Wasabi-picking & Cycling in Azumino
Located between Matsumoto and the Hakuba Valley, and in the shadow of the North Japan Alps, Azumino is a tranquil rural enclave best-known for its abundant farmlands and mountain vistas. Fed by the pristine rivers running out of the Alps, the farms of Azumino produce some of Japan’s best vegetables and fruit – most famously, apples, ‘soba’ (buckwheat noodles), and ‘wasabi’.
While many international visitors will be familiar with wasabi before arriving in Japan, what many people don’t realise that it’s likely they’ve never tried the real stuff, with most wasabi sold around the world being horseradish or mustard dyed green. Real wasabi is a slow growing crop that requires an ideal climate including abundant, mineral-rich and clean water to grow in well-tended river beds. Azumino and its renowned Daio Wasabi Farm is one of the biggest producers of wasabi, and there’s no better way to experience the surprisingly versatile uses of the plant then directly from the farm.
Starting from nearby Hotaka Station, bicycles are available for rent and are the ideal way to ride to Daio and any other of the nearby farms. Three rental shops are located directly in front of the station, with rates ranging from around JPY200 to JPY500 per hour, depending on the type of bike you wish to rent.
Operating hours vary but are typically between 08:00 to 18:00 (with slightly shorter hours during winter). For details, see our ‘Getting Around Azumino – Rental Bicycle, Bus & Taxi’ page.
Rental store will provide you with maps and directions to your destinations of choice including to Daio and any other farm that takes your fancy!