Indulge in Nagano’s Delicious Fruit
Visitors to Nagano will quickly discover a region blessed with natural beauty and abundance. Home to many of Japan’s highest mountains, spread through several dramatic mountain ranges, Nagano sits at a notably higher elevation than coastal regions. The higher altitude of the region allows for a cooler climate and perfect conditions for growing many types of fruit and vegetables.
It can be said, that Nagano is one of the true food bowls of Japan. The combination of a cooler climate and fertile, volcanic soil is ideal for cultivating some of Japan’s best fruit – most famously: apples, grapes and peaches.
Apples / Best enjoyed: late-September to mid-November
It is said that Nagano’s altitude creates a temperature differential in summer and autumn – hot or warm days but cool nights – ideal for growing apples. As such, Nagano is known throughout Japan for the quality, size, and delicious flavor of its apples.
Growing widely-known varieties including San-Fuji, Jonathan and Akibae along with local varieties including Shinano Sweet and Shinano Gold, Nagano’s apples are highly sought-after and sell for high prices in the markets and stores of Tokyo and Kyoto.
Grapes / Best enjoyed: mid-August to mid-October
Rivalling the fame of Nagano’s apples are its enormous and sweet grapes. Traditionally grown for eating, Nagano is home to a burgeoning wine industry with vineyards spread throughout the region.
Much like apples, Nagano’s climate is ideal for growing grapes including the highly-prized Shine Muscat and large – very large! – Kyoho and Nagano Purple varieties. Picking your own grapes while in Nagano is one of the most enjoyable and delicious experiences you can have.
Peaches / Best enjoyed: August
Known as ‘momo’ in Japanese, peaches are without doubt one of the tastiest fruits grown here. Ripening around August, varieties including Kawanakajima and Akatsuki are known (yet again) for their immense size and sweet, juicy flesh.
Many local farms offer fruit-picking in summer, which in the heat and humidity of the day, is a great way to stay cool under the orchard canopy before devouring your own hand-picked selection.