Monday, March 17, 2014

Strawberry picking in Tsukuihama

Our adventure today took us to Tsukuihama to pick strawberries!  The strawberry season here starts in December and runs through May.  And, the prices vary depending on when in the season you go.  Apparently, we are right close to the peak time because it was MUCH more expensive than I thought it would be!
We packed our lunches and headed out of the house around 1130, drove to the main gate and then walked to Chuo.  It's a beautiful day so we had a pleasant walk outside.  We hopped on the 1202 train to Tsukuihama, which took about 15 minutes and no train switching.  Once we arrived I started out of the train station and to the left.  I've been by the farm once back in January and figured I would surely remember the way....it's only been a couple months.  hahaha!  We walked for a bit and then I turned us around the other way, then turned another way, finally found a map and then Kris got us on the right path!  
We made it to the greenhouse around 1300.  I think there is an office we are supposed to pay and get a ticket that tells us which greenhouse to go into.  Well, we couldn't find the office so we just walked into a greenhouse and asked where to go.  The lady pulled up a calculator and asked how many in our party - four - then she multiplied it by 1300 Yen.... 5200 Yen!  Wowza!  That's a bit more than I expected.              We each got a plastic container with cream on one end and a spot for our stems on the other part.  

Then, we just chose an aisle each and started walking and munching.  We had thirty minutes to eat as many strawberries as we wanted...or could fit in!  Let me just say, we all got our fill of vitamin C today!

Garytt and I took one path, Kris and Mackenzie took another path.  This first pass was quite small.  They were all incredibly sweet, but they were small.  And, our path seemed to have very few strawberries at all.  So, we made it to the end, then turned and picked our path back.  
Our second aisle was much better!  The strawberries were up a little higher so it was easier to find them and pick.  Garytt had a bit of trouble...he would wrap his whole hand around the strawberry and pull.  Then, realize that his strawberry was mushy and wanted to move on to the next berry.  So, we had to put down our cream cups and have a lesson on how to actually pick the strawberries so they weren't smooshed before they came off the vine.


 Like Kris said when we left..."we hit the mother load with that second aisle!"  The berries on these rows were enormous compared to the first picks.  And, oh so juicy!!  Garytt's sleeves are both red from all the juice dripping off the berries.  YUM!

I must say...thirty minutes of berry eating is a LOT of berries!  I love strawberries but maybe not that many at one time.

 On the way back to the train station we walked on a nice quiet walkway.  The kids looked at the water and even found a pair of ducks to look at for a bit.


 We hopped on the train back to Yokosuka around 1430.  Once back in Yokosuka the kids and Kris headed home for a quick nap while I stayed out in town shopping for a bit.  What a lovely day!  And, everyone was so happy Daddy was able to join us!