Just the words ‘spring in Japan’ immediately bring to mind images of cherry blossoms and hanami parties. Strawberries definitely do not feature. But, oh, how they should.
If anyone knows how to make the best of each season, it’s the Japanese. Kaga Fruitland does just this by offering seasonal fruit picking and eating of different fruits over a period of several months at a time.
Spring just happens to be the season for strawberries (November through May), and for roughly Y1000-2000 (depending on the month), you can spend a juicy hour doing all-you-can-pick-and-eat ichigo-gari (strawberry picking). And get this, you are even allowed to bring a sneaky topping of your own (cue mad rush for whipped cream).
It really is a bargain considering the price of just a handful of fruit in the supermarkets!
Besides leaving with a stomach full of fresh fruit, another advantage to Fruitland is that it can be done in the rain too, since the fruit are housed in small greenhouses.
Other fruits ripe for the picking are:
- Cherries (June)
- Blueberries (June – July)
- Grapes (July – November)
- Pears (August – September)
- Apples (October – December)
There is also the option of combining your fruit picking trip with a BBQ package, starting at around Y1600 per person (in addition to the cost of fruit picking), or if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you can try out Fruitland’s hour-long chocolate fondu fruit buffet for Y1500 per person (drinks bar & tartlet included).
For fruit picking and BBQ courses, due to popularity reservations are sometimes required. You can use the online reservation form link at the bottom of this post. In general, it seems that fruit picking can be done every hour from 10am until 4pm, and BBQing from 11am – 5pm. Reception is open from 9am – 5pm.
Having been to Fruitland myself recently, I can honestly say that it makes for a very, berry nice day!
By car from Kanazawa: 15-20mins. Turn right off Katayamazu IC, over Shiomibashi, right at the first four-way intersection, left at Hashidate intersection, straight through Koshio intersection, and Kaga Fruitland is on your right.
By CAN Bus: 25mins, Y1000 for a 1-day pass. Take the Sea Route (umi-mawari) bus from Kagaonsen or Daishoji station, and get off at the Kaga Fruitland stop. Once at Fruitland, go in and pay at reception, and wait outside the front entrance for a bus (appropriately decorated with pictures of fruit) to transport you to the greenhouses.
Kaga Fruitland (Japanese)
http://furulan.com/topmenu/topmenu_2.html for prices (料金表) http://furulan.com/menu/post_11.html for the online reservation form.
Kaga CAN Bus: http://www.kaga-can-bus.com/ (See 時刻表 link for bus timetables)