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Updated:October 30, 2015

Strawberry picking

A hit with foreign tourists, too!Savor sweet, freshly picked strawberries

Strawberry picking is one of the greatest attractions of Chiba Prefecture. Mature strawberries harvested in a warm greenhouse fill the mouth with juicy sweetness. This issue introduces four of the prefecture’s largest strawberry picking destinations. Savor the season’s freshest picks in the early spring of Chiba.

Cue of fields along Strawberry Road: Naruto, Sammu City

The Naruto district of Sammu City, in central Kujukuri, is long renowned for the cultivation of strawberries. A section of National Route 126 and, intersecting with it, prefectural routes 76 and 121 are known as Strawberry Road. It’s dotted with 20 member farms of the Sammu Naruto Strawberry Trust Association, which run on-farm stands and greenhouses to make up one of the largest strawberry picking destinations in the Kanto region. The beauty is that each farm grows different cultivars, so visitors can taste a broad variety of strawberries.

 

Sammu Naruto Strawberry Trust Association website( External link )

A Mecca for strawberry and flower picking: Tateyama City

Tateyama City, in southern Chiba, enjoys balmy weather year round. The orange and white Southern European-style buildings at JR Tatayama Station and throughout the city create the atmosphere of a resort. The Tateyama Center for Berry Picking, in the Yamamoto district, and the Tateyama Tourist Ichigo-gari Center, in Oto and Aburi, serve as reception and guide visitors to the farms. Flowers such as poppies, stocks, and rape blossoms are also in season and may be picked, too.

Creative new ways to pick strawberries: Chiba City

Chiba City offers not only easy access but also creative new ways to experience strawberry picking, like in the nighttime. Many farms are a stone’s throw from tourist destinations, and invite you to make a stopover.

Famous home of the large Aiberry: Tonosho Town

Tonosho Town, in northern Chiba, is famous for the Aiberry breed known as the king of strawberries. Grown at all seven farms open to tourists, the rare Aiberry can grow up to double the size of ordinary strawberries. It features juicy flesh and an exquisite balance between sweet and sour. The section of National Route 356 dubbed Ichigo-kaido Road is lined with orange tents where farmers sell their fresh, delicious produce all the time.