10 Best Spots for Strawberry Picking in Japan
They're just an hour away from Tokyo.
January to May is strawberry season in Japan. During this time, a number of locals and tourists head over to the nearest strawberry farm to pick as many of these big, juicy fruits as they can afford. Fortunately, there are many strawberry-picking spots just an hour away from Tokyo by train. Some of them even offer free pickup from the train station for your convenience. Below, we list down the 10 best local farms near Tokyo you can check out while you're in Japan!
1179 Ochikawa, Tama City, Tokyo
How to get there: It's approximately 50 minutes by train from Shinjuku Station to Keio Line Seiseki-Sakuragaoka Station. Spend another 10 minutes by Keio bus bound to Nanbu Chiiki Byouin, and then get off at Ochikawa.
First on our list is the beautiful Niikura Farm where the strawberries are organically grown using natural water. This means their strawberries are naturally sweet, and you can safely have a bite of what you handpicked right off the bat. Keep in mind, however, that the berries are sold by weight. Crop yield is also limited, so it's best to call in advance to make a reservation.
Ichigo Kobo Kimura-ya
320 Onma, Koshigaya City, Saitama Prefecture
How to get there: It's approximately an hour by train from Ueno Station to Obukuro Station via Tobu Sky Tree Line. Spend another 10 minutes by foot from Obukuro station.
Aside from being easily accessible by car and by train from Tokyo, Ichigo Kobo Kimura-ya in Onma is perfect for both the young and the old because of their farm's layout. They use two different levels of cultivation, so small children and people in wheelchairs can easily pick their own strawberries. They also offer a delivery service until the end of March should you wish to try their Aki-Hime, Beni-Hoppe, and Tochiotome strawberries without having to actually visit.
Shinozu Kisetsu no Kaori Farm
604-3 Shinozu, Shiraoka, Saitama Prefecture
How to get there: It's approximately an hour by train from Ikebukuro Station to JR Utsunomiya Line Shiraoka Station, and an additional 10-minute Asahi bus ride bound to Shobu Nakabashi. Get off at Shinozu, Takadaibashi.
You can find four varieties of strawberries here at Shinozu Kisetsu no Kaori Farm, namely Aki-Hime, which originated in Shizuoka, Beni-Hoppe, which tastes sour and is full-bodied, Kaorino, which is a good combination of sweet and sour, and Yayoi-Hime, which is well-textured and very sweet. To keep insects at bay, they use a specific light with Tafunarei technology, so that the strawberries are safe to eat.
Utsumi Ichigo Garden
696 Shimotsu Koku, Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture
How to get there: It's approximately an hour and 10 minutes by train from Shinjuku Station to Hon-atsugi Station via Odakyu Line. Spend another 15 minutes by Kanachu bus from Hiratsuka station (north exit) to Aikawa Junior High School Bus Stop, then walk from there to the farm for 10 minutes.
Delight in all-you-can-eat strawberries with condensed milk--just like how the Japanese enjoy it--for 30 minutes at Utsumi Ichigo Garden. If you're no strawberry pro, the staff will gladly assist you in picking the best ones from their Beni-Hoppe, OiC-berry, and Aki-Hime strawberry fields. They'll teach you how to distinguish strawberries depending on their state, too.
Fun fact: The berries here in Utsumi are big and full-bodied as a result of greenhouse cultivation. You'll also notice how they grow their strawberries in elevated beds. This is so you can easily pick them while standing. The pathways are also wide enough for baby carriages and wheelchairs to pass through.
Wada Ichigo Garden
216-1 Ogami, Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Open during weekdays. Booking via phone call is required.
How to get there: It's approximately an hour and 10 minutes by train from Shinjuku Station to JR Tokaido Line Hiratsuka Station or Odakyu Line Hon-Atsugi Station. Then ride a bus going to Shimotoda Stop which is 15 minutes away from the farm. If you want to be picked up from the station, you can also call them to book in advance.
