Fruit-picking in Azumino
Azumino’s climate is excellent for growing a variety of fruits, including apples, peaches, berries, persimmons, and more. The area’s fruits are so popular (especially apples) that, besides fresh fruits, you will find an almost endless array of fruit-inspired products like ciders, juices, dried fruits and many types of fruit-infused sweets sold as souvenirs – a great place to taste, pick and buy some of the tasty fruit of Nagano.
But, what’s better than simply buying fruits as souvenirs is picking them yourself and enjoying them right on the spot! Many of the orchards in Azumino offer special picking activities throughout the summer and fall. Generally, fruit picking activities in Japan are done in an “all-you-can-eat” style as opposed to taking home all you can pick. If you are coming from overseas, that’s good news since you won’t need to worry about trying to carry large amounts of fresh fruits around with you while traveling or fruit restrictions in customs. If you do want to take some fruit with you, most activities do offer take-home options as well.
As for recommended places to pick fruit in Azumino, the Fuyama Hisayoshi Orchard specializes in apples, growing over 30 varieties including their own special types. You can also enjoy all-you-can-drink apple juice while picking! Azumino Fruits Land offers the widest variety of fruits to pick: blueberries, grapes, prunes, apples, pears, and Asian pears depending on the exact month (opens June to November). Blueberry Azumino offers organically grown blueberry picking late June to early October.
June through November, depending on the orchard and type of fruit
About 3 hours
To Hotaka Station in Azumino: From Nagano station, take JR Shinonoi Line to Akashina Station. You can get taxi or bus to the Hotaka Station area from there (bus runs seasonally, so be sure to check the schedule). It takes longer but you can also get to Hotaka Station directly by train via Matsumoto: Take the JR Shinonoi or Wide View Shinano to Matsumoto, then transfer to the JR Oito Line and take the train to Hotaka Station.