It's called "ichigo gari"（イチゴ狩り) in Japanese literally translates into "strawberry picking." You can take the family to pick strawberries in Isehara in Kanagawa prefecture which is just an hour away from Tokyo by train or car.
Isehara is a very rural area and beautiful area of Japan. It is home to the exquisitely scenic Tanzawa-Oyama Quasi-National Park that features Lake Miyagase and Mount Hiru.
Lake Miyagase and Mount Hiru in Isehara
That Isehara is so beautiful and full of nature might come as some surprise to most people as it is so close to Tokyo, the biggest and most crowded city in the world. Isehara is right next door to Atsugi and I wrote about taking the kids trout fishing in Atsugi last year. Please refer to: Nature's Hideaway Just 1.5 From Tokyo! Trout Fishing!? It's True!!!
Today I'd like to tell you strawberry lovers about going to a great place that allows you to pick strawberries and eat them right on the spot in hothouses in Isehara. If you love strawberries, then you've died and gone to heaven here!
Plum tree blossoms in front of one of the hothouses
View of one of the hothouses from a distance
The place is named Tsuzuki Ichigo En (都築いちご園) which translates to "Tsuzuki Strawberry Garden." (How in the heck 都築 is read "Tsuzuki" is beyond me but my wife says that any Japanese who graduated from high school should be able to read it!) Here at Tsuzuki Strawberry Garden, you can take your family to a very enjoyable trip to pick strawberries and eat until you explode.... And I do mean explode!
View up the road from Tsuzuki Strawberry Garden. There's a train line in the distance and that is the Odakyu line to and from Shinjuku station
The shack where you pay your entry fee to all you can eat strawberries at Tsuzuki Strawberry Garden
For thirty minutes of picking and eating the prices are ¥1,300 (about $15.78 USD) for anyone over 6 years old and ¥700 (about $8.50 USD) for kids under 6 for thirty minutes. If you don't want to pick and just take photos, like me, it's free!
Inside the hothouse
Now some people might think that thirty minutes of picking strawberries and eating them is a bit pricey, but it's not really when you see that the strawberries are very large. My eight-year-old says he ate 34 of them in the thirty minutes. His grandfather says he ate 50. Both of them said they were about to explode from eating so many strawberries!
This was the typical size of the strawberries but many were much larger. Can you eat 70 or 80 of these in thirty minutes? I can't.
All fresh, natural and no insecticides or chemicals used at all
Families bring the kids in for a wonderful time
There are at least a dozen huge hothouses like this one housing strawberry fields at Tsuzuki Strawberry Garden
Everyone can get sweetened condensed milk to eat the strawberries with too if they like
Of course, you can buy the chemical free organic strawberries to take home or as a present for friends and family
If you are sick and tired of the crowds in Tokyo and want to go enjoy nature but don't want to take a long train or airplane ride, then Isehara is right next door. I highly recommend it.
If you go to Tsuzuki Strawberry Garden, make sure you call ahead and make reservations as it gets a good crowd, especially on weekends!
To contact Tsuzuki Strawberry Garden: Please call: 0463-92-6277 (I'm sure these folks don't speak English, sorry!)
It is so far out in the country that there isn't an address. But here's some information online and a map: