The town of Nanbu is the perfect place to experience a slice of idyllic Japanese countryside at anytime of the year. Spreading out from the base of Nakui mountain and split in half by the Mabechi river, the town’s old-style atmosphere finds balance with the surrounding nature as it changes over the seasons. But every summer, around mid-June, an exciting change begins to overtake the usual green scenery as red spots to appear everywhere. Cherries fruit and ripen, and soon the town is a bustle of activity.
Nanbu is known in general as a fruit-producing town; everything is grown from apples to blueberries, to peaches. Cherries, though, truly reign king in this town, and many of the town’s buildings and facilities feature cherries in their names or design. The cherries from Nanbu are known for being sweet, juicy, huge, and picture-perfect in shape and color. Indeed, simply driving through the orchards of the town during the cherry season is worth a trip in itself, as all along the road one can see vibrant red cherries standing out in beautiful contrast to the green leaves of their trees.
Although looking at the scenery of the fruit orchards is satisfying, picking the fruits is where the real fun begins. Unlike in some other countries where customers pick fruit to bring home, in Japan, you pay a set amount of money to eat all you want of the fruit while in the orchard and pay separately if you want to take any fruit home. This makes larger fruits like pears and peaches more difficult, but a small fruit like cherries perfect!
Visitors interested in cherry picking in Nanbu should contact the Nagawa Agricultural Tourism Information Center to make a reservation. This information center coordinates with over 35 cherry orchards in the town, and make sure that each group of visitors are getting the ripest fruit available for the day. Simply email the information center at least three days advance detailing when you would like to go cherry picking, how many are in your group, and your contact information. On the day of your reservation simply go to the information center and check-in. There you will meet a local farmer who will guide you to a cherry orchard that’s waiting just for you to come and pick it!
- Nagawa Agricultural Tourism Information Center Address:
- Oshibutamiyama-23-2 Kaminakui, Nambu, Sannohe District, Aomori 039-0501
- To Make a Reservation Email:
Adults (over 13): 1,000 yen (40 min)
Children 7~12: 700 yen
Children 3~6:300 yen
- Please Note:
● Please be careful when picking the fruit: do not climb on the trees, and do not damage them.
● The above cost only covers a 40 min all-you-can-eat picking session, do not take any of the fruit home unless you pay for it separately.
By Car: about 30 min from Hachinohe Station
about 10 min from Suwanotaira Station