Imanishi strawberry picking farm Yoshimi

Strawberry picking in Yoshimi Town, Saitama Prefecture. Yoshimi town is well regarded for strawberry picking. In fact, according to the Prefectural website, Yoshimi is number one for strawberries in Saitama.

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Winter / Spring strawberry picking is popular for family and school outings in Japan from February through May. However, some of the winter strawberry green houses open for picking as early as mid December. Our local greenhouses, with public strawberry picking, open officially from next week. We got in ahead of the crowd and enjoyed a half hour of all-you-can-eat, pick your own, strawberries today in Yoshimi Town.

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Ichigo no Sato in Yoshimi Town is one of the better known strawberry picking areas in Saitama. Ichigo no Sato is a “roadside station” (道の駅) on prefectural route 27, but it is also the overall name for the strawberry picking area. Supposedly the area has been cultivating strawberries for sixty years. “Ichigo” is the japanese for strawberry and this rest area was so named after the strawberry fields in the area.

Ichigo no Sato

ice-cream shop at ichigo no sato

The Ichigo no Sato rest area has a very nice playground and a fruit and vegetable shops and stalls. It also has an udon restaurant, an ice-cream van, a cafe & bakery, and facilities for people on long journeys such as restrooms and changing rooms. The ice-cream shop sells a delicious strawberry flavored ice-cream all year round. The roadside station holds a regular market and several seasonal events. One event that is a huge hit with kids is the splash and lantern festival. Information about the playground at the roadside station on this blog:

Playground at Ichigo no Sato | Yoshimi

There is a strawberry picking greenhouse right beside the roadside station. Moreover, the rest area provides a map (below) and information for strawberry picking in the area. There is now also information online for each of the strawberry farms here. 

Strawberry picking Yoshimi

Ichigo no sato area yoshimi

The price varies greatly between each strawberry picking farm, not only within Yoshimi, but surrounding areas too. Note, the price for strawberry picking in greenhouses changes as the weather warms, with December through March being more expensive than April and May. Logical when you think of the extra expense of keeping a greenhouse at the right temperature during the cold months. Speaking of which, greenhouses can often be uncomfortably warm and humid, especially if you are wearing heavy winter clothes.

The prices, as well as contact details and webpages where applicable, of the strawberry farms on the above map can be seen in the photo above.

Imanishi Strawberry Picking Farm

Strawberry picking in yoshimi Imanishi farm entrance

The greenhouse we chose, ①-1 on the picking map, is Imanishi Strawberry Park (on google maps here). It  offers 30 minutes all you can pick and eat strawberries for 600* yen for a child aged 3 and up to 6th grade elementary school and 1200* yen for anything older than that.  From April 1st, the prices come down to 500 yen for children and a 1000 yen for adults.  If you want to buy strawberries you’ve picked, but haven’t eaten it costs 100 yen per 100 gram.  30 minutes was plenty time with young children. (*2014 – 2018 prices, please see the official website for most up to date prices).

Strawberry hat Yoshimi

They have strawberry hats that customers can wear for a photo! (Modelled in the featured photo at the very top of the post!) Please note this particular farm in not barrier free. There is a car park right out front with room for about 6 cars in front of the greenhouse. There is also an area to parallel park on the road behind it. Their internet site says they have a toilet.

Access

There is no train line in Yoshimi. If you are coming by public transport you will need to get a train to either Higashimatsuyama station on the Tobu Tojo Line or Konosu Station on the JR Takasaki line and then get either a taxi or bus to the strawberry picking area or farm or your choice.

By car: the nearest interchanges are the Higashimatsuyama Interchange on the Kanetsu expressway and the Kawajima Interchange on the Ken-o expressway. Both are about a 20 minute drive from Ichigo no Sato.

Nearby Attractions include:

There are strawberry picking areas in the neighbouring town of Kawajima too. Most of those farms are still closed for business, but there is one open called Strawberry Hunt. These greenhouses also often 30 minute all-you-can-eat, but at the more expensive price of 1,600 yen for adults and 1,100 yen for children from January through May.  The address is 1072 Mushizuka, Kawajima Town.

Other areas in Saitama known for strawberry picking include Chichibu City, Ranzan, Yokoze and Kawajima Towns. Our favourite is in Sakado and that one has a play area too:

Strawberry Picking with a play area | SAKADO

If you can read Japanese, you can find links to strawberry picking farms on the Saitama prefectural website.  For an overview of the fruit picking seasons,  Japan Guide has a good summary here.

FOR A LIST OF STRAWBERRY FARMS IN ENGLISH, WITH AREA, TELEPHONE NUMBER, URL AND SEASON DATES PLEASE SEE https://kajapan.org/places/strawberry-picking-in-kanto/

No Comments

  1. Wow, this sounds like fun!I would love all that strawberry in january.I think Blackberry#1 would enjoy the picking part too.And how do these early greenhouse strawberries taste?

    1. Author

      Delicious! Much sweeter than I had anticipated. Not as nice as blackberries though 😉

    1. Author

      Thank you so much for posting that link. I am writing a post for another blog (kajapan.org) and I have Berryland in Sayama on my list, I just haven’t been there yet. Glad to hear you like it.

    1. Author

      It sounds like a great tour. And strawberries are always a bonus. 🙂 I love the variation of things you can try out here in Japan, never a dull moment.

      Many of my reasons I am grateful to be in Japan, are similar to yours!

      1. I’m looking forward to it! I might even be motivated enough to do a blog post about it. We’ll see.

          1. I’m going at the end of Feb, so look out for it some time between March and July 😛

  2. Oh this brings back memories of when my parents used to take me and my brothers strawberry picking just outside of London! I will have to look up places near west tokyo that I can easily get to as I love going strawberry picking! Saitama is a bit too far from here for me, unfortunately. Looks like you had a great day out with your family 😀

    1. Author

      I’m actually just putting together a huge list of places in Kanto for another website I’m involved in (kajapan.org). I’ll post the link when I’m finished, hopefully this weekend!

      1. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! This is exactly what I was looking for! I love how you’ve listed all the necessary details and its easy to read, without any extra unnecessary stuff. I will be planning an outing with my friends in the next few weeks thanks to this. Thank you again for sharing. You should do more community blog posts!

        1. Author

          OH WOW Olivia, you say the nicest things 😀 Thank you, sincerely. It is always nice to get feedback on a post, especially when it is so positive. 🙂 It really helps to hear if or when someone finds a post of that nature useful.

  3. For some reason I missed this post but caught up with the one at KA mothers! We’ve been discussing the possibility – there’s one within Tokyo itself! Nice to see some extra pictures and hear your experience more fully, though.

    1. Author

      Thanks Bronwyn and thanks for commenting on KA. 🙂 That was my first ever contribution of that type of article to a community blog, well in my personal life, I used to have to do it all the time in my profession before SAHM days. I’m kind of psyched its doing so well!



  4. Thank you for following and your comment (^^)/
    I just said to my husband yesterday that I want to go strawberry picking when my tsuwari is over so this is really helpful. We live in Saitama aswell 🙂

    1. Author

      We just went again today 🙂 The kids really enjoyed it, but it was insanely hot and humid. Sorry to hear you have tsuwari, I hope it passes soon.

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