Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 3 Part 2

 3rd day in Japan, since we were planning to do a
family trip to Nagano prefecture, which is located just right above
Aichi prefecture our parrents live in, everyone woke up super early so we get to have enough time to have fun there.

 Nagano prefecture is
in the main island “Honshu”,and it is famous for shinshu soba noodle,
Matsumoto castle, Zenkou ji (temple), and also it was the prefecture
1998 winter Olympic was hold.

 You can find the Japan map at about.com website here. Look for number 18. That is Nagano prefecture,where we took a family trip to.

 Look number 23.That is Aichi prefecture,where I grew up and where my parents live.By car, it was about 4 hours drive one way.

 My father has planed the trip for all of us, and my parents, my grandmother, me,my husband met my sister’s family at closest highway’s service area (it is what we call “rest area” in the states).

 After meeting my sister’s family, we got in to the car, and continued our driving and headed to our first destination spot;Apple picking.

Hara Apple picking field in Nagano prefecture..

 The family trip day was nice sunny day,but Nagano prefecture was a little bit windy and chilly.  

Really surrounded by mountains..
The Apple field we visited was called “Hara Ringo en“.

 The city where the Hara Apple picking field “Hara Ringo en” was is called “Matsukawa city”, and the area is about 600-700 meters above the sea level (1968 feet to 2296 feet above the sea level) and, you would see a lot of mountains around.

 Once you arrive at the field, you would see southern part of series of mountain ranges “Japanese Alps”. The southern Japanese Alps is also known as “A-ka-i-shi mountains”.

Southern Japanese Alps view from Hara Apple picking field..

 The mountain views are breathtaking, and they are very beautiful.

Southern Japanese Alps..

 Because of the environment around them, they can produce various kinds of delicious fruits such as famous Fuji Apples, different kinds of Apples, Pears,Cherries, Persimmons,Peaches, Prunes,and French pears such as Aurora, La France,Le leche  etc..

 Depending on the seasons, you can go picking different kinds of fruits.

 One thing that I noticed is that, they believe that fruits should be grown naturally without any harsh chemicals or pesticides, and they use mineral fertilizer,and organic fertilizer to grow their fruits.

 They are also certified “Eco friendly farmer” through prefecture.I think this is what we recognize as “certified organic farmers” in the states.

 The “Hara apple picking field” has received award from governor of Nagano prefecture as well.

 The entering fee for kids under kindergarten is free, and elementary school kid is  $4, and junior high school student and above is $6.

Owner explains rules and how to pick Apples from the trees..

 When we arrived at the Apple field and met the owner, he explained that we can pick all we want and can eat them but, if you could not eat them on site, we come to him and pay the fee for the Apples to bring home.

 Because we now know we have to pay fee per uneaten Apple if we picked more than we can eat on the site, my mother suggested that we pick a few Apple at a time,and we all enjoy eating them and go picking in turns to make sure we can eat with much less uneaten Apple left in our hands.

 Especially because it was not cheap Apples.

 Because of the paying for uneaten apple rule, our picking pace was rather slow.That was ok though because we could enjoy the scenery and conversation and taste of delicious Apples..

 My husband later told me that when he heard we will go Apple picking, he thought that we will get a bucket or something to hold fruits and pick all we can fit into the container because that is what American people think of “Fruits picking”.

 Therefore, I had to explain him the rule and we learned difference in the fruit picking system through the conversations.

 Sometimes, I find it very interesting talking about cultural difference on many topics and, I learn new things everyday.

 Anyway, the owner of the Hara Apple picking field told us to hold the apple on the bottom with palm, and lift it up so apples can get upside down, and twist it to pick the Apple.

 I have never done Apple picking before but, the Apple got off from the tree easy when I followed the picking instruction.

 It was fun going top pick the Apple and enjoy the beautiful views,but it was really  cold and windy so,I spent most of my time there hiding my hands under the sleeves to warm them up.

My first picked Apple..

My sister’s itty bitty kid would not get left out for the taste testing too..

 How the little one was getting a taste of apple, you may wonder?

Grating Apple with grater..

 The grater my mother is using to grate the Apple is actually a must-have tool for everything little ones would eat.

 My sister does not give commercially made baby foods you get from grocery stores and, her kids are raised with fresh food from the start. They grate food using grater or mashed and spoon feed them.

 The grater itself comes with a cup so, it is a good tool to have around, and it comes handy especially when they travel.

 I thought it was a kind gesture of my sister for her kids to bring the grater so he can taste test the Apples just like everyone else in the family

Hmm.. that smells nice!

Father,how long can you keep peeling the Apple without breaking the peel?

We are about ready to leave..

 You will find Fuji Apples at the grocery stores in the states as well, but I was surprised by the size and the color of the Apple.It looked very nice.

 It makes sense that Nagano prefecture is very famous for Apples.

Fuji Apples in the Hara Apple picking field..

 Isn’t it nice looking?

 Before we leave for the Matsumoto castle, we took a family photo together.


 Thank you for giving us nice family trip memories,father. It was one fun even of the day.

 Now we are leaving for Matsumoto Castle. Have you been to castle in Japan? It will make you walk long dista
nce and make you tired, but everything is beautiful. I love visiting castles.

 Stay tuned!

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Feb 24, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

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