Instead of harmful agrochemicals, this eco-friendly strawberry farm uses Miyako californicus, a natural enemy of aphids or bugs, to save the strawberries from pests. They also make an effort to purify the soil, so that it's in good shape before they plant the seeds in them. In return, their strawberries also taste better.
46 Naganuma, Astugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture
How to get there: It's approximately an hour and 10 minutes by train from Shinjuku Station to Odakyu Odawara Line Aiko-Ishida Station, and an additional 15-minute Kanachu bus ride bound to Isehara Station. Get off at Nishiya, then walk for about 5 minutes.
If you're looking for the sweetest and ripest strawberries, then Yagishita Garden has you covered. Thanks to their special fertilizer, their soft and juicy Tochiotome strawberries are in their brightest red. And like most local farms in Japan, you can eat as many strawberries as you can for 30 minutes.
Sayama Berry Land
1262-5 Horikane, Sayama City, Saitama Prefecture
How to get there: It's approximately an hour and 20 minutes by train from Ikebukuro Station to Sayama Station via Seibu-shinjuku line. Take a bus to Shin-Sayama until the last stop, which is the terminal, and then walk for 10 minutes.
Being one of the biggest greenhouse strawberry gardens in the Kanto area, Sayama Berry Land is spacious enough that you can bring wheelchairs and baby carriages with you. What's even greater is that they use elevated cultivation, so that you don't need to bend down to pick up their sweet--and huge--strawberries.
Seita Ichigo Garden
1759 Toda, Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture
How to get there: It's approximately an hour and 20 minutes by train from Shinjuku Station to Odakyu Odawara Line, Hon-Atsugi Station (South Exit). Spend another 13 minutes by Kanachu bus bound to Hiratsuka, and then get off at Naka-Toda. You'll reach the farm after walking for about 5 minutes.
Seita Ichigo Garden takes pride in their especially sweet and fragrant strawberries that are a result of their unique system of putting sand into planters despite using elevated cultivation. They also adjust the amount of water and fertilizer depending on the strawberries' state to produce better-quality berries. If you plan to drop by this farm, make sure to call them and book in advance since they don't have a fixed schedule.
1072 Kamiomino, Kawajima-machi, Hiki-gun, Saitama Prefecture
How to get there: It's approximately an hour and 30 minutes by train from Ikebukuro Kawajima-Machi Station to Tobu-Tojo Line, Kawagoe Station. Spend another 40 minutes by bus bound to Kounosu Driver's License Center, and get off at Omino. Walk for about 5 minutes.
There are two kinds of strawberries that you can pick here at Strawberry Hunt: Beni-hoppe and Aki-Hime berries, both of which you can easily pick while standing since they practice elevated cultivation. Some parts of the garden also allow for those with wheelchairs or baby carriages to pass through.
1120 Nakagouchi, Ebina City, Kanagawa Prefecture
How to get there: It's approximately an hour and 30 minutes by train from Shinagawa Station to Odakyu Odawara Line, Ebina Station. Take a 10-minute Kanachu bus ride bound to Chogo, and get off at Kami-gochi. Walk for about 7 minutes.
At Strawberry House, you don't have to worry about getting messy and breaking your back because of how they planted their strawberries. However, you would have to be really early since they follow a first-come-first-served policy. Strawberry House opens at 8:30 a.m. and they're only open on certain dates, so be sure to call first before going.
Thanks to their original mixed fertilizers, they have some of the sweetest and reddest strawberries-no wonder people flock to this garden during the season, which lasts until mid-June. Aside from strawberries, you can also buy their original rice called Kinu-Hikari, which is popular for its nice texture. They also sell goods that you can take home as pasalubong, such as "Ebi-nya," which is the mascot of Ebina City that looks like a cat wearing ebi or shrimp. (PS: Nya is meow in Japanese!)
So, where would you go to pick strawberries in Japan?
Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Tokyo Walker™ (9 January 2018)