I absolutely ♥ strawberries! I was waiting for the longest time for Spring to come around so that I could go strawberry picking!
In Japan, there is always something to pick each season. Strawberries, cherries, peaches, grapes… you name it. You can even pick flowers!
There are lots of organized tours to these farms, which come in a package and includes the round-trip train fare, certain number minutes of pick-and-eat-as-much-fruits-as-you-want, and can have additions that can be anything from a buffet, hands-on experience making something, visiting an animal petting farm to visiting outlet shopping malls and onsen baths.
The first time I picked strawberries was in UK when Shu drove us 2 hours out of London to a really nice farm. I really loved the experience and wanted to see how it would be like in Japan!
When I told Fu the first time, he almost choked on his own tongue after he heard how much it costs.
“7,000 yen!!! (about SGD 90) Can you eat that much worth of strawberries in an hour?! Some more must travel all the way there! I’ll go to the supermart and buy as much as you want!”
Thing is, he doesn’t even like strawberries, so I guess it’s a bit of a waste for him to go.
But I die die want to go, so of course he relented :D It’s also part of my birthday celebration, so I guess it justifies it a bit more?
First step was to decide on which farm to go! So many to choose from! At almost every JR (Japan Railways) station, there are pamphlet stands that hold a variety of tour packages to every part of Japan.
At the bigger stations, there will be a travel service center called “View” where you can buy the tickets for these tours (they can also be bought online).
I wanted to find something whereby there are other activities apart from strawberry picking so that it will be more fun for Fu! Like a buffet lol.
I think it’s the activity he enjoys most. In the past, when we were in Japan on holiday, we would be having lunch and he’d be thinking of what to eat for dinner lol.
I eventually decided on…
It goes like this:
- Shinkansen (bullet train) to Yamanashi
- Shuttle bus to farm
- 40 min strawberry-picking and eating
- Make strawberry jam
- Shuttle bus to onsen (hot bath)
- Enjoy hot baths
- Dinner spread
- Shuttle bus to train station
- Shinkansen back to Tokyo
Yeah, we went in April, so this post is a tiiiiny bit overdue.
But you know what they say! Better late than never! (I also have stuff from March I plan to post sometime… later. LOL)
Lots of weirdly-shaped strawberries around:
About 15 mins in, Fu exhausted his momentum of eating, so he took control of the camera, which led to a torrent of photo-snapping. He doesn’t usually care for taking for photos, so it’s a rare sight!
I only selected a few to post so I don’t bore you out of your mind lol.
After the 40mins was up, it was time to make the jam!
First, pick out the ugly ones. Cannot have ugly strawberries in my jam.
We were also given some sundae and biscuits to eat with our jam. Our jam was full of strawberry goodness, since no pectin was used (as in normal store-bought jams).
It was then time to make our way to the onsen! On the way to the shuttle bus, we saw this gorgeous sight:
The bus ride took just a couple of minutes…
The gardens are small, but pretty and well-maintained!
We had a couple of hours before dinner was served but we opted to stay in instead of walking out because it was raining and I forgot to bring my shawl out. Everyone had jackets (including Fu!) except me T_T
Exploring the small place, we found this:
Then we headed to the onsens! Ahhh, I really enjoy onsens. But strangely, every time I go to the onsen, I only see people who are in their 30s – 70s. I’m easily the youngest there every time.
I guess young girls don’t like being naked in front of other people? I dunno. But does this make me an obaachan at heart?! .____.
After the onsen, we were STARVING. But dinner was still an hour away. It felt like forever before food came!
When it finally did, I took perfunctory photos and dove into my food like a rabid hyena.
Everything was delicious except the white pieces of sashimi. It’s some fish, but it was quite tasteless and had a texture we both didn’t like so we chucked it.
Feeling stuffed and happy, it was time to head back. At the door, we saw another of those real stuffed animals and someone was so excited and had to pose with it:
But I cannot let the post end with such an ugly creature (REFERRING TO THE BOAR!!!) so I’ll summon the lovely jam again!