoku region that can be easily accessed, such as Suzuki Strawberry Garden in Watari-machi, Wadakanko in Fukushima, or Ichigo World in Yamamoto. But the most famous picking spots are by far Watari and Yamamoto in Miyagi Prefecture.
Since Sendai has just stepped into summer, I decided to kick off the season summer with a visit to Ichigo World in Yamamoto and enjoy the most expensive strawberry – the infamous ¥1000 Ichigo.
As the area of Yamamoto is located along the coast of Miyagi, most of the town was destroyed during the tsunami that hit after the The Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, including these ichigo farms. However, thanks to the support from the Japanese government and people from around the country and overseas, the local agricultural industry has risen up once again and remains the industrial pillar of the region. Such an amazing recovery! Although the construction of Ichigo World was only recently completed in 2015, the creative concepts of the farm are already breaking conventions by inventing every kind of strawberry product you can imagine. For example, strawberry based cosmetics is a new direction, which offers benefits from both natural qualities and the signature fragrance of the strawberry. Another best-selling product of this farm is their strawberry wine! And there is much, much more!
Did you know that the delicious strawberries grown here are grown within a controlled automatic system environment? The temperature, humidity, water, air quality are all carefully controlled to produce just the right conditions for growing the best fruit! That is why, as you walk into the greenhouse during picking time you will see all the machines above the strawberry plants, in constant operation to ensure that all the conditions are set to the ideal level. I had always wondered why fruits in Japan have almost the same shape, same color, same taste. Now I understand!Here is the famous ¥1000 Ichigo! So Red. So Fresh. So Beautiful
I have to admit that the process of finding the reddest and biggest strawberry was so much fun! Gently turning over every single branch and leaf and suddenly, I found it! The most delicious one! Moving on along the line of delicious red fruit, one by one more beauties appeared and their taste was just as delicious as promised in the brochure. YUM!
There was also a chocolate fountain for you to try dipping your strawberries into the chocolate for double the sweetness!
How to get to Ichigo World?
- Travel cost (from Sendai): ¥1340;
- Entry: ¥1300 – ¥2500 depends on time of visit
- From Sendai Station, get on the JR Joban Line
- Get off at Yamashita Station
- Walk for about 15 – 20 minutes to Ichigo World Farm
The strawberry picking season in Japan actually starts in winter (!!) around early January, but continues until May or mid-June, depending on the region and farm.
You can check some of the useful websites below when planning your strawberry picking event. Don’t forget to book in advance, or you may not be able to enter because they have no more room for you.
Nhu Hoang – Vietnam