14 February 2013

All-You-Can-Eat ★ Strawberry Picking in Chiba

Have you done enough winter sports with kids this year?
Are you looking for something different to entertain kids comfortably in cold winter?
Then, the strawberry picking in greenhouse may be a way to go.
Most of the Japanese strawberry farmers grow the strawberry plants in greenhouse, called 'vinyl house'.
The season for strawberry picking starts as early as January and it ends before the 'Golden Week' Holidays (late April) depending on the area.

Chiba is one of the most popular strawberry picking destinations for the people living in Tokyo.
It only takes a few hours by car, crossing to the other side of Tokyo Bay by driving the underwater Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line. 
The further to the south you go in Boso Peninsula, the fresher the air gets.
Here is a place my family went for strawberry picking. (Michi no Eki Tomiura Biwa Kurabu: http://www.mboso-etoko.jp/navi/e/, In Japanese: http://www.mboso-etoko.jp/top/ichigo/index.html)
Most of strawberry picking requires the booking in advance so that all the guests are guaranteed to pick enough strawberries in any rows in a greenhouse.
Pick, eat and keep eating in a given time because you are not allowed to bring them back home.

The average admission fee for the strawberry picking is about 1,500 yen per head and it is 'pick-your-own' and 'all-you-can-eat' system for 0.5 hour (the charge and conditions vary depending on the place and the season).

The greenhouse owner will give you a small disposal plastic container at the greenhouse entrance. 
One side of the container is filled with sweetened condensed milk and the other is an empty space to spit the caps of strawberries.
People don't spit on the walkway between the strawberry rows so it is always clean.
This greenhouse offers 5 different types of strawberries in one place.
One is sweeter than the others, one is rounder than the others, etc.
Kids can learn so much from visiting the farm.
After we filled up our tummies with a lot of strawberries, we had a little walk along the river. 
The sky was crispy clear and the air was so fresh.
The field of fully bloomed rapeseed blossoms was just beautiful.
The contrast of yellow flower, blue sky and green tree is the indication for the arrival of spring.
Returning to the tourist information centre after strawberry picking, my daughter had a lesson for strawberry jam making.
It was an easy-quick cooking lesson for kids but the taste of the jam was brilliant!
Why not pick your own red, plump and juicy strawberries in all-you-can-eat farms in Chiba?!

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