Last week, I visited Iizaka Onsen, Fukushima City, to pick delicious cherries and celebrate the start of Fukushima’s fantastic fruit season!
Cherry Picking Experience
The orchard I visited is called Anzai Orchard – please note, this is a different Anzai Orchard from the one I mentioned in my blog last year! The Anzais have run this orchard together for decades, putting great love and time into the fruit that they grow. On the day of my visit, they treated us to a lovely picnic under the cherry trees.
Yamagata is pretty famous for its cherries, and seeing as I haven’t tried them, I’m not in a position to compare, but Anzai Orchard’s cherries were really juicy and delicious.
Like many orchards, Anzai Orchard offers visitors the chance to pick their own cherries for a set price per 30 minutes.
Fukushima’s Fruit Line
The orchards scattered around the lush green outskirts of Fukushima City are so large in number that the road they center on is known as the Fruit Line. In the spring, the bright green foliage in this area is stunning, and the view of fruit trees stretching out as far as the eye can see in summer is not to be missed.
Fruit Line Orchards
Fukushima is Japan’s second biggest peach producer, and many people from all over the country look forward to sampling that year’s Akatsuki peaches – a national favourite – grown lovingly in Fukushima.
A whole range of fruit is produced in Fukushima throughout the year, from apples and strawberries in the winter months, to cherries and peaches in the summer.
I tried some of Fukushima’s legendary peaches last summer when I first arrived in Fukushima, and I was not disappointed.
Since then, I have since visited agricultural centres and apple orchards to learn as much as I can about the prefecture’s fruit.
As well as pick-your-own experiences, orchards in Fukushima often sell fruit in small shops, offer shipment of fruit to the recipient of your choice, and some even have cafes where their produce is transformed into delicious sweet treats.
By public transport: Depending on which orchard you go to, the closest train station differs, but Hirano Station and Ioji-mae Station on the Iizaka Line are both pretty close. You can reach the Fruit Line from these stations in around 20-30 mins by foot.
By bike: How about renting a bicycle from Iizaka Onsen Station, and cycling to the Fruit Line? Normal push bikes as well as electric bikes are both available to rent.
By car: Traveling to the Fruit Line by car is the easiest option, and also means you can fill your car up with lots of fruit on your journey back!
Fukushima City Fruit Calendar