Autumn is the season of beautiful, colored foliage, mushrooms in Nagano's forests, and, of course, the harvesting of fresh fruits – one of Nagano’s specialty!
This year, a young farming couple, who moved from Tokyo to Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture, started an apple picking experience in October. If you make a reservation the same morning, they can even arrange to a pick-up just west of Matsumoto Castle.
Mr. Kawabe was a computer engineer working for an electric maker in Tokyo. He heard his wife's grandpa is farming an apple orchard in Nagano, but thinking retirement and felling apple trees gradually. He felt pity and when the young couple have their baby, they had a fear of Tokyo life after the 3.11 earthquake. After dithering, the husband decided to throw away his career and restart as a farmer from the beginning.
They live in a traditional farm house near Alps Park, so the experience is not only of picking fresh apples in their orchard, but also sitting in their tatami room, having Japanese tea and various autumn food, and touring around their Japanese-style house if you want.
The fee of ¥3000 includes all-you-can-eat picked apples and carry-out of two.
You can book the service from the reservation form on their English website. Tour times are two hours in length, from 13:30 to 15:30 daily. They are closed on Sundays. Reservations are required by noon of the day (preferably by the previous day). The season continues until November 30.
See this flyer for the details.