”Oishii?” “Oishii!” The simple conversation I had with the farmer under the brisk Autumn sky today. Oishii means “delicious” and October 20th marks the first day of the season to enjoy all-you-can-eat style mikan picking within the beautiful, terraced orchard of Tsukuihama Tourist Farm. Located in the Miura Peninsula of Yokosuka City, hike along the fragrant hillside to harvest your very own basket of mikans, also known as Japanese oranges or tangerines.
The word “hama” in Tsukuihama means “beach, seashore.” The mikan orchard of Tsukuihama Tourist Farm is quite a ways up on the hillside overlooking Tsukui beach in Kaneda Bay. So, the best method of transportation to the farm is by car on Route 134. Driving directions are very simple and parking is free. Or, from Tsukuihama Station it’s about 8-minutes by taxi or 25-minutes on foot. On weekends, a shuttle bus is available. Either way, Tsukuihama makes it user-friendly by posting colorful, directional signs along all of the narrow streets leading up to the orchard. You can’t miss it!
After paying your entrance fee, you are given a small basket and pruning shears. Make your way along the concrete path and onto the grassy hillside. You’ll want to wear comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots. The hillside can get very steep, with terrain changing from grass to dirt and uneven paths. I also suggest you wear long sleeves as you're reaching into or above the mikan shrubs. Keep your eyes open for the spider webs, too. If you’re adventurous enough, hike to the top! The views of what seem like never-ending mikan orchards and vegetable farms against the ocean backdrop are just breathtaking. A stunning change of scenery from the concrete jungle!
According to their website, Miura Peninsula has the perfect temperature to grow delicious mikans. These Japanese oranges are one of the most popular fruits in the country and many visitors such as preschool children and tourist groups come to harvest one by one. They are easy to pick, peel, and have the perfect balance of tart and sweetness. Visitors may eat as many as they like for 650yen on the premises. However, your harvest can be brought home for a fee of 390yen per 1kg.
Tsukuihama Tourist Farm vistors can enjoy harvesting seasonal fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Tangerines (Oct to Nov), Strawberries (Dec to Apr), and Sweet Potatoes (Sept to Oct). Come out to enjoy all-you-can-eat with your friends and entire family!