Fruit picking is a common summer activity, as there are many seasonal fruits in Japan such as cherries, mangoes, peach, grapes, watermelons, etc. Yamanashi is one of the most fruit growing areas in Japan, and there are many local farms that allow you to enjoy picking and eating the fruits!
Japanese cherries are called "Satounishiki."Compared to American cherries, the color is more pinkish red and are softer and sweeter. However, the season for Satounishiki is very short, and it is only sold from around late May to early July.
Although Satounishiki is most commonly grown in Yamagata prefecture, there are also some farms in Yamanashi, such as "Iwata Fruit Farm." You can eat as many cherries as you want for 45 minutes, and the price is ¥2160 per person.
Japanese peaches are super sweet, juicy and soft. It is so juicy that each bite you take, the juice will start coming out. It can be eaten from around mid June to late August. The peaches that have ripened on the tree are especially juicy and sweet, and you can only taste this when going peach picking.
Yamanashi is the larget produce of peaches in Japan, so there are many farms that grow peach and allow visitors to pick peach. One famous fruit picking facility is called the "Nakagomi Fruit Orchard," and you can pick peach for as long as you want and eat as many as you like for ¥3000. This price includes a box of fruits to take home. As it is a big fruit picking facility, you can pick other fruits and they also have an English website and some English speaking staffs.
There are two main types of grapes in Japan, one is "Delaware." Each grape is very small, has no seeds, and people typically do not eat the skin. It is very sweet and has little to no taste of sourness. The second type is the "Kyoho" grapes, which are the grapes in the photo below. They are much larger compared to Delaware grapes, and it has seeds inside. As the skin and seeds are quite bitter, it is most recommended to only eat the flesh.
As Yamanashi is also a larger producer of Japanese grapes, there are many places where you can pick and eat these grapes. A place called "Miharashien" is a fruit picking place where you can enjoy picking both types of grapes. The cost per person is ¥1350 and you can eat as much grapes as you wish. Depending of when you visit the fruit farm, the type of grape that you can eat may be different.
Although a lot of the blueberries sold in Japanese supermarkets are mainly imported from foreign countries, blueberries are also grown in Japan, such as in areas like Yamanashi. When you pick a ripe and freshly picked blueberry, you can enjoy rich, sweet-sour flavor.
"Kawaguchiko Blueberry Garden" is a fruit picking facility that specializes in growing blueberries. It is located at the lakeside of Lake Kawaguchi, so you can enjoy a beautiful view while picking some delicious blueberries. Blueberry picking season is between early July and late August and the price is ¥1000 per person.
To enjoy some fresh summer seasonal fruits, enjoy fruit picking in Yamanashi! Many of the facilities grow various fruits, but depending on when you go, the type of fruit that you can pick may be different. Make sure you check the season of the fruit, so you can enjoy picking and eating your favorite fruit!