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Home > About Yamanashi > Topics > Yamanashi Travelog: Blue Skies and Cherry Picking at Lake Kawaguchiko

Yamanashi Travelog: Blue Skies and Cherry Picking at Lake Kawaguchiko

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Blue Skies and Cherry Picking at Lake Kawaguchiko

By Aimee Wenyue Chen

For those living in Japan, cherries are notoriously expensive. Unlike when I lived in the States and could usually buy a pack of cherries for 2 to 4 dollars, a pack of cherries usually costs between 500~1000 yen (currently roughly equivalent to $7 to $12 dollars). While there is the ever-popular “American cherry” sold here in supermarkets (also expensive), I’ve found that I really like the taste of Japanese cherries, which taste rather different—sweeter, more tender.

Therefore, late though it was in the cherry season (it was mid July), we decided to go ahead and try get our fill of Yamanashi cherries by going cherry picking. We drove out to a place less than 10 minutes away from Lake Kawaguchiko, where there was a farm that grew cherries and blueberries. Since we just hit the near end of the cherry-picking season (and on a weekday), our group of five had an entire large greenhouse almost completely to ourselves.  

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The greenhouses. In the background you can see Mt. Fuji.

Because of the truth universally accepted that cherries are expensive in Japan, I think we rather got a good deal by paying 2000 yen for a 40-minute free-for-all cherry picking and eating extravaganza inside a cherry greenhouse. (I prepared specially for this by eating no breakfast.)

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There were several types of cherries within one greenhouse, and some had a very sweet and tender taste, while others were less sweet and had more hardy flesh. A note on how to pick the cherries: don’t pull the cherry from the stem but hold the cherry itself and pull.

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I was also surprised at the color, because some were even orange-reddish, like baby tomatoes.

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Since none of us were acrophobic, we also had a lot of fun climbing the ladders and picking the sweetest, juiciest cherries at the tops of the trees.  

With our bellies full of cherries, we decided to hop over and take a very short drive to Lake Kawaguchiko where the lavender was in full bloom. It was very lively, with children and families, groups of college students, older adults taking a walk, laughter, pets, people sailing on the lake, and cheery sunshine.

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