Nov 17, 2010

Extending your trip to Apple Picking in Yokote City

Akita Prefecture has an ideal condition for apple farming – land, water, and climate — that is why we produce one of the best quality apples of Japan every year. Masuda Area in Yokote City, where Igarashi Orchard (五十嵐果樹園) is situated, is particularly acclaimed as one of the best producers of Akita brand — well balanced in sweet and tangy taste with crispy texture!

Igarashi Kajuen (Orchard) is an apple farm that cultivates with organic fertilizers and lowest amount of agricultural chemical. You can pick both early and late season apples of various kinds. Learning programs welcomes students from kindergarten to middle school. Upon request, visitors can learn how to make jams and juices.

You are in town off season? Well, then try his apple juice (see the photo above). It is available in Tazawako Area as well. Hayashi Yakkyoku (phermacy/souvenir shop in front of JR Tazawako Station) sells packages of his apple juice.

Igarashi Orchard is also known as Mikaku-en.  You can see the beautiful Mt. Kimpo in the back. 

All-you-can-pick experiences are available only for 1,000 yen. When enter, you are given a basket that can contain about 2-3 kilograms of fresh apples. Of course, it is okay to pick and bite on the spot! It’s All-You-Can-Eat as well…

Available on Saturdays, Sundays, and Japanese national holidays from September through November. Reservation required on weekdays.

On this day, we were able to taste 7 different kinds of apples: In the pictures are Ou-rin  (green apple;王林), Jona Gold (red on the left bottom) and the well-known Fuji (right bottom; 富士). You would be amazed how they differ from one another. 

Fuji Apples

 Akita Gold Apples-- they are so good!

On this day, the farmer himself took us a tour around the orchard. This friendly man is so enthusiastic-- he humbly exudes his pride in cultivating apples. We asked him how to pick a perfect apple. "In general, the color is the best indicator. Red apples turn redder by the sunlight as they ripe. Take this one. See the bottom? It's evenly red. I would pick this for you." He grabbed one to hand it to us. 

"Sometimes, though, " he continued, "you can't tell by the colors-- that's when apples are produced using a technique to accelerate the coloring process by reflecting the sunlight. They do turn redder, but that doesn't mean they are sweet as much. They might look perfectly red and delicious, but it would make it difficult to sort out by the sweetness before the distribution. Some farmers still prefer it because appearance could affect how you taste, and they are right. But, at our farm we prefer the natural technique." He smiled, proudly.   

A visit to a orchard or a farm would give you a great unforgettable cultural experience! After all, the food is important part of a culture! 

 Orchard Name
(Japan +81) 0182-45-3724
Open Hours
9 a.m. until dark

1 comment:

Victorian inn bed and breakfast said...

This city is known for its Kamakura Festival, a midwinter festival in which igloo-like snow houses are made throughout the town. It's held in the days leading to the Bonden Festival (mid February) and its location is focused around the city hall area.