Tokyo news: Winter strawberry-hunting season is here!
Winter is here and while most people are huddled inside around the kotatsu (炬燵) or out hitting the ski slopes, there are those who know that winter is the season of the strawberry hunt or so-called ichigo-gari (いちご狩り). While it’s not your typical game, the not-so-elusive strawberry can be found on farms across Japan which are open to the public to come and pick as many as they want for a fixed price. The best part is that even if you live in a large urban area like Tokyo, there are still several farms around the metropolis to get your strawberry fix. Below you’ll find three spots around Tokyo to enjoy.
Setagaya Ichigo Juku
Strawberries growing in the greenhouse. (Image credit: photoAC)
Nestled within the residential area of Setagaya Ward (世田谷区 Setagaya-ku), Setagaya Ichigo Juku offers 30 minutes of all-you-can eat strawberry picking. Strawberries are grown hydroponically which is what makes them so unique! Unlike conventional hydroponics, these strawberries are grown at a height that is easily accessible, making it easier for you to pick the strawberry of your choice. They also sell other sweets such as strawberry jam and ice cream.
Setagaya Ichigo Juku (世田谷いちご熟)
Address: 4-32-1 Nakamachi, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158-0091
Nearest station: Tokyu Kaminoge Station (東急電鉄上野毛)
Opening season: Early January–early June
Opening days: Sundays (early January–early March), Wednesdays (mid March–early June)
Opening hours: 10:00–16:00
Admission fee (30 minutes/all-you-can-eat): ¥2,500 (Adults), ¥2,000
Tel: +81 3-3701-5171 (Reservations required)
Strawberry varieties: Akihime (あきひめ), Beni-hoppe (紅ほっぺ), Yotsuboshi (よつぼし)
Machida Ichigogari Nōen
A child picking strawberries. (Image credit: photoAC)
Located a mere 5-minute walk away from JR Aihara Station (相原駅 Aihara-eki) on the Yokohama Line (横浜 Yokohama-sen), Machida Ichigogkari Nōen is a great place with wonderful accessibility for small children and wheelchair-users. Best of all, you can bring your own condensed milk!
Machida Ichigo Gari Nōen (町田いちご狩り農園)
Address: 1279 Aiharamachi, Machida-shi, Tokyo 194-0211
Nearest station: JR Aihara Station (相原駅)
Opening season: Mid December–end May
Opening days: Everyday (closed on Wednesdays and according to the state of strawberry growth)
Opening hours: 10:00–12:00
Admission fee (30 minutes/all-you-can-eat): ¥2,000 (Adults), ¥1,500 (Elementary school children), ¥1,200 (Pre-school children), Free (Children aged 0–2)
Tel: +81 8-7576-1515 (Reservations required)
Strawberry varieties: Beni-hoppe (紅ほっぺ), Oi C Berry (おいＣベリー), Kaorino (かおりの), Sagahonoka (さがほのか)
Nīkura nōen (新倉農園)
A handsome strawberry harvest ready to be weighed. (Image credit: photoAC)
This farm offers a different style than the other two. It’s free to visit but instead of paying to eat as much as you want, you pay for what you pick according to the weight, which you can eat there or take home. Nīkura nōen focuses on growing their fruit as naturally as possible and thus their fruit is extremely delicious and sweet.
Nīkura nōen (新倉農園)
Address: 1179 Ochikawa, Tama-shi, Tokyo 206-0015
Nearest station: Seiseki-sakuragaoka Station (聖蹟桜ヶ丘駅)
Opening season: Mid February–end May
Opening days: Weekends (subjected to change)
Opening hours: 10:00–16:00 (based on availability of strawberry)
Admission fee: Free, pay for what you pick with no time limit (100g = ¥300, tax not included)
Tel: +81 8-1173-1346 (Reservations required)
Strawberry varieties: Beni-hoppe (紅ほっぺ), Akahime (あきひめ)
Header image credit: photoAC