Strawberry Picking on subtropical island
Strawberries are synonymous with the spring season. It’s easy to pop into the supermarket and grab pack of fresh strawberries. But having a hands-on experience picking your own strawberries fresh off the vine is much more special. What makes strawberry picking such a fun, special experience is that it can only be had once a year during the harvest season.
Although strawberries are synonymous with spring, they are not often associated with Okinawa. Tropical fruits such as mango and pineapples are most often associated with Okinawa because they thrive in hot, humid climates. Of course, hand-picking fruits a local mango or pineapple farm during the summer months is also highly recommended.
Because of the subtropical climate, strawberries grown in Okinawa have a long harvest season from December to May, almost half of the year! This is what makes picking strawberries in Okinawa such a unique experience. The fresh, juicy taste of off-the-vine strawberries can be enjoyed throughout the entire spring season.
Here we would will introduce several strawberry farms on Okinawa that offer hand-picking to visitors.
SunFoods Minatogawa Farm in Higashi Village began offering strawberry picking in 2000. The collective of farmers at SunFoods are not only concerned with pesticide-free, organic farming, but also using crisp, crystal clear water drawn from natural springs surrounding Higashi Village. In addition to strawberries, and depending on the season, visitors to SunFoods can pick fresh tomatoes, goya (bitter melon), and ground cherries.
Ginoza Strawberry Farms are quite particular about the taste of their strawberries, so whether or not the farm is open for picking depends on availability. It’s best to check their Facebook page before visiting.
Tomoya Farm is located near Camp Foster in Nakagusuku. As a result, there are number foreigners who visit the farm regularly, so it’s best to make a reservation in advance.
Chura Ichigo Farm in Itoman south of Naha just recently opened. The farm is owned by farmers who relocated from mainland Japan. The farm currently grows five different varieties of strawberry. http://www.chura-ichigo.jp/