Strawberry Picking with kids in Saitama Prefecture: Shimura Farm with Play Area
Our favorite strawberry picking greenhouse to date when written in 2016…and six years later in 2022 – still one of our favorites! Despite the Coronavirus Shimura Strawberry Picking farm opened for picking in January 2021, making it one of the few farms in Saitama that opened as normal. However, in 2022, they will be opening later than usual for picking. They haven’t picked a date yet, but they are aiming for mid January 2022. In 2021, you didn’t have to book as such, but they asked that you ring in advance before arriving at the farm. It maybe the same in 2022.
Original post from 2016:
Strawberry Picking with kids
Strawberry Picking Saitama – Today, we visited a greenhouse type strawberry picking farm in Sakado. This farm has been on my radar since I saw a small write-up about it in a Walker magazine. I was certainly glad we went to check it out. In previous years, we’ve picked our strawberries and ate them and headed home or onto another nearby location.
Shimura Strawberry Farm and Flower Fields
However, today, we spent the whole afternoon at the Shimura Strawberry Farm and Flower Fields. Half an hour was spent picking and eating the delicious strawberries. Afterward, the rest of the time was spent enjoying the free extra services of the fruit picking farm (gallery below). They have a number of different greenhouses. The reception is in “Dai Ichi”, where you take off your shoes and put on slippers. We picked in Dai Ni today, which is connected to the main greenhouse for ease of movement.
Within “Dai 2” there are three different types of strawberries you can choose from. All were sweet and delicious. They use bees in the greenhouse for pollination, but they are not dangerous. The beds are raised making them easier to pick and reduces the risk of mold on the strawberries. In addition, my one year old was easily able to navigate the aisles and pick her own strawberries.
Like most greenhouses it was very warm; therefore it is one good reason to pick in winter. Of all the strawberry picking greenhouse farms I have been to, I like this one the most. It was excellent value for money given that my kids enjoyed playing indoors and outdoors before and after picking.
I could sip complimentary tea and green tea, available to all customers, while the kids played. Its location is good for anyone who drives as it is so close to the highway. It is on the Ken-o highway, Sakado exit, very close to the Tsurgashima Interchange for the Kanetsu expressway making it accessible not only to people in Saitama, but other areas of Kanto too.
In the area
However, there isn’t much in the immediate area though, except for the excellent shoyu theme park just a three minute drive from the farm. And if you like shrines and temples, there is also a great selection of shrines and temples a short drive away. Including Seitenkyu a famous Taiwanese temple which is often used in music videos!
Also, if you are visiting at the end of February or early March, there are early blooming cherry blossoms nearby. Sumiyoshi Sakura No Sato is about a ten minute walk if you use the embankment. By car its about a four minute drive away. In April, don’t miss the weeping cherry about a ten minute drive away with a secret sakura spot nearby too! You can sometimes see swans and Tsuru, Japanese crane, in the surrounding rice paddies too. The swans from the Kawajima swan sanctuary, just over the river, sometimes feed in the paddy fields by the farm.
The Meiji Chocolate Factory is also relatively close by car, but it strictly requires an advance booking. Furthermore, its only open on weekdays. Moreover, during the pandemic only people living in Saitama can visit. More ideas below the map.
Strawberry Picking Saitama: play area in photos
Shimura Farm Information
SEASON: In 2022, all things being equal, from mid January to (depends on the harvest, generally mid April).
OPENING HOURS: from 10 am, generally Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Mondays. I strongly recommend you ring in advance to get the most up-to-date information. And in 2022, as was in the situation in 2021 on account of the coronavirus, they have put a note on their website to that effect – to ring in advance to check its okay to come by that day.
TEL: 080-5028-1062 phone between 8am and 6pm.
Reservations are generally not required, but if it is a particularly busy year there maybe a change to the system as happened in 2018. Also, with Coronavirus it is best to ring to check for any last minute changes etc.
Public Toilets and Free Parking.
For 30 minutes all-you-can-eat, updated with 2021 prices:
Adults and children over six: 1900 yen from January to March, 1600 yen from April to May 10th and 1300 yen from May 11th to end of season.
Children aged three to six: 1500 yen until end of March, 1100 yen from April 1st to May 10th and 900 yen from May 11th until end of season.
There is a flat rate of 200 yen for 2 year old children.
Under 2 toddlers are free. Discounts are available for school groups of more than 10.
Approximately one kilometre or three minutes by car from the Sakado exit of the Ken-O expressway.
- Fueki Shoyu Kinbue Soy Sauce Park 2022 | KAWAJIMA
- Sakado Jidokan – free children’s community center with planetarium
- Seitenkyu, a Taoist Temple gifted from Taiwan.
- Heisei no Mori park, with Japan’s largest rose tunnel:
And in Kawagoe “Little Edo” Tourist Town just a 20 minute drive away:
If you have come to Shimura to pick strawberries with kids, you may well be interested in these 10 things to do in Kawagoe with kids. Also:
- 10 Cherry Blossom Spots Kawagoe
- Monolith: Climbing Kawagoe only about a 10 minute drive from Shimura farm
- The Fukuda Fields of Kawagoe and the Satoyama Initiative only about a 7 minute drive from the farm
- You will find dozens of things to do in Kawagoe here
Other Strawberry Picking Articles
Each prefecture in the Kanto area – Tokyo, Saitama, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma and Chiba – have dozens, if not hundreds, of places you can pick strawberries during the season from January to May. Below is a selection of articles with all the information you need to find a strawberry picking greenhouse in the Greater Tokyo area.
- Strawberry Picking Saitama: https://www.city-cost.com/blogs/Saitama/MPbdG
- Chiba Strawberry Picking farms: https://www.city-cost.com/blogs/Saitama/wm1aw
- Strawberry Picking Kanagawa: https://www.city-cost.com/blogs/Saitama/wN40z
- Places to Strawberry Pick in Tokyo, Tochigi, Gunma: https://www.city-cost.com/blogs/Saitama/z3qOw
- Strawberry Picking in Naruto, Chiba: https://chanceadventurer.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/strawberry-picking-in-naruto-%E8%8B%BA%E4%B8%80%E4%BC%9A/
Over the years, I have written quite a lot of articles about Strawberry Picking in Japan. It is not that we pick strawberries a lot, it is just that when I first researched strawberry picking in Saitama there was no information in English. I subsequently realized that there was limited information for the whole of the Kanto region and I wanted to fill the void. Thus, I had found a niche and it has served me well… or rather, I have served it well!