The weather is getting warmer and June marks the start of the cherry picking season in Japan!
Since Zhen was in town only till May 30, I combed the internet looking for a farm that starts the season early, and luckily I found some!
Just like our previous strawberry picking (in Spring), we headed to Yamanashi once again to pick cherries!
Yamanashi 山梨 is also nicknamed the Kingdom of Fruits because many fruits are harvested in this prefecture throughout the year! But I think it’s probably more well known as Home of Mount Fuji haha.
We were looking at train packages, but decided to make it a road trip instead, since it’s not only more economical, but more fun as well!
We invited Suchee and Surya along and on a sunny Sunday morning, the 5 of us bundled into the car and happily embarked on our journey!
The first thing that hit us when we broke into Yamanashi was the rolling greenery and silhouettes of majestic mountains in the background. There were no tall buildings, just a vast expanse of nature dotted with little houses here and there.
Everyone instantly sighed with a sense of contentment at the intoxicatingly relaxing sight before us. There were even some discussions of retiring here as well as it being the secret to Japanese’ longevity. I mean, the air even LOOKED fresh!
Yes, I realize a photo would have saved me that long description, but there is no photo that can do what we witnessed justice, so I’m going to entrust your imagination in conjuring a fitting image :)
As we turned out of the expressway, we realized that almost everywhere we looked were sights of these:
Vineyards, vineyards, and more vineyards. Even in unimaginable places like a car porch, a mini vineyard could be found!
There were also signboards every 5m or so announcing that the farm has strawberry/grape/peach/pear/insertfruitname picking. Truly, Yamanashi deserves the Kingdom of Fruits title!
Most fruit farms have on average 100-200 cherry trees, but the one I picked has… ONE THOUSAND.
It’s mad huge! And while other farms have a time limit on how long you can pick the cherries – usually 30 or 40 minutes – this farm has no time limit! Awesome or what?!
We visited late May, and the two varieties available at this farm were 高砂 (row 1, #1) and 佐藤錦 (row 2, #2).
Everyone went into picking mode whilst I alternated between photographer and frenzied cherry picker. Ya, I know there’s no time limit, but first time see cherry trees very excited mah!
I was alternating between “Whee, I wanna climb the ladder!” and “Wait, I have to take a photo of this!” and “Omgosh, those cherries there are so red!” and “Look here, look here, I help you take photo!”
I somehow just found a balance in the midst of the chaos going on in my head lol.
So poor thing right. Photo also dissected into 2 parts because everyone else was so engrossed with the cherries and no one to take for me lol.
Much later, I could finally ask Fu to take a proper photo for me.
You’ll notice that overhead there is a large covered structure. The trees are all in an enclosed area, so there’s no problem with cherry picking even on rainy days!
Fu commented that he had no idea bright red cherries like these existed. To him cherries are all the dark red (American) variety, since that is what is usually sold in Singapore’s supermarkets.
He said that the dark red ones, although sweeter, feel more “artificial” and these are so much fresher and more natural. Ehhh, fresh because you just picked them off the trees yourself leh. How to get any fresher than that?!
They look a little like cherry tomatoes from this angle, don’t they?
I just realized… I think this might actually be my first time eating Japanese cherries! Not sure what I’ve been doing the past few cherry seasons lol. Most like the price of the cherries have steered me clear of them. I usually glance at item, but track down and study price haha.
Even though our cherry buffet session costs just 2,100yen, the farm was selling a pack of cherries for more than 3,000yen!!! I easily ate a few times the amount of cherries in that pack!
After some time, our pace finally slowed and we managed to take some photos together.
You see this boy lah, so gross! But it’s grossly hilarious LOL.
2 cherries were regrettably harmed in the taking of this photo. The least we could do was to ensure they were returned to the ground from which they sprung from…
A proper photo this time -_-
As I was on the ladder, Zhen posed so nicely for me…
So let’s turn it into a fashion page!
Top: Adidas|Bottom: Model’s own|Sunglasses: Ray Ban|Shoes: ABC Mart|Cherry: Freshly picked off tree // Model: Zhen|Photographer: Rin
Ok, we’re supposed to pick just the fruit, leaving the stem attached to the branch. But Fu, destroyer of cherries picked this Siamese twin one (and also the double cherries in the photo earlier in the post).
So blame him, not me!
We stayed close to 2 hours in the farm, easily the group that spent the longest time there. Some people leave after just 15 minutes! There is a good chance they may ban Singaporeans from going to the farm in future because of us o_O
Suchee was totally in a total cherry coma and swore he’ll never touch another cherry the rest of his life LOL.
Our group post-cherry-gorging-session picture just before we left:
No time limit
…aaaaaand this post marks the return to blogging! Zhen returned last Friday :(
But I went out so much the past 2+ weeks (almost every. single. day!!!) The recluse in me can’t take it. Way too exhausting.
I also haven’t watched a single anime episode since her arrival! #coldturkey
Imma needa stay home for at least 2 months to recuperate.
Oh. And blog. Of course. :D